Topics

Car End Data


radiodial868
 

Many of the decal sets for resin car kits include "Car End Data", stuff like 'Coupler End Shank 6x8', 'K-2 Triple Valve', 'Friction Draft Gear', 'Cast Steel Yoke', etc..
I see many proto pictures with no car end data, some with it (but unsure of the photo date).  Let's face it, old pictures of car ends are less frequent than side views.
What era were these used? 
RJ Dial
Burlingame. CA


Dave Parker
 

The short (I hope) answer is that these "equipment lists" were first adopted by the MCB in 1896 as a Recommended Practice, and advanced to Standard 5 years later.  Exactly what needed to be in the list evolved over time.  By the late teens (at least), the list could be stenciled on either the sides or the ends of the cars.  When the new ARA lettering standards were adopted on 1 March, 1927, the equipment list became optional, but it was recommended that these stencils be confined to the car ends.  Presumably this was to eliminate clutter on the car sides in the face of the new requirement for dimensional data to the right of the door of house cars.

Some owners continued to stencil these lists on the car-ends into the 1930s, but many did not.  It can often be hard to tell in photos of well-weathered cars with dirty ends.

Hope this helps.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Friends,

The late Richard Hendrickson penned a three part article on boxcar markings in RPC volumes 3-5, which explains much of this lettering. On page 11, V.4, he includes an AAR diagram dated 1940, which shows the ends to be clean except for the car reporting marks.

That said, the practice of adding optional special equipment data by some railroads continued through the end of our period. One of the most common was for wheel descriptions: "WRT STL WHLS" or "1-W STL WHLS" (or variants), probably in case of repairs made off-line. Also common was spring travel as in "Spring 2 1/4 in Travel". I also note "Swivel Coupler" on some cars. These examples are shown in various builders' photos. Some of the lettering was probably not renewed upon repainting by certain roads, but might have been continued by others. Check your photos.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆


On Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 1:34 AM Dave Parker via Groups.Io <spottab=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
The short (I hope) answer is that these "equipment lists" were first adopted by the MCB in 1896 as a Recommended Practice, and advanced to Standard 5 years later.  Exactly what needed to be in the list evolved over time.  By the late teens (at least), the list could be stenciled on either the sides or the ends of the cars.  When the new ARA lettering standards were adopted on 1 March, 1927, the equipment list became optional, but it was recommended that these stencils be confined to the car ends.  Presumably this was to eliminate clutter on the car sides in the face of the new requirement for dimensional data to the right of the door of house cars.

Some owners continued to stencil these lists on the car-ends into the 1930s, but many did not.  It can often be hard to tell in photos of well-weathered cars with dirty ends.

Hope this helps.
--
Dave Parker
Swall Meadows, CA


Donald B. Valentine
 

Dave Parker wrote:

Some owners continued to stencil these lists on the car-ends into the 1930s, but many did not.  It can often
be hard to tell in photos of well-weathered cars with dirty ends.

    Actually in the case of one type of carit went later than that. The last of the General American built milk 
tank cars for the General American - Pfaudler Corp. were built in 1947 in both 6,000 and 8.000 gal.capacity
all of which had such end lettering even at that date.

Cordialy, Don Valentine


radiodial868
 

Westerfield instruction sheets rarely show car end data, no matter the era, even in as-built lettering. No help there.
Perusing all the Focus on Freight Cars books (images are 1930's) and the Steam Era Freight Car Reference Manual, I've decided to do whatever feels right, and no one can really argue!  (as long as the car had the listed features). But by 1939, they were rare, so that's the plan I will stay with. The equipment data decals mostly appear on decal sheets where the original builders photos or livery drawings were available, but appeared to not stick around much longer after 1927 as Dave mentions, with the possible exception of AB Brake conversions.
Thanks to all that replied,
RJ Dial


Dick Harley
 

I know I am late to this party, but felt that I should note that PFE, SP and UP continued equipment end lettering well into the 1970s and beyond.

The SP and PFE lettering is well documented in drawings and photos in the SPH&TS freight car painting & lettering book.
https://sphts.myshopify.com/collections/books/products/southern-pacific-freight-car-painting-and-lettering-guide

Some UP drawings are on my SmugMug site at :
https://harley-trains.smugmug.com/UP-PLN-FRT


Cheers,
Dick Harley
Laguna Beach,  CA


 


np328
 

As with Dick Harley, late in commenting. I took a broad look over some photos I have collected over time. And uploaded some below. 

Of these photos there is consistency (with the NP shop procedures) that not only the ends had data painted however even the truck bolsters can be seen in some of the photos having the car number painted on. To those who might talk of wheel bearings throwing oil out and obscuring the stenciling, the lettering is on the inside of the wheels where most of the spray might not land.

Will I be lettering the truck bolsters on all my NP cars? Decals in the correct sizing would be a challenge to find, so perhaps I will do a few resin kits.

On the prototype which should be the basis to study, there it was.

Notes:
NP 24798 - note on the truck bolster car number is clearly visible on this 1947 Laurel, MT kit-built car. (The shops assembled parts like doors and ends from builders, however crafted the sides and did the assembly.)
NP Covered hopper 75040, built 1951 at the NP Brainerd, MN shops. 
NP 84000 - yes the roof, ends, and even the coupler box is covered with aluminum paint, which makes the end data pretty visible. Cars were listed in the Mech. spec sheets as having aluminum paint to protect pigs from excessive heat. (Sides, trucks, underframe - BCR.)  In addition they had counter-balanced shutters that could be moved to enclose the car entirely in the winter climate local to the NP.  These cars were original NP 8000 series XMs of 1929 and rebuilt into this car in the photo in 1958. Roller bearings and snubbers on the trucks for a smooth ride. 
3309 Built 1-1960, so it barely fits in here with respect to this lists time frame.  End data is there. 

I have other photos from well beyond this lists time frame that shows on the NP, this practice continued. 

Last image - I am not sure if I posted this image prior. It is a response to a question from Lester Breuer that I may or may not have answered. The time frame covered by the letter affects the dates of some who model this and earlier eras here and so I will include it.

To sum up, the words of Garth Groff on check your photos seems to be the way to go.                                  Jim Dick - Roseville, MN 
  


Edward
 

Having trucks stenciled with the reporting mark and car number was done for almost every car, especially those working interchange service.
While it identified particular trucks for a specific car, it was an important ID for any off road maintenance or repair work, as well as identifying trucks of cars in wrecks, where they often are separated.

Further, the reporting mark and car number is also stenciled on both sides of the center sill for the same reasons.
While we deal with freight cars here, passenger and express equipment was similarly marked on the trucks and center sills.

Sometimes there was a plate on a side of the center sill that schematically outlined the brake rigging, if it had a unusual or complex arrangement.

Each journal bearing was also marked with a number on the truck frames.
They would be numbered 1-4 for the four wheel truck at the A end of a car, and 5-8 for the companion truck at the "B" end.
My recollection is a bit fuzzy here but I think the left was odd numbers and the right side was even numbers, front to rear.
The same was done with 6 wheel and larger trucks as well.

Ed Bommer


Bob Webber
 

Often, the numbers and reporting marks were cast or 'welded' on frames, journals, etc.  Brakes, wheels, axles, battery boxes, batteries were all provided serial numbers stenciled or cast on.  The Pullman library has a lot of drawings for the various stencils of cylinders, trucks, and all other seemingly minor lettering.  

Sent from BlueMail

On Feb 3, 2020, at 6:59 PM, Edward <edb8381@...> wrote:
Having trucks stenciled with the reporting mark and car number was done for almost every car, especially those working interchange service.
While it identified particular trucks for a specific car, it was an important ID for any off road maintenance or repair work, as well as identifying trucks of cars in wrecks, where they often are separated.

Further, the reporting mark and car number is also stenciled on both sides of the center sill for the same reasons.
While we deal with freight cars here, passenger and express equipment was similarly marked on the trucks and center sills.

Sometimes there was a plate on a side of the center sill that schematically outlined the brake rigging, if it had a unusual or complex arrangement.

Each journal bearing was also marked with a number on the truck frames.
They would be numbered 1-4 for the four wheel truck at the A end of a car, and 5-8 for the companion truck at the "B" end.
My recollection is a bit fuzzy here but I think the left was odd numbers and the right side was even numbers, front to rear.
The same was done with 6 wheel and larger trucks as well.

Ed Bommer


Jack Mullen
 

As several posters have noted, the practice of stencilling data on car ends didn't end after the requirement was dropped, but the content changed over time.  In the postwar steam era,  a quick review of builder's photos suggests that not all railroads used end data, but an apparent majority did.  Of those that did, most included wheel type, such as the common "1-W WROT STL WHLS" (which is seen in several different forms of abbreviation.)  Other items seem to be noted only when they differ from usual practice.  In the 40s and 50s, long travel springs seem to be listed most often, with specialty draft gear or foundation brake components seen occasionally. Roller bearings are seen stenciled on the end in one of the photos Jim Dick posted, but I seem to recall some railroads marking that data on the cars side near a truck.  
As another poster said, photos will be your best guide - when and if suitable views can be found.  Otherwise, don't sweat it.  From personal observation both of steam-era cars after the steam era as well as more modern cars, grime can obscure or obliterate such markings on cars in service.  It's also my impression that the data stenciling was often eliminated when cars were repainted.
Jack Mullen


mopacfirst
 

Stenciling the reporting marks and number on the center sill is pretty visible on tank cars, and that data is almost always included in the tank car decals I've seen.  But I also recall it as being really useful when cars were downgraded to work service.  The original number often remained undisturbed in that case, so it was a great way to track where a car came from.  Too bad I didn't record more of those....

But in the steam era or a few years after, I don't recall ever seeing the car number stenciled on the outside of the truck frame.  I agree it was sometimes stenciled on at least one side of the bolster, but I'm not sure even how common that was.

Ron Merrick


Eric Hansmann
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of np328
Sent: Monday, February 3, 2020 5:58 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Car End Data

 

As with Dick Harley, late in commenting. I took a broad look over some photos I have collected over time. And uploaded some below. 

Of these photos there is consistency (with the NP shop procedures) that not only the ends had data painted however even the truck bolsters can be seen in some of the photos having the car number painted on. To those who might talk of wheel bearings throwing oil out and obscuring the stenciling, the lettering is on the inside of the wheels where most of the spray might not land.

Will I be lettering the truck bolsters on all my NP cars? Decals in the correct sizing would be a challenge to find, so perhaps I will do a few resin kits.

On the prototype which should be the basis to study, there it was.

Notes:
NP 24798 - note on the truck bolster car number is clearly visible on this 1947 Laurel, MT kit-built car. (The shops assembled parts like doors and ends from builders, however crafted the sides and did the assembly.)
NP Covered hopper 75040, built 1951 at the NP Brainerd, MN shops. 
NP 84000 - yes the roof, ends, and even the coupler box is covered with aluminum paint, which makes the end data pretty visible. Cars were listed in the Mech. spec sheets as having aluminum paint to protect pigs from excessive heat. (Sides, trucks, underframe - BCR.)  In addition they had counter-balanced shutters that could be moved to enclose the car entirely in the winter climate local to the NP.  These cars were original NP 8000 series XMs of 1929 and rebuilt into this car in the photo in 1958. Roller bearings and snubbers on the trucks for a smooth ride. 
3309 Built 1-1960, so it barely fits in here with respect to this lists time frame.  End data is there. 

I have other photos from well beyond this lists time frame that shows on the NP, this practice continued. 

Last image - I am not sure if I posted this image prior. It is a response to a question from Lester Breuer that I may or may not have answered. The time frame covered by the letter affects the dates of some who model this and earlier eras here and so I will include it.

To sum up, the words of Garth Groff on check your photos seems to be the way to go.                                  Jim Dick - Roseville, MN 
  


Ted Schnepf
 

Hello,

I believe lettering on truck bolsters to be very common.  One big reason.  When cars derail, you need to match trucks to each car.

I remember investigating derailments in the 1970's and all trucks had car numbers, and matching trucks to cars, trying to determine the cause of the pileup.

I assume my predecessors 20 years earlier were doing the same thing at derailments.

retired railroad civil engineer.

Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet,
Elgin, Ill. 60120


847=697-5353


On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 07:51:29 AM CST, mopacfirst <ron.merrick@...> wrote:


Stenciling the reporting marks and number on the center sill is pretty visible on tank cars, and that data is almost always included in the tank car decals I've seen.  But I also recall it as being really useful when cars were downgraded to work service.  The original number often remained undisturbed in that case, so it was a great way to track where a car came from.  Too bad I didn't record more of those....

But in the steam era or a few years after, I don't recall ever seeing the car number stenciled on the outside of the truck frame.  I agree it was sometimes stenciled on at least one side of the bolster, but I'm not sure even how common that was.

Ron Merrick
_._,_._,_


Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, Feb 3, 2020 at 08:10 PM, Jack Mullen wrote:
As several posters have noted, the practice of stencilling data on car ends didn't end after the requirement was dropped, but the content changed over time.
While the WWI era stenciling that Eric linked to seems like an advertisement for the builder, kind of like the option list on a car dealer's window sticker, it eventually evolved to include only those items that were truly useful, mostly to the RIP track foremen. When a car showed up on the RIP track, and it could well be a foreign road car, the first thing the foreman had to decide was whether to assign someone to repair it, or hold it while parts were ordered. Having information like spring size and class stenciled on the car meant he didn't have to have someone disassemble it, only to have to stop until the required parts came in. The stenciling avoided wasted time, and kept his facility fluid; a bad order car can typically still be switched, unless it's up on jacks.

As to reporting marks on the truck bolster and sill, as far as I know that was always an MCB/ARA/AAR recommendation; doors too. Basically any part of the car that was likely to come loose on the repair track, or in a wreck. It greatly aided getting all the parts back together. If one doesn't see the stenciling on the bolster, it's likely there, but covered with dirt.

Dennis Storzek


Bob Webber
 

The normal stencil drawing for freight cars as built by P-S, SSC and others show that there were a multitude of stencils.

The truck bolsters (with car #)
The car ends (multiple lines)
the center sill
ownership plates
trust plates
brake lever indicators
handle instructions
cast letters on truck side frames picked out with white
adjust brakes here
brake cylinder data
defect card
paint info
builders badge
brake shaft end painted
etc.

On most of the stenciling drawings we have (and we have a lot scanned because, I always thought they'd be of interest so I pulled and scanned any I saw) they have all this and more.  Then there are the more detailed drawings for the various plates, smaller stencils, etc.  Plus the stencils inside the car that, depending on how it's staged, can be seen.  The end of the car data (which started all this) is seen on every drawing.

Note though that these are AS BUILT.  Fresh from the paint shop.  What another shop might do afterwards, how grime and other weathering affect that is another story.

As Ted mentioned - you have to be able to match parts in case of accidents, wrecks, misadventures, shopping, etc.  When an off-road shop had to replace trucks or wheels, the original casting #s had to be noted in the reports back to the owner, along with the new (if so ordered). 

That's partially why the sill number & marks are there - why hatch covers get interior lettering, why interior doors get lettering, etc. 

Bob Webber


Bob Webber
 

Ron, in all the stenciling drawings, they show the stenciling on the bolsters & ends.  And, either casting data/RR marks & #s or painted info on wheels and/or side frames (dependingo n the regs at that moment in time).  

At 07:51 AM 2/4/2020, you wrote:
But in the steam era or a few years after, I don't recall ever seeing the car number stenciled on the outside of the truck frame.  I agree it was sometimes stenciled on at least one side of the bolster, but I'm not sure even how common that was.

Ron Merrick
_._,_._,_

Bob Webber


Gary Ray
 

Hi Eric,

 

Thanks for posting.  I’m literally taking a break from construction of 3 Westerfield USRA boxcars today.  What a wonderful surprise and helpful info on the car ends.

Thanks,

Gary Ray

Magalia, CA

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:14 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Car End Data

 

Those of us modeling the real steam era are well aware of the car end data stencils. It seemed to be popular on several batches of USRA boxcars.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/34451275534/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/34485142103/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/34451207284/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/35128471512/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/35128465652/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/34689997732/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

These are soooo much fuuuuun to decal….

 

I prefer the hardware inventory on the car sides.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrigerlibrary/34485282793/in/album-72157649155982802/

 

The decals are much easier to apply on the flat surfaces.

http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/2019/09/16/gloss-coat-and-rpms/

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 


earlyrail
 

Lettering on trucks goes way back.
I have photos of in service cars from 1905 that show car number and journal size lettered on the trucks.
And yes, my models have all this lettering.

Howard Garner