DL&W hopper & box cars from Nov 1925 on Steamtown site today

Brian Rochon

Eric Hansmann

This 1925 image illustrates an early application of an updated data presentation on all of these freight cars. The post-USRA data was often presented as such:

CAPACITY - covering two lines of figures for cubic feet and weight capacity
WT - which is the light weight

In early 1925, the ARA recommended removing the cubic capacity from the CAPACITY line to only present the car capacity in pounds. The WT stencil was altered to present as LIGHT WT, or LT WT. The LOAD LIMIT stencil was being considered about this time but wouldn't become an official recommendation for another year. These changes made all the data figures stenciled that area of the same units of measurement; pounds. The cubic feet data moved to the right side of the car with the dimensional info; IL, IH, etc. Some railroads began applying it early, as we see on these Lackawanna cars.

You will find builder photos of new cars from 1925 and 1926 the the earlier CAPACITY presentation, along with builder photos of cars with the updated preferences. IIRC, I have builder photos of two B&O freight cars. One built in late 1925 has the updated data presentation while another from early 1926 has the older data presentation applied. Here's a PDF illustrating two lettering guidelines of that period.

Note these cars all retain the hardware inventory listings on the right side of the car. This presentation would slowing fade from practice. 

Of course, a few railroads did their own thang (hello Northern Pacific!) until later in the 1930s. 

These are a few of the nuances to understand when modeling the mid-1920s. It really is fun! (Cue several eye rolls now....)

Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

On December 7, 2019 at 7:10 AM Brian Rochon <berochon@...> wrote: