New member checking in


Jim Pattison
 

Hi,

I model the SP but am interested in having at least semi realistic models of other road’s cars in my trains which led me here.  I hope that I can pick the collective brains about models that are available of freight cars from before 1957. 

I do have a few books on SP freight cars so might be able to help if someone is looking  for info about them.

 

Jim Pattison

Modeling part of the SP coast line circa 1957

In Mossyrock, WA


Tim O'Connor
 

Jim

your scale ?

On 6/19/2022 5:33 PM, Jim Pattison wrote:

Hi,

I model the SP but am interested in having at least semi realistic models of other road’s cars in my trains which led me here.  I hope that I can pick the collective brains about models that are available of freight cars from before 1957. 

I do have a few books on SP freight cars so might be able to help if someone is looking  for info about them.

 

Jim Pattison



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Jim Pattison
 

HI Tim,

HO

Jim

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 8:09 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 

Jim

your scale ?

On 6/19/2022 5:33 PM, Jim Pattison wrote:

Hi,

I model the SP but am interested in having at least semi realistic models of other road’s cars in my trains which led me here.  I hope that I can pick the collective brains about models that are available of freight cars from before 1957. 

I do have a few books on SP freight cars so might be able to help if someone is looking  for info about them.

 

Jim Pattison

 


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


nyc3001 .
 

HI Tim,

HO

Jim

Funny message.

If you have access to conductor's train books, I would recommend analyzing those until you have a large sample of cars. The results can differ somewhat from the various formulas that are often used by modelers. For example, I model the NYC and use data/consists from canadasouthern.com, which means that the railroads that are highly represented in my collection are different from someone who uses certain formulas. This also allows me to adapt cars to my given locale and figure out which oddballs are reasonable to include or should be included.

-Phil Lee


Jim Pattison
 

Hi Phil, I don’t have any of the conductor’s train books, but that work has already been done for the SP Coast Line by Tony Thompson.  The questions I imagine asking are along the line of, is the Bowser model of a Wabash round top box car correct, sort of correct, or totally wrong?

Jim Pattison

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of nyc3001 .
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 8:36 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 

HI Tim,

HO

Jim

Funny message.

If you have access to conductor's train books, I would recommend analyzing those until you have a large sample of cars. The results can differ somewhat from the various formulas that are often used by modelers. For example, I model the NYC and use data/consists from canadasouthern.com, which means that the railroads that are highly represented in my collection are different from someone who uses certain formulas. This also allows me to adapt cars to my given locale and figure out which oddballs are reasonable to include or should be included.

-Phil Lee


Tim O'Connor
 


A sample of HO scale SP box car models off the top of my head

   B-50-1/-2/-4/-6/-9 Westerfield
   B-50-12 Westerfield/Tichy/... (USRA single sheathed box car)
   B-50-13/-14 Sunshine
   A-50-14 Proto 2000/Walthers (-12 kit bash)
   B-50-15/-
16 Sunshine/Rapido
   B-50-18/-19/-20/-21/-23 IMWX/RedCaboose/Branchline (1937 AAR)
   B-50-22 Proto 2000/Walthers (-30 kit bash)
   B-50-24/-27/-28 Sunshine

   B-50-24/-25/-26/-27/-28/-29/-31/-32 Intermountain kit bashes
   B-50-37 Intermountain/Kadee kit bashes (riveted PS-1)
   A-50-17 Front Range/McKean/Accurail (50 foot double door)

and MANY, MANY others !!

Tim


On 6/23/2022 11:18 AM, Jim Pattison wrote:

HI Tim,

HO

Jim

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 8:09 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 

Jim

your scale ?

On 6/19/2022 5:33 PM, Jim Pattison wrote:

Hi,

I model the SP but am interested in having at least semi realistic models of other road’s cars in my trains which led me here.  I hope that I can pick the collective brains about models that are available of freight cars from before 1957. 

I do have a few books on SP freight cars so might be able to help if someone is looking  for info about them.

 

Jim Pattison



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Jim Pattison
 

Tim, Thank you

Jim

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 10:18 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 


A sample of HO scale SP box car models off the top of my head

   B-50-1/-2/-4/-6/-9 Westerfield
   B-50-12 Westerfield/Tichy/... (USRA single sheathed box car)
   B-50-13/-14 Sunshine
   A-50-14 Proto 2000/Walthers (-12 kit bash)
   B-50-15/-16 Sunshine/Rapido
   B-50-18/-19/-20/-21/-23 IMWX/RedCaboose/Branchline (1937 AAR)
   B-50-22 Proto 2000/Walthers (-30 kit bash)
   B-50-24/-27/-28 Sunshine
   B-50-24/-25/-26/-27/-28/-29/-31/-32 Intermountain kit bashes
   B-50-37 Intermountain/Kadee kit bashes (riveted PS-1)

   A-50-17 Front Range/McKean/Accurail (50 foot double door)

and MANY, MANY others !!

Tim


On 6/23/2022 11:18 AM, Jim Pattison wrote:

HI Tim,

HO

Jim

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 8:09 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 

Jim

your scale ?

On 6/19/2022 5:33 PM, Jim Pattison wrote:

Hi,

I model the SP but am interested in having at least semi realistic models of other road’s cars in my trains which led me here.  I hope that I can pick the collective brains about models that are available of freight cars from before 1957. 

I do have a few books on SP freight cars so might be able to help if someone is looking  for info about them.

 

Jim Pattison

 


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Jim Betz
 

Jim Pattison in MossyRock,

  It is easy to take "prototypical accuracy" too far - far enough that others may not
even notice and probably don't care ... one of the costs of ultra high prototypical
accuracy is the time it takes to do the research, build/modify the models, etc.
  If "that's your thing" then by all means Go For It.

  All of the "formulas for freight car mixes" that I've seen have been very good - but also
they usually use a relatively small data sample - even a sample as big as "all of the
trains passing one location in the month of April of '53" are "relatively small".  Same
thing for using the ORER numbers.

  Before anyone gets their panties in a twist - I am -NOT- saying that those formulas
are wrong.  And I'm not saying ignore them and totally do what you want.  I'm saying
that compared to the number of cars "on the SP Coast line in the years between 
_____ and _____ it is a small sample.

  What I'm doing is using those formulas to -adjust- my freight car fleet - but not to
-define- it and most certainly not to build up the consists of the trains I'll run on my
layout.
  The result of my approach is that if you inventoried the cars in my fleet you'd say
"pretty close" - but if you tried to apply those formulas to an individual train you'd
say "well, not so much".

  My layout is a "switching layout" based upon an isolated segment of the country
and in a specific era (PNW, Skagit County, GN, and 1946-1955).  And I have
-chosen- to fudge and run far more steam than the GN did in those years 
(because I love steam more than diesels).
  If an individual train is "believable" then I am happy.  If all of the trains on my
layout are "believable" (one at a time) then I am happy.  If they aren't believable
in the aggregate ... I quite frankly don't care.  ("It's my RR ...").  I'm focusing on
the Op itself and the layout second and the prototypical accuracy a distant 3rd.
YMMV and that's fine with me.

  Perhaps the real wisdom is simply to get away from the bright shiny object
syndrome and make an attempt to be more prototypical.  If that's your thing ... 

                                                                                        - Jim (also in the PNW)


Jim Betz
 

  .... forgot to say ...

  I'm letting the industries I'm modeling "define" the car mix of my trains by car
type - and my relaxed version of "the formulas" determine what cars I will
and will not run.  Works for me ... 
                                                                                                 - Jim


Jim Pattison
 

Jim.

I understand your point.  I too don’t intend to try for full prototype accuracy. My goal though is to be at least sort of accurate.

Since my layout is more or less complete (and building seems to be the part of the hobby that I like the most) I have decided that my next phase of modeling is two fold.  One is to upgrade the decoders in my fleet (most are from 2005-2008 time frame with a few that are even older), and to get rid of the completely inaccurate cars (like my many Athearn blue box cars) and replace them with ones that may not be 100% accurate but are at least in the ball park.  I don’t know how well this will turn out but it will give me something to work on for the next few years

Jim

 


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jim Betz
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2022 12:31 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 

Jim Pattison in MossyRock,

  It is easy to take "prototypical accuracy" too far - far enough that others may not
even notice and probably don't care ... one of the costs of ultra high prototypical
accuracy is the time it takes to do the research, build/modify the models, etc.
  If "that's your thing" then by all means Go For It.

  All of the "formulas for freight car mixes" that I've seen have been very good - but also
they usually use a relatively small data sample - even a sample as big as "all of the
trains passing one location in the month of April of '53" are "relatively small".  Same
thing for using the ORER numbers.

  Before anyone gets their panties in a twist - I am -NOT- saying that those formulas
are wrong.  And I'm not saying ignore them and totally do what you want.  I'm saying
that compared to the number of cars "on the SP Coast line in the years between 
_____ and _____ it is a small sample.

  What I'm doing is using those formulas to -adjust- my freight car fleet - but not to
-define- it and most certainly not to build up the consists of the trains I'll run on my
layout.
  The result of my approach is that if you inventoried the cars in my fleet you'd say
"pretty close" - but if you tried to apply those formulas to an individual train you'd
say "well, not so much".

  My layout is a "switching layout" based upon an isolated segment of the country
and in a specific era (PNW, Skagit County, GN, and 1946-1955).  And I have
-chosen- to fudge and run far more steam than the GN did in those years 
(because I love steam more than diesels).
  If an individual train is "believable" then I am happy.  If all of the trains on my
layout are "believable" (one at a time) then I am happy.  If they aren't believable
in the aggregate ... I quite frankly don't care.  ("It's my RR ...").  I'm focusing on
the Op itself and the layout second and the prototypical accuracy a distant 3rd.
YMMV and that's fine with me.

  Perhaps the real wisdom is simply to get away from the bright shiny object
syndrome and make an attempt to be more prototypical.  If that's your thing ... 

                                                                                        - Jim (also in the PNW)


Dave Nelson
 

Walking down a well worn path from long ago;

 

In the late steam era, 1940-late 50’s there is a general rule you can consider for both box and flat cars; set aside a percentage for home road cars, more if the economy is not so good, less for robust years, more for out of the way locations, less for urban areas or mainline routes. 20% is a good number to start with.  The remainder, foreign road cars, will closely hew to the percentage road has relative to the total population of those cars,   meaning that if the PRR has 12% of all US boxcars, plan on seeing 12% of boxcars on your layout as PRR cars.  Not every train, not every day, but what will occur over a period of time.  NYC has 8-9% and so on.  Easy to do if you have space for 100 foreign road cars, much harder if the space allows only 25.

The reason for this is that ordinary boxcars and flatcars were free rolling, dispersing evenly across the country, appearing on all roadroads.  There was an ad about a brand new PS-1 boxcar that wandered for over 4 years before returning to home rails.

 

That said the above is a guide, not the law.

 

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jim Pattison

Hi Phil, I don’t have any of the conductor’s train books, but that work has already been done for the SP Coast Line by Tony Thompson.  The questions I imagine asking are along the line of, is the Bowser model of a Wabash round top box car correct, sort of correct, or totally wrong?

Jim Pattison


Ted Larson
 

In my experience/observation 
There is a geographic bias to freight car distribution   
Out east more out east cars
Out west more out west cars 
Vs a uniform distribution if the national fleet.  
ie many more PRR cars out east vs out west. 



--
Ted Larson
Trainweb.org/MHRR   ---   GN in 1965   ---   NASG.org 


Bruce Smith
 

Ted,

How did you document and analyze your "experience"? The problem with what you say is that it is subject to bias (and is demonstrably false when real data, for specific car types, is used). Memory is unfortunately a terrible instrument to use when facts are needed. 

First, as we have said ad infinitum, you need to specify car type. Coal hoppers? Sure, mostly adjoining roads. Gondolas? The regional road hypothesis holds up pretty well. Boxcars? No, your hypothesis is false. 

So let's talk about boxcar. When looking at each region, did you discount the frequency when you were looking at home road cars on the home road? If you simply look at all the railroads in the middle Atlantic region, there are more PRR cars than expected by the national pool numbers. But that's because the PRR makes up much of the route miles of the middle Atlantic region and you are counting cars on home rails, which is NOT part of this analysis. But, what about PRR cars on the B&O? What's the rate there?

The bottom line is that several extensive analyses, across much of the country, show that non-home road boxcars appear, over time, and many trains, in approximately their proportion of the national fleet. Yes, there are lots of exceptions, for example trains specifically designed to interchange with another road will be biased to that road (but other trains will have proportionally fewer of the same road), and branches with focused traffic, especially when those cars are in pools will be biased to the pool members, but for a general pool of cars, the best data to date says that the national poll percentage will produce the best results. There are and should be more PRR boxcars than SP boxcars on the Northern Pacific. 

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, Al


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ted Larson via groups.io <mhrreast@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2022 8:29 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in
 
CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.
In my experience/observation 
There is a geographic bias to freight car distribution   
Out east more out east cars
Out west more out west cars 
Vs a uniform distribution if the national fleet.  
ie many more PRR cars out east vs out west. 



--
Ted Larson
Trainweb.org/MHRR   ---   GN in 1965   ---   NASG.org 


Ted Larson
 

in answer to the question, 
Not referring to regional cars like coal hoppers.
My comment was in reply to the context of the preceding note, general purpose freight cars, 
And yes, my comment is strictly from my personal experience/observation, both past and present, from living out east, central, and out west.  
But yes, each person should do what they personally observe or like.  




--
Ted Larson
Trainweb.org/MHRR   ---   GN in 1965   ---   NASG.org 


Dave Nelson
 

Bruce is correct.  If you dig into the archives you will find plenty of discussion on this topic.  I don’t recall now when I first posted about it; Tim Gilbert joined in shortly afterwards and wrote far more extensively that I did.

 

The “rule” we advocated was an even distribution of box and flat cars on mainline routes from around the start of WWII to sometime in the 50’s.  By even distribution I mean numbers proportionate with the ownership numbers from each road.

 

For my part I tallied over 1000 foreign road boxcars on a mainline in North Carolina from wheel reports. The sum of each foreign road was sorted highest to lowest and then compared to an ordered list of road names showing their total numbers of boxcars.  The two ordered lists matched up well down the list, finally pulling away from each other (IIRC) down in the 1% and less totals.  I then compared the percentages and with one or two very minor exceptions they too matched.

 

There was no data available to me from before WWII or after the mid 50’s, nort was there any data for way out in the boonies branch lines so the rule is qualified accordingly.  Additionally, I have examined urban traffic and was surprised that the number of house cars were much less than I expected. I do not know if that was a unique case but it does occur to me that with a large flow of inbound boxcars there might be very little need for roads to hang on to home road cars for protective service.  The opposite may well be true for very far out in the boonies, low traffic locations – few inbounds might mean more home road cars are needed for protection.  Both of those opinions could be useful to hobbyists.


As for the data I had, for example, running east out of Knoxville TN there were just as many SP, ATSF, and GN boxcars spotted as their ownership percent of the national fleet suggested would be seen.  If regional weighting was present that would not have been the case. So let’s dismiss the Kalmbach “theory” of regional effects.

 

Tim Gilbert’s research showed the same was true for flat cars.

 

Looking at the data there I could find  no such relationship for any other type of cars and that sounds right because many of those cars either did not leave home rails or if they did the numbers were quite small.  Consider stock cars: Texas was the state that provided California more cattle than any other state – and it’s a decently long run.  The problem is both SP and ATSF do all the way between those two points so those cars never had to leave home rails. 

 

Another example: There is photo evidence of NW hoppers in Indiana and MP hoppers in Utah. Turns out this was low volume shipments of coking coal headed to steel mills.  They were on a regular circuit and so unlike box and flat cars they did not wander about to be spotted off that circuit… they were simply out and back loads.  Almost all tank cars were on a steady circuit between two locations… no wandering.  Reefers did wander… but the available data is not large enough to draw a good conclusion.

 

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2022 12:12 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New member checking in

 

Ted,

 

 

The bottom line is that several extensive analyses, across much of the country, show that non-home road boxcars appear, over time, and many trains, in approximately their proportion of the national fleet. Yes, there are lots of exceptions, for example trains specifically designed to interchange with another road will be biased to that road (but other trains will have proportionally fewer of the same road), and branches with focused traffic, especially when those cars are in pools will be biased to the pool members, but for a general pool of cars, the best data to date says that the national poll percentage will produce the best results. There are and should be more PRR boxcars than SP boxcars on the Northern Pacific. 


Craig Wilson
 

On a friend's layout, the focal point was the harbor at Frankfort/Elberta Michigan and car ferry dock/yard there.  He visited there on his sailboat every summer.  He knew little of the railroad beyond that yard and it was populated with freight cars that caught his fancy.  After he became interested in prototype operations we helped him with reworking the layout and changing the freight car fleet to better represent the prototype.  We were fortunate enough to get access to a large volume of the car ferry manifests for his era.  I put all the pages into 3-ring binders for the RR's historical society and as I did so, I kept track of the reporting marks and commodities that went through that yard.  Summary pages were made for each month as shown on the attached sheets.  This particular example is for the connection at Manitowoc Wisconsin so there is a higher proportion of Soo Line and CNW cars.  Other manifest sheets cover the connection at Kewaunee and as expected, there are almost no CNW and Soo Line cars but many GB&W cars.

Having this data showed which railroads were underrepresented in his fleet.  And which cars he should probably dispose of (like the three Intermountain C&IM boxcars - one might be there occasionally but there would never be three of them on that railroad at the same time).  New purchases focused on cars to fill the voids (either RTR or cars that could be painted/lettered for the needed prototypes).  It took a while but I vividly remember the op session where I took a break and sat down in a chair overlooking the yard and remarked to my friend "this is the way I remember this yard looking."  The mix of car types and paint schemes just "looked right."  That is the goal - not specific numbers and mixes of cars - but something you and other people familiar with the railroad will recognize.

Craig Wilson



Doug Polinder
 

An AA layout in the early 1970s would be something to see, especially when the predecessors of the BN still showed up in original paint.  Emery Gulash had a nice AA DVD series on Clear Block but the earlier footage filmed in the 1960s with the FAs was shot almost entirely on the south end around Toledo.  The later volumes were filmed more on the north end around 1980 and later and by then the numerous Class Is were starting to disappear in mergers.  

Doug Polinder 
Seguin TX


Craig Wilson
 

The car ferry manifests from 1971 show very few cars with BN reporting marks and lots of the predecessor roads (GN, NP, CBQ).  The 1975 manifests list a lot more cars witn BN reporting marks as would be expected.  Lumber in boxcars and on bulkhead flatcars  was a common commodity.  Also Western Fruit Express insulated boxcars and mech reefers were common too.  Note that eastbound traffic was almost double that of westbound cars.
Craig Wilson