Topics

PRR X31A facts you want to know

Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Groups;

 

I have been asked for some info on the X31A cars, so here are some facts:

 

From the mid-thirties production years, there were around 7300 in service, more than many roads’ entire fleets;

 

In 1943, there were 7285 X31A;

 

In 1949, 7250 cars, now the second-most common box cars on the PRR;

 

In 1955, 7195 remain, while X29 numbers are falling;

 

It is not until the 1960’s that X31A numbers fall, and even so, there are 6404 SD and 578 DD cars still in service in 1964.

 

The X31A DD were widely used in AUTOMOBILE service initially;

 

Many other X31A are used in dedicated service, including: auto loading, auto parts, linoleum, and even a group of coal tar pitch cars;

 

There were even X31A in dedicated coil steel service, some of the first such cars used this way;

 

There was even a group of dedicated silk, later rayon, rack cars.

 

And of course, the thousands more in general service.

 

With the number of photos I have looked at, the X31A went virtually EVERYWHERE.

 

Now you know.

 

Elden Gatwood

Lee
 

The presentation the Bruce smith just completed on the speedwitch hindsight 20/20 gave excellent coverslip and photos and documents covering this.  


Lee Stoermer
Aldie, VA

On Saturday, June 13, 2020, 11:09, Gatwood, Elden J SAD <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:

Groups;

 

I have been asked for some info on the X31A cars, so here are some facts:

 

From the mid-thirties production years, there were around 7300 in service, more than many roads’ entire fleets;

 

In 1943, there were 7285 X31A;

 

In 1949, 7250 cars, now the second-most common box cars on the PRR;

 

In 1955, 7195 remain, while X29 numbers are falling;

 

It is not until the 1960’s that X31A numbers fall, and even so, there are 6404 SD and 578 DD cars still in service in 1964.

 

The X31A DD were widely used in AUTOMOBILE service initially;

 

Many other X31A are used in dedicated service, including: auto loading, auto parts, linoleum, and even a group of coal tar pitch cars;

 

There were even X31A in dedicated coil steel service, some of the first such cars used this way;

 

There was even a group of dedicated silk, later rayon, rack cars.

 

And of course, the thousands more in general service.

 

With the number of photos I have looked at, the X31A went virtually EVERYWHERE.

 

Now you know.

 

Elden Gatwood

np328
 

  Eldon, 
     Very timely information as not everyone was able to get in on the virtual RPM that is referenced.   

      The statement of "From the mid-thirties production years, there were around 7300 in service, more than many roads’ entire fleets;" is applied how, by a mid 1950's modeler like me? (1953)
I am not taking a dig at anyone, or the PRR group for that matter - just looking for enlightenment. 


     Could you or others expand on the dates applicable to the recent Rapido X31A images. 
My feeling is that the Rapido advert came up a bit short on posting all the X31A variations without supplying the date data. (IMHO)  
To those of us whom PRR is not our primary railroad, the Keystone variations over time remain a bit of a mystery. And so I hesitate is making purchases. 
         And yes, this is written after going through past postings on this list looking for info on the variations. Some past posts point to links that no longer work.   
                                                                                                                                                                                                              James Dick - Roseville, MN 

Benjamin Hom
 

James Dick asked:
"The statement of 'From the mid-thirties production years, there were around 7300 in service, more than many roads’ entire fleets;' is applied how, by a mid 1950's modeler like me? (1953)
I am not taking a dig at anyone, or the PRR group for that matter - just looking for enlightenment."

Why does this matter?  Tim Gilbert's body of work indicated that general service boxcars (i.e., not equipped with special equipment such as racks) tended to roam nationally without regional limitations, so large numbers of a given roads' boxcars would impact your piece of railroad, even if it's far away from the home road.  7300 single door Class X31A boxcars matter - maybe not enough to buy bunches of the Rapido model, but you can certainly justify one.

As for lettering, 1953 is easy.  Circle Keystone, as the first Shadow Keystone scheme wasn't adopted until 1954.  Jerry Britton posted a summary of Brady McGuire's seminal article on PRR boxcar lettering from the Summer 1988 issue of The Keystone.


Ben Hom

np328
 

  Wow,
           that was a fast and very applicable reply.  Thank you Ben.                             Jim 

Jeff Helm
 

I too have a similar question as raised by Jim, except for 1965. I “think” it’s some variation of Shadow Keystone, but I was unable to read the rebuild dates on Rapido’s illustrations for the cars.
--
Jeff Helm
Bremerton WA

Jeff Helm
 

Sorry - re-weigh date, not rebuild
--
Jeff Helm
Bremerton WA

Bruce Smith
 

Jeff,

Don't put to much emphasis on early artwork. It will change. Especially since one of the putative single door car numbers is actually in the double door series (oops!). Note that it is not a "rebuild" date, but a reweigh date. Rapido has expressed their philosophy that they like to produce cars with reweigh dates at the beginning of the period of the paint scheme. However:

1) reweigh dates are SIMPLE to change and so I never let that bother me and 
2) Paint schemes often lasted well past the "changeover" date to a new scheme. 

Jerry Britton has a nice web page detailing the changes in PRR paint at:

In 1965, most or all ball (or circle) keystone cars should be gone. Plain Keystone would be the most recent scheme (starting in 1961) but I would expect to see shadow keystone cars (starting in 1954).

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, Al


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Jeff Helm <jeff.helm.60@...>
Sent: Saturday, June 13, 2020 9:25 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR X31A facts you want to know
 
I too have a similar question as raised by Jim, except for 1965. I “think” it’s some variation of Shadow Keystone, but I was unable to read the rebuild dates on Rapido’s illustrations for the cars.
--
Jeff Helm
Bremerton WA

Jeff Helm
 

Bruce,

Thank you, very helpful link to that PRR paint page!  And, yes, reweigh date of course.
--
Jeff Helm
Bremerton WA

Mark Rossiter
 

The Rapido webpage advertising these cars gives the date ranges that the various paint schemes were applicable:

https://files.constantcontact.com/b02e8bb6001/407e09a1-d552-48c6-ab72-7bcb9b8710b1.pdf

 

Mark Rossiter

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

Clark Propst
 

I've attached a Bill Armstrong photo take on a lowly branchline in central Iowa. Shows they crawled out on some of the skinniest limbs  ;  ))
CW Propst

Jeff Helm
 

Mark

Thank you, I had not seen this PDF announcement, only the web site preorder page itself.
--
Jeff Helm
Bremerton WA

Ken Adams
 

Hindsight presentation was enough for die hard early 1950's SP modeler like me to order one for interchange traffic. DD as those are harder to come by.

--
Ken Adams
In splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Clark,

Nice photo. What road? I love the attempt at streamlining.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Sun, Jun 14, 2020 at 10:36 AM Clark Propst <cepropst@q.com> wrote:
I've attached a Bill Armstrong photo take on a lowly branchline in central Iowa. Shows they crawled out on some of the skinniest limbs  ;  ))
CW Propst

Bruce Smith
 

Ken,

Help me to understand your last line. Do you mean to order a double door X31A because they are rarer? Isn't that backwards? Within the X31A class, the ration of single to DD is about 12:1. In the fleet of all X31s, the ration of single to double door is about 2:1, so either way, the odds are in favor of seeing the single door car, more than the double door car.

Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ken Adams <smadanek44g@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2020 12:12 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR X31A facts you want to know
 

Hindsight presentation was enough for die hard early 1950's SP modeler like me to order one for interchange traffic. DD as those are harder to come by.

--
Ken Adams
In splendid Shelter In Place solitude, about half way up Walnut Creek

Douglas Harding
 

Garth the photo Clark posted is on the MSTL, along the Story City branch out of Marshalltown. Location is northern Story County. I live about 15 miles from McCallsburg.

 

Doug  Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Sunday, June 14, 2020 12:25 PM
To: main@realstmfc.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR X31A facts you want to know

 

Clark,

 

Nice photo. What road? I love the attempt at streamlining.

 

Yours Aye,

 

 

Garth Groff  🦆

 

On Sun, Jun 14, 2020 at 10:36 AM Clark Propst <cepropst@q.com> wrote:

I've attached a Bill Armstrong photo take on a lowly branchline in central Iowa. Shows they crawled out on some of the skinniest limbs  ;  ))
CW Propst

np328
 

Thank you also Mark for the PDF link, 
  like Jeff I was not aware of this link from the Rapido blurb I recv'd in the e-mail letter a few days ago. 
That would have greatly cleared things up however now it's all good. 
I can see reserving some more than one although six seems overboard. Three would have been a good number.
I'll contact the LHS.                Jim Dick - Roseville, MN  

Tim O'Connor
 


The X31 cars had the same design flaw as the ARA/X29's eventually requiring patches to be
applied to the lower sides. When did the patches begin to appear and will Rapido do these?



On 6/14/2020 7:51 AM, Mark Rossiter wrote:

The Rapido webpage advertising these cars gives the date ranges that the various paint schemes were applicable:

https://files.constantcontact.com/b02e8bb6001/407e09a1-d552-48c6-ab72-7bcb9b8710b1.pdf

 

Mark Rossiter



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Tim O'Connor
 


Clark, I always thought that photo was MOST notable for the presence of the D&H Seley hopper car! :-)


On 6/14/2020 10:36 AM, Clark Propst wrote:
I've attached a Bill Armstrong photo take on a lowly branchline in central Iowa. Shows they crawled out on some of the skinniest limbs  ;  ))
CW Propst

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Bruce Smith
 

Tim,

Absolutely an issue. Patch panels begin to appear in significant numbers in the 1950s. No plans for Rapido to do them at this time, but as we noted in discussions at the modeling meet, patch panels are pretty easy to add by a variety fo approaches. Undec kits are available and would make great fodder for this modification.

Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2020 6:19 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR X31A facts you want to know
 

The X31 cars had the same design flaw as the ARA/X29's eventually requiring patches to be
applied to the lower sides. When did the patches begin to appear and will Rapido do these?



On 6/14/2020 7:51 AM, Mark Rossiter wrote:

The Rapido webpage advertising these cars gives the date ranges that the various paint schemes were applicable:

https://files.constantcontact.com/b02e8bb6001/407e09a1-d552-48c6-ab72-7bcb9b8710b1.pdf

 

Mark Rossiter



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts