Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reweigh article from RMC

Some of you will perhaps have seen my article on freight car reweighing in the April 2011 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC), pages 72 and 73. I originally prepared this article  at the suggestion of a modeler who felt it would be helpful to have some of the details of reweigh stenciling explained.
     Unfortunately, there were some errors and omissions at RMC in editing or preparing the article for production. Accordingly, I’m providing a correct text and complete tables in a version at Google Docs. Anyone is permitted to download or print this version, if desired. It is available at:


     The biggest issue I have with the RMC version is the omission of most of Table 1, on reweigh intervals, as well as the entire paragraph about the introduction and disappearance of the periodic reweigh requirement. These are present in the full version linked above, which also corrects a couple of typos in the RMC version.
     In the corrected article it is stated that October 1, 1967 was the date for removal of the requirement for periodic reweighing. I have since learned that effective January 1, 1968, reweigh intervals were extended to 60 months for some cars (see comment below). Beyond that, at least one individual has stated to me that this requirement was definitely absent by the late 1970s. I have not, however, yet seen documentation of any post-1968 dates. Since I model 1953, this is definitely a moot point for my own modeling, but I would like to get the facts straight if possible, and would appreciate seeing documentary evidence for dates beyond January 1, 1968.
Tony Thompson


  1. Tony,
    Thanks, the article is up on Google Documents and adds in the data that had me going "Uh?" when reading the RMC version.

    Tom VanWormer

  2. Frank Greene pointed out to me that periodic reweighing rules were revised on January 1, 1968, extending reweigh intervals to 60 months for general-service box cars, open-top hoppers and non-mechanical refrigerator cars. All other car types were apparently then released from the periodic light-reweigh requirement. (The requirement to reweigh after repairs or modifications remained in force.) All this was contained in a revision to AAR Rule 30(B).

    How far beyond 1968 this requirement remained in force, I still do not know. I've been told that by the late 1970s it was definitely no longer in force, but have not seen documentation to that effect.
    Tony Thompson