Monday, April 18, 2011

Modeling freight traffic: Coast Line, 1953-Part 9

In my previous post describing the analysis I performed on box cars contained in a 1947-1952 conductor’s time book for the Coast Line (that post is:, I listed all box cars identified and compared the patterns to those of the Gilbert-Nelson idea for free-running foreign cars like box cars. I also observed that about a third of all the box cars were home-road cars, SP and T&NO reporting marks. In the present post, I analyze further the SP and T&NO cars as to car classes.
     Cars were distributed across many classes, but some interesting patterns did emerge. First, there were some heavily represented classes. The champion was Class B-50-26, with seven cars (two of them T&NO), and next largest were classes B-50-13 with six cars (two of them were T&NO), and B-50-24 (the “Overnight” cars) with five,. Then came Class B-50-21, with four cars (two of them T&NO). Following those were classes B-50-18 and B-50-25 with three each. Classes B-50-14, -15 and -16 were each represented in the sample with two cars, and several classes had one car each. These included classes B-50-12, B-50-14, and the similar pre-war all-steel classes B-50-19, -20 and -23.
     All but one of these classes can be modeled with either styrene or resin kits. I’ll show here some examples from my own car fleet. Here’s the champion in this sample, Class B-50-26, a distinctive 12-panel box car. It’s from an InterMountain kit.

Complementing it is a pre-war box car, Class B-50-23, in an IMWX kit with some detail upgrades. This class had the rounded steel end called the “W corner post” end, named for the shape of the structural member inside the car corner.

     Not previously analyzed were 12 automobile cars, six of them in general service as AAR class XM but having original double doors; the remainder were equipped with auto racks, AAR class XMR. There was one car each from composite classes A-50-2, -4, -7, -8, and -9 (the -7 and -8 cars were T&NO), along with steel cars of classes A-50-12, -13 and -16. Noteworthy were the three cars of Class A-50-15, and these are a particular modeling challenge because today there is no straightforward way to model them. I will just show a single example of an SP automobile car, a modified Athearn car, a stand-in in several ways but offering a general likeness to Class A-50-12. The white door stripe indicates the presence of auto racks.

This analysis of the time book data did not much change my goals for SP box cars, although it was interesting to see the number of B-50-24 cars. And I still want to create models of classes B-50-16 and A-50-15! More on that later.
Tony Thompson

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