Some time back, I wrote a post about the Southern Pacific bad-order card I had discovered, of a 1950s vintage, perfect for my 1953 modeling era. As I described in that post, that card is now used on my layout. (You can find the post here: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2018/04/a-new-bad-order-card.html .)
I had reference to this SP card in my previous post, about possible reasons for a through train to set out a car at my layout’s town of Shumala, such as a defect that would prevent the car continuing its movement. That post is at this link: https://modelingthesp.blogspot.com/2019/12/waybills-part-67-through-trains.html .
My attention has been called, however, to the fact that railroads today, and many railroads for years, instead employed two bad-order cards. One of them is for company-owned cars, and the other is for “foreign” or off-road cars. Recently I was given an example, a BNSF card with these two functions provided on opposite sides of the same card.
What one might describe as the “home car” side of the card is a very definite red color, actually making the printed categories of defects a little hard to read (I have lightened the image a little to make it more clear, below). One can understand this level of detail as a help to the home shop workmen. You can click on the image to enlarge it if you like.
Here is what the other side looks like, the side for the “off-line car,” with the very evident headline, “Home Shop,” indicating the destination for the carded car.
The diagonal pink stripe is a common accent for cards like this (though I have seen other colors); the old SP card I mentioned in the paragraph at the top of the present post has a deep red stripe. The example of this card that I have was retrieved from a prototype car, and had been exposed to sunlight, so the pink stripe may originally have been a deeper color.
I am now thinking I need to make up a bad-order slip for off-line or “foreign” cars, inspired by this BNSF example. I will show progress in a future post.
I should mention, however, that in layout operating sessions I always emphasize to the visiting operators that if they encounter anything at all that is defective or doesn’t work right, to please let me know right away. Obviously, I can’t fix defects if I don’t know about them. I keep a sheet of paper handy during the session so I can write down any observed problems.
So for operating sessions, the use of defect card for freight cars is perhaps superfluous (it’s obviously faster and easier for a visitor to simply tell me about a problem, rather than take the time to fill out a slip). But I like the Bad Order cards as a visual component of layout operations.