Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Freight car guy stuff, Part 4

I introduced and explained the term, “freight car guy,” in an earlier post. It’s a term that arose when a member of a club I then belonged to came up to me and asked, “Are you the freight car guy?” You can read that post here: .
     More recently, I’ve been volunteering as a kind of Interim Assistant Freight Car Guy on Paul Weiss’s layout, which models Central Vermont in 1956.  As I’ve said before, my first emphasis is usually removal of anachronisms, which for this layout are particularly cars with post-1956 paint schemes, and that is ongoing. 
     But an equally important kind of anachronism is the paint scheme that could not have still existed in 1956. Any of those paint schemes should “depart” also. Two examples are shown below.

The billboard reefer lettering, though an authentic prototype paint scheme, would have been outlawed in 1934 and no longer permitted in interchange after 1937. That one can’t exist in 1956. The yellow Pennsylvania dairy scheme would have been superseded when the PRR joined Fruit Growers Express, no later than 1922, so that one also ought to go.
     One can of course scrap, give away or sell such cars. But the car bodies are fine for layout use. Why not repaint them into schemes the layout can use? I decided to do just that.
    My first step was to mask the roof and ends so that the sides could receive a coat of gray primer, primarily to cover the old lettering and color. For this kind of job, I really like and use the Tamiya masking tape, which is stretchable and works very well close to projections like the ladders on these cars. Below you see a car body, masked, and with the primer freshly applied.

It is along the critical edges where the yellow Tamiya 10-mm tape was used. To span between the Tamiya strips, I used drafting tape, which can’t match the performance of the Tamiya tape at edges, but has a low “tack” that works fine for simply covering an area.
     My practice is to let this primer coat dry a few hours in the sun, and as soon as no paint odor is apparent, to apply the next coat, which for these cars was either yellow or orange. The masking remains in place between coats. When the finish coat is applied, and masking removed, we have a car ready to letter. As shown by the two examples below, I intended to do both orange and yellow reefer sides in this project, which included five cars with the schemes you see in the topmost photo above.

     I chose several paint schemes for these re-purposed cars. Since the layout for which they are destined is very short of railroad-owned reefers, I chose to do NP, ART and PFE schemes. One reason for these choices is that they were cars that went everywhere, so those car ownerships work for layout operation; and in addition, I confess to choosing them because I already had decals.
     The Northern Pacific car I decided to do is from the 90000 series, one of the older cars in the NP fleet, and had a deep center sill, even deeper than the Accurail version. Here’s a Wilbur C. Whittaker photo of a car from this group, taken at San Francisco in July 1941. Side hardware is all black, as is the side sill, and the kickplate under the door is boxcar red. The car is probably empty, because the route card above the truck at left reads “HOME.”

This is the classic NP reefer paint scheme, in force for a number of years. But this car doesn’t have the vertical-staff handbrake of the Accurail model. This is intended as a “layout model,” something of a stand-in, rather than an exact replica, so I left the kit handbrake as it came.
     After applying decals from Microscale set 87-488, brush painting the black hardware, and moderately heavy weathering, my model looked like this. (You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)

You may note the paint patches for the reweigh and repack stenciling, made with the homemade decal sheet of yellow described in a recent post (available at: ), with lettering also taken from the Microscale set, along with a few chalk marks and a route card above the left truck.
     This is just the first of the five cars being refinished. I will return to the other four in a future post. A project like, this, calling on resources of information and modeling techniques not necessarily needed on my own layout, is interesting and rewarding in its own way. Or, to say it more concisely, it’s fun!
Tony Thompson

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pandemic operating sessions?

As I intend to indicate by the title of this post, most people around the country are not hosting or participating in layout operating sessions these days. Two-person crews would be an obvious problem, though of course crew size could be required to be single. Most layouts have areas that are unavoidably crowded during a session, so that social distancing would be impossible, and many would not wish to rely entirely on face masks as the backup.
     Can we then not have operating sessions? This post describes a kind of alternative session, not the norm to be sure. Our granddaughter is visiting for a couple of weeks, she’s eight and a half, and she likes model trains. Note I didn’t say “loves” model trains, but does like them. She and I have built a couple of Accurail kits together, and she has operated these cars on my layout.
     She is pretty capable with a DCC throttle, and does run at careful speeds, so I had the idea to set up some simple switching problems, using my normal operating session tools of waybills, agent messages, and industry location maps.
    Slightly to my surprise, my wife Mary volunteered to participate in the session too. She has heard plenty about operating sessions but had never actually been in one. This one, of course, bid fair to be a pretty low-stress, low-expertise kind of session, and a good chance to learn peacefully. So we went with a two-person crew.
     As with many switch crews that have operated here in the past, they began by finding all the cars they had to switch, and making sure they knew what to do with each car. When handed a blank switch list, the “light went on,” and they had the tool they needed. Here they are, finding the cars to be moved at East Shumala and completing their switch list (on the clipboard).

     Next they set to work, doing each subset of the job in turn. Some of the individual moves were to pick up a loaded car and replace with an empty (or vice versa), others were to pick up or spot a cat separately from any other move. They were pretty organized and made very few false moves — though their rate of work was not too high. And I did offer a few hints. It was intriguing to watch when there were disagreements as to what to do next, since neither of them had really done this before. (The engineer is standing on a stool in this view.)

     But they did all the moves needed, and got every car right where it was supposed to be. Good job all around! Next they wanted a little bigger session, so I arranged a bit more complicated job for them on the other side of the layout, at the town of Ballard. We did this the next day. Here they got to use a steam locomotive, SP Consolidation 2829, assigned to the Santa Rosalia local. It looks like Mary is throwing the lead switch near the tunnel.

Again, the engineer, holding an NCE throttle, is standing on a stool to be this tall!
     They continued with the work, and gradually got through all the waybills, and with the help of the agent’s message, picking up all the right cars, spotting everything where it should go, and making up the outbound train to return to Shumala.

     This was fun for all three of us. I enjoyed figuring out a compressed session and watching how they did the work, and I know they both were intrigued with the “board game” aspects of moving the various elements and ending up with them in the right places. They even examined some of the waybills to find out what the cargoes were in the cars! I especially enjoyed that part.
Tony Thompson

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Modeling paint patches

There can be all sorts of reasons that a freight car would exhibit a paint patch, but by far the most common, in the transition era, were the dual requirements to restencil cars that either had been reweighed or had journals repacked. I will show a prototype example or two.
     First is this DT&I gondola with a load of auto frames (photo from the Richard Hendrickson collection). Its light weight and load limit have both been changed (one cannot change without the other, as their sum is a fixed value), along with the date and place of reweighing; and toward the far end, the repacking stencil has also been renewed on a paint patch. (As with all these photos, you can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)

Sometimes larger areas have received paint patches, when other data have changed or the railroad changes some other aspect of the lettering. The Grand Trunk 40-foot automobile car below is an example (again, Richard Hendrickson collection). At right, dimensional data as well as repack stencil have been renewed. At left also, several items are patched and re-stenciled.

     These paint patches are common enough that they cry out to be modeled. One can easily model them by using a fine brush to paint a rectangle of the desired color in the appropriate place on the model, then add a coat of gloss for decal application. But it turns out it is not so easy to paint a little rectangle with crisp corners. To do that, one answer is decals.
     The extremely useful reweigh decal sets once offered by Sunshine Models contained panels of freight car color, which were black, brownish red, and chestnut red. I show examples of them below. These were printed by Rail Graphics (now out of business) for Sunshine. The long dimension of each panel is about 2.25 inches.

Using these, of course, is very simple. Cut out the appropriate rectangle, apply to model, and apply the needed reweigh or repack information over it. It hardly needs stating that these decals panels are no longer available — though someone else could offer them.
     But what is the answer if you don’t have the Sunshine panels, and would like panels in colors like these? And even if you do have the Sunshine panels, what if you need a color different from the ones you see above? Maybe the railroad you model had freight cars of different colors from the ones above, or perhaps you need to add a reweigh panel to a yellow reefer.
     One solution is to save the blank ends or edges from decal sets, which often have a blank area (if you have it, of course, you can use a whole sheet of blank decal paper) and then paint it the color you want. For the example I used above, of needing yellow, I took an old decal set edge and painted it with Testor’s Gloss Yellow from the rattle can. It’s held here with a normally-closed tweezer, not because it’s hard to hold, but to give it weight while it dries in the sun outdoors.

Obviously any paint color, via airbrush or rattle can, can be used to make panels in the same way.
     Many authors, including me, have posted or written magazine articles previously about how these paint patches can be used on model freight cars. One example is my article, “Reweigh dates on freight cars,” in Railroad Model Craftsman in April 2011, and reprinted (with corrections) in Model Railroad Hobbyist in February 2020 (you can read my post about all this at: ). In a future post, I will show some examples of how I use these paint patch panels.
Tony Thompson

Monday, July 20, 2020

Completing a resin tank car

I have just completed the weathering and other final touches on a resin tank car, and thought I would show it, with a brief description. The car was built from a Resin Car Works HO scale kit, in fact kit no. 1.02. This series of kits models the American Car & Foundry acid tank cars, about 390 cars built from 1929 to 1945 on essentially the same underframe. Cars were 7000 or 8000 gallons and had the distinctive 30-inch diameter acid domes.
     Most of these cars were built for AC&F’s leasing subsidiary, Shippers Car Line (SHPX), and were so lettered, but some were built for sale to a variety of chemical companies and thus carried those companies’ reporting marks. The SHPX cars, of course, were in lease service to a variety of users, some of them the same companies that had bought cars of this type. Presumably the owned cars were for the core of traffic, and leasing allowed flexibility as demand fluctuated.
     Shown below is a builder photo of one of these 7000-gallon acid cars, on a slightly earlier underframe (AC&F photo courtesy of Ed Kaminski).

You can readily see the distinctive acid dome on this car. Acid cargoes were normally unloaded by suction up through the dome, rather than draining through a bottom outlet. The AAR code for cars without bottom outlets, a suffix letter “A” for acid, was extended to  many cars that did not carry acid but for various reasons were not equipped with bottom outlets.
     Way back in January of 2012, an article of mine about modeling tank cars like this was published in Railroad Model Craftsman. I won’t go into what all was included, but I show below my model of a car like this, with a scratchbuilt tank on a shortened Tichy underframe, and pictured on my layout.

     Since then, Tangent Scale Models has introduced a superb ready-to-run model of an acid car of this size, but a car of a later, welded design. I reviewed these models when they were first released (you can read my review comments here: ). But for a riveted car, the available model is the Resin Car Works kit. As stated above, the kit models cars like the Consolidated Chemical Industries one shown below, reporting marks CCIX (AC&F photo, courtesy Ed Kaminski).

     My particular kit, no. 1.02, was for a SHPX-leased car with a dome platform, also for service with Consolidated Chemical. Here is a photo of the prototype for that kit, from the ACF collection at Barriger National Railroad Library, courtesy Frank Hodina.

To my eye, the dome here is a slightly different color. It's known that Consolidated Chemical used colors like bronze green and dark red, as stripes or dome colors, for coding its cars, as you see above. For my model, I chose to use green. Here’s the result:

The model is lightly weathered, has a little spillage staining below the dome, and has both route cards and placards. I also added a few chalk marks.
     This is an attractive model, partly because it is only 7000 gallons in size, and models a car from a chemical company less well known than the DuPonts and the Dows. My thanks to Frank Hodina for going after this project! I look forward to seeing it being switched in my next layout operating session.
Tony Thompson

Friday, July 17, 2020

My MRH crossbuck column: the cover photo

I posted recently about my latest column in the “Getting Real” series of columns in Model Railroad Hobbyist that was in the July 2020 issue (you can find that post here: ). I have since received a couple of inquiries about the cover for the “Running Extra” section of the magazine, publicizing my column, which featured a photo from the column. Here is part of that cover:

This image shows my modeling of the Nipomo Street crossing of the (mythical) Santa Rosalia Branch of the Southern Pacific, in the layout town of Ballard.
     The photo was of course intended to show my new crossbuck installation (foreground), and I only included the locomotive to make the image more interesting. The locomotive is a model of SP Class C-9 Consolidation no. 2829. The  inquiries I received by email were about this locomotive and its unusual (for the SP) type of tender.
     This type of rectangular tender was applied to SP locomotives in switching service for improved visibility to the rear. In my case, I obtained the tender with a Max Gray brass model of a 4-8-0, and used it to replace the Vanderbilt tender that the Key locomotive originally had. I chose to make this swap to reproduce the prototype SP locomotive no. 2829, assigned at San Luis Obispo for many years. The view below was taken at San Luis Obispo in 1954 by Alden Armstrong.

I’ve discussed this locomotive before, just one of the more than 400 Consolidations operated by SP  (see: ). Here’s a view of the right side of the engine, in an undated photo, location and photographer unknown, from the Stan Kistler collection.

At this angle, the distinctive appearance of Harriman Consolidations is emphasized: the outwardly slanted cylinder chest, and the absence of visible valve gear (these engines had inside valve gear).
     San Luis Obispo locomotive assignments like SP 2829 are essential information for my modeling, because the mythical branch line I model is located only 20 miles from San Luis, and power on the branch would certainly have been drawn from what was in San Luis Obispo roundhouse. The view below, taken by Mac Gaddis on November 16, 1953, show the right-hand side of the building, with seven Consolidations visible and one 2-10-2 at left. (You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)

The Consolidation at far right, 2592, with its semi-cylindrical tender, is modeled on my layout; next to it are 2836 and 2752, also modeled in my fleet; and at the left of the row of Consolidations are 2829 and San Diego & Arizona Eastern 103, both of which I have modeled for (the latter engine, see: ).
     The type of rectangular tender behind SP 2829 was unusual behind SP Consolidations, the great majority of which usually had Vanderbilt tenders, but there were several others known to have had these tenders at one time, including numbers 2681, 2608, and 2705, and at least one of SP’s 0-8-0 switchers.
     In the photo below, you see something I have mentioned before. Like several of my steam engines, no. 2829 had its mechanism tuned up and DCC decoder and sound installed by Al Massi. One of Al’s trademarks is that crew in the cab invariably have cigarettes in their mouths, as certainly was commonplace in that day. Though not always easy to see in HO scale, it’s usually discernible.

     This locomotive happens to be a favorite model, not only from its prototype geographic assignment and distinctive appearance, but as a good runner. It is usually the power called for the Santa Rosalia Local, the main operating job on my layout in an operating session.
Tony Thompson

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

My Greg Martin car, Part 2

Thinking about Greg Martin’s fine legacy of having created, promoted and managed the series of “Shake’n’Take” kitbashing projects at the annual Prototype Rails meetings hosted by Mike Brock in Cocoa Beach, Florida every January, I began the process of building one of those project cars. It’s the 2011 project, a Hormel meat reefer, as I described in the first of these posts (see it at: ).
     That previous post described all the modeling work, and the components were all ready for paint. I began with the underframe with all brake gear installed. I simply painted it flat black with a quality rattle can. Next came the car body. I wanted the side sill and sill steps to remain black, so masked those areas and painted the roof and ends with Tamiya ”NATO Brown,” paint TS-62. Finally, the car sides, still separate, were primed with Tamiya “Haze Grey,” TS-32. Passing comment: probably if you look in the encyclopedia for a discussion of “quality rattle can,” there will be a picture of a Tamiya product.
     The car sides of Hormel reefers evolved in the 1950s from a yellowish orange to a light orange. For this, I chose to use Star Brand paint. The color is Star’s STR-27, “S.P./P.F.E. Daylight Orange.” This paint dries glossy enough to accept decals with no other preparation.
     Here are all the parts freshly painted. You can see on the body where I taped to preserve the black steps. The sides are orange, because I am going to apply the 1950s paint scheme, to go with the outside metal roof (the cars originally had wood board roofs).

     The next step was applying the fine decals provided for this project. These custom decals were provided by 5th Avenue Car Shops and are a joy to use. And in the present case, it was really easy and convenient to be able to apply the decals to the sides while still separate and lying flat on the bench.

     With this work done, the sides could be snapped into place on the car body, and a coat of protective flat finish applied to everything, protecting both side and end lettering. Then the floor/underframe could be added, and I painted the kick plate under the door boxcar red.
     Next came light weathering. This car is supposed to have recently been reconditioned with the outside metal roof and new paint scheme, so it would not have been in service very long. Still, light-colored cars like this did show the dirt. I used my usual technique of acrylic washes, a process I like because I feel I have a lot of control. (For a full description of this technique, please see my two-part description under “Reference pages,” links at the far upper right of this post.)
     Once weathered, the car received my usual finishing touches: a route card over the left truck, and a few chalk marks. Here is the completed model.

I will surely take this model for display at the next Cocoa Beach meeting, which we may hope takes place in 2021, but possibly not until the following year.
     Even though it is a little embarrassing that I am only now completing the 2011 Shake’n’Take project, all I can say in my own defense is that I already had more meat reefers than my layout needs, making this project easy to postpone. Still, I did enjoy remembering Greg Martin in the process of this build. I am certainly among those who will continue to miss him.
Tony Thompson

Saturday, July 11, 2020

My latest MRH column: crossbucks

My latest column in the series, “Getting Real,” has appeared in the July 2020 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist, in the “Running Extra” segment of the magazine. (It is at: .) It is about crossbucks at railroad crossings, and how I built some really sturdy brass ones for my layout. Once upon a time, I had installed some molded plastic ones, and they were soon broken off by careless elbows. My crossings have been crossbuck-less for some time, waiting for this brass modeling project.
     As an SP modeler, I began with that railroad’s standard drawing for dimensions and lettering of crossbucks or, as the Southern Pacific called them, “highway crossing signs.” I addressed the SP design in a prior post (see it here: ), including the Common Standard no. 1320 drawing and a photo of an SP crossbuck. Those same materials are included in the MRH column.
     [The C.S. 1320 drawing in the article is a 1970, update, by which time the signboards themselves had become aluminum plate. In 1953, when I model, these were all wood.]
     It  may be useful here to reproduce the original C.S. 13 drawing, as in fact I did in an earlier post after Gene Deimling was kind enough to send me a copy (see that post at this link: ). The lettering on the post was dropped in the 1920s.

To summarize, the drawing calls for 6-inch square posts and 5-foot long blades, or 6-foot blades “where required by law.” The blades are nominally 2 x 10-inch boards.
      What I described in the article was making a fixture to solder together posts of square brass tubing and brass strip for the blades (obviously intended to be real sturdy). These were then cleaned up, painted white, and lettered with a Microscale decal set. Shown below are an as-soldered model, and a completed one with paint and lettering.

Installing these on the layout was simple, just involving drilling a hole for the tubing and inserting with canopy glue.
     Here is one of the crossings now protected with crossbucks like these, Chamisal Road in my layout town of Shumala. The depot is at left, and the bridge over the road carries the Santa Rosalia Branch away from its Southern Pacific mainline junction at Shumala. Note on the near crossbuck that there is an added sign, warning of “3 tracks.” (You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)

The dark edge n the foreground of this photo is the layout fascia, so this crossbuck is very near the layout edge. That is why I decided to build these crossbucks out of brass.
     The above photo also shows the painted road markings at the crossing, another topic discussed at moderate length in the article, both as to existing highway standards and actual practices (in my case, in California). I showed how I applied these markings to my layout roads.
     In the MRH article, I only described the application of crossbucks and road markings to three of the railroad crossings on my layout. But in fact the layout has several more, and I will address each of those additional crossings in future posts.
     This has been an interesting project, and the crossbucks I built have already proved to be tougher than a grazing forearm! Whether they can hold up to a full operating crew, I guess is something I will find out one of these days. But they certainly improve the look of my road crossings.
Tony Thompson

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Waybills, Part 72: is it merely visual?

I encountered a skeptic at a meeting, after one of my talks about creating and using model waybills in layout operations. His comment to me was, “Who really cares what waybills look like?” I was tactful at the time, and just replied along the lines that we all model in different ways.
     But the discussions I posted recently on the topic of waybill design, the three preceding posts in my long series about waybills prior to this one, brought out a similar comment, delivered by email. Those posts are about a larger-format waybill design, 5 x 7 inches (The second of three posts is at this link: .)
     I would hasten to repeat that I accept differences in modeling goals and choices. But this particular comment sort of annoyed me, so I decided to try to make my point with a kind of whimsical illustration. What follows, I hope, will be recognized as just that, and nothing more.
     Let me choose such an illustration. Let’s say, that instead of waybills, we talk about box cars in model railroading. After all, such a model just fills a spot in a train, or on a siding. If it carries out that assignment, would we care what it looks like? Why not something like this? The body is a little simple, but it has trucks and couplers, so it will operate just fine.

Ah, you say, but that couldn’t serve as a model freight car; it isn’t lettered. Good point, and I can fix that pretty easily with a Post-It note; now it’s AB&C 1245.

Notice how convenient this is; whenever we need some different freight car for operation, just apply a different Post-It note.
     So is this an exaggeration? Of course, and intentionally so, but in my opinion not much more so than using a waybill along the lines of this one:

This “waybill” bears about as much resemblance to the prototype as does the wood-block box car I showed above.
     Do any of us use the prototype waybill in model railroading? Not to my knowledge, but the post I referenced in the second paragraph of the present post shows an effort to get close to the look and content of a prototype waybill. One might then have such a bill filled out like this:

I leave it as an exercise for the viewer, whether this waybill is more prototypical than the one shown just above it.
     What’s my point here? We may or may not aspire to reproducing all aspects of prototype railroading in our models and in our layouts. As many people have said, there is nothing wrong with any of the many versions of our hobby that an individual may choose to pursue. But if you ignore too many aspects of reality, and yes, I include paperwork in that, you run the risk that, as Tony Koester put it, you are just playing with interesting models of railroad hardware, not trying to model the reality of railroading.
     It has always been my modeling goal to try and reproduce at least a decent version of what railroading was like in my chosen locale and era, and on my chosen railroad. I want the crews that come for operating sessions to experience the flavor of what operating on the Southern Pacific was like in 1953. For  me, improving waybills are every bit as much a part of my goals as improving the looks of my locomotives and freight cars, or building better structures and scenery.
Tony Thompson

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Another impressive load

My recent work on models of heavy-duty flat cars, starting with the Army (USAX) car and continuing with the Southern Pacific 200-ton model from Funaro & Camerlengo, has led me to work toward making loads suitable for these cars. As an example, here is a link to my most recent post on that topic: . Those previously described loads were from Multiscale Digital LLC.
     Another relatively new company making loads that I’ve learned about is Dimensional Modeling Concepts, with a fairly extensive catalog. It mostly comprises 3-D printed piece or components. I especially like their large shell-and-tube heat exchanger, so I ordered one. You can visit their site at: . This assembly is 45 scale feet long, so would require at least a 50-foot flat car. To ensure that anyone interested knows the exact description, the box label is below.

I purchased the assembled model, but it is also available as a kit (the kit is $28).
     This load can be carried on a 70-ton flat car. Here’s a photo of the load itself:

To give an idea of the size of this model, the dimensions of the load are a little over six actual inches long and almost two inches high.
     On the DMC website is a photo of an example loading, shown on a modern flat car with extensive cable tie-downs. In earlier eras, most loads were less thoroughly restrained. Note also that this example of the heat exchanger is painted a browner color than the one you see above.

     For my own modeling of 1953, I blocked the load differently. The two “feet” received blocking, as they and only they are the support for this equipment when installed. To forestall fore-and-aft motion as well as tipping, I made hold-down rods from four of the tabs on the heat-exchanger body (instead of the six per side, 12 in all, in the photo above),
     For the blocking, I used scale 8 x 8-inch stripwood, with bolt heads indicated. For the hold-down rods, I used 0.025-inch iron wire that I had on hand. This wire has the advantage that it is iron-colored and so requires no painting, though I added some dabs of rust. The rods pass down through stake pockets on the flat car, and would have been threaded on the end, so that they could pass through a plate underneath the stake pocket and be secured with a nut. (You can click on the image to enlarge it, if you wish.)

The 70-ton flat car that you see here is a Red Caboose model, SP 140501, Class F-70-7. 
     I need to devise a suitable banner to identify the manufacturer, because that kind of signage was very common on eye-catchiing prototype loads like this. And of course there should be “DO NOT HUMP” signs at all four corners. But for now, I have a dramatic load to run in my through trains, even if there are no suitable recipients to which I could deliver this piece of equipment on my branch line.
Tony Thompson

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Waybills, Part 71: milling in transit

My introductory post on this topic laid out the prototype basis for this transit privilege (cost reduction), and gave some example waybill content, along with identifying a broad range of the commodities which might be subject to transit privileges (see it at: ). The following post provided details and explained in particular how Southern Pacific instructed its agents to interpret, document and bill these kinds of shipments (that post is here: ).
     As a brief summary, in-transit privileges meant that two short trips of a cargo, for example a load of grain that moved to a storage location for later delivery, then moved to destination, suffered from the markedly higher freight rates for shorter trips. The in-transit privilege allowed the entire trip length to set the freight rate. Some of the many ramifications and details of the in-transit rules are laid out in the two blog posts just cited.
     With that background on the complexities of the prototype milling-in-transit waybill process, I worked through the aspects of the paperwork that might be included in model railroad waybills (you can review that post at: ). My final product was a milling-in-transit waybill in the 2.5 x 3.5-inch size I use on my layout.

This bill really only is altered in the part at the very bottom, which is the in-transit documentation. The remainder of this bill is the regular freight waybill (as is true of the prototype Transit Freight waybill).  But when I tried filling out this bill, as noted in the post cited just above, there was very little room to do so. I accordingly looked forward to seeing what could be done in the 5 x 7-inch format being explored for Paul Weiss’s layout (see my prior description at: ). .
     My first step was to make a larger version of the material at the bottom of the bill shown above, mostly just allowing more width per space, with the same four “minimalist” categories in columns, as you see below. The prototype transit waybill is AAR Form AD-134 (which can be seen in Railway Accounting Rules, Accounting Division, AAR, and in my “Waybills Part 52” post, linked in the third paragraph of the present post). It has 9 columns and three lines, compared to my 4 columns and two lines.

     With this addition, and a “transit” header, here is an example of a 5 x 7 version of a Transit Freight bill, in this instance for Nickel Plate. (You can click on the image to enlarge it if you wish.)

     I won’t go into how such a waybill is filled out, because I’ve already shown that in some detail in the three prior posts about milling-in-transit privileges (Waybill series Parts 50, 51, and 52 (links to all three posts are provided in the first three paragraphs of the present post).
     I don’t anticipate that too many model loads will use this waybill, particularly because it requires additional filling out, yet adds nothing to actual layout operating information. In that sense, using this bill, even more so than the standard freight waybill, is furnishing “typographical scenery,” as Al Kalmbach called it. The degree of play value achieved is something every modeler would have to decide for themselves.
Tony Thompson