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Discussion Starter #1
I'm presently getting a consist of J-S passenger cars ready to paint and I have a question about the roofing (topside).  Not having seen these cars up close in original dress, I would guess that the roofs were tin and tar, or asphalt paper, or ???  I know that in land practice it was common to tar tin overlap, and sometiems entire roofs, or lay asphalt paper over tin and tar the whole thing.  What was the case on coaches.   can't imagine the painted versions I see would have been the reality in actual service, especially in four season climates.

I'm starting with Bachmann kits, which have a pebbled cover on the roof, which immediately draws a blank other than stoned asphalt...

another question - many of the old photos show a pipe running down the centre of the roof at deck level - steam line or electrical conduit?  Some of the cars I see this on show interior ceiling lights, so I'm assuming the pipe is conduit for electrical retrofit.

Finally - one baggage car I have a picture of (Rio Grande) has a centerline pipework raised about  a foot and a half, maybe 2 feet above the roof, longitudinally.  I had read these were for ice breakup at tunnels, but ...?   Its the sort of thing one might try to lift low hanging cables to prevent them from foulling the car as it passed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4


Yes I am! Turner has a picture of that car (the proto) in his book on the D-RG/C-TS rlwy, and I've seen that setup before, but was never sure what it was for (looked too sexy to be just a "handrail, LOL!). Then I guess the question, why on that car and not more commonly on others... (this picture taken in 1940 the "Sante Fe Mixed")
 

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I looked through the Narrow Gauge Pictorial Vol II and saw those handrails on 3 RPO/baggage, 2 baggage, 1 combine and one drover's caboose (a combine with a cupola). None of the coaches had them. All I can figure is that maybe the crews had to walk on the head-end cars to set brakes on boxcars in the consist. Just a wild guess, though.
 

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RE: The hand rails on the roof of the RPO (Railway Post Office) car.

As I understand it, postal regulations required RPO's to be locked and inaccessable to anyone on board the train. Also, that it (they) be the first car(s) in the consist - closest to the engine. Therefore, if any of the train crew needed to move to or from the engine, they had to go up and over the RPO, rather than through it. (I bet that was appreciated on dark and stormy nights!)

I'm sure someone can cite the specific regulation and authority.
 

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Jack,

You are absolutely correct, no train crew was allowed in the RPO, and it was placed behind the locomotive. If the car carried a mail storage car, which was simply a locked baggage car, it was placed between the RPO and the locomotive. The same rules applied to the storage car for the crew. This must be the reason for the handrails on the baggage cars. I have never seen this on any of the NG lines, but I'm sure it probably happened.

Chris
 

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I always wondered about the mail slot in the side, "Tom, run up to the train and put this letter in the box."
 

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That makes perfect sense, though I wonder why most of the front-end cars did not have handrails. Could be the route they were used on required a lot of crew movement? It's an interesting mystery.
 

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Kevin

I am interested in using your foil technique for roofing a caboose I'm building.  What did you prime the foil with prior to finish painting and are you referring to sticky backed tape used for sealing heating and cooling ducts?

Thanks for the clarification

Robert
 

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Posted By Torby on 01/22/2008 7:14 AM
I always wondered about the mail slot in the side, "Tom, run up to the train and put this letter in the box."


Torby - not sure why you wonder - seems perfectly simple to me.  The mail train came through town (well, small backwoods hamlet might be a better description,) on a regular basis, so the folk at the station would post letters.
 

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Robert, it's the sticky foil duct tape, as you mention. Great stuff, and the adhesive is darned good even in direct sunlight. I prime it with regular primer before I paint it, and that seems to hold on very nicely. I get the occasional nick on the edge if the car rolls over, but from regular handling, it's been great.

Torby, the mail contracts were often the only things keeping many railroads operating. They were the genesis of many strange contraptions as the railroads' fortunes started to wane and running a locomotive and one car became too expensive; the famous Galloping Geese being but one example. Some railroads simply used little speeders to carry the mail in the later years. The stations often served the purpose of the local post office. There are still some locales today where traveling to the local post office is the only way to send and receive mail.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Posted By East Broad Top on 01/22/2008 12:52 PM
...

There are still some locales today where traveling to the local post office is the only way to send and receive mail.

Later,

K


The Irony of this statement is that, at least for Canada. its again true today, most especially if you've bought a new house in a new survey, or live in a rural area that has recently become suburban...    /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif
 

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Posted By FH&PB on 01/22/2008 9:06 AM
That makes perfect sense, though I wonder why most of the front-end cars did not have handrails. Could be the route they were used on required a lot of crew movement? It's an interesting mystery.

These cars were generally only used on the Santa Fe "Mixed" (aka Chili Line) train which implies freight cars and train crew effort.  The other D&RGW passenger trains were generally passenger only.  That's always been my understanding for these cars on that one route.
 

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Scott, I wondered about that, too. The photos of cars with handrails in the Narrow Gauge Pictorial were all taken on the southern end of the D&RGW lines. But then, they were all taken when the southern end was about all that was left of the narrow gauge, so there wasn't a clear causality. But it sure makes sense to me.

I had planned on adding in some freight cars to my passenger consists. I guess I'll have to put a handrail on top of the front-end cars, then.
 
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