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Discussion Starter #1
The more I get into Garden Railroading the more uneducated I feel.  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif   I used to just hookup cars to a loco and go. I Have no idea what kind of rolling stock goes with what type of Loco and era. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif
Can some of you more educated give me some insight on this. Like two bay ,three bays hoppers, freight cars ,gondolas etc. I would like to start being a little more accurate in my consists.

Thanks, Bryan
 

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I run what "I" remember seeing in the era I am vaguely attempting to model... but if anybody says some of the cars I have would never have been together, I tell them to go away. It is MY railroad and I will run what I wanna run when I wanna run 'em. I do insist that they "look right" in "MY" eye. Thus I "TRY" to maintain the same scale throughout.
Don't feel alone in the "uneducated feeling" you have... it is quite common.
 

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Bryan, I think as long as you run "like cars" with each other even on the same train it would look 
prototypical.  I've been watching the local mixed freight roll through downtown Columbus, Ohio 
everyday and the thing I've noticed is they are coupled as cuts of cars, meaning you may see four 
boxcars(old and new), then five autoracks, more boxcars then covered hoppers and so on. As far as 
pulling power I'm not a diesel man meaning I don't necessarly no one from the other. Although the section of trackage I've been watching is an intersection of CSX and Northfolk Southern. But have seen CSX loco's lashed up with Union Pacific as well as older CN loco's.  Incidently the intersection I've been watching looks like a lionel layout from a 20th floor of the condo I'm working on. Quite facinating watching coal drags going through, some rotary dump( I only know this from Marty's recent modeling) and some regular.
 

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In general, I think 40 foot cars were a thing of the past by 1990.   I think the last ones were made in the early 60's and they probably have/had a 30 year lifetime.  Certainly if you were using steam power I'd keep the cars restricted to those of 30, 36 and 40 feet.  I'm not suggesting that this was a hard and fast rule so you experts out there please don't beat me up.  

Still, cylindrical hoppers are pretty new.  Modern temp control cars are nothing like the ice filled reefers. There are other examples.

My RR was built around the mid 70's time frame so I keep Trains magazines from 1974 through 1977 handy and I look through them from time to time just so I don't get 'off track' ;)  

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Charles, I run sets of different era's.. I have bought what I like in the past without thinking of there time frames. That was before i  realized the different scale of manufacturers. I do run what I like mostly. But i've been looking at logging cars to go with my Shay and want to get something that looks right.
 

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Gotcha Matt ! I've noticed mixes sitting together in yards, but figured that was just until they move them. Where abouts in Col. are the tracks? I used to live there 25 yrs ago and worked on S 3 rd st for awhile near the old prison.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great Dave , thats what I'm talking about. I guess I could be less lazy and start doing some research:D
So I wonder were 40 footers changed out for 50 ' , because of past power restrictions of engines.
And is that why 2 bay hoppers as opposed to 3 bay hoppers ?
 

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A few historical notes on freight cars ...

Steel framed freight cars replaced wood before the First World War in new construction. The all wood cars had a 15 yr lifespan in hard daily use - most were scrapped during the boom of the 1920s or for sure during the Great Depression. The standard 40 foot steel AAR boxcar was introduced c 1927 (but had many forerunners) and remained with only minor mods the car of choice in new construction through the 1950s. Most were gone by the 70s though a few lingered perhaps as late as 1990.

Fifty foot boxcars for special uses have been around since steel underframes were introduced. Shipment of automobiles was big business in the 1920s and all went in 50 foot cars. By mid century, fifty foot cars replaced 40 footers in new construction. Most of these cars were not general purpose boxcars but had specific uses for hauling various commodities - special suspensions, inside bulkheading, clamps etc.

For hoppers, steel hoppers were de facto the standard in new construction after 1905. Dual hoppers were the norm and as coal is modestly heavy (but much lighter than iron ore or other bulk quarried commodities) the length was initially set at 34 feet and 30 ton capacity. Over time, as technologies for couplers, brakes and track improved, lengths grew to the 100 ton hoppers of the modern era. Hoppers had rough use so even steel cars had a relatively short life of 20-25 years. Depending on the era and locale, the fleet could be predominantly smaller 30 ton cars or progressively larger cars.

In the Canadian context, coal was mined only in Cape Breton and in the west (southern Saskatchewan/Alberta/BC). Accordingly, most coal in central Canada was imported from the US. Residential and industrial use of coal ended shortly after the Second World War leaving the railways themselves as the last big user. This use tapered down in the 1950s and was gone by 1960. I have not personally seen a hopper of coal in central Canada for most of my adult life although a very few coal fired power plants have been running.

For other cars, stock cars have always been composite - steel underframes and wooden bodies. The last stock movements in Canada by rail were phased out during the 1960s. Similarly, reefers were mainly wood on steel frames cooled by ice until the 1950s. They were replaced by steel reefers with cooling units and these were in turn mostly gone by the mid 70s. The odd reefer hung on in specialized service but haulage of perishables today is a truckers business not rail (Tropicana Unit trains being the exception that proves the rule)

Grain moved traditionally in boxcars with grain doors. This mode of haulage prevailed until the 1970s in Canada where vast fleets of Fowler boxcars (outside braced composite cars) were in use. Eventually covered hoppers displaced the boxcars. In Canada, those covered hoppers were the "Trudeau hoppers" built mainly by Marine Industries and they looked nothing like the modelled covered hoppers produced in large scale today.

I could go on but will conclude with a remark on eras. The 40 foot boxcar is really a product of the first half of the 20th century. A few carried on after diesels were introduced but the diesel era really marked the beginning of much larger cars. The last 50 years have seen fairly remarkable advances in technology and cars built for use early in the diesel era look very dated when run with more modern diesels. In fact, even 50 foot cars are pretty small in the most modern trains. Go trackside and watch a few trains rumble by to see what I mean. The mix of cars has changed and as well, the cars are huge. Tank cars of all sorts as well as covered hoppers predominate in most general purpose trains while intermodal cars make up a good percentage of the rest. Depending on primary industry in your area, you may see hoppers of coal, jennies of ore or boxcars of newspring and so on.

As in all areas of model railroading, the more you watch the real railroads, the more discerning your eye will be with models.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Thanks for the education. Don't stop now. Maybe put it in an article under "Articles?"

I try to stick to things that might have been around in the 30's to suit the "Asylum Valley" and "Depression" puns. But you have to promise not to look too closely at the build dates on the cars:D
 

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An excellent short history Doug.  

It's good of you to take the time and effort to do that for us.   Looks as if my own dates were a bit off the mark so I picked up on a few things myself.   Never to old ya' know.

Much thanks. :)

Dave
 

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I would agree more with Charles that you have to run what looks good to your eye. I have modeled the Southern Pacific in H.O. circa 1940 and OR&L in 1:20.3 circa 1920. I love history, so I did all the photographich research I could in conjunction with reading up on the railroad operations of that time period. That is how I enjoy the hobby. That doesn't mean everyone should enjoy the hobby that way though.
So, if you aren't interested in the history of operations or equipment, go with what you like as long as you enjoy it.
A while back I started sculpting small scale figures (after reading Chris Wallas' article) I like it so much, I don't want to be restricted to a specific time or region for my subjects. Eventually I will have sculpted so many people from different time periods that I'm going to have build a special lounge car for them to party together in ;)
 

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Kevin

Your comments are well taken.

The initial steel hoppers were I believe of 30 ton capacity but this capacity increased rapidly to 50 tons by the end of WW I. the EBT hoppers were almost as large as standard gauge hoppers ... did they have the benefit of designs from the PRR who were among the leading users of hoppers? The capacity had more to do with trucks and axle loadings than the steel carbody in the earliest designs.

Regards ... Doug
 

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...the EBT hoppers were almost as large as standard gauge hoppers ...
The first batch of EBT hoppers were 25' long, 8' wide over the sides. I don't know how large the first standard gauge hoppers were, but that's pretty diminutive for a standard gauge car, especially given that they would have had to ride on larger trucks. Pressed Steel Car Co--who made the first steel hoppers for the EBT in 1913--was already building standard gauge cars, and from the aesthetics of the design, just scaled down what they were building for standard gauge lines.

...did they have the benefit of designs from the PRR who were among the leading users of hoppers?

Not directly, at least. If the PRR was using PSCCo. cars, then that could have been the connection that brought the EBT to them. The first batch of 2-bay hoppers (10 total) were 25'. The next batch (30 cars) were lengthened by 3', and rode on cast trucks as opposed to archbar in an effort to smooth the ride. After those first 40 cars, the EBT just copied the PSC design, and built the cars themselves.

Later,

K
 

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The ubiquitous USRA 50 ton two bay hoppers were actually designed in 1917 but of course, there were many examples of similar cars earlier before the USRA sealed the standard design. The Pennsy used 70 ton quads as early as the late teens but such heavy cars did not come into general use until well after the Second War.

The Pennsy and others built all steel 50 ton cars early in the 20th century but most roads were limited initially by their light trackage to cars with axle loadings of a lower capacity. In short, if standard gauge coal hauling turns your crank, there is a wide range of prototypes to draw on from small 30 ton cars on up.

We should keep in mind that the first two decades of the 20th century saw a tremendous evolution in railroad technology. In 1900, 4-4-0s and very light 2-8-0s were still in mainline service on most railroads hauling frontline trains. By the 1920s the era of superpower steam was just beginning. Track upgrading and heavier bridges as well as all other supporting infrastructure grew apace. And naturally this included all the freight cars to go with it. The all wood car, very much alive in 1900, had become almost a museum piece by the 1920s and in fact was banned from interchange service in the early 30s.

Regards ... Doug
 

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hehe

At the Botanical, they keep wanting to put wooden freight cars and cylindrical hoppers in the same train.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank You Doug, Great Information. Most people that see my railroad don't know any better than I do and like all the cars on the train. But when you get club memebers over, sometimes they mumble to each other in the backround. " That doesn't go with that loco " etc.
 

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Bryan,

It comes down to what era are you modeling? If you have a mox of eras in your cars, why not get the right loco for each era and run one train one day and another on another. That way, you won't get mixed up and your club members won't make remarks so much. Just a thought.
 

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Posted By bryanj on 01/16/2008 11:02 PM
Gotcha Matt ! I've noticed mixes sitting together in yards, but figured that was just until they move them. Where abouts in Col. are the tracks? I used to live there 25 yrs ago and worked on S 3 rd st for awhile near the old prison.


Bryan, The tracks are just across the river from the former site of the Old Ohio Penn. The building i'm working on is at the corner Spring St and Neil Ave. next to the old Belmont Casket Co.

See mapquest link below . NOTE the red star is where I'm working.
http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?formtype=address&addtohistory=&address=W%20Spring%20St%20%26%20Neil%20Ave&city=Columbus&state=OH&zipcode=43215&country=US&geodiff=1

Of course anything marked Conrail is now CSX
 
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