Re: Identifing Vintage of Freight Cars? But........
- "pbartonluttenton" <pbartonluttenton@y...> wrote:
I have looked at a lot of old photographs, but they are for the most
part undated, except for the date the photo was taken. If I had
photos with dates, I could study them and perhaps develop an era
identification key. Must be a way.
Back in the 1960's, I had a few friends who took photos of freight
cars. They are probably filed away in someones reference files.
There were not very many who photographed freight cars.
Taking photos of locomotives was looked upon as something worthwile
but taking photos of freight cars was not something that you bragged
about. Even in the hobby shop you, received funny looks if you
whipped out a stack of freight car photos. Photos of model cars
that you built were different. Every one wanted to see those.
When is the last time that you went out to photograph tract homes?
How about traffic lights, street signs, highway centerlines. I bet
that you never photographed all those TV antennas that stuck up out
of every house on your street. Cable TV does not need antennas but
you better hurry and take photos of those little dishes. How much
longer will the cell phone antennas last?
I think that I have made my point.
Steam locomotives were everywhere in 1956. Why should we waste film
photographing them? They should be around forever. By 1959 they
were all gone. I think that the Southern Pacific took a little over
1 year to get rid of their mainline steam. 1957 I think.
Box cars are box cars. What can be different about them? They were
all different shades of box car red. Red pigment was one of the
most common pigments available. That is why barns were painted
red. Red was cheap paint. If you see a freight train from afar
they all looked alike. The only obvious difference was in their
Who needs photos? Why would anyone want to categorize them? Look
through the railroad magazines of 1950. Diesel engines were called
diesels. Not F units or E units or anything like that. Just
diesels. Who cared? There was a sameness about diesels. Steam, on
the other hand, was an 0-4-0 or a 4-8-8-4 or a 2-6-0 or something
interesting like that. F3, F4, E7, E9 who cared? The Santa Fe
Super Chief, now that was recognizable but what kind of diesel was
Even the model railroad manufacturers manufactured generic box
cars. I never knew about different types of ends or doors or roofs
for box cars until about the late 70's. Probably even later.
Why did we have to know this? A box car is a box car, isn't it?
Take pictures of box cars, who would want to waste the film?
Where is your last photo of a box car?
El Toro, Ca
- Hi Bill, Paula, Mr. and MrZ. America, and All ShipZ at Zea!
Bill, great summary of factors to consider when assembling
prototypically-accurate trainZ. There is an entire segment of
railfans who have no interest in trains smaller than 1:1 scale, and
the forums associated with "Trains" magazine are replete (sorry, full)
of folks who can tell you, from a random photo, not only when a
vintage car was built and by whom, but if/when it was removed from
service, modified, sold to another road, turned into a
restaurant/train shop/antiques store/etc., and so forth. Just post
your photo in the appropriate forum, and sit back and watch the
answers scroll up, almost right before your eyeZ. I think you have to
subscribe to a Kalmbach magazine in order to access the forums, but
it's well worth the subscription price (if you do a search for the
magazine name and "discount" and "subscription" in Google, you can
find dealZ on "MR", "Trains", etc., for under $20/year - and even less
for multi-year subscriptions).
Also, there are WWW sites like http://www.railcams.com with webcams
that overlook various grade crossings, yards, etc., where you can
watch trains roll by, being built up, etc. (and you can generally do a
screen/window capture of interesting frames for later perusal). Sites
like http://www.railpictues.net provide a wealth of photos of trains,
and you can search for particular cars, locos, etc., by manufactureer,
date of photo, road, etc. There are also sites like
http://www.railroadradio.net where you can listen to actual engineers
and dispatchers on the radio nets for just about every division of
every road in North America. It's a great way to pick up the lingo,
and learn how operations are really performed. Of course, this
doesn't do much good for vintage railroading, but the terms haven't
changed all that much in the last century or so!
All Z BeZt,
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Bill Hoshiko" <billhko@y...> wrote:
> "pbartonluttenton" <pbartonluttenton@y...> wrote:
> > Is there any information on the web to which someone can point me
> that describes the evolution of freight cars during the the first
> half of the 20th century so that one dosen't makes historically
> incorrect combinations of rolling stock and locomotives.
> > Paula Luttenton
> Hi Paula,
> The answer to your question is very difficult. I am writing down
> some of my thoughts. Please don't think that any of this is
> accurate. It certainly is not difinitive. I am hoping that some of
> the other more informed members of this group will correct my errors
> and therby give you a more accurate answer.
- Steam locomotives were everywhere in 1956? No they weren't! They were already
rapidly disappearing, and were already completely gone on some railroads,
while on others they could only be found only in scrap lines, their numbers
whitelined, their valve gear dismantled, and their only future the welder's torch.
As alway, it depended on the railroad. The last clear recollection I have of
seeing an operational steamer was in January 1956, until I visited the
Silverton in 1962. By that time, someone had written in Model Railroader: "For
heaven's sake, if you see the chance to photograph steam, jump at it!" I didn't,
On the other hand, I offer several hundred boxcar photos for sale, but seldom
does anyone want to buy any...
John C. La Rue, Jr.
Bonita Springs, FL
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- "jim_manley_alpha_six" <jim_manley@h...> wrote:
>full) of folks who can tell you, from a random photo, not only when a
> the forums associated with "Trains" magazine are replete (sorry,
> vintage car was built and by whom, but if/when it was removed fromHi Jim,
> service, modified, sold to another road, turned into a
> restaurant/train shop/antiques store/etc., and so forth.
Just what I wanted to point out. No single place where you can
research the evolution of freight cars. Many different folks who
have studied mostly their favorite RR. Some who have studied
specific cars such as the PFE refrigerator cars or the Mather
freight cars or such as Richard K. Wright who wrote books about the
Southern Pacific Daylight train.
Back in the mid 1900s we did not have computers so studies had to be
compiled by hand. Photos were not easy nor cheap to copy. Today,
we have many web sites with lots of photos but many of the photo
owners do not wish to release their photos without being compensated
If you find something that you like on the net you should copy it to
your hard drive and print it out. Web sites have the nasty habit of
dissapearing and hard drives have a propensity to crash. Saving to
a CD is not an answer either. How many of you have saved your
favorite music on reel to reel tape. How many of you have reels of
8mm movies? 25 years ago I was in a photo shop and found a high end
8mm movie projector for $20.00. I was going to copy my films to
Video tape. Now I am planning to copy to CD. 25 years from now
will we have computers that can read CDs?
Inspite of how IBM heralded the coming of the paperless society,
paper is still the best way to preserve personal history. Problem
is, who will be around in 25 years that will be interested in your
El Toro, Ca
>Mmhh, Bill, I don't agree with you, because the
> With the current offerings in Z scale I think that
> it would be
> difficult to arrainge a train that resembles a
> prototype mainline
> freight train of any era.
current availability is:
-50s: F-units, Alco PA1s, GS3/4 with all brand of
vintage boxcars (MTL), gondolas (MTL), flatcars (MTL),
refeers (Pennzee), two-bay hoppers (FR), tankcars
-60s: the same brand of rolling stock, + SD45s
-70s and 80s: SD40s, SD45s, F-units, 50' boxcars
without roofwalk (MTL), 3-bay coal hoppers (Pennzee),
flatcars, gondolas, centerbeam flatcars (Feather
-80s to present: the same, minus F-units, + C44-9s
(appearing in 1993), + Gunderson doublestack. All we
are missing now is to my eyes: covered hoppers for
grain or chemical products, heavy tankcars and 3-level
autoracks (I should prefer covered).
But when we see all that appeared for the last 5
years, it's allowed to be optimistic.
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- -80s to present: also flatcars of various types, but
we await Vic. Foundry & Car's release.
Do you Yahoo!?
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- --- In email@example.com, "pbartonluttenton"
> I have looked and looked and cannot find any information, either onvintage
> model makers sites or Road sites, that helps one identify the
> of the various types of freight cars. For example, I can't tell anThis is an extremely interesting discussion. For one like myself
> old caboose from a modern caboose.
with little prototype background knowledge, this information is much
appreciated. Thanks for sharing.
- de Champeaux Dominique <ddechamp71@y...> wrote:
> Mmhh, Bill, I don't agree with you, because the
> current availability is:
> -50s: F-units, Alco PA1s, GS3/4 >
> -60s: the same brand of rolling stock, + SD45s
> -70s and 80s: SD40s, SD45s, F-units,>
> -80s to present: the same, minus F-units, + C44-9s
>> But when we see all that appeared for the last 5
> years, it's allowed to be optimistic.
You are perfectly correct but you are writing about locomotives
that, for the most part, cost in excess of $500.00 each.
The only locomotive under $500.00 is a passenger locomotive.
All the other scales have locomotives that cost in excess of $250.00
but there are still available workhorses for under $100.00
If we want Z to grow in popularity, it is this market that we must
And, with all that has happened since Jeffrey started Z_scale groups
I am extremely optomistic. I was addressing Paula's "there ought to
El Toro, Ca
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, MOFWCABOOSE@A... wrote:
> Steam locomotives were everywhere in 1956? No they weren't!By that time, someone had written in Model Railroader: "For
heaven's sake, if you see the chance to photograph steam, jump at
it!" I didn't, unfortunately.
>but seldom does anyone want to buy any...
> On the other hand, I offer several hundred boxcar photos for sale,
> John C. La Rue, Jr.
I knew that I would get a response by that statement about steam. I
was a model railroader and paid little attention to the 1:1 stuff.
All of a sudden there was no more steam.
As for your box car photos, you need to advertise. Problem is,
advertising costs money and you may never recover your cost. I
think that there are many collections of RR photos that will soon
end up in the local dump.
Why did grandpa keep all this junk?
This will be my last comment on this subject. It is too far off
subject for the Z list.
El Toro, Ca
- --- In email@example.com, "pbartonluttenton"
> information... that helps one identify the vintage...of freightThe most accurate information is available from some
"Train Shed Cyclopedia" booklets, including trucks,
frame, body and roof details. For Z-scale modeling,
I think, the absolute accuracy of details is not
necessary, and not practical. To select the correct
freight car for certain era is not too difficult,
because no overwhelming slection available.
For layouts of early 19th century the only available
cars are the "Father Nature" 34' billboard wood
refrigerator cars, and Bob Ray's wood caboose. With a
little "abusing" some 40' MT wood box and stock cars
can be modified to "fit" into the early era.
Most Micro-Trains freight car packaging includes the
brief description (including year of service) of cars.
> Why did we have to know this? A box car is a box car, isn't it?Not sure what you are saying. That before it's too late we all (or
> Take pictures of box cars, who would want to waste the film?
> Where is your last photo of a box car?
some of us) should grab our 8x10 views and 20 pound tripods and record
boxcars, before they become extinct.
Or are you advising not to get all in a tizzy about vintage. If
you've seen one you've seen em all. Perhaps I AM being a bit too