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Re: Identifing Vintage of Freight Cars? But........

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  • Bill Hoshiko
    pbartonluttenton wrote: I have looked at a lot of old photographs, but they are for the most part undated, except for the date the
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 4, 2004
      "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.
      >
      > PL

      Paula,

      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
      height.

      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
      it?

      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?

      Bill
      El Toro, Ca
    • jim_manley_alpha_six
      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
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 4, 2004
        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,
        Jim


        --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Hoshiko" <billhko@y...> wrote:
        > 23908
        >
        > "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.
      • MOFWCABOOSE@AOL.COM
        Steam locomotives were everywhere in 1956? No they weren t! They were already rapidly disappearing, and were already completely gone on some railroads, while
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 4, 2004
          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,
          unfortunately.

          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]
        • Bill Hoshiko
          ... full) of folks who can tell you, from a random photo, not only when a ... Hi Jim, Just what I wanted to point out. No single place where you can research
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
            "jim_manley_alpha_six" <jim_manley@h...> wrote:
            >

            > 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.

            Hi Jim,

            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
            for it.

            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
            personal history?

            Bill
            El Toro, Ca
          • de Champeaux Dominique
            ... Mmhh, Bill, I don t agree with you, because the current availability is: -50s: F-units, Alco PA1s, GS3/4 with all brand of vintage boxcars (MTL), gondolas
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
              >
              > 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.


              Mmhh, Bill, I don't agree with you, because the
              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
              (MTL)

              -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
              River)

              -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.

              Dominique






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            • Tom Fisher
              -80s to present: also flatcars of various types, but we await Vic. Foundry & Car s release. __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail -
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                -80s to present: also flatcars of various types, but
                we await Vic. Foundry & Car's release.





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              • Glen Chenier
                ... vintage ... This is an extremely interesting discussion. For one like myself with little prototype background knowledge, this information is much
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "pbartonluttenton"
                  <pbartonluttenton@y...> wrote:
                  > I have looked and looked and cannot find any information, either on
                  > model makers sites or Road sites, that helps one identify the
                  vintage
                  > of the various types of freight cars. For example, I can't tell an
                  > old caboose from a modern caboose.

                  This is an extremely interesting discussion. For one like myself
                  with little prototype background knowledge, this information is much
                  appreciated. Thanks for sharing.
                • Bill Hoshiko
                  ... Dominique, 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
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                    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.
                    >
                    > Dominique


                    Dominique,

                    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
                    compete in.

                    And, with all that has happened since Jeffrey started Z_scale groups
                    I am extremely optomistic. I was addressing Paula's "there ought to
                    be" statement.

                    Bill
                    El Toro, Ca
                  • Bill Hoshiko
                    ... 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.
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, 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.
                      >
                      > 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.


                      Thanks John,

                      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.

                      Bill
                      El Toro, Ca
                    • Tom Fisher
                      Also see: http://www.irwinsjournal.com/umtrr/ __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                        Also see:

                        http://www.irwinsjournal.com/umtrr/





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                      • Lajos Thek
                        ... The most accurate information is available from some Train Shed Cyclopedia booklets, including trucks, frame, body and roof details. For Z-scale
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "pbartonluttenton"
                          <pbartonluttenton@y...> wrote:
                          > information... that helps one identify the vintage...of freight
                          > cars.....

                          The 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.
                          Lajos
                        • pbartonluttenton
                          ... Not sure what you are saying. That before it s too late we all (or some of us) should grab our 8x10 views and 20 pound tripods and record boxcars, before
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 5, 2004
                            > 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?

                            Not sure what you are saying. That before it's too late we all (or
                            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
                            compulsive.
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