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Author Topic: Dumb question about boxcars  (Read 10286 times)
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2007, 07:27:21 AM »

Swordsman422,

Not to worry, you didn't start anything, we do this all the time. Sometimes it ends in a draw, sometimes someone admitts defeat ( like I did recently in another thread). But no one takes it too seriously.

Good luck with your modeling.

Sheldon.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2007, 07:06:16 PM »

With Sheldon, fistfights are fine.  It's when he reaches behind him to grab the shotgun that things get serious!  Grin
Just for your informartion, Sheldon not only designed my free standing train barn, but threw in the track plan to put inside it as well. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
ebtnut

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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2007, 01:15:03 PM »

To recap, the great perponderance of box cars from the 1930's through the 1950's was the standard 40-footer.  Within that "standard" was a lot of variations--car height, car width, door sizes, etc.  There was a fair amount of wood still about, especially during the war when the single-sheathed cars with metal ribs and wood sheating were common.  And there were even a few double-sheathed wood cars, though with steel underframes.  If you ran a mix of 1937 ARA cars, with a scattering of PRR-style "X-29"s and a couple of 50-footers, you would be off to a good start.  As noted, arch-bar trucks were outlawed for interchange service.  The large majority of cars had friction bearings.  Roller bearings had been around for quite a while (the East Broad Top equipped one of their passenger cars with roller bearings back around 1930), but were essentially still an experiment into the 1940's. 
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Orsonroy

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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2007, 09:38:35 AM »

OK, I'm seeing a lot of inaccuracies in the posts in this thread, so here's my two cents:

Quote
for the most part wooden box cars 40 feet in length were the norm.  Steel box cars didn't really come into use until after World War II was over and steel was more available.

Definitely not true. By 1935, NO wood boxcars were being built. In the 20th Century, the first mass-produced all-steel boxcars were the NYC's 1916 auto cars. By 1918 the NYC started building the first of over 30,000 all-steel boxcars. By 1922 the Pennsy jumped into the act by creating the X29, and built 35,000 of them. The only roads that held out and continued to build wood cars were those Pacific Northwest roads that had the lumber industry as customers. Even then, those cars were generally steel car designs with wood substituting for the steel sides. During WWII a small number of single sheathed boxcars were built to save steel for the war effort, but at the same time, thousands of all steel boxcars were being built (for example, the ATSF took delivery of something like 10,000 all steel boxcars during the war)

By the beginning of WWII, the USA boxcar fleet was about 20% double sheathed, 35% single sheathed, and 45% steel. About 65% of those cars were 40 footers, 30% were shorter (36' to 38'), and 5% were 50 footers (about evenly split between all steel and single sheathed). I've crunched the numbers in the 1930, 1940 and 1950 ORERs to come up with these general figures, so everyone's welcome to check my math!

Quote
What you would not have seen was old 36' cars, cars with wooden ends or truss rod frames would have been all gone or rebuilt.

Not QUITE true. The NYC ran several hundred all wood-bodied 38 foot boxcars until about 1946. Any car listed in the ORER was available for interchange duty, and there are still a few hundred all wood cars listed in 1950, mostly working on shortlines (the national car fleet was around 700,000 boxcars, so the percentage IS miniscule). 6% of the national boxcar fleet was under 40 feet long in 1950, and there were still several thousand cars with trussrods running.

A few notes on appliance bannings:

Archbar trucks: 1940
"trussrod" underframes: 1952
K brakes: 1952

And actually, those are about the ONLY appliance bannings out there for this period. Vertical stem brake wheels were never banned. Various other truck types were never banned. Underframes with trussrods which also had a steel center sill were never banned. KD brakes were never banned. All-wood carbodies were never banned. All of these things just died a natural death on their own accounts, as old cars bit the dust and were replaced by more modern cars.

Quote
In the 40's you may find plenty of USRA boxcars.

Not exactly true. By 1940, most of the USRA single sheathed boxcars were still running (23,557 out of 25,000 built), but the double sheathed boxcars were dying off fast. By 1940, only 17,000 out of the original 25,000 cars were still running in their original condition, and by 1950 that number had shrunk to 5047 cars (wood-bodied cars don't survive as long as all steel cars). By 1935 most roads had started rebuilding their remaining DS boxcars into all steel cars (before WWII, not after).

Quote
I'm not sure how long the wood carbody would last before needing to be replaced by a thrifty carshop.

Thrifty or not, 20 to 25 years. The paint of the era lasted 7 to 12 years, so a wood boxcar would have been repainted at least twice in that period.


In general, the originator of this thread is talking about three completely different eras. 1940-1945 saw a bare majority of wood-bodied boxcars, with a healthy sprinkling of shorter cars built in the 1900-1918 period. 1945-1955 saw a major change in the rail scene, with the railroads scrapping every short or wood boxcar they could find. The process would have taken less than ten years, but the car builders couldn't keep up with the orders (which is why large railroads like the NYC and IC built so many of their own cars). The period of 1955-1960 was about how we see most "transition era" model railroads: lots of the same types of 40 foot steel boxcars, a smaller number of 50 foot steel cars, and only one or two wood cars. By 1955 railroads were starting to experiment with flash paint schemes on their cars, but those really didn't take off until 1958, or the end of the steam era.





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Ray Breyer
Modeling the NKP's Peoria Division, 1949
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2007, 10:19:16 AM »

Ray,

Thanks for the added detail. I was working from memory and was pretty close on most of that. I was trying to give the poster some general guidelines without writing a book or pulling any off the shelf.

In modeling it always seems more approperate to model what was common place, not the one exception or rarest piece you can come up with. I based my comments on that view, knowing there may be an exception/inaccuracy or two.

I based my color scheme comment mainly on my knowledge of the B&O. They introduced their "Sentinel Service" (silver car) in 1947 and repainted a number of cars to advertise that service. Their next flashy paint scheme was in 1950 with the "Time Saver" (blue and orange car) by the end of the 50s, the B&O was getting way from those fancy schemes, but then went back to solid blue w/silver roofs in the mid 60's as new the 50' cushioned cars began to appear.

Sheldon

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thirdrail

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« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2007, 06:14:21 PM »

36 footers still represented between 10 and 15 percent of the total boxcar fleet in 1950. More than half were owned by Canadian roads, though.
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2007, 07:34:18 PM »

Swordsman;
Not to worry...Neither of those guys are any good at fisticuffs...

BTW:  Both Gene and Sheldon are extremely knowledgeable and good gentlemen.  I am proud to have them as co-contributors (?) on this forum.

Rich


"...And in this corner, wearing white shorts..."
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
SteamGene

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« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2007, 08:23:11 PM »

Fisticuffs, no. But give me two days to practice and I'll part your hair with an M-14 at 600 meters.  <SEG> (And don't even think about what I can do right now with a radio and a pair of 7x50 binos!
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2007, 10:06:56 PM »

And,

My handgun instructor (a retired army shooting range instructor) said I was one of only three in a class of 40 he would pick for a shooting team.

Sheldon
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SteamGene

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« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2007, 10:55:14 PM »

I was an army shooting range instructor - years ago.  My first assignment after learning to employ artillery!
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Terry Toenges


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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2007, 09:42:38 AM »

I like calling in airstrikes the best. Roll Eyes
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Feel like a Mogul.
scottychaos


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« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2007, 10:50:45 AM »

Just to add a bit more trivia to this discussion..

The WAG (Wellsville, Addison & Galeton Railroad), a small shortline in northern PA -southern NY was famous in the 1970's for two things:
F-units and wooden boxcars!  Shocked

The wooden cars were still being used in interchange service as late as 1974.



Scot
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 10:53:16 AM by scottychaos » Logged

r.cprmier

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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2007, 05:33:17 PM »

Sorry, Gene; I had my fill of guns, rifles, automatic weapons, ad nauseum long ago.  On my uniform is an expert medal-among others that mean a little more to me than firing an M-16 at 600 metres.

As far as protection goes, I have my dog and my good uncle Louie, which has been lead filled, bird shot, so that it won't bounce when I swing it.

BTW:  You will NEVER part my hair (and I have hair)-because I am not ever going to be down range.  I am going to be home watching the Patriots with my buds, drinking same.

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
Atlantic Central

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« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2007, 07:05:28 PM »

Rich,

Not to go too far a field here, not to start a debate, but personal views can be interesting and telling.

Guns - I grew up with them, learned about them early, satisfied any boyish curiosity and was truely indifferent for years - until a bunch of socialists starting telling me I was too dumb, too reckless, or too something to own one and that I had no right to protect myself, my family and my property. Than I got reinterested real fast.

Sports - never got truly interested. A Sunday drive with my wife (often to a train watching venue), beats any "game" I ever watched (and I once had Orioles season tickets).

Beer - have not drank in a decade or more. Never drank much before that. Never had any problems with it myself, but never saw any pleasure in it either. But I have seen it ruin a lot of peoples lives (including my first wife and a lot of her family).

To each their own, I have no problem with those who drink responsably, but I don't need or want it. More money for trains!

For me, I say "I used to be well rounded until I figured out what I really liked".

Sheldon
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2007, 07:31:06 PM »

Sheldon;
Perhaps because of my contribution, but this has gone too far now.  We should get back to trains.

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
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