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Author Previous Topic: Small Layout Design Help/Challenge - c.1905 Pennsy Topic Next Topic: scratchbuilding a 34 boxcar (styrene)
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OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/05/2019 :  2:52:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When did 36' cars start appearing, and how long before they were commonplace?

Trying to learn (thus determine) whether much of my MDC 36' stuff would be suitable for the late 1880s.

Thanks!

Andre

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Wulf
Engine Wiper

Premium Member


Posted - 02/05/2019 :  4:43:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just a quick glance at the Car Builders' dictionaries: 1879 seems to max out at 30;, 1888 shows 34', 1895 has up to 40'. Makes me think 36 would not be unreasonable for the very end of the decade/

CEO, Lancre Valley Steam navigation Co.

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railman28
Fireman



Posted - 02/05/2019 :  4:49:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Andre, Good Question. I don't know the answer. I do know that car were built for light but bulky material that were 40' and longer as early as the 70's. Steel frames I think were becoming popular in the mid 90's. I believe that the average length of boxcars was still 30' in the early 80's but refers were 34' by 84 so it's reasonable to conclude that cars could of hit 36 by the end of the 80's.

My 2 cents
Bob


It's only make-believe

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OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/05/2019 :  4:54:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks a bunch Wulf. Sounds to me like any 36' car I use needs to look relatively new and not beat and battered and heavily weathered.

Andre



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OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/05/2019 :  5:00:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bob:

Yup, your conclusion agrees with Wulf's observations from the CBD's he has access to.

This puts some of my existing MDC 36' rolling stock in jeopardy, for I weathered them for use right at 30 years ago when my TOC19 modeling was aimed more at the 1900 era.

Ah well, I will use only the newer NIB 36' cars I have with light running weathering, and any others that get painted/repainted will reflect same. No biggie!

At least now I have a better idea of how to proceed when that time comes.

Thanks for pitching in.

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 02/05/2019 5:01:54 PM

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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/05/2019 :  6:35:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

I wish Id seen this earlier; busy day today.

Except for specialized service, the railroads in late 1880s were transitioning from 28 to 30 ft cars to 34 ft. Furniture, carriage and hay cars were bigger but built in small numbers. You dont want 36 ft cars. Im speaking from what Ive seen in 1888, 1893 and later Official Railroad Equipment Registers. Railroads didnt roster 36 cars in any numbers until the late 1890s.

If youd like I can give you numbers of each car length for representative railroads if you give me some idea which railroads would be relevant.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

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OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/05/2019 :  7:42:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The LATE 1890s, you say?

Wow... who'd a' thought? (Obviously I didn't!) I had no idea the MDC cars represented such late model link n' pin cars.

Ah well, that saves me the angst over my 36' cars that are too weathered for use in the late 1880s!

Hey, at least I haven't flew in and built a dozen of my scratch-bashed gons and had them ready for paint and THEN find it out!

Saved me a bunch of work.

Sounds like once I get on top of my train set conversions, I will be hitting the craft kit offerings.

Thanks Mike!

Andre



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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/05/2019 :  7:56:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Link-and-pins were pretty much gone by the 1890s, at least in interchange. But Rule 1 applies, and certainly you could have a railroad that invested early in 36' cars.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/05/2019 :  8:10:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

Out of curiosity, which railroads will you be interchanging with?

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 4671 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/05/2019 :  10:25:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave:

I don't know about what prototypes you're referring to, but in my Frisco prototype folders, I'm seeing dated pictures of Frisco locomotives in which link n' pin is evidenced all the way up to the published Federally mandated link n' pin "drop dead" date of 1899. On narrow gauge lines, that date was extended to 1903.

Mike:

Interesting question! I have not fully thought-out the connections scenario yet, but I can share prototype connections with which it would have access to...

Springfield, MO:

* Frisco. Arrived in Springfield via a predecessor in the late 1860s. By the late 1880s it reached mid Kansas, angled south west toward Indian Territory (Oklahoma), had headed south/southwest out of Monett, MO (west of Springfield) to reach Paris, TX that I can think of offhand. By the late 1880s, Frisco wouldn't exactly be a "friendly" connection, for they would also connect with the same railroad on the Arkansas River as would my line, but well west of my line's connection.

* The Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf passed through Springfield on its way to Memphis. Memphis was reached in July 1883. In 1888 the name was changed to the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis. This line was later acquired by the Frisco. This line could be a "friendly" connection.

* The Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield reached Springfield in 1883 or 1886 (depending on which source you choose) and accessed Springfield via trackage rights for the last few miles. This one could be friendly connection AND a very hungry connection.

The KCFS&M and the KCC&S would both be excellent Kansas City connections for access to traffic headed south over my proposed line, as well as traffic from my line and its southern connection toward Kansas City.

At the Arkansas River:

* Little Rock & Fort Smith, purchased by Jay Gould's St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern in 1887. This line would have been very amiable to interchange business had there been a second significant railroad they connected with. In actual history, between Little Rock and Van Buren, AR (near the western border of Arkansas) there was only one significant railroad that it interchanged with: The Frisco at Van Buren. The only other railroad it interchanged with that I can immediately recall was a 4.9 mile short line, the Dardanelle & Russellville (completed in 1883 to connect with the LR&FS), at Russelleville, AR, but that wasn't exactly a burgeoning interchange partner for the LR&FS/StLIM&S.

SO... my premise as a "reason for being" is a line heading south out of Springfield in the early-mid 1870s that was hoping to reach the Gulf (as some lines out of Springfield hoped to do "back then"). However, in the era I am choosing (late 1880s at this point, but with the loss of 36' cars, that may change!), they have a long way to go to reach the Gulf, instead being somewhat stalled in the Arkansas River Valley area and a connection with the LR&FS/StLIM&S. In my mind, it is important to reach connection with the LR&FS BEFORE the Frisco did, which Frisco accomplished in 1883 at Van Buren, AR.

I have yet to optimize actual history in relation to my fictional history to take advantage of historical elements. Thus, I don't know whether I want to model the late 1880s, or a bit earlier. I need to give that more thought in the near future.

FWIW: My O&S line will be acquired by the Kansas City & Gulf (which is my diesel era theme) in the mid-1890s as they race the Kansas City Southern to the Gulf area.

All fer now!

Andre



Edited by - OK Hogger on 02/05/2019 10:33:40 PM

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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/06/2019 :  08:23:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

I looked at the 1888 ORER entry for the Frisco. They rostered 742 28 cars, 400 30 cars, and 884 34 cars. On the same page of the ORER is the entry for the St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Rwy. They rostered 277 29.6 cars, 1,326 32-34 cars, and get this: 24 37 furniture cars.

Here's a photo of s furniture car I built from an MDC boxcar:




I replaced the sides and ends and kept the frame and roof. So yes, cars in the range of 36 did run, but such oversized cars were generally clearly identified.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 4671 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/06/2019 :  09:21:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike:

Nice looking car!

St.Louis, Arkansas & Texas, eh? Hm... off to Google that.

Okay, here's the basics of that line:

* A reorganization of the Texas and St. Louis, February 11, 1886.

* Originally 3' gauge. Changed to standard gauge beginning October 18, 1886.

* Ended up becoming the "Cotton Belt" RR.

According to a map I found of the line, looks like the StLA&T bypassed Little Rock, but ran a feeder to LR in in "188?". (Map was too small to be fully legible.) I would assume they also connected with Gould's Iron Mountain somewhere east of Little Rock. SO, I figure it's safe to also assume there would be SOME traffic over the LR&FS/StLIM&S, hence some of said traffic COULD pass over my own Ozarks & Southern.

Even better, perhaps, would be to have a large (unmodeled/off layout) cooperage plant on my O&S that used specialty cars similar to the above for barrel shipments. The Williams Cooperage Company of Leslie, AR, had some ridiculously long (for the 1900s) cars for just that reason. Said Williams cars being a common occurrence on the North Arkansas line. To wit this pic that I've previously posted of one of their cars:



SO, there's hope yet for some of my stash of MDC OT box cars... but at this point I don't see a future for some of the gaily colored reefers we all know and love. Not if I stay with the late 1880s, which I'm 99% certain I will.

Thanks for the input, Mike! I love learning new stuff about TOC19!

All fer now!

Andre



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Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/06/2019 :  11:03:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Andre,

Im with you: I like learning new stuff.

I checked some of the large railroads such as Santa Fe, MP, UP and there is a scattering of furniture cars in the 37 range.

A few months ago I needed to clear tracks on my layout so I removed all cars longer than 30. Even though 95% were accurate for my time frame 1888 the overall look was much better to my eye. Having an overwhelming proportion of short cars makes the layout look older, more my period. The lesson is that we might be justified in some larger cars but as the proportion of smaller cars increases the earlier our layouts look. They also take up less space in yards, trains can pull more cars, and everything looks larger.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 4671 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/06/2019 :  12:13:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike:

The learning part is a lot of the fun in it.

Yes, I love smaller cars for the reasons you mention.

I think my main underlying reasons for wondering about the use of MDC cars would be:

* I have a bunch of 'em.

* I'm a sucker for the neat reefer schemes on some of them!

Of course, the above are not very good reasons to compromise the look of one's chosen era, though.



I don't really want to move into the 1890s because all sorts of changes took place in my regional prototype world (as well as my imagined world) that I prefer to avoid.

BTW, did you see that excellent late 1880s printed car that Craig Bisgeier posted to the Early Rail io email list? NICE. (And those WONDERFUL engines, too?)

Andre






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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/06/2019 :  12:31:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a summary of the various US Railroad Safety Appliance acts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroad_Safety_Appliance_Act

The 1893 act " prohibits such a carrier from hauling or using on its line in moving interstate traffic any car not equipped with couplers which can be coupled and uncoupled automatically" with an original enforcement/mandate date of 1898.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 7428 Go to Top of Page

OK Hogger
Crew Chief

Posted - 02/06/2019 :  1:02:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dave:

I thought I still had the "Dates" sheets that Model Railroad Craftsman compiled and published decades ago that contained pertinent RR dates therein for innovations and mandates, both AAR and Federal. From that I "recall" the 1899 date I mentioned. However, I see that the Wikipedia article you kindly linked mentions the absolute last date of compliance as being 1900. If that's correct, that would mean that the RR's had to have the last of their link n' pin cars out of service, or in compliance, by Dec 31, 1899.

Interstingly, in my search for those MRC "Date" sheets (which I've yet to find), I did re-discover an article compiled by Mainline Modeler from December/February 1995 that covers the history of Appliances and the mandates concerning. Along with this multi-page and two-part article, are photos illustrating. Of interest is a photo of a house car built at ACF's St. Charles (MO) Plant. Build date is 1899 and it clearly shows a link n' pin coupling arrangement.

So, it's also apparent to me that the some/many RR's held out to the last concerning the drop dead date of Dec 31, 1899.

Of course, I didn't live during those times, so all I've got to go on is historical evidence and info shared by other historians in text and pictures.

So what do I know?

Andre



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