click on item below to be transported there
Consolidated Stencils
U-1 Inspection dots
Grab Irons
Door Types
End Nomenclature
Reefer sizes
Fruit Growers Express
Reefer loadings
Stock Car Bedding
Grafitti & Miscellaneous Signs
Making and sizing coal loads
Tank car paint schemes


ACI(Automatic Car Identification)plates were mandated by the F.R.A. in 1968 and were to be installed on all equipment by 1970. They were abandoned as impractical in 1978. After 1978 the plates could be removed, but many were never removed. As the equipment passed by the trackside scanner it was scanned. All information necessary to keep track of the engine or car was then sent to a master location where it was logged. Dirt, scratches, fading from sunlight and vandalism all contributed to the eventual failure of this system. Placing these on your models will tie them to the post 1968 period. For details of what the little stripes mean visit Ian Cranstone's web page, this site has lots of graphics and loads slowly.



COT&S(Clean, Oil, Test & Stencil)is rule 60 of the 1966 AAR Interchange Rules and applies to the air brake equipment on freight cars. Maximum period of COTS is 4 years for AB type brake equipment. These are maximum times before replacement of certain componnents if no improper operation/damage is noted during routine testing under In-Date testing, which is every 90 days.
COT&S(Clean, Oil, Test & Stencil)is rule 2 of the 1980 AAR Interchange Rules and applies to the air brake equipment on freight cars. Maximum period of COTS is 8 years for AB, AB-1-B, ABC-1 and ABD-1. Maximum period for ABD, ABD-1-B, ABDW, and ABDW-1-B types is 16 years. These are maximum times if no damage is noted during routine testing under IDT&S. 1980 IDT&S(In-Date, Test & Stencil is done routinely at periods not exceeding 90 days from the last COT&S or IDT&S. For detail information refer to a copy of the "Field Manual of the A.A.R. Interchange Rules" for The time period modeled. These can often be found at train shows and on internet auctions.



The A.A.R. began a program of consolidated Stencils in 1972 which applied to new or rebuilt freight cars only. Application to existing cars was not mandatory. The F.R.A.(Federal Railroad Administration)created in 1966 issued in July 1974 a mandate for all freight cars to begin having the new consolidated stencils applied. These stencils are applied on the lower right end when facing the car side.
On January 1, 1982 the F.R.A. no longer required a perodic inspection so the inspection & reconditioned dates were eliminated from the consolidated stencils. The A.A.R. changed the Consolidated Stencil to contain only the COT&S, lubrication and IDT.



These stencils were applied to designate freight cars which had 33" wheels manufactured by the Southern Wheel Company. These wheels were suspected of failing in service and causing several serious derailments. This FRA regulation began March 31, 1978 with the inspection of all 70 ton or less cars which had 33" wheels. Freight cars with this type wheels were stenciled with a 6" white dot in a 12" black square. Cars identified with the white dots could not be used in a train carrying hazardous materials. Beginning December 31, 1978 cars that had the white dots could not be used in any train. The wheels had to be removed and replaced with wheels of an approved type. Freight cars that had approved wheels were stenciled with a 6" yellow dot in a 12" black square. These cars could be used in any service. New cars built up to Dec 31, 1978 had the yellow dots applied at the factory. There was no date given for removal of these stencils so they remained for several years.



On Tuesday, June 12, 2001, Donovan in Dallas asked: "Does anyone have a good suggestion as to just what size of styrene to use" as a grab iron spacer? If this were a multiple-choice question, the correct answer might well be "all of the above." A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to take some measurements from a GP18, and I found the clearance between the ladder grab rungs and the hood face to be exactly 4 inches. This distance is also what I've estimated by scaling from numerous prototype photos of first-generation EMD geeps. Furthermore, the instructions appearing on the back of Detail Associates part SY 2201 say "grabs should project out from the body a scale 4 inches." Based on all this evidence, I'd say this 4-inch clearance is fairly reliable information for GP7's, GP9's, etc., but almost certainly is not a standard distance for all diesel models and installations. If you're talking about freight cars, I've read that the FRA recommended clearance is 2 1/2", which scales to about .030" in HO. I generally use this distance for freight equipment with satisfactory results. My advice is simply to study photos and replicate what you see, adjusting the distance between the grab and the body shell until it looks right. That should be plenty close enough! J. Hocker I've measured the handrails and grabs on a number of F-units and the spacing has consistently been very close to three inches. There could be a difference in other equipment though. You would probably have to check out a prototype to be sure. 3 inches is slightly more than .03 inches in scale. I do all my measurements in millimeters because it is easier to do fine measurements and it is also easy to convert. 3.5mm=1 scale foot. For the spacer I sand down a slightly thicker piece of styrene to the exact measurement I want. 3 scale inches would be .875mm. Jim Bright



4 Oct 2001 SMRF List Is there a guide to identifying boxcar doors? How does one determine if its a Camel, Superior, Youngstown, etc? Thanks Robert Peak I'm not aware of any but here ares some general descriptions. Camel Doors: Superior Doors: These are the doors with the flat panels, running horizontally, divided by square braces. They have been built in 3, 5, 6 and 7 panel variations. Built in 6, 8 & 10 foot, singly and double configurations. Youngstown Doors: These are the doors with 3 or 4 large sections, each separated by a flat section which contains a row(s) of rivets, with 3, 4 or 5 narrow raised ribs running horizontally in each section. Built in 6, 8 & 10 foot sizes, singly and double configurations. Pullman Standard Doors: Similar to the Youngstown but the raised ribs are wider in the 3 sections.. Also make a panel door similar to the Superior but with beveled shaped raised ribs. Also makes a door similar to the Superior with flat panels divided by square braces. Here is a web site with pictures



03/10/99 FC List Can someone point me to an explanation of freightcar ends? Would prefer a web site or book or if not too much trouble, send me an email. hosam Sir, and my apologies for forgetting your name, I'm not sure what you are looking for, and I have nowhere the expertise of several Gurus on the list, but possibly this from my personal files may help, or at least serve as the start of a dialogue: Corner Posts: Square until about 1940 Rounded, W-Section, after 1941 See the table in "Railmodel Journal", August 1996, page 12 Ends: 5/5/5 Murphy corrugated: USRA Single and Double Sheathed 7/8 Murphy corrugated: Post-WW I clones of the USRA Single and Double Sheathed, and The 1932 AAR 9'4" IH 4/4 Dreadnaught: (The 1932 AAR), 4/5 Dreadnaught: The 1937 AAR 10'0" IH cars MDC 4/5 5/5 Dreadnaught: The "Modified 1937", "1941", or "1942" AAR 10'6" cars Athearn 5/5 (10'4" Modified 1937 AAR) See photo RMJ 10/89, pg 50 See photo RMJ 7/90, pg 47 4/4 "Rolling Pin" Interim Improved Dreadnaught with: full length top rib and full length, thin, intermediate ribs: The 10'6" IH 1944 AAR: MDC 4/4 (~6" too tall) 11xx kits, See photo RMJ 10/89, pg 50 See photo RMJ 7/90, pg 47 C&BT Shops 4/4 (Correct), until 12/48? See photo RMJ 10/89, pg 50 See photo RMJ 7/90, pg 47 "S+3/4" "Rolling Pin" Interim Improved Dreadnaught with: shortened top rib (to leave space for the roof/side juncture) and full length, thin, intermediate ribs: The shorter 10' 4" 1944 AAR: No kit available, modify the C&BT Shops 4/4 end B+thin rib+3/4 "Rolling Pin" Interim Improved Dreadnaught with: Top "Rolling Pin" rib removed, leaving a blank space above the full length, thin, intermediate ribs: The short 10' 0" 1944 AAR: No kit available, modify the C&BT Shops 4/4 end "R+3/4" "Rolling Pin" Interim Improved Dreadnaught with: shortened rectangular top rib, introduced in 1948: The 1944 AAR C&BT Shops R+3/4 (Correct) See photo RMJ 7/90, pg 47 R+3/4 "Banana Taper" Improved Dreadnaught with: rectangular top rib (slightly shorter than the Banana Taper ribs): The later 1944 AAR McKean R+3/4 See photo RMJ 7/90, pg 47 Jim Wright (MRRg 9/87, pg 50) says that the "Rolling Pin" was used circa 1948-1955, and the "Banana Taper" was used after circa 1955 ACF still was using the 4/4, and possibly the S+3/4, Rolling Pin version through at least 12/48. See photos of 12 panel, 10'6" IH NKP 88560 built in 12/48 in RMJ 11/89, pg 54 Ed Hawkins (RMJ 11-98, pg 18-19) says that the "Rolling Pin" was introduced in 1948 "approximately the same time, and was used from 1948 through 1955. Improved Dreadnaught with rectangular top panel: ? (late 40s) ("s" used by Jim Eager for "Shortened" top rib on 10' 4" IH cars) ("r" used by Jim Eager for "Rectangular" top rib) ("Dartnaught" used by Jim Eager for the Rolling Pin Interim Improved Dreadnaught with the five lower minor intermediate darts deleted) See Photos in MRRg 7-8/85, pg 52 Ed Hawkins (RMJ 11-98, pg 18-19) says the Carmaker's end ("Dartnot") was used on some cars built by AC&F, GATC, and Mt. Vernon Car Co "during the early 1950s". Then, of course, there are several other types on oddbals. Respectfully, Art, in Virginia Beach Mr. McCall, How could I forget? I thought I had one of your cards, but if so, I cannot find it at the moment. > I have a hard time with putting faces with names I see on email. This won't help much, but I am the guy whom you showed how to get the shell off of my Atlas Geep at the swap meet near Yorktown. You also very kindly gave me quite a bit of good advice about painting, which I very much appreciate. > Is there an accepted definition for these things? Several, unfortunately, depending on who is talking\writing. What is being counted? The Wales, the proper name for the corrugations, which are there to "strengthen" the end plates, and which come in several shapes, and may be depressed inward from the plane of the end toward the interior of the car, or outward away from the interior. Most cars built after the twenties or so had the wales pressed outward from the interior of the car. I am not positive why, but I believe it was to have a flat interior face to the interior of the end. Most car ends are composed of two, sometimes three, sheets of steel. Most people, but not all, count the wales per sheet from the top down. Others prefer to count from the bottom up. In most cases there are more wales in the lower/lowest sheet than in the upper, so one can figure out what they mean. "A picture is worth a thousand words", but an example in one's hand is even better. If you have an old Athearn "40' boxcar" around take a look at its end. It is a classic 10' 4' IH, 1937 AAR Boxcar with square section corner posts and 5/5 Dreadnaught ends. Notice the sharp corners on the ends. In that design the end was bent back at a 90 degree angle, and the side sheets were riveted onto it. In about 1940 the design was revised to a W-Section corner post, in which a "W" shaped vertical member was used shaped like this \/\/, if this works in ASCII, looking down from above. The outer legs were perpendicular to each other. The ends and the sides both were riveted to the outer legs, and a 90 degree segment of a circle was riveted over the inward facing "Vee" between them, overlapping both the end and the side a couple of inches. Again, I am not positive but I believe that design was developed to provide both greater strength, and better waterproofing. That difference is obvious, once you know what it is that you are looking for. The wales on the Athearn "40' boxcar" are the "Dreadnaught" shape, parallel sides, with ends tapering to points, which do not extend past the sides of the ends. The little long, thin triangular stiffeners between the ends of the wales are termed "darts". All "Dreadnaught ends had them. One story is that the term "dreadnaught" was used because they supposedly were so much stronger than earlier styles of ends, and refer to the "Dreadnaught" battleships of the British Navy. I do not verify that. As in my earlier list, the 4/4 Dreadnaught end was often used on the 9'4" IH 1932 AAR boxcar design. When the AAR "authorized" a 10'0" IH on the 1937 AAR design the 4/4 end would have been too short, so an extra wale, and darts, were added to one panel, almost always the lower panel to have a 4/5 Dreadnaught end. Most of the older MDC boxcar models have that 4/5 end. When the standards were revised to increase the height of the "modified 1937 AAR", the "1941 AAR", or the "1942 AAR", your choice of which author you elect to follow; the upper section was increased to 5 wales in the 5/5 Dreadnaught end. You will note that cars with less than a 10'6" IH often had a shortened top wale. That was required to provide a flat section to rivet the roof. Cars with 10'6" IH had full length top wales. After the War, WW II, there were two new designs developed. The first one, in 1944, sometimes called the "Interim Improved Dreadnaught end", had "Rolling Pin" shaped wales, Both the center section and both ends had parallel sides, with conical transition sections between the ends and the center, sort of like a rolling pin and its handles. They also had thin wales all the way across the end between the larger major wales rather than the shorter darts on the Dreadnaught ends. Most were 4/4 wales on the 10' 6" IH cars being built then. The later revision, sometimes called the "Improved Dreadnaught End", had a revised "Banana Taper" shape to its wales. Those wales Had NO parallel portions, they sloped in a wide arc from the center to both ends. They also had thin intermediate wales. Most of them also had 4/4 wales on the 10'6" IH cars being built then. In both cases something had to be done to accommodate the varying heights of the cars, and the necessity to cut back the top wales to provide room for roof attachment fittings. Some had a shortened top wale. I like the notation Short + 3/4 wales, or S+3/4", for them. Shorter cars had the top wale omitted, but retained the thin Intermediate wale. I prefer the notation Thin+3/4, or "T+3/4", for them. Some had both the thick top wale and the thin intermediate wale omitted, and had only a flat plane section above the third major wale. I prefer the notation Blank+3/4, or "B+3/4", for them. Some had thin rectangular wales added in the top area. I prefer the notation Rectangular+3/4, or "R+3/4", for the full width ones and Short Rectangular+3/4, or "SR+3/4", for the shorter ones used on cars less than 10'6" IH. Back in the teens, and '20s, and '30s, there was a design attributed to a Mr. Murphy who was the chief design engineer at one of the railcar parts companies who name escapes me at the moment. That widely used design had parallel corrugated wales whose sides were parallel to within only a couple of inches of the ends. They were called "Murphy Corrugated" ends. The 9'0" IH USRA single and double sheathed designs of WW I, "The War To End All Wars", had three section ends, with 5 corrugations in each. Right, you figured it out, 5/5/5 Murphy corrugated ends. The 9'4" IH post WW I clones of the USRA cars and the 9'4" IH 1932 AAR designs used 7/8 Murphy corrugated ends. (When they subsequently were rebuilt, and usually increased in height, an added panel had to be added to the ends. Sometimes they were just flat steel, but more often they were either 2 wale or 3 wale sections, and they could be added anywhere so you could have 2/7/8, 7/2/8, or whatever.) Also, back in the 20's and 30's there were a bunch of "inverted", or "depressed" corrugated Murphy, and other, ends in which the wales were indented into the body of the car instead of sticking out like (most) of the Dreadnaught ends. MoPac's "Eagle" merchandise service cars had them. I do not believe there is a commonly accepted term for those ends in which the wales go "in" rather than "out". Then there is the Pullman PS-1 end of course. And there are the Pennsy three section, flat plate ends, used on their X-29s and other cars of that era. And, there were bunches of odd ends, some with circular wales, and other oddly shaped ends. B&O's "Sentinel Service" box cars also had another unique end. Then there are the modern terminating and nonterminating ends, such as on the Railbox and later exterior post designs. The same types of end designs are used on gondolas as well. I hope this helps! Art 03/12/01 hosam asked: > Can someone point me to an explanation of freightcar ends? Would >prefer a web site or book or if not too much trouble, send me an email. I don't think there is one, so I'll take a whack at it. First off, the typical end for a boxcar or other "house" car in 1900 was simply vertical wood sheathing applied over a truss frame, same as the sides were done. There were occasional examples of other styles such as herringbone sheathing, but they were fairly uncommon. Steel ends first came into use in the first decade of the 1900s. One of the more notable varieties was the Van Dorn end, which was essentially a bullseye-shaped ripple stamped into a big sheet of steel. This one didn't last too long. The 7-7 corrugated end (so named because it had 7 stamped corrugations on each of its two panels) came into use in the early 1910s, and it and a 5-5-5 version for taller cars were the most common steel end in the Teens. The corrugations could be stamped either outward or inward (inverse ends). A fairly rare variant was the vertical corrugated end, in which two side-by-side sheets had vertical stampings. Some roads opted for a flat steel end reinforced with either interior or external posts. A few cars used exterior horizontal ribs. Single-sheathed cars commonly used horizontal end sheathing and either wood or steel posts outside that, as did a few double-sheathed cars. The USRA adopted 5-5-5 ends on their cars, and the trends of the 1910s continued into the 1920s. The Hutchins end was used mainly in the 1920s, and had two large rectangles stamped into each of two panels, either square-ended or taper-ended, and normal or inverse. The Dreadnaught end first appeared in 1926 or 1927 in 2 and 3-panel versions. The original design had both outward and inward stampings together, and was superceded by a revised stamping pattern in 1930-31. This one is what most folks think of as the "classic" Dreadnaught. The 3-3-3 variety fell out of favor in the early 1930s to the 4-4, then 5-4, then 5-5 ends (starting with the bottom panel) as boxcar heights increased in the 1930s and early 1940s. Flat plate ends, Hutchins, and corrugated ends had all but disappeared on new cars by 1940, making the Dreadnaught the de facto type, though there were occasional examples of different designs. I'm tired of typing, so someone else can pick up from here. David Thompson 03/12/01 I second Sam's request. I roughly know what certain terms me...i.e. 5/5/5 etc, but I don't know all the different types that were available, and which manufacturer used them. It would be great if there were a table that included types and dates used for contruction etc.... also roof types as well as brake gear layouts for different types... Am I asking too much????lol Loren Casey 03/12/01 I would like to add my ditto on finding something that would help identify freight car ends, roofs, doors etc. I think it would be asking a lot to request one or two people to continuously explain and define parts of various cars. SO, is there a printed source that we can turn to to learn from? Bruce Brantner, Sr. David Thompson offered a good starting point. I would just add that the overriding issue of much of the 20th century regarding boxcar ends was the damage done by shifting loads. The various braced ends on single or double sheathed wood cars never really were successful, despite some heroic arrangements in some cases; damage still occurred. The steel ends were much more successful, but the changes of the various corrugation styles were largely aimed at still better resistance to damage, accomplished largely through the greater stiffness of, first, Dreadnaught and later, improved Dreadnaught ends. (Some will misspeak and say "strength" instead of stiffness.) Tony Thompson One type of early steel end involves a flat steel plate embedded in a wood framed, wood sheathed end. The plate extended about 2/3 of the way up the end. The clue to this type of end are 2 horizontal hat sections which wrap around to the sides slightly. Perhaps this inspired the Murphy end as that could be conceptually seen as a series of hat sections joined edge to edge. Eric > Yes, I agree Mr. Thompson did a good job for the historical aspect. You >have added to the information as to why the various ends were developed. >What I would like to see in print is: Clear concise definitions of >"Dreadnaught", "Improved Dreadnaught" , 5/5/5 5/5 etc. Is there a >reference for these terms?...hosam... What you're asking for is long overdue, but it really needs to be illustrated. I believe John Nehrich has made at least a beginning on such a project on the RPI web site, and I have lots of photos I could contribute. John, could we put together a really comprehensive collection of photos there? And maybe a similar presentation needs to be published in some place like the Railway Prototype Cyclopedias. The monthly magazines won't do it, of course, because it would take far too much space and it's a lot more about the subject than the train set b... er, uh, folks want to know. Richard H. Hendrickson The following query >> Can someone point me to an explanation of freightcar ends? Would >>prefer a web site or book or if not too much trouble, send me an email. prompted David Thompson to write: > I don't think there is one, so I'll take a whack at it. and he then produced an admirably comprehensive and succinct account of house car ends from the turn of the century to ca. World War II, concluding: > I'm tired of typing, so someone else can pick up from here. As I've said in another post, this discussion really needs to be illustrated if it is to make sense to those unfamiliar with the subject, and I hope such an illustrated account will materialize. Meanwhile, I'll add just a couple of footnotes to David's description. 1. The 5-5-5 corrugated ends used on the USRA box cars were supplanted immediately after WW-I by two piece 7-8 corrugated ends, and these were widely used in the early to mid-1920s. 2. The three piece 3-3-3 early Dreadnaught ends were used almost entirely on automobile box cars, owing to the car's greater height; two piece 4-4 or (much less often) 5-3 Dreadnaught ends were the rule on box cars. 3. A visually subtle, though structurally important, change was introduced ca. 1940 in the form of the W corner post. Prior to that, Dreadnaught ends had sharp, square corners where they wrapped around the side sheathing. After that, the corners were rounded or radiused around the corner posts. 4. What the Standard Rwy. Equipment Co. termed the "Improved Dreadnaught" end, with fewer but larger corrugations and small, full-width ribs between the main ribs, was on the drawing boards in 1941 but production of it was prevented by WW II rulings against the use and materials and manpower to produce new tooling. It was therefore introduced in 1944, with 3-1/2-4 rib ends replacing the 4-5 Dreadnaught ends on 10'0" IH cars and 4-4 rib ends replacing the 5-5 Dreadnaughts on taller cars. In the late '40s and early '50s these Improved Dreadnaught ends had what John Nehrich has aptly described as "rolling pin" shaped main ribs. Later, the design was somewhat revised and "banana" shaped taper ribs were introduced. Now I'm tired of typing, so someone who knows more about the '60s and later will have to take over. Richard H. Hendrickson I agree with you. This would make an excellent article, including photographs, in Railroad Prototype Cyc. Maybe we can interest Ed Hawkins or Pat Wider in preparing such and article. Pat and Ed, how about it? Ed Dabler Jeff English inquired 2001 FC list: >> I also have adopted Ed Hawkins various classifications for ends and doors >> in my notes. For example there is 4/4 IDE-1 and 4/4 IDE-2. And YSD-1, >> YSD-2 etc. > > Is Ed's system concisely and comprehensively laid out in any > particular place, either in print or by URL? Jeff, Ed's system does not cover everything, so I embellished it myself and this is what I use now: doors -- notation YSD-1 Youngstown w/ recessed partitions YSD-2 Youngstown w/ 4/5/5 panels YSD-2A Youngstown w/ 5/5/4 panels YSD-3 Youngstown w/ wide raised partitions -n modifier indicates door w/ narrow borders -o modifier indicates door w/ wide borders SUP/R Superior w/ 3 rib stiffeners/panel 5p SUP Superior 5 panels (not specific) 6p SUP Superior 6 panels (not specific) 6p SUP/2 Superior 6 panels w/ wide 2nd panel 6p SUP/3 Superior 6 panels w/ wide 3rd panel 7p SUP Superior 7 panels (not specific) 7p SUP/U Superior 7 panels w/ uneven panels 7p SUP/E Superior 7 panels w/ even panels RMJ 10/1999 pp.43-51 Ed Hawkins' reference ends -- notation (height of ends vary) 5/5/5 MUR Murphy end 7/7 MUR Murphy end 3/3/3 DN dreadnaught (some early auto cars) 4 DN dreadnaught (gondolas) 4/4 DN dreadnaught 4/5 DN dreadnaught 5/5 DN dreadnaught 4/4 DART "dartnot" 4/4 IDE "rolling pin" 4/4 IDE-2 "rolling pin" w/ short top rib 3/4 IDE "rolling pin" w/ extra narrow top rib 3/4 IDE-2 "rolling pin" w/ no extra narrow top rib R+3/4 IDE "rolling pin" w/ rectangular top rib R-3/4 IDE - alternate R+3/4 TDE "tapered rib" w/ rectangular top rib R-3/4 TDE - alternate 4/4 TDE "tapered rib" w/ no rectangular rib 3/3/3 TDE "tapered rib" w/ no rectangular rib x/x PSE Pullman Standard end x NTE Non Terminating End -r modifier indicates rivet seam -w modifier indicates welded seam ... DE unspecified improved dreadnaught style ... IV.. "inverse" pattern (mirror image) ... RV.. "reverse" pattern (inside out) roofs WS roof Wooden Slat MC roof Metal Clad FM roof Flat Metal (e.g. PRR X29) HU roof Hutchins VK roof Viking Roof PS roof Pullman Standard RP roof Murphy Rectangular Panel DP roof Diagonal Panel - unspecific EDP roof Diagonal Panel - early (narrower of the raised stamps ends short from the edge of the roof) LDP roof Diagonal Panel - late (both raised stamps line up near the edge) ODP roof Overhanging Diagonal Panel (all LDP) XP roof X-Panel ... ZU roof overhanging eave Can also be modified by Radial/Flat/Peaked - Peaked is the normal configuration so is usually not mentioned PS1 side sills -- Kadee's classification Type 1 sill sharp slope no lip Type 2 sill ARC slope with lip (inset?) Type 3 sill sharp slope with lip (inset?) Type 4 sill gradual tapered slope ( IRC+ROBINS RAILS ) Type 5 sill notched gradual tapered slope Type 6 sill early notched (tab) sill Timothy O'Connor At 08:54 PM 5/29/01 -0400, you wrote: >ends -- notation (height of ends vary) > > 5/5/5 MUR Murphy end > 7/7 MUR Murphy end You need some Hutchins ends in here, square and taper end. > 3/3/3 DN dreadnaught (some early auto cars) > 4 DN dreadnaught (gondolas) > 4/4 DN dreadnaught > 4/5 DN dreadnaught Also need some way to distinguish between the 1920s Dreadnaught pattern and the familiar version beginning in 1930. > 4/4 DART "dartnot" What about the Pullman "dartnot" ends of the late 1930s and early 1940s? > WS roof Wooden Slat > MC roof Metal Clad > FM roof Flat Metal (e.g. PRR X29) > HU roof Hutchins Forgot the Climax roof. > VK roof Viking Roof > PS roof Pullman Standard > RP roof Murphy Rectangular Panel Also, the Murphy flat-panel roof and the Murphy welded-panel roof. David Thompson I very much appreciate the attempt to standardize (below) but there is no consistancy in the concatenated code: one list includes the nbr of panels, the other doesn't; one appears to emphasize simple serialization, the other doesn't. While I generally loathe concatenation schemes, I see no easy alternative here that will gain acceptance, so biting the bullet, here is an alternative based on a standard concatenation of (Nbr Panels)+(Mfg)+(significant panel feature)+(option): 3p YSD = Youngstown (not specific) 3p YSD-1 -n/w = Youngstown w/ recessed partitions 3p YSD-2A -n/w = Youngstown w/ 4/5/5 panels 3p YSD-2B -n/w = Youngstown w/ 5/5/4 panels 3p YSD-3 -n/w = Youngstown w/ wide raised partitions -n modifier indicates door w/ narrow borders -w modifier indicates door w/ wide borders 5p SUP = Superior 5 panels (not specific) 6p SUP = Superior 6 panels (not specific) 6p SUP/2w = Superior 6 panels w/ wide 2nd panel 6p SUP/3w = Superior 6 panels w/ wide 3rd panel 7p SUP = Superior 7 panels (not specific) 7p SUP/U = Superior 7 panels w/ uneven panels 7p SUP/E = Superior 7 panels w/ even panels to which list one can add: 3p CRC = Creco (not specific) 3p CRC-1 = Creco standard panel door 3p CRC-1 -r = Creco recessed CGW door and perhaps 2p CML = Camel wood door (not specific) etc. Dave Nelson "Dave & Libby Nelson" wrote: > While I generally loathe concatenation schemes, I see no easy alternative > here that will gain acceptance, so biting the bullet, here is an > alternative based on a standard concatenation of (Nbr > Panels)+(Mfg)+(significant panel feature)+(option) Dave (or is it Libby?), I don't know why you would loathe concatenation, but I would like to make a point that I believe the order of concatenation makes a difference. From left to right, the first item should be the most broad element of classification. In the matter of roofs, end and doors this should probably be the manufacturer. Then, continuing from left to right after the mfr, you'd have identifiers of different basic designs by that mfr, and further right some subvariations on that design, and then finally details. As an example I would revise your suggested classification of Superior doors as follows: SUP 5p = Superior 5 panels (not specific) SUP 6p = Superior 6 panels (not specific) SUP 6p/2w = Superior 6 panels w/ wide 2nd panel SUP 6p/3w = Superior 6 panels w/ wide 3rd panel SUP 7p = Superior 7 panels (not specific) SUP 7p/E = Superior 7 panels w/ even panels SUP 7p/U = Superior 7 panels w/ uneven panels Note that a simple computer sort would place these in the above order if they had been randomly ordered in the first place. Moreover, my suggestion makes searching and filtering databases that much simpler (I use MS Access). This is the same reason I prefer "IDE 4-3+R" to "R+3/4 IDE". I would be very interested in participating in a discussion at Naperville about setting forth a good, consistent component classification system, as long as we can do it over sufficient beer (Goose Island preferred). Jeff English > Concatentaion schemes eventually collapse under the burden of trying to fit > in a new instance having totally different characteristics, which is why, > O'Connor's amusing anedote aside, serialization works best as an identifier, > esp when coupled with discrete elements that capture the facts This attempt to capture meaning through mnemonic devices reminds me of programmers who use a variable name in "C" like Foo* UnsignedBoundedIndexIteratorTablePointer; whereas I prefer to use Foo* fp; It's not just a matter of taste. The important thing about "information hiding" is to understand the "scope" of any name -- whether it means something in a context other than the one it is found in. In the above example, "fp" has absolutely no value outside of its context. The first name isn't much better either, although it does say something about itself. (The first style is often dismissed as Hungarian Notation, which comes in many forms; but all have in common the attempt to create self referential names that explain what they represent.) If Jeff wants to write SUP 6p and I write 6p SUP, I'm sure he can understand what I mean and he can understand me. We can understand each other because we know we're talking about freight cars. Imagine if we encoded the FCL members, like Richard Hendrickson, as GuruFerroequinologicalFreightCarsSteamEraSantaFe Personally, I like "Richard". It has no mnemonic value, but I know what it means! Tim O'Connor Dave here. Libby is away in England today. Concatentaion schemes eventually collapse under the burden of trying to fit in a new instance having totally different characteristics, which is why, O'Connor's amusing anedote aside, serialization works best as an identifier, esp when coupled with discrete elements that capture the facts. I considered using 2 or more examples, including the exact example you show below, Jeff, but didn't bother as the one was example enough. As for the major element being the vendor, no, one can argue the panels should be first with as much validity: when you see a door you've never examined too closely before the first thing you'll notice is the panels and other physical features. Only later does the market name become known. As for sorting, that's another reason why concatenation schemes suck as the sole unit of information. They're nice as call-outs (in MS-Access speak a column labeled "SHORT_DESC" or its ilk) but the workhorse fields you manipulate are -- individually: Door_Id, Mfg, Nbr_Pnls, Feature, Option, Short-Desc, and perhaps Long_Desc. There may be one or two more. Any if you wanted to go overboard, a seperate body of information would be called for to describe each panel as well as the door outline -- producing a more complex but far more flexible way of capturing the distinct features & options present. But I doubt it's worth more than a momments consideration. Ends are a different beast so I'll not comment further. Dave Nelson



Hi All,

I have often wondered about the length of meat reefers in my modeling
period, so this past weekend I took my Jan 1954 ORER and made a list of
private meat reefers and their length and fleet count.  Here is a summary
of that study.

First there are three designations for meat carrying cars in 1954:
RSM- has meat rails 
RAM- has both meat rails and brine tanks
RA- has brine tanks only.

The majority of the cars are classed as RSM, with small percentages as RA
and RAM.

By 1954 the major leasing companies had taken over the meat reefer
business.  The biggest being National Car (many reporting marks), General
American (GARX) and North American (NADX). URTX and Mather also held some
large blocks of cars.

Here is what I found for car length in 1954:

Total meat carrying reefers numbered about 13,350 cars.

Under 37 feet- 11%- 1530 cars
37 and 38 foot cars - 67%- 8935 cars
40 and 41 foot cars- 21%- 2770 cars
50 foot cars- 1%- 110 cars

It is easy to see, even late in the meat carrying business that the 37'
and 38' cars predominated.  This will be a challenge for anyone accurately
modeling heavy meat traffic such as the Midwest and its east coast

Comments welcome.  Any interpretation errors of the ORER are mine.  I can
send a three page hand written detail of my findings to any one sending a
large SSAE (3x9").  My address is below.

Ted Schnepf



FGE reefers would have been used for most originating perishable
loads from that area.  Sometimes during a period of a perishable rush (such
as peach season) there would not be enough FGE reefers.  At these times FGE
would voluntarily borrow reefers from other car lines, or the AAR
Division would order them in to help out til the rush was over.  Perishables
would come in from other parts of the country in their local carlines
(PFE, BREX, WFEX, MDT, BAR, ART, URTX, SFRD, etc.).   Whenever possible and
allowed these foreign line reefers were reloaded back home, and not just
perishable commodities.  PFE and SFRD reefers in my area were reloaded with
finished textiles, furniture, and consolidator freight.  Reefers modified
bulk deliveries or meat service usually did not get reloaded.   During your
timeframe the privately owned meat reefers were a common sight.  Most any of
the reefers on your list did or could have made trips to Georgia.  I never
saw a SOO ice reefer, but I did see some of the later mechanical ones.  SR
had five of their own mechanical reefers.  They spent a lot of their time
assigned to the Wrigley chewing gum plant in GA, I did see one loaded with
potatoes once.

Ben Lee


Incorporated March 18, 1920 As of Dec. 31, 1964 FGE was owned by Alabama Great Southern (Southern) - 0.05% Atlantic Coast Line - 19.1% Baltimore & Ohio - 6.92& Central of Georgia - 2.35% Cheasapeake & Ohio - 4.8% Chicago & Eastern Illinois - 1.35% CNO&TP (Southern) - 1.18% Florida East Coast - 4.84% GS&F (Southern) - <0.1% Louisville & Nashville - 7.32% NO&NE (Southern) - 0.01% New Haven - 3.08% Norfolk Southern - 0.64% Norfolk & Western - 1.22% Pennsylvania - 21.3% RF&P - 3.36% Seaboard Air Line - 14.99% Southern Railway - 6.86% A footnote to the financial statements says that they have arrangements with Western Fruit Express and Burlington Refrigerator Express for interchange of cars in respective territories. John "Green Light" Ryan



04/01/01 A couple of additions to the peach loading thread. Some of the BAR reefers were at times sent to help haul this traffic as they were available in the off season of potato hauling. The process of borrowing reefers was reversed when potato harvest was in full gear. The BAR event rented out their GP-7s in off season. The other point I might make is that there may have been limits as to the number of layers of boxes in the cars. I don`t think the melon cars were stacked to the roof, & I know that the milk cars carrying cans were a one or two levels packed in crushed ice load till mechanicals & trucking took over. Mike Oldham



<<   Some modelers have tried to model straw bedding in the car, the
 application of which I have been told was not normal practice. Does anyone
 know more about requirements (if any) or frequency of the use of the
 bedding? >>

The ICC ruled that bedding was essential for the proper shipping of live 
stock.  The carriers were required to furnish proper bedding usually 
consisting of; sand, straw, hay or cinders.  The carriers were required to 
provide the bedding for "reasonable" applications and fees (circa 1940) were 
charged to shippers beginning at $1.00 per car.  Subsequent changes of 
bedding for the convenience of the carrier were to be covered by the carrier. 
 Many stock yard companies supplied and charged a fee to the carriers for 
bedding materials.  These charges were (in turn) billed to the shipper.      

first issued in 1925, several revisions were made from that year through (at 
least) 1952.  Many of the recommendations confirm practices witnessed by 
Larry J. and the Southern RR rules cited by Jack Wyatt.  The following are 
summaries from within:

1) Sand bedding is the most satisfactory for live stock in warm weather--an 
even spread of 1 inch or more must be placed on the car floor; more may be 
desirable for horses.  In cold weather, hay or straw must be added and cars 
for hog loading must have the hay or straw bedding piled about a foot high 
around the sides and ends of car to act as a wind breaker.  Not less than one 
and one-half bales must be used per deck and in extreme weather at least two. 
 Bales to approximate in weight 200 lbs.

2) In time of extreme weather the sides and ends of the cars should be 
papered or battened in order to provide additional protection while allowing 
for ventilation.

Hogs were the most temperamental of the livestock types to ship.  Hogs don't 
sweat, and must rest quietly in order to fully digest feed.  The application 
of hay for bedding down was essential, and while being shipped in warm 
weather the bedding was required to be watered down.  It was also recommended 
for cooling that block ice be supplied; placed directly on the car floor or 
suspended (in burlap bags) from the car ceiling.  In cold weather hogs will 
bunch together to stay warm if not supplied with proper warm bedding 
material.  If recently fed, this bunching would cause excessive pressure 
leading to indegestion which could be deadly.

Charts are provided for the proper number of head per car or per deck as well 
as much more interesting information.  Feel free to inquire.

Kind Regards,

Guy Wilber

<< How many beasts were allowed per deck, Hogs, cattle, & sheep?


Your first order of business is to get those hogs on a scale and record their 

The tables for recommended number of head (average weight) per car were 
devised for the AAR by the Western Weighing and Inspection Bureau 
Veterinarian Service "after much research and study, and may be used as a 
guide in determining the approximate number of head that can be loaded with 

The following numbers are for single deck cars.  In loading proper animals 
(hogs) in double deck cars, the number loaded on the upper deck should be 
eight to ten (8 to 10) head less than on the lower  deck

HOGS per car (36' and 40') based on average weights per animal:

130 and 145 for 100 lb. (avg.) 
115 and 127 for 125 lb. (avg.)  
100 and 110 for 150 lb. (avg.) 
89 and 98 for 175 lb. (avg.)  
79 and 88 for 200 lb. (avg.) 
73 and 81 for 225 lb. (avg.)  
68 and 76 for 250 lb. (avg.) 
62 and 69 for 275 lb. (avg.)   
60 and 66 for 300 lb. (avg.)  
57 and 64 for 325 lb. (avg.) 
54 and 60 for 350 lb. (avg.)  
48 and 54 for 400 lb. (avg.) 

CATTLE per car (36' and 40') based on average weights per animal:

60 and 67 for 300 lb. (avg.)  
50 and 56 for 400 lb. (avg.)  
42 and 46 for 500 lb. (avg.)  
36 and 40 for 600 lb. (avg.)  
33 and 37 for 700 lb. (avg.)  
30 and 33 for 800 lb. (avg.)  
27 and 30 for 900 lb. (avg.) 
25 and 27 for 1000 lb. (avg.) 
23 and 25 for 1100 lb. (avg.) 
22 and 23 for 1200 lb. (avg.) 
21 and 22 for 1300 lb. (avg.)  
19 and 21 for 1400 lb. (avg.) 

SHEEP OR LAMBS per car (single deck), (36' and 40') based on average weights 
per animal:

150 and 165 for 50 lb. (avg.) 
125 and 138 for 75 lb. (avg.) 
105 and 116 for 100 lb. (avg.) 
95 and 105 for 125 lb. (avg.) 
85 and 94 for 150 lb. (avg.) 
75 and 82 for 180 lb. (avg.) 

SHEEP OR LAMBS per car (double deck), (36' and 40') based on average weights 
per animal:

300 and 330 for 50 lb. (avg.) 
250 and 276 for 75 lb. (avg.) 
210 and 236 for 100 lb. (avg.) 
190 and 210 for 125 lb. (avg.) 
170 and 188 for 150 lb. (avg.) 
150 and 164 for 180 lb. (avg.) 

On the UPRR, Kansas division. For Cattle and horses, the floor was
sanded 2 or 3 inches. Cattle and Horses are not allowed to lay down.
They were loaded tight enough so they had to stand. If one went down it
would probably be trampled to death. Bulls had to be tied to car side.
Time on car was 28 hours or with release, 36 hours. If unloaded for rest
and feed, they were to be off 8 hours minimum. Bedding was never
changed. Reloaded
to same car and sent on their way. Usually 36 hours would get them from
western Ks to KC stock yards.  We has a car at Topeka that had to be
unloaded and it had a bull in it. When reloading the Bull did not want
to reload. We used the clinker bar off the engine to try to prod him on.
Then one of men got in the pen with him and the bull charged. The guy
had a bar and hit the bull square across the forehead and then turned
and ran. The bull went down to his front knees and back up for more
action. The man in the pen jumped onto the stock pen railing and climbed
up as fast as he could. The bull hit the railing about 6 inches below he
mans feet. At this point we were able to catch his rope and control him
and prod him back onto the car. Because no one wanted to get into the
car with him, we did not retie him.
Sheep, I do not know about because I never saw a carload of them. 
Hogs. A wet sanded floor but were loaded so they could lay down. Had to
be watered every eight hours in hot weather. Which was really hosing
them down with a 1 1/2 inch fire hose and lots of water. If I remember
right their time on car was 36 hours. Hogs could be double decked.

Larry Jackman 



Microscale 87-206 RR
Microscale 87-275 city signs

Microscale 87-228

Microscale 87-874 Teaxco 1949-60
Microscale 87-902 Gulf 1936-63
Microscale 87-938 Mobil 1940-66
Microscale 87-959 Esso 1946-65
Microscale 87-969 Sinclair 1935-60
Microscale 87-853 Detail Signs



I use the blunt end of a butter knife, wrench, etc. in an old Cool Whip
container.  The container is strong enough to take the blows, has a lid,
and is disposable.  I use different size screens to get different sizes
of coal and then label the containers for the size of HO coal they
contain like "Buckwheat," "Pea," "Stove," "Egg," and "Lump."

Dan Bourque

HOSAM wrote "Dan,  What types of screens do you use?  That would be of
great interest to myself and maybe others......"

  Oh, I use anything I can get my hands on.  Bought some screen at the
hardware store.  My wife's kitchen strainer is another good screen (don't
tell her that), I've got some larger stuff I picked-up at the waste pile
of a construction site.  I don't label the screens, just the product.  In
fact, each screen produces at least two sizes of coal.  When I've got a
cool whip container full of strained coal, I shake it around, turn the
bowl about 45 degrees and tap on the sides.  The larger pieces slide down
revealing the finer coal at the bottom.  This way, I can "select a size"
when I'm putting together a coal load.  Works like a charm!

Dan Bourque


  Have been looking at the sizes of coal as delivered from the mines and
wondering what size screen would be appropriate for these sizes.

Description        size         HO Scale(inches)

Broken or lump  4" x 6"         .046 x .068
Egg             3-1/4" x 2-7/16"        .037 x .028
Stove           2-7/16" x 1-5/8"        .028 x .018
Nut             1-5/8" x 13/16" .018 x .009
Pea             13/16" x 9/16"  .009 x .006
Buckwheat       9/16" x 3/16"   .006 x .002
Rice            3/16" x 3/16"(Buckwheat #2)
Barley          3/16" x 3/32"(Buckwheat #3)
#4              3/32" x 3/64"
#5              3/64" x 100 mesh

  Seems as if the coal would be very small, even in lump size.
Would appreciate any suggestions as to what types of screens to use....


Sam, to answer your question on which size screen to use, I really just
use the kitchen strainer which has about a 3/32" mesh.  The coal that
strains through this gives me from dust to "egg" sized coal, but mostly
what I would call "stove" which looks best on most loads.  I use the
stuff that doesn't strain through for my "lump" loads.

Dan Bourque

I just use a piece of window screen to filter out the oversize pieces.
Gordon Mooneyhan

Remember that size is in relation to the preception of what you are 
attempting to do.  If it is scale size, all be the largest pieces 
will be dust.  Just as in modeling trees, the texture will be more
apparent then actual size.  Do a couple of mockups and live with 
then for a few modeling scessions and decide for yourself what 
looks best.
I have found in my own coal loads that no one gets out the micrometer
for a load of coal with the same religious fervor they do for a 
handrail or SAL paint.

Lawton Maner

  I wholeheartedly agree with Lawton on this one!  When I make a coal
load, I use whatever size coal I want to out of the bin to make it "look
right."  After I've built the load, I measure the average chunk of coal
on it and convert to HO scale.  Then I half that measurement and label it
according to the chart that HOSAM has printed on this list.  That way, I
get a variety of different loads, each with a different name (hence,
different tracks under the tipple).  The fact that each piece of coal is
twice the prototype size doesn't bother me because it looks right!

Dan Borque

Remember the coal grade and size discussion?  Scenic Express is 
selling several grades of coal in their Smith and Son Ballast line.
  From smallest size to largest they list:

Unit train,
Mine run,
and O-scale.

Has anyone used this stuff?  It appears to have a very coal-like glint 
and the shape is nice and angular.

Peter Berghs

I have three samples of different size coal from Scenic Meadows Supplies.
These are small/medium/large, in HO that's 1.3-2"/2.6-3"/2.6-5.8".  
Coal looks great!  
Lee Collins, 1730 Scenic Meadows, Imperial, MO 63052; phome
314-464-3507; e-mail

Jack Parker



RM List 8/21/01 

If there is a AAR, FRA or other standard for tank car paint, does anyone
know what it is???  My impression is tank car paint schemes are a customer
call strictly...hosam...

Tank Car Paint

I was a tank car inspector for seven years and as far as I know what color
you want to paint your tank car is the customer's or owner's choice. The
stenciling and data placement is another matter and the AAR has specific
places or specific zones to place that information. But the color you use is
the owner's choice.

Contrary to popular opinion and belief, as far as I know there is no
requirement for specific color schemes for the nasty chemicals. The
Hydrocyanic Acid (HCN) tank cars painted white with red candy stripes were
not required to be so painted by the AATR or DOT/FRA. It was simply the
unofficial standard of an unofficial committee comprised of chemical
manufacturer representatives that sit down once a year and talk about the
things they are doing and the problems they have. The committee doesn't even
have a name (Do not confuse this group with the AAR Tank Car Committee),
they just have a meeting for a couple of days at some comfortable spot with
a good hotel and decent golf courses.

As far as I know Chlorine tank cars have no specific paint scheme (and the
Chlorine Institute has a transportation committee than deals with Chlorine

The only painted and marked cars I know are:

(1) Hydrocyanic Acid cars (white with red candy stripes and warning signs);

(2) SOME Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) cars are painted white with a burnt orange
band around the middle of the cars; and

(3) Most Pennwalt Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) tank cars had an red manway nozzle
protective housing; and

(4) Most Pennwalt refrigerant (Freon) gas cars had a yellow manway nozzle
protective housing.

Again, all of this was a voluntary effort with no orders by DOT, FRA, or
NTSB. There has been a lot of talk about repainting the HCN cars into a
black paint scheme with no specific markings or decorations showing them to
be transporting HF because of concerns about terrorist acts.

Alton Lanier


S.A. McCall