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Era or Date Built of Railcars?

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  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • 4 posts
Era or Date Built of Railcars?
Posted by bluewavecaptain on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 5:30 PM

I'm building a 1950s era layout. So far, when buying locomotives or freight cars, I look for the build date on the railcar, or I research the locomotive to see when it was built, trying to make sure the equipment is matching the era. However, I'm having trouble on some flatcars. I want to buy some 40' 50-ton flatcars from tiche, but I want to make sure I have the correct cars for the era. How do I go about finding when they were built or when certain types of cars were invented. Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Charles Nelson

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    September, 2003
  • From: California
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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, August 10, 2017 10:36 AM

The Tichy 40' 50 ton flatcar prototype built by built by American Car & Foundry in 1928 -  era 1928 -1970  Instruction sheet from http://hoseeker.net/

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, August 10, 2017 10:41 AM

DSchmitt

The Tichy 40' 50 ton flatcar prototype built by built by American Car & Foundry in 1928 -  era 1928 -1970

Sounds about right.  Just by looking at most Tichy rolling stock and using the Schwartz, I assume they are too early for my 1970's era, so I was guessing they would be ok for the 1950', although pretty worn by then.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:12 AM

SP&S bought 50 of these ACF flats in 1924 (SP&S 32005-32054).

In 1956, ONE had been retired.

30 were still used as flatcars.

The other 19 were converted to sawdust transport.  But were still "alive".

 

There were 19 left in 1973.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:49 PM

It helps to have a Car Builder's Cyclopedia from roughly the date you model, and selected volumes from prior editions, going back 10, 15 and 30 years).  Then hope that the car numbers shown in the older editions of the Cyc did not change so that an ORER (Equipment Register) from the very year you model can show what cars were still in service (and interchange).

I can say from memory that by the 1960s there were still 40 foot flatcars to be seen but they were getting rare.  More and more were in MOW service, or in interchange but used solely as ideler flats for long loads. 

I should think a decade earlier in the 1950s they would still have been common in active service although I am also sure most shippers would prefer or positively had to have the 53' cars for basic flatcar purposes.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 9,982 posts
Posted by wjstix on Friday, August 11, 2017 4:58 PM

A problem with going by the built date is that it only tells you when the car was built and first entered service. The rebuilt date stencilled on the car might be more accurate to determine if the car is right for your period. It's not just if the car existed at a certain time, but how it was decorated.

Freight cars go to the shops regularly during their 40 year or so lifetime, and many cars are repainted several times during their service life. A boxcar built in 1947 would be fine for a 1950's layout, unless it's decorated in a 1960's or 1970's paint scheme.

Stix

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