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Wheel Car Lettering Assistance

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  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 1,259 posts
Wheel Car Lettering Assistance
Posted by FRRYKid on Monday, May 21, 2018 10:45 PM

OK forum friends. This one has a lot of questions in it, so here goes.

1) What was the manufacturing date range for the GSC 54' flat car? (Depending on the range that would simplify the lettering greatly.)

2) If a car has had new appliances added to it to change its purpose after it was originally built, would its AAR classifcation change? (In my case, I have a GSC flat classed as an FM that will be repurposed to carry freight car wheel sets. I have no idea if this would change the classification and what it would be. Of course this need would depend on the answer for question 1.)

2) With the new appliances, am I correct that both the LT WT and the LD LMT would change with the addition of the new appliances?

3) What would be the best color of lettering to show up against an oxide red car body? (White is not an option as I don't have a printer with that capability and I don't want to piece the decals for all the data.) I am almost leaning toward black but I would like more opinions.

As usual, thank you in advance for any assistance that can be provided.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • 161 posts
Posted by NHTX on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 12:49 AM

      The General Steel Castings 53'6" cast steel underframe flatcar as modeled in HO by Tichy and ExactRail first appeared as Gulf Mobile and Ohio 72000-72149 with a built date of 3-51.  These cars appeared in the 1953 Car Builders Cyclopedia.  As near as can be determined the cars remained in production by railroads and car builders until 1974.   Articles on these cars appeared in the March 1989 "Model Railroading" and the December 1992 "Railmodel Journal" magazines which, may be available on www.trainlife.com.  The answer about a change in AAR classification is yes, it must change if racks, wheelstops, tie-downs, etc make the car no longer usable  for loading lumber, steel, vehicles, machinery-in other words, general freight.  The AAR FM classification is for a general service flatcar.   I seem to remember some classification codes for MofW/company service cars but the source escapes me now.  AAR classification for cars in these categories is questionable because, most of it is homebrewed by the owning railroad, from equipment that is still servicable but banned from interchange.  Adding racks etc, would change the light weight and load limit so yes, to that question.  Finally the only color other than white that would be practical on an oxide red car would be yellow (UP and CNW come to mind) or a very light grey such as SP's lettering grey, or even covered hopper grey.  Good luck on your conversion.  It could add some new operating wrinkles because these cars transported wheelsets between repair facilities, moving in road freights.  Some railroads saw fit to restrict such company service equipment to 40-45 mph so, they would only move in "junk" trains.

 

a

  • Member since
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  • From: Omaha, NE
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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 8:43 AM

2.  MWF (company service flat) or MWM (company service stores).  Its up to the railroad to pick one, there is no AAR code for a "wheel car".

3.  Yes.  Depends on how the car was modified.  On the other hand it probably doen't matter that much since the car isn't going to be weighed in service.  Its going to be in company service and the loading pattern will be designed for the car, so it won't be overloaded, its not going to have a revenue waybill, and what its carrying isn't going to charged on weight.

4.  A light color, black would be invisible.  If you want to use black lettering make the car a light grey or yellow.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • From: Miles City, Montana
  • 1,259 posts
Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:20 AM

dehusman

2.  MWF (company service flat) or MWM (company service stores).  Its up to the railroad to pick one, there is no AAR code for a "wheel car".

3.  Yes.  Depends on how the car was modified.  On the other hand it probably doen't matter that much since the car isn't going to be weighed in service.  Its going to be in company service and the loading pattern will be designed for the car, so it won't be overloaded, its not going to have a revenue waybill, and what its carrying isn't going to charged on weight.

If the car were interchanged (e.g. the railroad purchases the wheels from a off-railroad company), wouldn't the car need the weights and a non-maintenance AAR code? In examing AAR codes, I almost wonder if an FMS designation would be appropriate as that code appears to be have used for special service cars. I could be wrong, however.

As I have found that this type of car was still built new in my era, I don't need to worry about reweigh details. It would have been built as a new car.

dehusman

4.  A light color, black would be invisible.  If you want to use black lettering make the car a light grey or yellow.

From a previous post, I am leaning toward doing the lettering in light gray but I will also do a mockup in yellow. (I am planning to make my own lettering with my computer.)

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,111 posts
Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 11:02 AM

FRRYKid
If the car were interchanged (e.g. the railroad purchases the wheels from a off-railroad company), wouldn't the car need the weights and a non-maintenance AAR code?

Yes it would need weights.  I was just saying that for model purposes worrying about whether the car was stenciled 40,100 lbs or 41,000 lbs isn't that critical.  If the wheels were sourced off line then yes, the car would probably need to be weighed unless the company had a weight agreement with the railroad.

There is no prohibition from an M type car being interchanged.  What prohibits interchange is the mechanical conditon of the car.  If the structure exceeds the interchange age, if the car has outdated trucks, if the car has outdated brake equipment, then it can't be interchanged.  Otherwise there is nothing to prohibit it from being interchanged.  

What the M type means is its not a revenue service car.  The other railroad can't use it to load it for its own revenue loads.  Its in restricteed service.  

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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