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Western Pacific Model Car Help

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  • Member since
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Western Pacific Model Car Help
Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, April 04, 2019 1:04 AM

This is a follow up on a previous post. Based on that post, this is a question for the Western Pacific modelers on the forums. If I was looking to add 2-3 cars for my HO scale 70s era layout, what would be the most likely cars and schemes that would have interchanged up north (ex-NP line)? As usual, any assistance that can be provided would be most welcomed.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, April 04, 2019 6:19 AM

I'm not a WP modeler, but there is some info on this page, scroll, and you can see box cars, (actually beer cars) from the 80's and 90's

https://atsfinroswell.wordpress.com/tag/western-pacific/

I'm sure a search for WP equipment will turn up lots of info.

Mike.

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Posted by dknelson on Thursday, April 04, 2019 10:43 AM

Here is some interesting information, with photos, about likely boxcars.

https://www.wplives.org/boxcars.html

For someone interested in plausible accurate consists, a good investment is to acquire an Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) from your chosen era.  These used to be fairly cheap at railroadiana swap meets (they were published monthly, and at most railroads there was a sort of hierarchy of the prior months' ORER being handed down to a lower level official until finally it was thrown away or given to a lucky railfan); I seem to see fewer of them now.  I do not model the 1970s but have one from January 1967.  (and scribblings on the cover show that 3 or 4 officials got it before it was discarded).

Anyway, an ORER wouldn't show what cars were mostly often interchanged with a partiuclar railroad, but they do show how many cars of a type the railroad had.  This gets into quite a bit of detail as to number series and so on but they also have gross totals.  This should give you a basis for educated guesses.  Looking up WP in 1967, they had 1552 boxcars of various sorts, but the bigger numbers were for 50' boxcars.  The next most common cars were gondolas, 1144.  Largest single class was 46' gons.  Not so many gons of "mill gon" length.  688 flatcars of various sorts (including permanently coupled 50 footers) but the biggest single class: 50 foot flatcars (not 53'6" although they had some of those too). 

Hoppers, covered hoppers, insulated boxcars, tank cars and wood chip cars: they had 'em but the numbers are negligible.

So just playing the averages, and assuming that the early 1970s were somewhat similar to the late 1960s, 50' WP boxcars, 46' WP gons, and 50' WP flatcars were numerous and except for specialized industries and locations (such as those that need insulated boxcars, or wood chip cars) would have been the most likely WP freightcars you'd see in a manifest freight train on any railroad, including the WP itself.

One caveat to that: the 1970s is when the railroads and/or the regulators began to really create some rules as to age of car in interchange service.  It might be that once those rules came online, the freight car roster of the WP would have changed from 1967.  I wonder in particular about those 46' gondolas.  Those were likely rather elderly cars by 1967.  

By the way the ORER also lists freight connections and junction points.  The 1969 ORER shows no direct interchange junction with the Northern Pacific, none, which surprised me.  That is not to say there would not have been routings from WP over the NP (with some railroad or other coming between), or that WP cars would not have found themselves on the NP, and vice versa.  I remember seeing WP boxcars on the C&NW and Milwaukee Road after all and they had  no interchange junctions with WP.  (Just to check I looked up interchanges and junctions for the NP and did not find many likely points of intersection with the WP either.  WP did interchange with GN at Bieber California, and UP at lots of places, and NP interchanged with those railroads at various places).

Dave Nelson

 

 

 

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Posted by dti406 on Thursday, April 04, 2019 10:59 AM

The WP had a lot of 50' PS1 Boxcars many in lumber service and some with loaders for hauling canned goods from California to other locations, so these would be viable candidates for your use.

Also, in the late 70's they received a number of 50' FMC Double Door 5077CF Boxcars for lumber service.

Another car would be the PC&F RBL's in both the Single Door and Double Door variety used in canned good service.

Rick Jesionowski

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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, April 04, 2019 3:28 PM

dti406

The WP had a lot of 50' PS1 Boxcars ... some with loaders for hauling canned goods from California to other locations.

Another car would be the PC&F RBL's in both the Single Door and Double Door variety used in canned good service.

What number blocks would I be wanting to find for the mentioned cars?

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Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, April 04, 2019 4:00 PM

RRpicturearchives has 5 pages of WP box cars, not sure how you tell the Pullman Standard cars.  Probably from the shape of the ends.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rsList.aspx?id=WP&cid=2&Page=1

Mike.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, April 04, 2019 4:23 PM
"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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Posted by wp8thsub on Thursday, April 04, 2019 10:19 PM

FRRYKid
Are any of these three what I would be looking for: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4573161 http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4870077 http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=4870088  

The first car is WP 64702, part of series 64701-64748, rebuilt by PC&F in 1977 with 14' doors and other modifications.  They were typically used for canned goods.

The second is WP 64026, from series 64001-64075, built by PC&F in 1965.  They had 88-ton trucks and were assigned to coiled tinplate loading from US Steel in Pittsburg, CA.

The last one is WP 68665, from series 68501-68766, again from PC&F, built in 1966.  I don't have ay information on specific lading for these.

Here's the potential problem - none of those cars are available in HO without some fairly extensive kitbashing.  If that's what you're interested in, great.  Those would make for some nice models that you won't see on other layouts.

Several manufacturers, including Intermountain, Kadee, ExactRail, Athearn, and Atlas, have offered WP equipment of various types that would work as-is.  Examples include Athearn single bay Airslide hoppers and 3-bay PS-2 covered hoppers, Atlas and Kadee 2-bay PS-2s, Intermountain and Athearn Genesis 3-bay ACF hoppers, ExactRail boxcars of a couple types, and Kadee and Intermountain PS-1 boxcars in both 40' and 50' varieties.  Those are only a start.

If you're modeling traffic off the Inside Gateway, just about anything could be interchanged with the GN (later BN) at Bieber.  Others could show up from  interchange connections with other roads, and wouldn't have to be direct from the WP itself.  Pick a few cars you like and/or that are available and go for it.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by FRRYKid on Thursday, April 04, 2019 11:46 PM

wp8thsub

Several manufacturers, including Intermountain, Kadee, ExactRail, Athearn, and Atlas, have offered WP equipment of various types that would work as-is.  Examples include ... ExactRail boxcars of a couple types, and Kadee and Intermountain PS-1 boxcars in both 40' and 50' varieties.

Others could show up from  interchange connections with other roads, and wouldn't have to be direct from the WP itself.  Pick a few cars you like and/or that are available and go for it.

I think I will start hunting for the boxcars. I can't think of a good reason for WP hoppers to be in the neck of the woods that I model.

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Posted by NHTX on Friday, April 05, 2019 6:21 AM

     To aid in your search for info on Western Pacific 50 foot PS-1 boxcars, I submit the following as published in the June 1992 Mainline Modeler magazine.  WP like most roads, purchased cars from multiple builders so, these are not their only boxcars, just the Pullman-Standard cars.

 All cars have 7+8 foot Youngstown sliding doors:            

              WP    3801-3818    18 cars   blt 1954

                "     3838-3862    25   "       "  1955

                "     3965-3989    25   "       "  1960

                "   19301-19450 150  "       "   1955

                "   19601-19700 100  "       "   1956

                "   35001-35182 182  "       "   1954

                "   35201-35425 225  "       "   1955

                "   35501-35625 125  "       "   1957

   The following cars have single 8 foot sliding doors. 

                WP    3011-3050    40 cars  Blt. 1955   Cars have 14 panel riveted sides.   Youngstown doors.

                WP   36001-36025  25  "      "    1955

    The following cars have plug doors:

                WP   55901-55920  20  cars  Blt. 1955  8 foot door opening

                 "     55926-55950  25    "      "   1959  9   "      "         "

                 "     56101-56175  75    "      "   1959  9   "      "         "

                 "     59001-59025  25    "      "   1959  9   "      "         "

                 "     59101-59125  25    "      "   1959  9   "      "         "

     Kadee has produced 50 foot double door HO PS-1s over the years in a number of WP paint schemes, so keep your eyes open for a really fine model of a PS-1.

     From your posts, it seems like you are interested in having an accurate representation of the rolling stock of a certain region at a certain point in time.  I suggest you take a serious look at the industries on your railroad and determine what they require to produce their products and where it would come from, and where they ship their goods to.  Then look at the railroads involved.  This will give you a picture of what should be on your railroad, other than home road cars.

     Picture a cannery on your road that receives regionally grown produce, packages it, and ships it the Atlantic coast, the southeast, and as far west as Denver.  Your road would provide as many 50 foot RBLs (bunkerless, loader-equipped reefers) as it has, or can afford.  The shortfall would be made up of cars that belong to roads that terminate or participate in the line haul of the goods.  These cars may be in restricted service to this cannery even though they belong to another railroad hundreds of miles away.  That's why you see (saw?) cars marked "when empty return to agent XYZRR".  They may specify a certain interchange point or, may say"via service route" which means send it back to where it came from using the routing under which it was received.  This was especially true of Fruit Growers Express RBLs.  It was not uncommon for a car bearing Southern reporting marks to be returned to the Penn Central (Campbell's Soup, Camden NJ).  If you want to explore this further, I suggest you visit Nick Molo's Moloco trains website.

     A beer distributor on your railroad might handle more than one of the major brands.  The Milwaukee beers would arrive in MILW and to a lesser extent CNW or, SOO cars while the Budweiser comes in Manufacturers Railway, SLSF or RI cars.  Coors arrives in BN, MP, or ATSF cars.

     With the price of models these days, hobby dollars should bring us satisfaction in what we spend them on.  Accurate rolling stock goes a long way toward defining the setting for your model railroad.  Quality also makes a difference.  By becoming knowledgable and defining the needs of your industries, you can build a believable car fleet to serve them.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Friday, April 05, 2019 12:38 PM

NHTX

     From your posts, it seems like you are interested in having an accurate representation of the rolling stock of a certain region at a certain point in time.  I suggest you take a serious look at the industries on your railroad and determine what they require to produce their products and where it would come from, and where they ship their goods to.  Then look at the railroads involved.  This will give you a picture of what should be on your railroad, other than home road cars.

     With the price of models these days, hobby dollars should bring us satisfaction in what we spend them on.  Accurate rolling stock goes a long way toward defining the setting for your model railroad.  Quality also makes a difference.  By becoming knowledgable and defining the needs of your industries, you can build a believable car fleet to serve them.

Very well stated. There have been too many times that I have purchased cars only to find out later that they are not accurate in one way or another. (A lot were pre-Internet when I had no way to easily check them.) As a result, there are certain manufacturers and certain schemes I have learned to avoid as they aren't correct. I have also painted and decaled a lot of my own equipment. (Needed when you have your own railroad. I have also done quite a bit of BN and predecessor roads for accuracy and need.)

NHTX

     A beer distributor on your railroad might handle more than one of the major brands.  The Milwaukee beers would arrive in MILW and to a lesser extent CNW or, SOO cars while the Budweiser comes in Manufacturers Railway, SLSF or RI cars.  Coors arrives in BN, MP, or ATSF cars.

I don't know if it is a valid thought for my neck of the woods, but it is an interesting thought. I was looking at justifiable pass through traffic so I will have to again think about the actual industries. (I have decided to add a boxcar or two of bricks as there is an actual longtime brick maker in SW North Dakota. I have no idea if they ever shipped brick by rail but it makes for some extra traffic. Seeing the Walthers kit with bricks on pallets inspired that.)

What I have for a majority of the layout is a railyard that is built on a pair of old hollow core closet doors. (The doors are older than I am!) The storage/operating tracks are about 7 feet long and are designed to hold two 6 car (including caboose) trains. I also have a couple of ready tracks - one for engines and the other is for caboose. There is also a car shop that has its own track in the yard and an team track/woodchip area/freight house that has a connecting track off the back of the yard.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."

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