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Neglected class of HO Freight Car models - 1970 - 1985 Autoracks

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Neglected class of HO Freight Car models - 1970 - 1985 Autoracks
Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, May 05, 2012 11:17 AM
I've noticed that there is glaring omission for HO model freight cars I would classify as the "mid-era" auto racks. Basically we have either (on the earlier end) some generic open racks from the late 60's and early 70's from Accurail, and many of them are not accurate but only generic. Then we skip ahead to the late 1980's with Walthers bi- and tri level auto racks. Even the new Intermountain Autoracks are mainly of 1990+ versions.

During the past 15 years, we've seen a real golden age in HO of new and specific prototype freight cars come out which include many nice models.  But one very neglected class are the auto racks of around 1970-1985 or so.  There were some kits which attempted with varying degree's of success to fill this voice in the 1990's - namely Schaffer Rails enclosed autoracks and Custom Rail enclosed autoracks, both of which were fully enclosed autoracks which appeared to fit the early-mid 1980's.  The Schaffer Rail cars were somewhat cude by todays standards, and appeared somewhat clunky and overly wide.  I passed over them at the time.  The Custom Rail cars were based on the old Custom Rail 89' flat car which the whole kit was not all that user friendly to build and in all my travels I've seen few assembled examples so they didn't seem to go over well.
So getting autoracks for the mid-1970-late 1980's period is one of the still missing HO freight car gaps.  I realize now that the manufacture of new HO models has cooled off with the current recession and closing of Chinese factories, but I do hope a maker of good quality HO models will take note of this gap and look into producing more accurate open autoracks (which may have the option of side panels added) and/or more of the late 70's / early 80's partially enclosed and fully enclosed autoracks.  To that end, a basic tooled model which allows different end configurations (no end doors, different end doors, no roof, roof etc, to allow for different variations would be awesome.  I'd like to see these offered in the next few years!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 05, 2012 2:19 PM

Admittedly I'm not up on autoracks from that era, but please explain why the Accurail cars "generic"? I would assume they based the model on something - even if they paint it in a few roadnames that did not have that exact car?

And, were you refering to any other early period cars? Even the Athearn 50' auto rack is a reasonable representation of the original Evans Auto Loader from the 50's, and most of the other 50' cars offered by train set companies over the years are also based on the Evans car. Few were made, and they did not stay in service long, but they did exist.

If we get detail specifc enough, there is a very long list of stuff no one has ever produced, and if we talk about passenger cars, even with the current offerings from Walthers, MTH, BLI, and who ever else, there are still way more passenger cars that have not been made than those that have.

My question would be how many people are modeling that era and /or are interested in much of that kind of rolling stock?

Seems to me there were some nice brass ones offered back in that time when they were brand new on the rails - and some wood craftsman kits - Quality Qraft Models for one.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, May 05, 2012 9:16 PM

I specified a date range on purpose so yes, 50' auto cariers are far too early - I've been in the hobby since the mid-1970's and am probably aware of 98% of the models you are aware of.  I can't afford "nice brass ones" I am aware of the wood craftmans kits, I once owned one and gave up on it. 

I would like to see some quality RTR cars in the 1970 to 1985 range open, open with side panels or early enclosed racks with or without roofs and ends.  I mentioned generic but perhaps I should have said Accurail does what many do, offer a lot of models which don't actually match real auto racks, but just a few.  This post is more in hopes of attracting interest in manufacturers.  Autoracks are a relatively unexploited area in the HO model market so far.  That is the main point of this topic and an appeal to fill that in.

Thanks

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Posted by aloco on Sunday, May 06, 2012 1:53 AM

I model the year 1974 in HO scale, and I've been able to find locos in the appropriate paint schemes, but finding the right types of freight cars can be tough.  I never paid much attention to models of auto racks, but I do remember seeing open auto racks when I had my first taste of rallfanning in 1974-1975.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 8:00 AM

Yep, someone could do a model of practically any autorack and could sell a bunch, given the dearth of models available. Brass is impractical for most and the limited number of such that might be available for purchase means that even if you had the $$$ you'd have trouble assembling a string of such cars. They rarely operated as single cars, so tacking just one on the end of a train isn't very plausible.

While you could build a wood kit, that would be a nightmare to get everything sealed and looking good. Again, getting a string of these would be a challenge, even with enough time and money.

Personally, I think producing a new autorack and the vehicles to go with it is something that would be a great fit for Atlas, given they also include various vehicle models in their product line. I'd think that even if one could afford 18 or so diecast vehicles to fill each rack, plastic vehicles make more sense to produce for an autorack than diecast ones due to weight and center of gravity issues.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 06, 2012 8:21 AM

OK, I'll ask my questions in more detail this time.

Do we kmow what the Accurail car is a model of? Car maker, years built, railroads who owned them? How close is it to whatever car it is based on?

What cars from that era would we like to see modeled? Do we have plans, drawings, photos of those cars?

As for autos to put on them, that raises a whole new set of questions about exact years, regions of the country, etc.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 8:26 AM

I think this is a case where it doesn't matter which model is produced beyond the Accurail autoracks. Any model produced should sell well, given the very limited variety of autoracks available so far.

Prototype info on the Accurail models was discussed in this previous thread:

http://cs.trains.com/TRCCS/forums/p/119431/1361126.aspx

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, May 06, 2012 9:30 AM

mlehman

Yep, someone could do a model of practically any autorack and could sell a bunch, given the dearth of models available. Brass is impractical for most and the limited number of such that might be available for purchase means that even if you had the $$$ you'd have trouble assembling a string of such cars. They rarely operated as single cars, so tacking just one on the end of a train isn't very plausible.

While you could build a wood kit, that would be a nightmare to get everything sealed and looking good. Again, getting a string of these would be a challenge, even with enough time and money.

Both the above are true for the vast majority of us!  Cost or way beyond our skills or desire to build.  Yeah yeah, I know it's called "model" railroading so I'll just get this out of the way, I'm not one of the elite, built it from scratch types, and don't care to be.  I have built plenty of kits and still have more left to build, so I'm firmly in the boat that many are now, decent quality RTR is what I'm after.  The manufacturers have known this for some 10+ years so thats settled.

Personally, I think producing a new autorack and the vehicles to go with it is something that would be a great fit for Atlas, given they also include various vehicle models in their product line. I'd think that even if one could afford 18 or so diecast vehicles to fill each rack, plastic vehicles make more sense to produce for an autorack than diecast ones due to weight and center of gravity issues.

I think this is a case where it doesn't matter which model is produced beyond the Accurail autoracks. Any model produced should sell well, given the very limited variety of autoracks available so far.

I would love to see Atlas offer an autorack from the era '70-'85.  I am not terribly concerned with what kind of automobiles are offered as long as they are something compatable with say, a 70's time frame and decent enough looking when populating an open autorack.

As for Accurail, I don't know the answers, so I'll have to let others chime in.  At minimum, I have done a fair amount of comparing the Accurail auto racks with photo's and know most of them don't match, it seems most photo's show racks on other styles of flat cars (non-flush deck).  And that leads to some comments that others have made that the flat car offered by Athearn (channel side) would be appropriate for many autoracks, so hopefully Athearn will match it's flat car with some appropriate racks and offer them up in the future.  I'm pretty sure one of the ones offered already is based on a "de-racked" auto rack car.  Then of course we need early enclosed racks.  There are quite a few that are similar to the Walthers car without roofs and/or end doors.

As for trains in the 70's... I've been watching Rio Grande Odyssey and it has quite abit of 1970's action and in many run-by's there small numbers of autoracks, mix in singles or 2's and 3's, so one doesn't need a huge number of them to model typical occurances.  There are a few instances of rather long strings of them running back to the auto plants empty - anywhere from maybe 8 to 15 of them, but normally loaded they seemed to appear in smaller numbers in any given freight train (one here, 3 there or what have you.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 10:26 AM

Jim,

I was referring more generally to how autoracks were deployed in trains in the 60s and 70s. I'm sure you're right about the Rio Grande's manifest freights, as it wasn't as often a bridge route for auto traffic as other lines except when the FAST was running. That does make it a little easier to justify just a car or two in a freight on a Rio Grande layout.

I'm no expert of auto industry traffic, but I suspect the tendency to see strings of empty racks headed back to the assembly plants was because loaded traffic was much hotter than the need to move accumulated empties. So the empties tended to build up and be returned en masse except when traffic was heavy like during new model year when getting empties returned for loading was more of an issue.

Your comment on the Rio Grande does bring to mind a thought though. I know on a lot of trains I recall from the 60s and 70s had autoracks, loaded or empty, at the rear of the trains. I seem to remember comments about not wanting to get very much tonnage behind a cut of autoracks due to their lightness versus length. I would think that the Rio Grande would be especially sensitive to this issue due to the grades it operated over. It's been awhile since I last looked at RG Odyssey, so can't recall whether there's support for this theory on video.

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Posted by wojosa31 on Sunday, May 06, 2012 11:18 AM

mlehman

Jim,

I

I'm no expert of auto industry traffic, but I suspect the tendency to see strings of empty racks headed back to the assembly plants was because loaded traffic was much hotter than the need to move accumulated empties. So the empties tended to build up and be returned en masse except when traffic was heavy like during new model year when getting empties returned for loading was more of an issue.

Your comment on the Rio Grande does bring to mind a thought though. I know on a lot of trains I recall from the 80s and 70s had autoracks, loaded or empty, at the rear of the trains. I seem to remember comments about not wanting to get very much tonnage behind a cut of autoracks due to their lightness versus length. I would think that the Rio Grande would be especially sensitive to this issue due to the grades it operated over. It's been awhile since I last looked at RG Odyssey, so can't recall whether there's support for this theory on video.

 

From experience, train handling was remarkably different when empty b-levels and tri-levels were blocked ahead of loaded merchandise. Long cars, especially when empty do some very strange things when inertia and trailing weight are involved, especially down hill. Loaded multi-levels handle about the same as any other load.

Since there were only finite numbers of "Multi-Levels available for loading, the return movement was as hot as the loaded movement. The only time that multi-levels gathered moss was during plant shut downs or recessions.

Having some involvement with the different auto assembly plants on the Northeast Corridor (GMC in Baltimore and Linden, NJ - Chrysler in Newark, DE, and Ford in Edison, NJ); there was little change in racks through the mid 1980s, when covered tri-levels and bi-levels became common.  At first they were open racks, which were retrofitted with side sheathing to protect the vehicles from vandalism.

Keep in mind that in all but rare cases, the flat cars were provided by Truck-Train, while the racks were owned/leased by the carrier. There were also some manufacturer specific attachments provided when needed.  From recollection, only the Southern, and FEC owned their own flats.

I do not model intermodal equipment, so I cannot comment on the accuracy of the Accurail and Intermountain cars, however from casual observation at train shows, they appear to make an acceptable representation of the prototype in use from the late 1960s through the mid to late 1980s.

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Posted by m horton on Sunday, May 06, 2012 11:40 AM

From a quick web search, I saw that Accurails bi-level autoracks are a decent representation from an accuracy standpoint. They also have a partially closed autorack and tri-levels. If your only modeling three or four, why not use them. Some times close enough will do.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 11:46 AM

m horton

From a quick web search, I saw that Accurails bi-level autoracks are a decent representation from an accuracy standpoint. They also have a partially closed autorack and tri-levels. If your only modeling three or four, why not use them. Some times close enough will do.

I don't think anyone has a major issue with the Accurail racks. Far as I'm concerned, they're plenty close enough. The issue is wanting something different to run with them.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, May 06, 2012 11:52 AM

mlehman
Jim,

I was referring more generally to how autoracks were deployed in trains in the 60s and 70s. I'm sure you're right about the Rio Grande's manifest freights, as it wasn't as often a bridge route for auto traffic as other lines except when the FAST was running. That does make it a little easier to justify just a car or two in a freight on a Rio Grande layout.

I'm no expert of auto industry traffic, but I suspect the tendency to see strings of empty racks headed back to the assembly plants was because loaded traffic was much hotter than the need to move accumulated empties. So the empties tended to build up and be returned en masse except when traffic was heavy like during new model year when getting empties returned for loading was more of an issue.

That all makes complete sense as far as loaded autoracks going one way and then accumulated empty racks returning.  And speaking of the FAST, I think the same thing happened with it.  I have a magazine article on the FAST and it shows a photo of a really long combined ARRO/FAST returning east across the Sierra's.

Your comment on the Rio Grande does bring to mind a thought though. I know on a lot of trains I recall from the 60s and 70s had autoracks, loaded or empty, at the rear of the trains. I seem to remember comments about not wanting to get very much tonnage behind a cut of autoracks due to their lightness versus length. I would think that the Rio Grande would be especially sensitive to this issue due to the grades it operated over. It's been awhile since I last looked at RG Odyssey, so can't recall whether there's support for this theory on video.

Seems like the autoracks, loaded or empty were in the middle or end of freight trains.  Get out  Rio Grande Odyssey by Green Frog and digest it some more!  There are lots of freight run-by's and you see verticpacs, lots of open bi and tri level autoracks not to mention a lot of typical freight traffic including the Evergreen PC&F single and double plug door box cars, SP PC&F and Gunderson 5200 box cars etc.  But I digress.

I don't think anyone has a major issue with the Accurail racks. Far as I'm concerned, they're plenty close enough. The issue is wanting something different to run with them.

Well stated.  I don't really want to turn this into a topic about Accrurail autoracks unless someone has some input on which Accurail racks are the best match to real autorack freight cars.  I have Jim Eagers Rio Grande Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, and it includes photo's of Rio Grande open autoracks.  The Accurail bi-livel (IIRC) is a reasonably close match to the photo, including the yellow TT owned flush deck flat car it rides on.  I'll have to go back and re-check but I don't think the Rio Grande tri-level matched photo to model - the prototype ran on a different flat car IIRC, a channel side or something other than a flush deck.  Again, I like the Accurail but we need a few more models to fill in the great variety in freight trains for the 70 - 85 era.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 06, 2012 3:04 PM

It did not take much research at all to find out that the Accurail car is a Bethlehem Steel BSH-11 flat car and the rack is a Pargon staggered upright rack, both fro mthe late 60's.

Still working on which roads owned them and when.

The Accurail cars come in both two and three levels, just like Paragon built them, and the the enclosed version from Accurail is typical of how these same cars were partly enclosed latter on.

Seems to me the Accurail rack could likley be addpted to Athearn or Walthers flat cars to model other types of flat cars used.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, May 06, 2012 4:06 PM

The roads that owned autoracks like Accurails will be the most helpful because I am not skilled at kitbashing and don't have the desire to do more than basic kit building.

As we know, the accurail uses the flush deck style (Sheldon has narrowed it down to a Bethhehem) but from my sampling of various pictures, there seemed to be more often racks on non-flush deck flats such as the channel side flat produced by Walthers and Athearn Genesis.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 4:49 PM

Sheldon,

Mating the Accurail rack with a different flat is an interesting idea. I don't recall seeing such a hack, but don't know if I just missed it, no one's tried, or they've looked and it won't work.

This also gets me to thinking. Were there racks shorter than 89' to begin with? I seem to have a vague recall and it wasn't the short 50'-class flats, either. If so, then hacking an Accurail rack could work for that and, say, the Walthers 75' TOFC flats maybe? But I'm almost certain something like that would likely end up being different, but not prototypical?

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, May 06, 2012 5:34 PM

Mike,

I think most of the auto racks of the mid 60's and onwards are mounted on either 85' or 89' flat cars.  Anything prior to those kinds I don't recall seeing other than the 50's car Athearn copied or just ordinary box cars set up to load cars in.

 

As for wondering if anyone has tried, yes.  I've got some magazine stored where there are articles where people have taken Accurails kits and bashed them into good copies of real prototypes, including reshaping the upper deck by bowing it and in many cases mounting them on a different flat car, I don't recall which was used.  They are works of art.  I imagine if I have some time I can search Trainlife for the articles because they have all my magazines digitized so you can view them.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 6:53 PM

Jim,

I'll bet it was the 85 footers I was thinking of.

Man would that be ugly and cause people to scratch their heads if I did bash such a thing as a 75' autorack. Almost makes me want to do it just to get a reaction...

That must've come from hanging with some of my narrowgauge buddies. They have quite a train planned for the National Narrow Gauge Convention, but I'm bound by oaths of silliness to not divulge further details.

Now a 75' HOn3 autorack....Wink

Good to know that it is possible to do some creative digesting of various model products and cook up something different. I'll also have to keep that Trainlife site in mind in general. RMJ had some great freight car coverage and really upped my game as a modeler.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 06, 2012 7:22 PM

Just because it was brought up, and because I am into most all the history of Piggy Back, the 75' cars, built in the mid/late 50's, mainly for the PRR and the Wabash to carry two 32'/35' trailers, were transfered to TrailerTrain and put into general flat car pool service once 40' trailers and 85' flats became standard.

So in the same era as the auto racks in question, those 75' flats would be seen carring farm tractors, heavy equipment, military vehicles, and, for the auto industry, big trucks, school buses, etc.

And yes, I'm sure I saw or read somewhere that at least a few auto racks were built on the 85' cars, which just like the 89' cars came in a number of floor/side rail designs.

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Posted by fwright on Sunday, May 06, 2012 10:11 PM

riogrande5761
I've noticed that there is glaring omission for HO model freight cars I would classify as the "mid-era" auto racks...

During the past 15 years, we've seen a real golden age in HO of new and specific prototype freight cars come out which include many nice models....I realize now that the manufacture of new HO models has cooled off with the current recession and closing of Chinese factories, but I do hope a maker of good quality HO models will take note of this gap and look into producing more accurate open autoracks (which may have the option of side panels added) and/or more of the late 70's / early 80's partially enclosed and fully enclosed autoracks.  To that end, a basic tooled model which allows different end configurations (no end doors, different end doors, no roof, roof etc, to allow for different variations would be awesome.  I'd like to see these offered in the next few years!

You seem to have a fairly good idea of specific models you are looking for.  I'm assuming it comes from viewing photos and plans and other prototype research.

Have you considered approaching the manufacturer(s) of choice personally with your prototype information and perhaps some reservations from you and some friends?  I know folks who have gotten desired models produced following exactly this path.  It's sort of like commissioning a model, only you let the producer have all the follow-on sales he can generate to keep the price reasonable.  If the model is likely to reasonably popular - I see no reason a mainstream car from the '70s wouldn't be - you would likely only have to reserve a small percentage of the production.

Putting together a solid drawing and photo package is often one of the more difficult steps of the manufacturing process because of the possible losses if this isn't gotten right.  Handing a package to a manufacturer, along with written reservations for 50-100 cars or more makes the business case/decision that much easier.

my thoughts, your choices

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 06, 2012 11:03 PM

Fred,

For Rio Grande freight cars, from what I understand Jim Eager provides significant assistance to manufacturers. For Rio Grande passenger cars, it's Bob Webber.From what I understand, manufacturers find they can generally sell anything they can slap "Rio Grande" on the side of, within reason of course.

I can't speak for Jim, but my own limited knowledge amounts to "more" of everything, autorack-wise. Jim studies traffic on the Rio Grande's mainlines so has a somewhat eclectic look at things that includes not just home road cars, but the various streams of bridge route traffic that flowed across the Rio Grande's lines. He's probably got an extensive list of examples, while I'm just one to note that slightly more the virtually nothing in autoracks is a good idea.

Frankly, this is the sort of thing where a manufacturer probably already has a good idea of what will sell, certainly better than mine. With autoracks appearing in pool service, they get around more than typical rolling stock often does. I'm just here seconding Jim's motion.Yes

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Posted by dti406 on Monday, May 07, 2012 7:41 AM

This is a list of Cars that match the Accurail Car, from Jim Eagers 7 part E-mail in the Modern Freight Cars List (MFCL) in Yahoo Groups.  It might behoove a lot of you to join this group as it is a gold mine of information on current releases and data on freight cars from the 60' s to the present.

* Beginning in 1968 Para-Pac Type 6a racks were mounted on the new
flush-deck flats introduced that year. Accurail's kit is based on
these later cars:

NW bilevel on TTBX 963763, a Bethelem BSH11 blt 1971
<http://www.rrpictur earchives. net/showPicture. aspx?id=457568>

SP bilevel on 515412 (515400-515449) , an F-70-57 Bethlehem blt 1970
<http://www.railgoat .railfan. net/photos/ sp/sp515412_ brian_ehni. jpg>
SP bilevel on 515372 (515350-515399) , an F-70-56 Bethlehem blt 1969
<http://www.railgoat .railfan. net/photos/ sp/sp515372_ jim_eager. jpg>
SSW bilevel on 84330 (84300-84399) , an F-70-67 ACF blt 8-73
Photo in Thompson's SP Color Guide (V.1)
SSW 84349, same
Photo in Kinkaid's SP Color Guide V.2
SSW 84302, same
Photo in the 12/01 Railmodel Journal
SSW trilevel on SSW 84808 (84784-84808) , a Bethlehem blt 2-69
Photo in the 4/00 Railmodel Journal

ATSF bilevel on ATSF 88721 (88706- 88736), an Ft-77 ACF flush-deck blt 1972
Photo in the 4/00 Railmodel Journal

B&O bilevel on TTBX 961863, a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 7-69
Photo in the 4/00 Railmodel Journal
B&O bilevel on TTBX 963017, a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 1970
Photo in Bossler's B&O Color Guide

CN bilevel on CN 710610, an HSC flush-deck blt 1972
<http://gelwood. railfan.net/ cn/cn710601s. jpg>
CN bilevel on CN 710632, same
Photo in the 1974 Car & Loco Cyc

PC bilevel on TTBX 962577, a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 10-69
<http://www.northeas t.railfan. net/images/ tr_pc962577. jpg>
PC bilevel on TTBX 961785, a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 7-69
Photo in the 4/00 Railmodel Journal

SLSF bilevel on TTBX 961296, a Bethlehem BSH10 blt in 1968
Photo in Molo's Frisco/Katy Color Guide

SOU trilevel on RTTX 963470, a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 9-70
<http://southern. railfan.net/ images/archive/ southern/ freight/autorack /sou_tri_ auto.html>
SOU trilevel on TTRX 963485, also a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 9-70
Photo in Classic Freight Cars V.6
SOU bilevel on TTRX 962037, a Bethlehem BSH11 blt 7-69
Photo in the 12/01 Railmodel Journal
SOU trilevel on TTRX 962049, same
Photo in the 4/00 Railmodel Journal
SOU trilevel on TTRX 962096, same
Photo in Kinkaid's Southern Color Guide

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, May 07, 2012 9:49 AM

mlehman
For Rio Grande freight cars, from what I understand Jim Eager provides significant assistance to manufacturers. For Rio Grande passenger cars, it's Bob Webber.From what I understand, manufacturers find they can generally sell anything they can slap "Rio Grande" on the side of, within reason of course.

That sounds right from all my years on the Rio Grande Yahoo Groups email list.  Jim Eager has been a big player in providing information to manufacturers and writing articles in some of the major MR mags, plus his Color Guide has been a big resource for me in identifying models vs prototype.  I don't have books for other RR"s and can't afford to build up a library to do the same research on all of the myriad of road names which bridged between Denver, Pueblo CO and SLC/Ogden etc.

I can't speak for Jim, but my own limited knowledge amounts to "more" of everything, autorack-wise. Jim studies traffic on the Rio Grande's mainlines so has a somewhat eclectic look at things that includes not just home road cars, but the various streams of bridge route traffic that flowed across the Rio Grande's lines. He's probably got an extensive list of examples, while I'm just one to note that slightly more the virtually nothing in autoracks is a good idea.

I haven't done a "scientific study" of traffic in terms of taking time periods and actually documenting it on paper, but I've been studying the RR on an amature level to look for patterns, so that I can acquire models representative of typical traffic during mainly the 70's and 80's.  I do have most of the major books published for the D&RGW during that time frame:

-Rio Grande Diesels: Vols 1,2 & 3 by Joseph Strapc
-Rio Grande In Color: Vols 1, 2, 3, 5 by Grenard, Sandrin, etc
-Rio Grande Trackside with Jim Ozment by James Sandrin
-Rio Grande: Ruler of the Rockies by RC Farewell
-Rio Grande Secret Places: Vol 2 by RC Farewell
-Rio Grande: Scenic Line of the World - by Dale Sanders
-Zephyrs thru the Rockies - Edmonson and Goodheart
-Rio Grande West: A Contemporary Glimpse - Ron C Hill
-Twilight of the Rio Grande : by Wesley Fox
-Colorful Colorado: Railroads in the 1960's - Ron C Hill
-Rio Grande: The Final Years by Ron C Hill

-Rio Grande Odyessy DVD (early 60's thru late 1970's)
-Denver & Rio Grande Western VHS (1987)
-VHS tapes 1991 shot by Doug Tagsold

Mike, I know there are quite a few DVD's out, are there any you can recommend to me that cover 1970's and 1980's freight action I might want to add to my library?

Frankly, this is the sort of thing where a manufacturer probably already has a good idea of what will sell, certainly better than mine. With autoracks appearing in pool service, they get around more than typical rolling stock often does. I'm just here seconding Jim's motion.Yes

Thats my guess.  I don't have the kind of information or proper photo's that I could provide to a manufacturer that would aid them in the artwork etc to paint models etc.  I am hoping those who do have the resources can work with the manufacturers and they will add some racks to their production schedules.

The information provided by Rick is great as I've wanted to find a resource to maximize the potential that the Accurail cars have - by matching up the existing models, where they do match, and add a few more of them to my roster.  Or perhaps tweak existing models to make them match better if they are close.

Rick, I must have heard about the MFCL but for some reason it must have escaped my mind.  I am presently a member of the Rio Grande and Espee Yahoo groups.  Looks I should have signed up for MFCL a long time ago.  Time to get crackin.

Thanks!

From the far reaches of the wild, wild west, I used to be!
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Posted by mlehman on Monday, May 07, 2012 12:39 PM

Jim,

The RG Odyssey is my favorite video. I've heard there is a Machines of Iron video of the Moffat Line that's pretty good.

Then there's the great VHS tape my brother and I shot on Tennessee Pass in 1995. It was either lost in a fire or is buried in some stuff so I haven't found it yet. If it's really gone, that's a personal tragedy. Sad

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, May 07, 2012 2:40 PM

What I like about RG Odyssey is it has quite a few scenes that you can see freight cars pretty well, well enough to identify them for modeling purposes.  I've been able to identiy a number of Vertipacs including the Milwaukee, Southern Pacific and Frisco (yellow), as well as the Evergreen PC&F 50' double plug door box car, the Southern Pacific 40 modernized box car (Hi-Tech, hurry up!!!!).  I'll see if I can find the Machines of Iron DVD - I just like to get feedback since my Denver & Rio Grande Western VHS tape by Pentrex seems to focus so much on the diesels that you are constantly disappointed by the lack of visible freight cars.  On that VHS video, I'm constantly freezing the action as the camera pans just ... barely ... past the last power unit before the scene cuts away.  Its maddening.  At least Emery Gulash scenes shot in 16mm film show much more vewable freight traffic.

Back on topic:

There are a number of auto racks in some of the scenes but being that the road names are often hard to see, even on a DVD which is upscaled on my 46" 1080P HDTV, the film is still pretty grainy and hard to see but I'll try to re-review when I get a chance and see what I can gleen.

From the far reaches of the wild, wild west, I used to be!
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Posted by cv_acr on Monday, May 07, 2012 3:01 PM

More Accurail prototypes:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=ttbx862664&o=ttx

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=ttbx920065&o=ttx

With side panels:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=ttbx964704&o=ttx

Here's what looks like a version of the same rack on a different (channel-side) car, for the person that was talking about kitbash opportunities:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=ttbx914128&o=ttx

 

This rack is on a Pullman-Standard 85' flatcar - actually similar to Athearn's 85' piggyback flacar (same basic car, plus a rack). The rack is either Portec or Paragon; I think an early Paragon:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=rttx911579&o=ttx

This would make a good candidate for a mid-1960s rack. One of the earlier mass-produced versions and would have still been running in the 1970s.

 

This was the first autorack car from Pullman-Standard:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=slsf3000&o=slsf

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Posted by cv_acr on Monday, May 07, 2012 3:11 PM

wojosa31
Keep in mind that in all but rare cases, the flat cars were provided by Truck-Train, while the racks were owned/leased by the carrier. There were also some manufacturer specific attachments provided when needed.  From recollection, only the Southern, and FEC owned their own flats.

The name of the pool company was Trailer Train, not Truck-Train. Trailer Train is today known as TTX Inc.

In those days, the Canadian railways were not members of Trailer Train, so CN and CP owned all their own flatcars. Lots of American roads also definately owned some of their own flatcars. ATSF, SP, SSW, GTW, SOO, L&N, FEC, DTI, CGW, NW, MON, etc. are just a few I've seen photos of. (c1960s/1970s time frame)

Merchant's Despatch (MDAX) and North American (NIFX) also owned and leased autorack flatcars in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, May 07, 2012 3:37 PM

Chris,

Agree'd, it may hvae been Truck-Train way back, not sure.  I'll have to go back to really good article on the history of the Trailer Train corp to see about that, but mostly from the 60's onward, certainly the time frame I'm interested in, it was Trailer Train or later TTX.

From the far reaches of the wild, wild west, I used to be!
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Posted by cv_acr on Monday, May 07, 2012 4:05 PM

Pennsy had a service called "TrucTrain", you might be thinking of something like that?

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=prr470414&o=prr

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, May 07, 2012 5:05 PM

cv_acr

Pennsy had a service called "TrucTrain", you might be thinking of something like that?

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=prr470414&o=prr

I have indeed heard of it, but it's not really related to the focus of this topic, which is autoracks put in service during the 1970-1985 time period.

BTW, thanks for the above references.  I'll check them when I have a little more time this evening.

From the far reaches of the wild, wild west, I used to be!

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