Back in Business!

Discussion in 'HO Freight Equipment General' started by meteor910, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    After a several month hiatus away from doing hardly any modeling at all (since January I think), I've finally gotten back into it. I'm working on a trio of PRR double-door automobile boxcars. Two are 40-ft, the third is 50-ft. They are all similar, round-roof cars, riding on unique PRR trucks. The first one is almost done, and looks pretty neat. PRR classes X31A, X31B, and X32A, respectively. I'll post pics when I finish all three. Each adds a bit of interest as they are different from each other in a few details.

    Given the early auto assembly plants in Frisco territory, I'm sure these guys made it on to SLSF rails. They were each built in 1936, but served well into the 1970's. I have a pic of one of their single-door cousins going through Rolla in 1965.

  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I look forward to seeing them. It would be neat to model an automobile car with the doors open during loading or unloading.
  3. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Great to hear your "fevered up" Ken!!

    I see your peddling some stuff on ebay too :) You PRR cars got me to thinking, I dont have very much PRR or Eastern roads at all, I need to fix that.
    I think you have mentioned before that the PRR had a LOT of rolling stock, so stands to reason it would have been about everywhere at one time or another.
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom - Yes, the PRR had a huge number of freight cars; many head-end baggage cars as well. They were seen nation-wide. They were usually interesting, as the PRR, the self-proclaimed "Standard Railroad of the World", rarely was happy with their stuff unless they designed it. Thus, many of their cars were unique. Locomotives too! Also, they couldn't call a diesel by its common name - for example, an Alco FA1 was an "AF-15", an EMD E8 was an "EP-22", a SW1 was an "ES-6", an F7 was an "EH-15", a GE U25b was a "GF-25", yada, yada, yada.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2013
  5. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Ken ... Was that "naming" because of the horsepower?
    Would seem to make sense.
    A = alco
    F = freight
    15 = 1500hp
  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Sherrel - Yes, you broke the code! It's really quite logical I guess. The first letter is for the builder: A = Alco, B = Baldwin, E = EMD, F = FM, G = GE, L = Lima, etc. The second letter was for the type: F = Freight, P = Passenger, S = Shifter (not Switcher, another PRRism!) and H = Helper. The final number is an indication of the horsepower. For example, an Alco FA2 was an AF-16.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2013
  7. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Not knowing locomotives as well as planes .. I wish the manufactures would have done sort of like the big P.

    i am totally lost on the names vs. horsepower once past the u-25 and the gp-35, and when it gets to the AC's, CL's, and such ... I might as well be back flying in Eastern Europe trying to identify sone of those old 4 letter ADFs by listening to the dots and dashes as the letters were nowhere close to the names of the places.
  8. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Completely off-topic, Sherrel, but did this bring back memories of the NDB at Sikeston (Mo.) Municipal Airport. I can recall pulling up alongside his hanger, with the AM radio being overpowered by the

    ... .. _._

    "SIK" seemed to make sense to me.

    Ken, I look forward to photos. Welcome back to the realm of active modeling!

    Best Regards,
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Chris - The trio is done, plus a fourth to add to the mix. I'll try to take pics tomorrow that show the differences, but I'm not sure I am a good enuf photo guy. We'll see.

    I have PRR boxcars of the X31A, X31B, X31F and X32A persuasion. I'm sure they all saw time on SLSF rails up through the mid/late 1960's-early 1970's. They were seen nation-wide.

  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    To close the loop ..... after a few weeks I finally got around to snapping some pics of the PRR X31 boxcars. I just set them up on a shelf and took simple side views to hopefully show the differences in the various subclasses. They are not weathered or accented, so that task needs to be done yet, in particular on the trucks.

    They are all PRR X31/X32-class round-roof boxcars, but each has differences. They are all wearing the PRR "Circle Keystone" scheme. Those modeling a later era should get the cars in the PRR "Shadow Keystone" scheme. As I have noted above, I'm quite certain these cars spent lots of time on SLSF rails, as they generally traveled nation-wide. Take a look:

    o PRR 81100, a X31A steel 40-ft double door box. Note the round roof does not quite come out to the sides of the car; there is about an eight inch flat strip from the edge of the curved roof out to the car sides. The car rides on PRR 2D-F8 trucks with a combination leaf/coil spring package. (The self-designated "Standard Railroad of the World" couldn't ride on the same trucks the other RR's used, could they?) The leaf/coil combo supposedly helped buffer the car to prevent swaying. (Same idea as the Dalman truck, which used different length coil springs to do the buffering).

    o PRR 62255, a X31B steel 40-ft double door box. Note that on this class, the round roof top comes clear out to the edge of the car sides. This car is also on 2D-F8 trucks with the leaf/coil spring package.

    o PRR 59293, a X32A steel 50-ft double door box. The round roof top comes clear out to the car sides as on the X31B. The car is on 2D-F8 trucks, but in this case, it uses an all-coil spring package. The car was built in 1936 - perhaps I'll put a set of Dalman's on it.

    o PRR 81239, a X31F steel 40-ft double door box. In this case, in an attempt to obtain a higher interior height, the round roof was rebuilt on a X31A to raise the roof for most of the length of the car. Again, the car is on 2D-F8 trucks with the leaf/coil package.

    Bowser makes these HO kits in a vast plethora of different paint schemes. Try a few on your Frisco layout - they ran up until the late 1970's or later.

    I really like these little detail differences.


    Attached Files:

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  11. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Great stuff Ken,
    I enjoy all the differences in the models. That PRR did some different stuff didn't they? Interesting that raised roof section on the X31F, and how the roof walk was attached on the ends, you can tell labor costs were of little issue at the time huh? The rounded edges are interesting as well.
    Thanks for posting!
  12. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom - Thanks. I wish the pics were better. I rarely weather cars these days, but I should have highlighted the trucks so the truck and spring details would have shown better.

    Neat cars though!

    Attached is my pic of Caroline in Rolla in late 1966/early 1967 taken up by SLSF 1501 east of the depot. Note the single door X31A sitting on the siding. This one is wearing the later PRR "Shadow Keystone" décor as opposed to the earlier "Circle Keystone" décor on my cars. Evidence that these cars found their way on the Frisco!


    Attached Files:

    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  13. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Great stuff, Ken. You inspire me to model more foreign road cars.
  14. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Jim - I'm pleased that anything I post would inspire you to do more of your great modeling!

  15. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    Nice job. The pictures are fine; I can read the lettering on the cars. It looks like the cars were all built in the '30s and shopped sometime in the '40s, so they would be good to go on a postwar layout. You've referenced the "circle keystone" and "shadow keystone," a couple of times. What are the approximate years of those schemes?

    I'll have to go get some of the Bowser kits for these cars. I like the Bowser kits; they go together well and are not too expensive. I just wish they had an X-29 kit. Red Caboose has one, but whenever I find one, it's $35. From what I gather, the PRR had over 30,000 X-29 boxcars--so anyone modeling the transition era should probably have one.

    Edit: I found this
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2013
  16. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Well done! You found the reference to PRR paint schemes.

    Circle Keystone - late 1930's to mid-1950's
    Shadow Keystone - mid-1950's to mid-1970's
    Plain Keystone - after mid-1970's. Plus, there were variations in lettering and other details for each. (Naturally!)

    The Red Caboose X29 is the best HO model of this extremely popular box car design that ran until at least the mid-1980's. I am fortunate to have several, as they are hard to find now and, yes, expensive when you do find them. Yes, every model railroad that is in that era should have at least one X29 in service. Earlier, Walthers did an X29. Not up to the standards of the Red Caboose car, but not bad. Look for them on eBay.

    I remember seeing lots of PRR cars of all types on the SLSF. And, on the MP, GM&O, RI, MKT ...... They were everywhere.

  17. gna

    gna Member Supporter

    I'll keep looking. Was the Walthers a Train Miniatures originally?

    In the meantime, I think I'll get an Bowser X31 or two. Those look pretty good.
  18. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Yes, I think the Walthers PRR X29 model was a Train Miniature model originally. It might have been upgraded by Walthers, as I recall it was a cut above the quality of the TM cars. I had two of them - both flat panel ends, but sold both years ago when the Red Caboose cars, which are superior, showed up. However, the Walthers car is definitely worth having on your freight car roster, so keep a lookout for them.

    Attached is a couple of pics I have in my file of one of the two Red Caboose PRR X29's I have. Note this one, PRR 100025, is a rebuild - it has been fitted with Dreadnaught ends. The other, which I do not have a pic of, is PRR 51645, which still has the original flat panel ends. Both are in the Circle Keystone scheme. They ride on the PRR 2D-F8 truck. As you might be able to see, the profile of the 2D-F8 side frame is slightly different from the more normal ASF or Barber truck that the Frisco employed most often.

    Many X29's roamed Frisco rails until the 1970's or later. In these later years, most, if not all of them, were rebuilds.


    Attached Files:

  19. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Regarding adding foreign road cars to your "fleet" in use on your model railroad, I ran into some interesting data in the October, 2012 MR. Some of you may have already seen this. The data show the number of freight cars in service in North America in 1966, and from what railroads. This is within the era for many of you.

    Here's the top 10 by percentage. The total number of freight cars (revenue service, not MW cars) was just short of two million.
    1-PRR, 6.0% 2-N&W, 5.9% 3-CN, 4.5% 4-ATSF, 4.4% 5-C&O, 4.2% 6-CP, 4.1% 7-NYC, 4.1% 8-SP, 3.6% 9-B&O, 3.4% 10-GATX, 3.0%.

    For boxcars, the top five were CN, CP, PRR, SP, NYC, in order. The two Canadian roads had a bunch of box cars in grain service. Total cars = 706,000. (~ 75% 40ft, 25% 50ft and longer)

    For open top hoppers, the top five were N&W, C&O, PRR, L&N, B&O - no surprise, all coal haulers. N&W had over 40,000 hopper cars! Total cars = 436,000 (~ 65% 3 & 4-bay, 35% 2-bay)

    For gondolas, the top five were PRR, SP, NYC, N&W, CN. PRR had roughly 24,000 gons. Total cars = 240,000

    For tank cars, it was GATX, UTLX, SHPX and NACX. GATX & UTLX about equal in size, way bigger than the other two. Total cars = 154,000

    For covered hoppers, the top five were ATSF, ACL, SHPX, SAL, PRR. ATSF had 50,000 LO's! Total cars = 120,000

    For reefers, the top five were PFE, ATSF, FGEX, ART, MDT. Total cars = 122,000

    For flats, the top five were TTX, SP, ATSF, CN, CP. Total cars = 111,000 (lots of TOFC)

    For stock cars, the top five were ATSF, UP, CB&Q, GN, MILW. Total cars = 24,000

    How does your roster compare? FYI, the SLSF was not in the top 25 list of freight car owners.

  20. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    K en, are you saying there were more than 25 RR's with more cars than the Frisco?

Share This Page