Author Topic: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock  (Read 1995 times)

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johnjpeebles

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Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« on: July 20, 2010, 10:26:22 PM »
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I'm not super new to model railroading (most of my time spent as an armchair modeler though) and I'm working on a new layout concept, and one thing I'm finding very difficult is researching what kind of rolling stock was in service when.  In other words, if I want to buy a CB&Q boxcar, and I'm modeling 1955, does Car XYZ work?  Seems like Microtrains and Atlas have summaries on their packaging, but most retailers don't put that up verbatim.

I found a great locomotive reference out there which showed locomotive types and their production years, but aren't having as much luck with freight cars and passenger cars.  What does everyone on here use to double check timeframes?

bbussey

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 10:54:19 PM »
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I have copies of the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) from the eras I model.  That gives you the official roster of all active freight equipment in North America for your time period.  I also have various books that focus on the railroad and its equipment.  If the Burlington is your road of choice for example, Morning Sun Books' CB&Q Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment is an excellent pictorial guide on various rolling stock that might fit in your era.  I also use all the pictorial books collectively to help comprise the railroad and equipment ratios for my roster.  They also show the freight equipment that ran on your railroad, of which you can use toward building your fleet.

In regard to existing models, check the service date to see when the car was last shopped.  If it is earlier than the year your layout represents, it fits.  The older the service date, the more aged the car would be.   If a model has a newer date, but the build date and paint scheme were active in your era, you always can back-date the service date with decals.
Bryan Busséy
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NSE #1117
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FrankCampagna

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2010, 01:44:39 AM »
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Quote
In regard to existing models, check the service date to see when the car was last shopped.  If it is earlier than the year your layout represents, it fits.  The older the service date, the more aged the car would be.   If a model has a newer date, but the build date and paint scheme were active in your era, you always can back-date the service date with decals


That is what I do, when I can. However, it is often impossible to read these from the pictures online stores show.

Frank
"Once I built a railroad, made it run......."

Mr. G

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2010, 05:37:41 AM »
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That is what I do, when I can. However, it is often impossible to read these from the pictures online stores show.

Frank

That's true.  I'm a bit lazy in that I get out the book, look at the picture, and if the model is reasonably close, pull the trigger on the model.  For some reason it's only once I have the model in hand that I find myself counting panels and latches. Thanks to the folks at Railwire have I found myself getting apoplectic when the number of vents don't match.
Quote from: TiVoPrince
Everything blends.  Just a general rule of model railroading...

Nato

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 01:51:39 AM »
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   Have an extensive research library like some of us do. Want info on C&O lightweight passenger cars go to the series of large spiral bound books from RPC Publishing "Pullman Standard Library" and look for the volume that covers C&O.need heavyweight car info. Join the C&O Historical Society and get info from their current and back issue newsletters. I just used C&O as an example.I'am actually a current member of the Union Pathetic (Pacific) Historical Society and the Grunt (Great) Northern Historical Society. There are many books that can be bought the Color Guides to freight and passenger cars for various railroads from Morning Sun Books come to mind.The internet is also a great resource there are many sites devoted to passenger and freight cars and their various eras and histories. In searching you sometimes learn that even MT who is good at listing car history has made a foob car or used a PS1 boxcar to represent a similar but later car from a different builder that your fave road owned. Nate Goodman (Nato).Salt Lake, Utah.

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 01:38:52 PM »
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Two approaches...

One, spend hours and hours researching, posting questions, more research, field trips, phone calls, etc.

Easiest way?

Post something about the car you are modelling on a freight car forum, with some egregiously false "fact".   In 15 minutes you'll have 283 people telling you how ignorant you are, everything they know about the car, it's history, what path it traveled in it's lifetime, their life history, detailed plans, and I'm quite sure if the technology was there they would attach paint chips to the discussion topic to show you how wrong you are.

Voila, you are no longer ignorant...hehe.

You can try it here but Robbman catches on pretty quickly.

 ;D
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

Upstate Gator

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2010, 02:52:56 PM »
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ROTFLMAO!

I think you do the best you can given the resources to which you have access. The forums are good for discussions and leads on additional resources, especially if you go to the "roadname" groups. I've also scoured historical society sites. You may be able to use InterLibrary Loan to obtain some books. If you're an N scale modeler, subscribe to George Irwin's UMTRR for MicroTrains cars. He'll save you some research time.
Ben W.

James Costello

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2010, 03:53:37 PM »
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Apart from Ebay, are there any other good sources for ORERs?

I'm looking for one from mid 1996....
James Costello
Espee into the 90's

csolivais1979

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2010, 04:27:55 PM »
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This may be useful to some

http://www.railresource.com/content/?page_id=33


For those on a budget, sticker shock is imminent......

pfs

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2010, 04:31:26 PM »
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Apart from Ebay, are there any other good sources for ORERs?

.....

I would like a non ebay source too if possible.

Mark5

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 04:46:06 PM »
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This guy sells through ebay and/or direct:

http://www.dougsrrshop.com/orer.htm

dougnelson

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2010, 01:35:07 PM »
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- dated photos in books and magazines can provide a wealth of information. 
- each car has small print on its side that will show the build date for that car. 
- cars often had a lifespan of 30 years or more, so if you are modeling 1955, any car built from the 1920s through 1955 could be appropriate.

Robbman

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2010, 05:10:37 PM »
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You can try it here but Robbman catches on pretty quickly.

 ;D



Don't make me break out my paint chip collection... the ones I haven't eaten anyway

cv_acr

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Re: Researching Correct Timeframes/Eras for Rolling Stock
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2010, 05:13:24 PM »
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Don't make me break out my paint chip collection... the ones I haven't eaten anyway

Mmm, chips.

There's some good internet galleries out there too, although they naturally tend to be heavy on modern images given the medium. RailCarPhotos and fallenflags both have a bunch of 1970s shots. RailCarPhotos has generally the highest quality shots overally, but good stuff can be found all over.


http://www.railcarphotos.com
http://rr-fallenflags.org
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca
http://rrpicturearchives.net