Author Topic: Assembling a great PC freight train  (Read 2714 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Assembling a great PC freight train
« on: January 06, 2016, 09:48:39 AM »
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I've been bitten by the PC bug lately (as I've discussed a bit).

I've bought a bunch of power, but I feel like I'm not doing great with freight cars.

I have a bunch of PC stuff, and potentially PC era stuff, but it's all weathered to be in the Conrail era.

So, if I wanted to build up a good PC era freight train for use, either on my layout at home, or when running on NTRAK layouts, what should I look at?

I've been pretty specific in my CR era purchases: only getting stuff that would've had a reason to run up the NCR in December of 1985, but I'm trying to have less cranial rectal inversion with this, so I'm casting a wide net.

What should I add to my shopping list?

sd45elect2000

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 10:00:00 AM »
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I'd recognize a Penn Central train a mile a way by the Jade green cars. NYC, PC, PRR, P&LE etc. If I were doing this project I would start with the green cars !!!

Randy

randgust

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 10:06:28 AM »
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One of my favorites was the 'pre-Conrail patch' that was on old, 1930's 40' boxcars that ended up in Warren as the "junk of the month club".

PC would patch out the PRR keystone logo on the 40' box with fresh boxcar red, and just put a PC and car number on the one side, and usually downrate the capacity with fresh stenciling.   One car I photo'd even had the reporting marks on crooked.

But the real teller was the stencil that was on the car "40 YEAR OLD CAR NOT TO BE LOADED FOR OFFLINE SHIPMENT".  And this about 1975 or so.    Not CR reporting marks either, PC. 

I've got a couple pictures of these.   They just scream PC to me.

While stuff did show up painted, it never ever got washed, so you can pretty much carbon-date any PC car by the layers of grime over the paint, green paint or not.   
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 10:09:06 AM by randgust »

amato1969

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 10:34:37 AM »
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One of my favorites was the 'pre-Conrail patch' that was on old, 1930's 40' boxcars that ended up in Warren as the "junk of the month club".

+1 to this!  The Intermountain 40-foot kits are a great way to fill out your roster with old, beat-down fallen flag cars.

Do you have an ORER for reference?  These are a great source of car type/quantities.

  Frank

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 10:44:01 AM »
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I don't have a PC era ORER. I'm trying to just go off of recommendations.

I like the beaten up 40' boxcar idea. I'll need some of those (I have one DI one in PC already).

Are any of the recent Atlas cars good for my era?

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 11:03:16 AM »
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Ed if you ever need to verify anything, my 'bible' is the 1975 ORER that I've still got.

They weren't all that bad, they had more new cars than you'd think.   Remember that PC could still get equipment trusts, if it was on wheels, the bankers could repo it.    First time I ever saw new equipment trust stenciling was on PC. 

I spent a day down to Horseshoe in July 1974 with the trusty Kodak instamatic camera and shot a lot of train pictures that day.  I do remember the standard hopper car scheme - gloss black over an otherwise rusty-looking PRR hopper, with a sloppy "PC" and car number. 

It was always kind of surprising to me that they relettered and renumbered the volume of old cars they did.

  Didn't do a very good job of it, but they did certainly attempt to erase the merger partners identification.

Oh, and don't forget this one:  http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=95&t=90451

That's as much legend as fact, but criminal charges were filed on the boxcar stealing episode. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 11:09:08 AM by randgust »

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 11:11:49 AM »
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Nice, I'll hit you up.

Also, that's right! I definitely need an LSBC car in there.

bman

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 11:13:39 AM »
+1
I'm doing the same Ed.  Funny how the PC worm gets into your system if you model CR.  I started with the logical approach and looked at the major terminal, Buckeye Yard in my case, and who PC interchanged with. Then the points that ran trains to Buckeye and who PC interchanged with there.  Then I kinda felt the "it's a hobby and your not in transportation anymore" revelation hit me and after looking at the system map realized that most any car from other roads along with private/ease cars could end up on the portion of the PC system I am trying to re-create, the Panhandle line between Columbus and Pittsburgh.  I've several PRR books and Clear Block videos for the Panhandle and most of the shots/footage are of the head end of a train, but I see no real pattern as to the cars that make up the consists. It would really be hard to do it "wrong" IMHO in the early and mid 70's since a good many of the mergers had yet to take place.  The one type of car I do struggle with though, is tank cars.  I need to work on this gap and get some tanks from the 60's into the mix.  Just be sure to have green cars like was mentioned with a few PRR patched PC cars sprinkled in for good measure.  That's what I've doing.  Have fun with it. 

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2016, 11:16:17 AM »
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That's EXACTLY my take too Brian! Great minds?

And you hit on one of the annoying things about modeling reference photos. You either find roster shots that don't provide context (is this in the deadline, is it in a yard, is it on the main?) or wedgies that don't provide decent detail (what's more than 4 cars back?).

It's why anecdotal evidence is so helpful.

bman

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2016, 11:39:26 AM »
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And to think I used to cross the PC(ex NYC)and NW(PRR line conveyed to N&W for the merger) every Saturday morning after collecting for my newspaper route and riding to the hobby shop on my bicycle.  Too far back for me to remember what the consists looked like.  Still watch trains at this location though 40 years later.

C855B

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2016, 11:55:49 AM »
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Watching with great interest to see what you come up with. The post-merger chaos was something I wanted to see, but time/money/circumstances prevented the cross-country travel. The only time I was East during PC was one business trip to NYC, where my single in-person experience with PC was a post-Amtrak, but still PC-lettered GG-1 in the bowels of Penn Station (for an electric locomotive those things were noisy!).

My next trip to the region was in '80, and CR blue was all the rage by then. At least I can say I witnessed E-44s in action. :(
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Bob Bufkin

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 12:07:30 PM »
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B&W early PC.  Color late PC.  North South trains had lot of Southern, SCL, CP and CN cars, mostly wood products going both directions.  You woud be surprsed at the lack of green PC cars on most trains.  And lot of western road cars and mechnical reefers.

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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 12:21:19 PM »
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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 01:11:52 PM »
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It's not really that tough to put together an early 1970s fleet.  Penn Central tried to paint over everything they could from the merged roads, but the fleets of those roads were massive and they didn't come anywhere close to repainting everything.  Also, as cash dwindled, newer heritage equipment was not shopped/repainted nearly as fast because the equipment was needed out on the road.  So, any PRR and NYC equipment built in the mid 1960s and later, you were more likely to see retain the original schemes.  Some of them got a quick patch-out over heralds and reporting marks if the cars got renumbered.  But plenty of PRR/NYC/NH equipment lasted well into Conrail, including many pre-1960s cars.  Off the top of my head, signature classes that had a significant number of cars retaining the predecessor markings beyond 1976 include PRR X58, NYC Despatch Shops predecessor to the X65, NYC 3500pd Flexi-Flo, NH XIH block herald, NH PS-1 block herald, NH PS-1 DF script herald, PRR 100-ton hoppers, PRR and NYC centerflows, PRR G32B and G32C gons, NH offset quad hoppers, PRR and NH PS-2 covered hoppers, PRR GSC 60' flats, PRR Airslides, PRR Dry-Flos.

Regarding foreign road equipment, any 1960s/1970s equipment from the time period would be appropriate, with older transition-era equipment still rolling as well.  There are plenty of models available that fit the time period.  BN was relatively new, but there remained a number of cars in predecessor schemes.  The upcoming Athearn auto racks will fill a large void.  SCL and Chessie and the Rock.  Santa Fe and SP still here, as were N&W and Southern.  Good times, from that aspect.
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Re: Assembling a great PC freight train
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 01:36:40 PM »
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I used to see a few PC double doors in paper service up here in Ontario (were talking the 80's) and these are close to what I saw....



and this one is my fav...... who needs total repaint....

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