Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Traffic Analysis

A fellow blogger, A R Pollard, who pens No Two Alike recently wrote a well thought out piece on traffic patterns and freight car fleets, which as inspired me to bang away on the keys a bit to share my thoughts on this topic.
Let me preface this by stating that I have an enormous amount of respect for Tim Gilbert, Tony Thompson, and all the others who have worked very hard to create the traffic analysis data that is the mainstay for much of the thinking that currently covers this topic. And for the most part much of what they state is irrefutable.
But the thing to remember is to never say never.
Case in point is the photo above. Look at the DL&W car to the right of the 0-6-0. It is a stock car that has been lined on the inside for coal service. When I first saw this image I was confused about the sheathing on the car. Because of how the light is hitting it, it looks very much like clapboards with braces over top. Which we know is not how cars are built. But I had to inquire on STMFC.
The gentleman who replied,(and I apologize, I can't remember his name) was shocked to discover that this photo was taken in Windsor, Ontario. Yes that is Detroit in the background.
He was a major DL&W fan and until he saw this image would have sworn that that class of car never went offline. And yet there it is in Canada.
Further, of the first 16 cars covered by Ted Culotta in his Essential Freight Car series, 12 of them showed up in Palmerston, Ontario between 1945 and 1952. Not bad for a small Canadian branchline hub.
So my point is to restate something another freight car researcher once said to me. In the postwar era and into the 50's, just about everything went everywhere. Within reason.
If you like a car, put it on the layout. Let the experts prove you wrong.
Never say never.


Trevor said...

Good points, Pierre - but I'm really commenting to say thank you for the link to No Two Alike.
I've had a look and it's interesting, so I've added it to my list of watched blogs.

Anonymous said...

Never say never, indeed! I have a copy of a record (ledger) of grain passing through an elevator in Midland, Ontario during WWII. Just about every North American road's boxcars appear at least once in the book. There is a Santa Fe Bx-12 raised roof car loaded with grain, to cite just one example.

Steve Lucas.