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Modeling Early C&S Refrigerator Cars

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RE: Modeling Early C&S Refrigerator Cars--L&P vs Knuckle Couplers

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
. . . unfortunately,  if the St. Charles cars got their knuckle couplers in 1903 they would have had them before the 27 footers were rebuilt.  I am sure the 27 foot cars were refitted later as well, but I am not going to tear the draft gear apart on mine.  


According to research by Derrell Poole (published in Volume 2, Number 3 of the Colorado Narrow Gauge Quarterly, 2008), based on written C&S records of AFEEs (Authorizations for Extraordinary Expenditures), the 26 and 27 foot Tiffanys didn't have the funds for rebuilding until 1902-1903. That explains how some Tiffany reefers were seen in wreck photos as late as 1902 still wearing their old UP lettering, when most other freight cars had been re-lettered for "The Colorado Road."

According to Derrell, the first Tiffanys were rebuilt in May of 1902 (numbers 576, 577, 579, 580, 581 and 597), most being the 26 foot cars. The last Tiffany rebuilt was in May, 1903, 27 footer number 590. The whole rebuilding process for the inherited reefers took a year, the cars being rebuilt by the shops in batches of 2-6 cars at a time. (Derrell's article has been out of print for a while, I can email a copy to anyone interested).

The federal ICC mandate for automatic air brakes and knuckle couplers went into effect in 1903, but most of these federal acts had a grace period to allow the railroad to comply.  For example, the July 1, 1911 USSA Act which mandated standardized grab iron placement, had a grace period lasting until 1916. In other writings, Derrell has stated that the C&S dragged its feet up until the last minute, and scrapped many of the older cars in 1916, as they were not worth the monies to rebuild them to comply. Most of the inherited cars of the 1880's disappeared about this time.

The only photo of one of the rebuilt Tiffany that I know of is this one:


Blackhawk, c1903, in Poole and Martin, Grandt's Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII

According to Derrell, the 597 was a 27 foot car rebuilt in May, 1902. It obviously still has link and pin couplers after rebuilding, as does the Peninsular 30 foot coal car 4915.  

Since this 27 foot car (by number) has hinges like those on a 26 foot car, have you ever wondered whether this is really a 26 foot car given a new number, once the rebuilding was complete. If up to six cars were torn apart in the shops at the same time, things could have gotten confused when re-painting / re-lettering time came, don't you think?


And this July, 1902 photo of C&S number 13's rollover above Blackhawk, shows a big St Charles reefer in its train, towering over the 27 foot boxcars ahead of it:



Klais photo, Ronzio collection in Kindig, et al, The Pictorial Supplement . . .


Link and pin couplers are obviously still in use, judging by the pilot of number 13. The girl in the bonnet at the right frame is gonna catch a fly if she doesn't close her mouth soon . . .

Or consider this DPL photo:



http://cdm16079.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15330coll22/id/5116/rec/1


A big St Charles reefer is at the left frame, behind derailed C&S 30, the Alma branch engine. It has a reweigh date of February, 1905. This may be another example of yellow appearing dark on orthochromatic film. I think I can make out a faint "Refrigerator" in black from the builder's paint scheme. Anyways, passenger engine C&S 4 still has a link and pin arrangement on its plow as late as 1905. Search "outlaw engine" on the Discussion Forum and main blog site to read Derrell's take on these anachronisms.

Anyways, I think there is some evidence that both classes of reefers coexisted with link and pin couplers, on both, for a few years, say 1902 until possibly 1905. IMHO, I'd build your St Charles reefer model with link and pin couplers, to be consistent.


This raises an interesting question about the mixed fleet issue.  Pictures after 1903 show Sams link and pin couplers, so did the C&S segregate cars on their divisions based on coupler fit, make up trains based on coupler type or fit slotted knuckles on the early knuckle conversion cars so they would be interoperable with the older equipment, or a little of all that?   Maybe the St. Charles cars had slotted knuckles installed on '03?

I'm not sure if anyone knows. The 1903 act applied to freight cars of railroads involved in interstate commerce where the freight cars were interchanged with other roads.

This caused a big problem for the D&RG, as its narrow gauge mainline meandered through northern New Mexico between Alamosa and Durango and of course to Santa Fe. Rather than refit its hundreds of B&S 24-foot cars, the D&RG purchased hundreds of new freight cars from AC&F in 1903-1904, including the 350 boxcars of the 3000 series and the later orders of 32 foot gons (1500-1899).

But did this mandate apply to the C&S? The C&S as a corporate entity was an interstate carrier, with standard gauge mainlines north to Wyoming and south to New Mexico and Texline, Texas, where it connected to its southern twin, the Fort Worth and Denver.  But the C&S narrow gauge operations were all in Colorado, and interchange (with the D&RG) occurred only at Leadville, Buena Vista and Gunnison.

Is it possible that many of the older, inherited cars (scheduled for scrapping when the planned modernization of the freight car fleet was completed in 1907-1910) were segregated and used on the Clear Creek lines, where interchange wasn't an issue? Did these cars retain their old link and pin couplers well into the later part of the first decade? That would explain all the slotted Janney couplers, allowing both types of couplers to operate.

Consider this familiar photo:



Idaho Springs, in Poole and Martin, Grandt's Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII


I had always assumed that flat car C&S 1049 was a rebuilt Litchfield 26 foot flat car (a Litchfield car based on the number of stake pockets, their location and the Litchfield style bolsters with the two bolt heads). I'd believed that the car was rebuilt c1899-1901, with straight side sills and beefed up underframe with 4 truss rods on new heavy queen posts. In this photo, usually dated 1901-1903, the car still has link and pin couplers.

But when enlarging the photo to study the brake details, I noticed this on the right end of the side sill:





To me, the reweigh date reads "Denver  10-11-07  Wt 13500".  If so, given the light jackets and shirt-sleeves on the humans, this could even be spring or summer of 1908. Does this mean freight cars on the Clear Creek lines were still operating with link and pin couplers this late?  Chris Walker is our Clear Creek scholar, perhaps he will opine.

A contrarian argument would be that the bolt head from the grab iron is really obscuring the upper loop part of the numeral "9", and the reweigh date is really 10-11-97.  But that would means that the car was actually rebuilt in the late 1890s, during the DL&G receivership.

What do others think??
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Refrigerator Cars--L&P vs Knuckle Couplers

Chris Walker
Jim,
in as far as the reweigh stencil having the Grabiron applied over top, then that would change things from what appears as 1907 as to really 1897, since the Bertha Prospectus I'd come across was from 1901, see http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/Thoughts-on-Roper-s-Snapshot-Saturday-No-30-td2459.html

Good observance, a jigsaw puzzle piece with a torn corner ?
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Refrigerator Cars--L&P vs Knuckle Couplers

Jim Courtney
Hey Chris,

I'd forgotten about your Bertha Prospectus post. Hard to argue with a written document that dates a photo by including a photo of the photo! So, 1901 it is . . . which means the Litchfield flat was actually rebuilt in the fall of 1897.

What I find fascinating is how much earlier things happened on the C&S, than previously thought. I'd always imagined that when the new C&S finally dawned, that's when President Trumbull rolled up his sleeves and began capital improvements to the property.

In truth, it appears Receiver Trumbull had been rebuilding things and buying new stuff during the receivership, in the late 1890s.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Refrigerator Cars--L&P vs Knuckle Couplers

Ron Rudnick
Car #1049 was re-lettered C&S 4/3/00 at which time it weighed 13600 pounds.
Therefore 1907 is the reweighing date
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Refrigerator Cars--L&P vs Knuckle Couplers

Chris Walker
Jim,
can you scan the other view of this unloading in the NGPict viii pg49?  The coalcar #4637 stenciling is visible, to the West adjacent the #1049, to me it has D 7 97 with weight underneath.

Both photos of this Flat show a Pinchbar in the same position by the Eastern loaded Hoistengine, the same Pinchbar is also visible in the Bertha Prospectus photo but now on the ground leaning against the sidesill, probably because it was used to move the flat slightly further West than the two NGPict photo location.
Also the de-mounted drum and bullgear show the same design as that of the fully assembled hoistgear on the #1047, the powerpole is also visible in all three pictures so unless anything else comes to light, I now think that this is the same shipment.
Why the grabiron is bolted over top of the stenciled date to me shows a later addition, never known a railway painter to remove hardware for stenciling, ours never even cleaned off the dirt, just painted a patch straight over it.


UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Freight Cars--Repainting vs Relettering

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Here you go, Chris:

My best scan of the flat 1049 in Grandt's Narrow Gauge Pictorial:





Enlarged and contrast adjusted:





Best that I can make out for a weigh date is "7-x-97".

So we have weigh dates from what appears to be 1897 vs 1907.  Ron has documentation that the flat car was repainted and relettered in April of 1900, suggesting 1907 is the correct year for the reweigh. You have printed documentation that the date of the photo is 1901, six years earlier than the reweigh, if it occurred in 1907. How to reconcile all this? Usually there is little or no documentation to date a photo, here we have too much!

Might I suggest that both you and Ron are correct. We are assuming that the car was completely repainted and relettered in 1900, which would have covered any dimensional data and weigh dates prior to that year. But what if the car was relettered in 1900, but not completely repainted?

The new C&S management wanted to purge the railroad property of any reminder of the prior UP ownership, and initiated "The Colorado Road" lettering scheme in 1899-1900. This had to be quite a chore for the car shops, as the order included all of the standard gauge freight cars as well. Some of the narrow gauge cars may have just been shopped or even rebuilt in the last couple of years of the receivership.

Isn't it possible that the car shops merely painted "patches" of fresh freight car red over the areas needed to locate the new lettering? The photo in my prior post is the clearest of the several images taken that day. Studying the flat car side sills under enlargement on my monitor, the dimensional data at the left end of the sill and the weigh date at the right end of the sill don't seem to match the new "Colorado & Southern" lettering: The fonts vary as do the size of the letters and numbers. And, Ron, isn't that an old "Westinghouse Air Brake" emblem on the left end of the sill?

I'm suggesting that the car men put a fresh coat of the same freight-car red paint on the center part of the sill for the new lettering, but left the ends of the sills alone, so the 1897 reweigh date survived the 1900 relettering.

Other examples of patch-painting and relettering:





Same two cars, same day, same pinch bar.  Coal car 4637 has a dark area of new paint on the body between the two center stakes, covering the old UP/DL&G reporting marks, the new C&S reporting marks applied on top. The side sill also looks darker in the center of the car under the new "Colorado & Southern" and road number.  The rest of the car appears to have weathered paint, including under the new box herald on the left end of the body.




http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/C-amp-Sn3-Kitbash-of-the-UP-built-27-foot-boxcar-Outfit-Car-Info-td8100.html


Bob Stears attached, but did not up load this photo of C&S outfit car 023 at Leadville. Another 27 foot coal car at the left upper corner appears to have an irregular new paint patch between the center stakes, and the center of the side sill also looks darker.




http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/Poles-on-Flats-td3512.html


An enlargement of Doug Heitkamps "Poles on Flats" photo shows two Peninsular flat cars in Idaho Springs about the same time as the photos of 1049 with its machinery lading. Flat car 1071 has a pretty uniform paint job under the new lettering, and appears to have been rebuilt with new straight, notched side sills. Sister flat car 1064 (with original tapered side sills) seems to have darker paint under the new lettering on the center of the side sill, with the ends of the side sill (including the dimensional data / weigh date) weathered, almost illegible.

I really hadn't noticed this before. Since I have a string of three Cimarron Works 27-foot coal cars under construction, I think I'll try to reproduce this effect, with one car completely freshly painted / lettered, the other two with varying paint patches over faded freight car red sides and ends. I was impressed how Bob Stears painted his outfit car 023 to reflect this paint patch effect.

Anyhow, I think 1901 is the best date for the photo of 1049.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Freight Cars--Repainting vs Relettering

Chris Walker
Coal #4637 has the stencil 5-7-97 on it, the best rendition of this Lachlan McLean picture is in Secure the Shadow by Duane A.  Smith and Hank Wieler, it just took a contact from Arizona and reader of this forum to jog my memory.
Stan Schwedler sent his copy of 4637 and 1049:



My question in response to this is..... would all those cars gathered on that particular day in Idaho Springs still have the Link&Pin couplers in 1907?  I'm not really that up on freightcars, my admiration of the two pictures in question stems from the Mining Industry load.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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RE: Modeling Early C&S Freight Cars--Repainting vs Relettering

Jim Courtney
This post was updated on .
Chris,

Thanks for posting this wonderfully clear image of this photograph. The "Paint Patch" on the sill of coal car 4637 is much more apparent here.

My question in response to this is..... would all those cars gathered on that particular day in Idaho Springs still have the Link&Pin couplers in 1907?

I'd guess not. My point about the couplers on the Tiffany cars was that 1903 shouldn't be taken as a "drop dead" deadline for changing out cars to automatic couplers. The program started in earnest in 1903, but may not have been complete until 1905.  Otherwise, why were all those slotted knuckle couplers installed? It implies that both type of couplers were used together, at least for a while.

The Trumbull management probably figured this federal requirement into their plans for new car building. Many of the inherited car classes were likely used only until enough new cars could be built in the C&S 1902-1910 car building program.

It is unlikely that coal car 4637 (or any of the 27 foot 14-ton coal cars) ever received automatic couplers. The 161 new 30-foot, 25-ton coal cars out-shopped by the C&S in early 1902 made them redundant and they were likely scrapped at that time.

Many of the 26 foot Litchfield and 27 foot UP built boxcars received automatic couplers, but as new boxcars were constructed, beginning in 1907, their numbers dwindled. By summer of 1909 (with none of the SUF boxcars yet constructed) only one of the 26-foot and only 13 of the 27-foot boxcars remained listed in revenue service.

It is not clear if the flat car 1049 in the photo received automatic couplers. After the delivery of the twenty new 25-ton flat cars in 1902, it may have also disappeared. By the 1909 C&S inventory, only 3 of the Litchfield flat cars remained in service, perhaps spared by all the short haul pipe traffic to the Denver Waterworks construction going on in lower Platte Canon. Perhaps little 1049 was one of them, since it had been rebuilt. John Maxwell's roster lists them as "out by 1912".

To bring these thoughts back to the rebuilt Tiffany reefers (the actual subject of this thread) it seems that management felt it necessary to rebuild most of them in 1902-1903 (21 to 22 of the surviving Tiffanys were rebuilt by Derrell's estimate), as there just weren't enough of the new big St Charles reefers. The big cars were evidently poorly suited to the South Park division, and tended to stay on Clear Creek. The rebuilt Tiffanys were likely the mainstay reefer on the South Park Division for 5 or 6 years, until the 20 SUF reefers were delivered by the C&S shops in early 1909.

Question is, were the Tiffanys used much after 1909? Did they ever receive the C&S block monogram lettering? Did they ever receive US Safety Appliance hardware?

The C&S 1909 inventory shows the number of Tiffanys in service to be down to 12 cars, 6 of each length. John Maxwell's roster published in The Pictorial Supplement . . .  showed only 5 Tiffanys still on the roster about 1912, with notes that they were "out by 1923". Were they actually in use that late, or merely sitting on some siding in Denver or Como, slowly deteriorating?

Perhaps Ron Rudnick has more information as to when automatic coupler installation had been completed and the fate of the Tiffany reefers after 1910.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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