Friday, December 14, 2018

GTW Fowler 36 ft Box Car 417150

After purchase of an Accurail Fowler box car, kit #1157,  lettered for the Chicago Great Western, CGW, I contacted Eric Hansmann asking if it matched a prototype.  He referred me to Ray Breyer’s compressive article ACCURAIL’S NEW SHORT BOXCAR MODEL AND ITS MATCHES PART 5: THE 1100-SERIES FOWLER BOXCARS on his blog on the Fowler box car.  After reading Ray’s article I knew the  CGW cars were sawtooth cars like those owned by the Soo Line so a rework of the purchased Accurail box car was needed.  After another read of the article I decided to rework the Accurail Fowler box car into a Grand Trunk Western Box Car, series 417150-420149, with 6-foot doors, received from Canadian National, formerly GT 10000-102999, when the US lines of the former Grand Trunk Railway were reformed by the CN as the Grand Trunk Western in 1928.  Of the 3,000 cars the GTW received 18 were still on the roster in 1955, the year I model.

Ray Breyer Photo Collection
(Click or tap on photos to enlarge)

Ray Breyer Photo Collection

I assembled the car kit adding electrical outlet  box punch outs for weights to bring the car weight to 3.8 ounces; however, the underbody with Kadee #148 couplers and InterMountain 33 inch metal wheels installed in the Accurail trucks was not glued into the car body at this time to allow removal for the car body rework.  In addition, the longitudinal running board was also not glued to the car body for the same reason.

Assembled Accurail CGW box car before rework into GTW.
(click or tap on this or any photo to enlarge)

Assembled underbody with no changes.

I began the Grand Trunk Western Box Car rework based on the chart of features for a GTW box car included in the article.  The features for the GTW car included the following:  two post ends rather than the four post ends, a steel roof rather than wood roof, latitudinal running boards and a door brace.  Before starting to add these and other features, I removed all lettering from the car body except for the build date with a nylon scratch brush.  The lettering on the car could not be removed without also removing the paint below due to the very thin coat of original factory paint.  I carved off all grab irons and ladder on the sides.  No need to carve off the ladder rungs on the ends as the end would be replaced with a new resin end.

Lettering, molded on grab irons and ladder rungs removed.
Areas where lettering removed were brushed with a matching Vallejo paint mix.

I removed the underbody before starting the change of the “B” end from a four post to a two post end.  With the underbody removed, I cut out the the portion of the “B” end with the four  posts with a Umm saw and glued in a new two post resin end I cast from resin using a Westerfield Fowler Car end from kit 1501 as a master.

Resin cast 2 post end glued to  carbody.

After letting the car body with the new end set overnight to allow glue to completely setup I added “B” end details.  First I drilled all the holes using a #79 drill for grab irons and ladder rungs to be installed later.  Once drilling of holes was complete, I installed a Tichy Train Group (Tichy) brake step and brackets from Tichy set #3013.  Next I installed the brake shaft step using an A-Line #29000 sill step.  A Sunshine Models retainer valve from the parts box was installed next followed by a retainer line, Tichy, #1100, .008" diameter PBW and brackets fabricated from Tichy, #1101, .010” diameter phosphor bronze wire (PBW).  Now the brake shaft, Tichy #11026, .015” diameter PBW with a Tichy brake wheel, from set #3010, was installed.  The longitudinal running board extension brackets, Evergreen,#8102, 1x2” strip styrene were attached.  The grab irons and ladder rungs bent from Tichy, #1101, .010” diameter PBW  ( see “bending grab irons”under “labels “ on this blog) were installed next.  Finally, the uncoupling levers, Tichy, #1106, .0125" diameter PBW (see "bending uncoupling levers" under "labels" on this blog) with eyebolts bent from Ticy, #1101, .010" PBW for brackets were installed to complete the “B” end.  Grab irons, ladder rungs and uncoupling lever and brackets on the “A” end we’re installed next.

"B" end details added.

Now I added  the side details: grab iron and ladder rungs bent from Tichy, #1101, .010” diameter PBW, A-Line, #29000, sill steps bent to the shape based on GTW photo, a door brace, Evergreen, 1x3” strip styrene with fasteners made with MEK Goop, and a door handle bent from Tichy, #1101, .010” diameter PBW.

Side details added.

The roof changes needed were next.  I removed the longitudinal running board and set it aside to reinstall later.  I decided to leave the existing roof saddles and add new steel roof panels to each side of the roof saddles.  I cut the new steel roof panels from Evergreen, #9010, .010” sheet styrene and laminated them to the existing wood roof with MEK.  Based on the GTW photos, I made a story stick to lay out the ribs I spaced 3 feet 3 inches apart.  The spacing of the ribs was laid out using the center of the door for a starting point.  Using the story stick (card), I transferred the rib placement lines to the roof.

Story stick (card) used for roof layout.

I cut the needed ribs made from Evergreen, #8204, 2x4” strip styrene, with a NorthWest Short Line chopper and installed them with MEK. After installing the ribs I was pleased to see their location was very close to the prototype when I compared them to GTW photos.  With the new steel roof installed the existing running board saddles were too short.  Therefore, I cut additional saddles, Evergreen, # 8103, 1x3” strip, and glued them to the existing saddles to raise them.  The longitudinal running board was now installed. 

Next new latitudinal running boards, resin ones from the parts box, were prepared for install.  I drilled holes for the corner grab irons with a #79 drill.  I made and glued mounting brackets from .005 x .046” flat brass strip stock to the back of the lateral running boards allowing an extension on the back side for gluing under the longitudinal running board and on the front for bending the portion of the bracket that goes over the roof edge.  Grab irons bent from Tichy, #1101, .010” diameter PBW wire with Yarmouth Model Works, #356, eyebolts with shoulder, for corner bracket were installed.  The finished latitudinal running boards were installed completing the new roof rework.

New steel roof  with running boards.

The reworked car was ready for the paint shop. The new resin ends and styrene roof were wiped with cotton swabs dipped in 91% alcohol to clean for painting.  A Vallejo mix of 30 drops Model Air Brown RLM26 with one drop of Model Color, 70.862, Black Grey was sprayed on the new ends and roof.  The areas on the sides where grab irons and ladder rungs had been removed and where lettering removal removed not only lettering but paint were brushed with the same mix.  After drying overnight, the car body was sprayed with Model Master 4638 Gloss Clear Acryl to provide a base for decal application.

Car is ready for decals.

 The lettering and numbers for GTW box car 417150 were done with Westerfield Models decal set,  D4354 for a GTW 36’ Fowler Box Car with 6’ door.  Decals after removed from backing by soaking in distilled water were applied using Microscale Set and Sol.  Once decals were dry the car body was sprayed with Model Master Clear Flat Acryl to protect decals during handling.  After drying once more, car weathered with Pan Pastels.

Grand Trunk  Western  417150 sitting in McGregor yard.

Grand Trunk Western 417150 sitting in McGregor yard.

The Grand Trunk Western Fowler Box Car 417150 is now in service on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company Railroad.  Without the help of  Eric Hansmann for the information obtained from his blog and to Ray Breyer for photos and articles on the Fowler Car on Eric’s blog this build would not have been possible.   A  big “ Thank You “ to you both.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Card System - Operating Session Setup - Part 2

After the car cards and shipment cards needed for the card system are prepared you can begin to use them for car movements on the railroad.   We will first look at the preparation work needed to makeup trains on the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company.  I use an Operating Session Setup check list to keep track of the steps needed and completed.

Simple check list to help  prepare an operating session.
(Click or tap on any image to enlarge)

The setup checklist shows what has to be done prior to making up waybills.  The second item on the list is Train packs that contained waybills and train orders that moved trains in both directions between Minneapolis (east end of railroad) to McGregor (west end of the railroad) from the last session have to be moved back to their starting locations.

Train packs in bottom row have been moved from Minneapolis back to McGregor.

Waybills in town pockets have to be advanced to the next pocket due to time in the system.  Therefore, in each town, a waybill put in a 2 days pocket will advance to the 1 day pockets and a waybill in 1 day pocket will advance to the pickup pocket.  When a waybill is moved to the pickup pocket the shipment card is removed, turned over to side two, and reinserted in the plastic sleeve (cards are never turned by operators during a operating session).  The waybill now has new information for the car destination after it is picked up.

Interchange tracks, GN in Minneapolis, CNW in Little Chicago, and MILW in Eureka Center, have to have cars spotted on them in the last session removed, boxed, and moved to the interchange cabinet in which all interchange cars off the railroad are stored.  Waybills for the boxed cars are removed from the Interchange pocket and shipment cards are removed and filed in day of origin.  The car card now without shipment card in filed in the car card file.

Shipment card file on left and car cards file on right.

You are now the yard clerk getting car movements, new day waybills ready for the next operating session (system day) on the railroad.  You open your shipment card file and pull out the shipment cars for an operating day.  The shipment cards are the calls from the industries served by your railroad (blue cards) and the industries served by connecting railroads via interchanges which each have their own color: orange MILW, yellow CNW, and white GN.  So you are yard clerk for your railroad and for the connecting railroads.

Several shipment cards pulled from shipment card file.

Let us take several of the calls for system day two and fill them by matching them with cars to create the operating day waybills.  I want to begin with a home road shipment card first.

Upon reviewing the home road shipment card, a Request  For Empty, you find that Lester Feed Mill located in Tunnel City, Minn. with a blocking number of 21 has requested and empty box car to be delivered to door 2 to be unloaded and picked up in two days.   An empty box car can be found in Minneapolis or McGregor yard.  Home road cars are stored in the yards and their car cards are in car card pockets with one labeled for each track.  I will look at the box cars available in the McGregor yard on the various tracks and choose a car to fill the order.  Which box car do I choose?  A good yard clerk knows his customers and their car preferences such as should it be a wood or steel car, single or double door, etc.  After selecting a box car I find the car card for it in the card box for the track it is located on and I slide the shipment card into the car card car sleeve to create the waybill needed to move the car.

McGregor yard pockets for yard tracks and for Train packs.

Now l want to look at the CNW shipment card, a Freight Waybill, pulled for day 2.  Upon reviewing the shipment card I can see I need a flat car that has a pipe load that will be placed on the CNW interchange track that I know is located in Little Chicago where it will be picked up by the Minneapolis & Northland, and moved to the M&N Team Track with a blocking number of 29 located in Sussex, Minnesota.  The shipment card for day 2 is and older car card in the system which used letters  to represent days, "B" was 2 days, rather than on newer shipment cards which now have 2 days for the Setout ( see newer card above).  

Older cards used a letter to represent days.  Here setout "B" equals 2 days.

I go to the car card file and choose a flat car and slide the shipment card into the sleeve to create a waybill.  

A waybill is created when shipment card in combined with car card.

Interchange cars are not stored on the railroad; they are stored in boxes stored in a cabinet on a shelf that contains the CNW cars.  In the same cabinet are shelves with the cars for the MILW and GN (on other railroads these cars could be located on staging tracks).  I now go the cabinet and find the flat car in the box on the CNW shelf.  I take the car out of the box and place the box in the storage box location for cars moved to interchanges.  The CNW flat car is now placed on the CNW interchange track in Little Chicago and the car card is place in the CNW interchange box.

Car card placed in CNW Interchange pickup pocket.

I am not done yet as the car empty flat car needs a pipe load.   So off to the drawer holding car loads and choose a pipe load for the flat car and take it to Little Chicago and place it on the CNW flat on the CNW interchange track.

An old Varnery plastic flat car still in service waiting pickup on CNW Interchange.

After creating the two waybills above I continue to complete creating the waybills for the remaining shipment cards.   If you go back to my "Card System - paperwork"  blog  post that contained the “Number of Cards in System Day” report you will find in addition to the two waybills created above there are eighteen (18) more to prepare for system day two.  Once all waybills are created and in their appropriate train pockets and cars are located on interchanges on the railroad you as the yard clerk are ready to create the train consist lists used by yardmasters to makeup trains for moving the cars to their location.

The new waybills for the day that you put in card pockets in a yard, an interchange pocket or in a pickup pocket are now listed on a consist list for a train.  You the clerk have to decide from experience working the railroad as to which trains, an extra or scheduled freight, to assign a waybill to enable a car to get to the customer in the most efficient way.

Train Consist  Form used by yardmasters to build trains.

Your work as a yard clerk is now done.   It is now time to call for an operating crew to move trains.

Yardmasters use the consist list to makeup a train and call the dispatcher for a crew.  Upon reporting the crew receives a train pack consisting of the waybills, clearance form, train orders, and instructions as to what their train will do while moving on the railroad such as consulting the timetable if a scheduled train.

Train pack contents: instructions, clearance form, train orders, and waybills.

I have covered only the basic waybill car movements of the industry based system.   Various other movements can and are made on my railroad.  One example, when filling a home road call for a “Request for Empty” the empty car rather than come from a yard could be filled with an empty home road car being returned to the railroad from a foreign road via an interchange (home road cars that leave via an interchange are returned after 3 days/operating sessions).  Therefore, an empty car being returned by the GN that was set out on the interchange track in Minneapolis, normally returned to a M&N yard, could be used to fill a call (shipment card).  In this case, an empty home road car is directly moved to an industry rather than a M&N yard prior to being used to fill an industry call (shipment card for a Request for Empty).  Another example, an empty car at an industry rather than being moved back to a yard is used to fill a call at another industry.

The industry card system I have described, in my opinion, provides visiting train crews to my Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company with an experience of moving cars in a prototype manner.   The system does take time to install if you should choose to use it and continues to take time to setup each operating session.  On my railroad it takes about four hours plus to setup an operating session using the system.   Only you can decide if you want to use this industry based card system to have fun running trains.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.

Lester Breuer

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Card System - Paperwork Setup - Part 1

After you purchase or finish a kit to add another piece of rolling stock to your car fleet, what do you do with it?  In my case it goes into service on my Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company railroad, reporting marks are M&N, operating in late spring of 1955. The M&N is a short line railroad serving local industries and connecting to three major railroads via interchanges. You can find more about my railroad at the following website   and once open clicking on "layouts" and finding my railroad there   I define in-service as moving rolling stock on the model railroad in a prototype fashion. To accomplish prototype movement I use an industry based card system I developed with a friend in the late 1970's.  The card system I use is different from others as it has time built into it.  I want to share the card system paperwork and how to create it with you here.

The system uses four types of car movements: online to online, online to offline, offline to online and offline to offline.  Online is defined as an industry, team track, or yard facility as a sand house or stores building on your railroad and offline is a customer off your railroad reached via an interchange.  Therefore, an online to online shipment is from one industry on the railroad to another industry on the railroad and an online to offline is a shipment from an industry on the railroad to one not on the railroad via an interchange railroad.

Car movements are controlled by a waybill consisting of a car card and a shipment card which identifies the car movement as a "Request For Empty" or "Freight Waybill."  My car cards are 3x5 cards printed on 40 lb. paper enclosed in an open ended plastic sleeve into which a shipment card, half a 3x5 card printed on both sides, is inserted. The shipment card is the two sided type which has car movement data printed on both sides. As a result there are times when a second shipment card is needed to complete a car movement which is not the case with the later developed four sided waybill.  I still use the two sided waybill rather than the new smaller four sided waybill very common today because my system was developed prior to these waybills coming into existence.  The waybill can be simple like mine or an exact copy of a prototype.  A Microsoft (MS) Excel spreadsheet was used and still is to make and print the car cards and shipment cards as well as other needed paperwork. And, I do not want to redo three hundred and seventy plus waybills.

Car Card
Shipment Card
(Click or tap on any image to enlarge)

Waybill  - card card with shipment card above inserted with reverse side showing.

What information does the waybill have?  First a car card is printed on 40 lb. paper for each piece of rolling stock when put in service on the railroad.  The car card has the following information printed on the left side of it: car type ( BOX ), car reporting marks ( M&St,L ), number ( 53738 ), name of railroad ( Minneapolis & St. Louis ), class ( XM ),  car capacity ( 50 Ton ) and at times information about car (steel, 1937 design).  A home road car it has a blue line added around the outer edge.

The shipment card contains the following information: the system day with the name of the railroad where the car is coming from next to it ( this information is printed in a color section assigned to my home road and each interchange railroad to help operators quickly identify the railroad where the car originated: blue M&N, orange MILW, yellow CNW, White GN , next is the car movement, a "Request For Empty" or "Freight Waybill,"  To ( station and state where the car is going), Consignee ( customer) and consignee blocking number, Route ( how is the car going to get there), Car Type, Contents, and Setout ( tells operator where to place waybill after car is delivered ).  The two sided shipment cards are printed in a group of three on one side of an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet, each is cut out, folded in half and rubber cement is used to glue the folded sides together and rolled with a wallpaper seam roller creating a shipment card.

Sample shipment cards
(Click or tap on image to enlarge)

We now know what information is found on the shipment card; however, we now need to know where to find that information to fill out a shipment card.  I began by creating a blocking report.  The blocking report identifies each industry and interchange on the railroad in each town from one end of the railroad to the other and assigns a number to it used by operators to block trains.  Each town has a group of block numbers assigned to current existing industries and should allow for numbers to be assigned to industries added in the future.  On my blocking report I also show door spots for industries that have them.

Blocking Report
(click or tap on image to enlarge)

Once the blocking report was finished I moved on to the industry report prepared for each industry.   The industry report is the most important one in the system for it is the information on this report that is the basis for an industry based operating system.  Before looking at the information on the report you need to choose a period (time) for which industries will ship product or receive raw materials.  I chose a period of 14 days for my industries.  Therefore, since my railroad operates at least once a month, if you came to each session during the year you have a unique session that does not repeat itself.  On other railroads where I have helped the owner install the system they decided on a shorter period.  Then research for what each industry ships and receives is done for the time prior chosen.  My research for some industries was done by visiting the industry and speaking with management or employees to obtain the ship and receive information.  During these visits I also found the average time a car spent at an industry for loading or unloading was one to three days.  Therefore, that is the time I used in my industry reports for a car to be at located an industry.   If I could not visit an industry to gather information I used various sources to obtain the information for products received and shipped.  One such source is historical society with members that worked for the railroad that can help with that information.  Another source is railroad manuals such as the one I have for the Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern titled “Information and Data Pertaining to Industries.”  One example of the information found in this manual.  It has the industry number, 3091, ( I call the blocking number) the industry name, Security Warehouse #6, address, contact person, and a description, “Unloads box cars coffee, sugar, etc., switch on south end holds six cars – placarded door on north side to unload.”  In these cases I had to guess what could come in and go out in the 14 days.

Now we can look at how an industry report is filled out. At the top of the industry report is the industry name, the blocking number found on the blocking report created above, the town where it is located, the siding capacity, and the total number of days used by car movements in and out.  The “total days” number is calculated by multiplying the siding capacity by the time period which in my case was 14 days.  Following this information is the car movements out (ships) and car movements in (receives). Here is where the research information you gathered on the industry is recorded. Specifically the information shows: car contents, car type, route, to or from (is the customer or interchange), and the town. The report also shows the time, the number of days, a car will be at the industry and the system day you assign the car movement.  On the industry report below the ship and receive information you see a chart which I use to plot the receipts and shipments of  see what is to be happening each day ( operating session ). An entry on the chart consists of the system day ( an operating session) separated by a hyphen from the number that is time, the days car will be at the industry.  An entry begins on the day a car arrives and advances each day until it is picked up.  I can check an industry using this chart to see if the anticipated movement is there.  In doing this check I can tell if the railroad and operators are working in an efficient manner.  Of course, it is not necessary to fill out and this section and it does not have to be used.

Commander Elevator Industry Report

Once the industry report has some car movements entered (ships or receives) a shipment card can be filled out. I will fill out one shipment car using the first car movement (first line under Ships) on the Commander Elevator industry report.  The shipment car needs to be a “Request for Empty” for an empty box car from the Milwaukee Road to be loaded with grain and delivered to Lester Feed Mill in Tunnel City by the Minneapolis & Northland Railroad Company. I go to my computer, open an Excel spreadsheet which has the shipment car for the MILW setup on it and enter the information from the industry report.  The completed shipment card  added to car card to create waybill (that will need a second shipment card inserted for the final car move) is shown below.

Waybill  for day 5 is a car card with side one of completed shipment card added.

Waybill 2 days (ops sessions) later with shipment card turned over.
(Shipment card is turned over when waybill is moved to pickup box)

Waybill 1 day later (ops session) with a 2nd shipment card added
to return empty car to yard..

After I complete a shipment card I enter it on report I have named “Number Of Cars In System Per Day.”  The report as others is created in MS Excel using a spreadsheet.  The upper section of the report shows the number of cards (car movements) the system is currently using in a day (operating session) while the lower section shows on what railroad the movement originates. This report again is one that is not necessary to install this system.

Number of Cards in System Per Day

You now have a collection of card cards and shipments cards that need a storage place.   I store the card cards in a cabinet drawer that was designed for such cards and the shipment cards are stored in a receipt card file box.   Industry reports and other reports are stored in a 3 ring binder.

After reading and digesting the material above I hope you can create a card car, a shipment card, and combine the two to make a waybill that will be used by you and your train crews for industry based car movements on your railroad.  How to use the waybills to match them with rolling stock to makeup train consists and get them to their location I cover in  "Operating Session - Setup - Part 2" on my blog.

Thank You for taking time to read my blog.  You can share a comment in the section below if you choose to do so.  Please share the blog link with other model railroaders.
Lester Breuer