New layout planning

I’ve been planning a new layout since late in the summer of 2019. I came across the image above a few years ago and it has inspired research into the Baltimore & Ohio’s Allegheny Yard branch in Pittsburgh. In the lead image we see the Allegheny River and the School Street yard sitting on the north shore, circa 1923. Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball along this shore at PNC Park. The stadium dominates the scene and would be hiding the building with the Teaberry Gum sign.

All images in this blog post are from the Pittsburgh City Photographer collection on the Historic Pittsburgh site, unless noted otherwise.

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Schoen and Pressed Steel Car Company hoppers

It’s time for another freight car resource. Steve Hedlund sent a wonderful summary of Schoen Pressed Steel and Pressed Steel Car Company hoppers. These companies built some of the earliest all-steel hoppers starting in the late 1890s. They built more than 18,000 of these hoppers, which were used by a dozen different railroads. The Pennsylvania Railroad GL class cars were very similar but deserve a separate review.

This resource PDF document is available on the Freight Car Fleets page. We hope modelers find it useful as they build early steel hoppers for their fleets. We have more railroad fleet data and details coming soon.

Many thanks to Steve for pulling the data and images together.


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Lehigh Valley boxcar fleet

Lehigh Valley boxcars seem to appear frequently in pre-Depression era railroad images. I’ve inquired many times about their pre-1930s boxcar fleet details but most of the Lehigh Valley fans and modelers I’ve met know little about the early 1900s fleet.

The October 1926 ORER lists 13,144 boxcars in the LV fleet. Only 2,040 of those have a 40-foot interior length, most of those are automobile boxcars. The rest of their boxcars have interior lengths of 36-foot, 6-inch, or less. Nearly 3,500 cars in one number series had a 34-foot interior length, which is shorter than I expected for a mid-1920s fleet.

Ray Breyer and I have discussed the elusive Lehigh Valley boxcar fleet over the years. He has pulled data from ORER listings and other sources to summarize the Lehigh Valley boxcar fleet of 1925. This PDF document is available as a resource on the Freight Car Fleets page. We hope modelers find it useful as they build Lehigh Valley boxcars for their fleets. We plan to add more railroad fleet data and details in the future.


Thank you for visiting the blog. You can share a comment in the section below. Follow the instructions so your comment can be posted. All comments are reviewed and approved before they appear. Please share the blog link with other model railroaders. To subscribe to this blog, add your email address to the function at the bottom of the right column on the main page.

1926 B&O freight car fleet – 3

B&O class N-12e 322841 is a 1921 product of the Pressed Steel Car Company.

Do you recognize this coal hopper? I know you recognize the railroad name, but do you recognize the car design? It looks similar to many hoppers used in the first four decades of the 20th Century. The B&O had more than 1400 of these N-12e class cars listed in the October 1926 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). There were 14,364 overall N-12 class cars. Are you surprised?

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