M-K-T box car time markers

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Many modelers focus on a specific point in time to guide their layout efforts. There are a number of markers that can be used to pinpoint the time an image was taken. Many railroads introduced emblems or new lettering at different points in time on their rolling stock. Steve Hedlund sent along details about Missouri-Kansas-Texas box car lettering practices that I found interesting so this blog post is mainly Steve’s. I added a couple points at the end and I’m certain this type of info will be revisited. For now, enjoy Steve’s work.

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New Haven steel coal gondolas

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Fellow Pre-Depression Era modeler Dave Parker has sent notes on a recent resin freight car kit build. Click on any image here to review a larger size.┬áHere’s Dave’s story.

In 1929, the New York, New Haven and Hartford received 500 class GA-2 gondolas from the Pressed Steel Car Company. These all-steel, drop-bottom gons had an inside length of 40 feet, and were numbered in the 58000-58499 series. Based on my collection of Official Registers, 496 remained in service as of 1945, but by 1955 this number had dwindled to 276 cars, and all had been rebuilt as solid-floor cars (GB classification). At some intermediate date, probably about 1950, the 58000 series apparently contained a mix of original and rebuilt cars, but I do not own an ORER that gives the exact numbers.

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Holiday Lull

The quiet view across the street from my house after a snowfall in the desert.
The quiet view across the street from my house after a snowfall in the desert.

I returned to my workbench the other day and unearthed a project I started over a month ago. I seem to experience a holiday lull in hobby activity each year as outside activities increase and a family member or two travels to this tip of far west Texas for a visit. Old Man Winter played a trick and dumped eight inches of snow on the region to shut things down for a couple of days. I also dealt with a wonderful blog software update here that had gone awry. It was very good to sit at the workbench again and make progress.

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Flat Car Additions

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A couple more completed freight cars have been discovered among the boxes of hobby kits and supplies. Each of these two flat car kits were built several years ago and even painted. The black car with fish belly side sills is a Funaro & Camerlengo kit for a Baltimore & Ohio P-11 class flat car. The other car is a Tichy Train Group kit that I may have built 20 years ago. The model is pretty close to representing several prototypes that fit my 1926 era. I have a few flat cars in service but none are proper for my era so these two newly found models were given the fast track to completion.

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Model Progress

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Some of my projects are long term affairs but they eventually move forward. Here’s a peek at one of those projects. This freight car started about five years ago when Accurail released their very nice 41-foot steel gondola. Except for the ends and a couple of small details, the model is a close match to a Wheeling & Lake Erie prototype. 2000 of those gondolas were built in 1921.

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