Seeking input on freight cars

SP&S #750 Sep 24, 2018

  1. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Hello there,

    I'd like some input from you folks on freight cars ranging from the 50's to the 70's, I've been grabbing MTL cars here and there, I know boxcars were king during these years but I was curious to add some variety and color to my trains. I'm loosely modeling the SP&S in the 60's, I know that the Hill lines were changing schemes during the decade so Big Sky blue is the most obvious to me but since the SP&S interchange with Uncle Pete, the WP, SP, GN, NP, and the local lumber roads. I'm not super picky on schemes or cars as a pair of Z-8's are still in service alongside ALCo Centuries. I like Flat cars and lumber industry cars as well so if I can Centerbeams and Bulkheads are a big +1.

    Thanks in advance.

    I'm building my Z scale fleet based n what I was able to see when I was younger.
     
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  2. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was still seeing Rocky on the sides of cars back in the 80s on the East coast. Big Sky Blue was not all that prevalent as as a lot of cars only got it when they underwent a major shopping and there were a number of green boxcars before the BN merger finally occurred with GN lettering. SP&S had a number of cars for green veneer shipping that were minus their doors and of course there were the older boxcars with roofs removed and top boards added for wood chip service. Don't forget to include CB&Q cars in the mix and even throw in some eastern road cars like Pennsy and D&H including Southern. I would build my fleet of cars with about 60% Hill lines roads and the rest a mixture of other roads from all over. UP tended to funnel their cars up the south bank of the Columbia and over Milwaukee track.
     
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  3. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Awesome, thank you for the input John! So, I'm in the right direction. I have to rebuild my fleet and have focused on primarily having SP&S locos, how much foreign road power/ transfer power should I get?
     
  4. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    I would start by joining the SP&S Historical Society and look to see if there are any forums for the railroad. Pictures of trains and yards are especially helpful with what you should be looking for. Here's some really good data from my personal favorite source of info: Tony Thompson (knows just about everything about the SP, but still knows more than a little about everything else as well):

    https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/magazine/mrh-2011-12-dec/getting_real

    Finally, don't forget it is YOUR railroad: get whatever you like and or want. Just remember to have fun with it!
     
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  5. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    NP power was not seen on the road much if at all except for NP steam handed down to the SP&S. GN power from steam to diesel was the most common and that included some hand me downs that kept their GN paint for awhile just being lettered for SP&S. Even a few GN green steamers made it on the SP&S and stayed in green until the first major shopping just picking up SP&S road names and numbering. Now if you are modeling East of Wishram you had WP power coming off the SP&S lashed in with the SP&S diesels. A lot of the SP&S cabooses were based off of NP and GN designs with the majority of them from the GN. Early passenger power was a GN design Atlantic and later Pacifics of both GN and NP ancestry. First passenger diesels were a pair of F-3s followed by the lone E-7 and then some more F-3s and F-7s. Freight steam where mostly NP and GN steam handed down from the parents except for the E and Z class steam that was purchased new.

    And before somebody says that they never had a GN paint scheme
    And somewhere there is a photo of the ex GN Pacific still in green paint running on the SP&S.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  6. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for that article Jeff!

    So other than the GN OT train(which I want to get some GP's for) I shouldn't worry about the occasional run through WP unit? I haven't quite decided which area of the SP&S to model beyond the main from Portland to Spokane. Most of my power would accurately reflect this especially with Lowell's new C636's and Athearns Z-8's which will still see service, simply because I'd hate to waste a good locomotive with so few SP&S ones around.
     
  7. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    There are a few videos on YouTube of the SP&S under vintage SP&S that were converted from old 8 M movie film. They are a bit washed out but still give one a great view of track side scenery and at least one gives some views of track side structures particularly colors of structures. The early years of the C-636s on the SP&S were marked by troubles and the road retained some FB-2s specifically for splicing in the consists because the 636s were failing that often. So in the early years a lash up of a 636/FB-2/636 was common. As far as modeling I would go with the area west of Wishram. East of there was all arid and the west was forested so the timber related traffic was there and the sole branch line to Goldendale was there. Also the west side had numerous short tunnels which can serve as scenic divides. The Goldendale Branch connected to the Klicktat Log and Lumber so you could run some Shays there. And the West side had the Broughton log flume that ran down to a trackside mill.
     
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  8. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    I think I may do that, kinda liked that area the most. I've ridden HWY 14 from the Dalles west, the green side of the gorge was probably one of my top 5 rides.
     
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    My old brain finally kicked into gear remembering some of my SP&S modeling days. Besides the dual service GP-9s they also had a small number of RS-2s that got the smaller steam generators from the original F-3s and they were used for some of the passenger runs generally trains 3 and 4 and 5 and 6.
    The GP-9s saw service during the winter running with the lone E-7 and pinch heating when one of the F-3s or F-7 were in the shop.
     
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  10. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    My passenger units definitely outnumber my freight ones at the moment, did the F3's or F7's see time on freights pre BN merger? I know one pic shows one of the old gals lashed up with Hood units of varied lineage in Ed Austin's SP&S diesels book.
     
  11. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    By the time of the merger at least two of the SP&S passenger runs had been discontinued which would have freed up two of the passenger units, plus they had two RS-2s with the steam generators and the GP-9 units around also with the steam generators. Most likely the RS-2 went back to freight only and at least one of the F units went out as a trade in before the merger. The Goldendale Branch ran a gas electric and then a mixed train service so they never saw use there. All but the one trade in made it to the BN merger and got BN numbers.
     
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