Saturday, July 26, 2014

Roper's Snapshot Saturday No.10 | 11 Comments - Click Here :

11 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Every South Parker in O and S scale needs 15 of these cars – each. And every Early C&S modeler needs at least 4. And everyone else needs at least 2 – just because they are Soooooo cool! The photos for this weeks Roper Snapshot (give that doggie a big juicy biscuit!!) come from my good friend and Canadian, David Steer – you’ve seen his wonderful work published in the likes of RMC and he won an award for his fabulous Onx(?) Barret Garrett at the National Narrow Gauge convention in De-Troit (iirc). David is a fabulous modeler… and a caring guy, as I’ve found out. Take off your hat, David.

    The model of course is one of the new The Leadville Shops O scale composite kits and the design and development of Robert Stears. I believe Bob also designed the decals. Wonderful stuff.

    What we see here, that is so delicious to me, is that sheathed underframe. This is the first time a model kit has ever offered that option and what David has done is just dog-nuts! This is how (imo) EVERY reefer should be treated. Even those of the evil empire (oh heavens!)

    David pointed out in an email to me that;

    “I hesitate about the photo of the NY brakes as that is really for the later UP version of the car… it should be with the explanation that it illustrates the NY brakes as applied in later years by the UP.”

    The kit instructions point out photo evidence that suggests New York Brakes were used on the UP version of these cars. My hesitation about this – and I’m not saying anyone is wrong – is that I have never figured out where the idea of NY Air came from in the first place. And how would we know the difference? We have all purchase the Grandt Line “kit” C&S NY Brake Set and it contains the shorty 8x8 cylinder. Have we assumed GL is just correct or has anyone chased this down? Where did Cliff get his information for this set to call it C&S or NY air as applied to the C&S? I could be off base about this and simply missed the record but I still don’t know.

    The RR records clearly indicate Westinghouse brakes were installed System Wide on the DSP&P late in 1883 and cars built thereafter were equipped with WH brakes. Records of the DL&G get mighty scarce in the mid to late ‘90s but even so memory still serves to the WH brakes. Nothing on NY brakes.

    To me the brakes arrangement is an open question anyway and what is supplied in the kit is just fine no matter what you choose to call them. We rarely see any car turned over (and in tact) to determine just how the brakes were set up in the pre TOC period. I would not discredit anyone on how they decided to do this (within reason) whichever way they chose because, like the colors of the cars (the kit seems to favor yellow but it’s still up to the builder), it is well up in the air! For running models on your layout no one is going to be deciphering how correct the brakes are because to the best of my knowledge NO one knows.

    David goes on to explain; “The trucks are the Coronado set with NWSL wheels. The brake beams being hung using wires soldered into holes in the bolster and beams and bent and jiggled until they sort of line up. Of course there should be hangers/chains from the floor beams but I haven't added these yet as they are not part of the Protowest Kit (Um, he means “The Leadville Shops” kit). Decals from the kit. I used a clear varnish to seal the wood and the "white" is Floquil "antique white" which has a slightly yellowish tone (that doesn't show in the photos). Nice kit, goes together well although it does take me quite a while to assemble things these days. (Me, too David.)

    I hope David will comment and tell us more. I love that underframe!


  2. The Onus of South Park Reefers - Part 1.

    By 1880 when the SP finally built its first refrigerators the Tiffany design was rather popular and the success of that design believed far and wide. The builder of the Park’s cars naturally gravitated to this design as the most cutting edge available. We do not have records of the specifics on how they intended to use the cars but because they opted not to use the top loading aspect of the design it is quite obvious they intended to avoid the construction of expensive elevated icing platforms. Instead they chose to do it the “old-fashioned” way and load ice thru the side doors. But in doing so they committed only hauling goods that were to be refrigerated – not frozen. The questions are both why and how did they handle meats and other products that might have required freezing. This is where once again we need to be cognoscente of what was going on in the general industry of railroading at the time.

    The idea of cars that could be refrigerated or even freezers is almost as old as common carrier railroading itself. The first attempts at transporting cold goods in ordinary boxcars dated back to the 1840s. But it wasn’t until the post Civil War years that refrigeration and indeed freezers were finally to some degree successful. The reason for this was the explosion of the beef industry. Hauling cattle on the hoof was expensive because as much as 60% of the animal was waste. Meat packers were determined to resolving this by slaughtering the animal before shipping meat to market but that meant railroads needed cars that could keep the meat frozen over long distances. The Swift Company is credited with creating the first successful freezers but there were several companies and individuals involved in the quest. When they succeeded a plethora of reefer and freezer designs appeared over the next several decades including the Tiffany cars.

    What is the difference between a Refrigerator and a Freezer? Simply put one has the ability to maintain temperatures below 32 degrees F and the other, not so much. More specifically the freezer was set up to use brine tanks whereby the properties of Eutectics (the combination of two elements or substances in order to reduce the freezing point ether would otherwise demonstrate) would reduce the interior temperature well below where meat and other water based cargo would freeze. If you’ve ever made homemade ice cream you used eutectics to do it. Water, fully saturated with salt will stay liquid to as low as minus 6 degrees F! Therefore Freezer cars used brine tanks and the best location for brine tanks was in the ceiling of the cars. In fact, top-loading ice was a hallmark of successful freezer cars. The South Park cars – all 27 of them – lacked the facilities to conveniently (productively) produce consistent freezing temperatures inside the cars. They were indeed refrigerators. Conversely, many if not most Standard Gauge Tiffany cars were indeed Freezers.

    This leaves us with a big question; how did the South Park transport meat in the Tiffany cars? The answer, of course, is that they didn’t. Contrary to the packing plants success with freezers the railroad chose to transport meat the old fashioned way – on the hoof. They were not being obstinate. While it may not have concerned them how much money their consignee would save by doing away with waste prior to shipment that was not their their particular onus either.

  3. Part -2

    Concerning nation wide practices, railroads already had well-established facilities and operation policies for transporting live animals with fleets of stock cars and pens located along their lines for both loading and relieving animals in transport. The new technology of iced cars was expensive even if they leased Freezers owned by private companies. Such cars required ice replenishment about every 100 miles. Setting up such facilities was expensive and maintaining them was even more expensive. Of course this is exactly what they did despite well-established practices.

    But the DSP&P didn’t have fleets of stock cars, loading facilities, and pen, nor any established practices for handling livestock whatsoever. Tho they had been in business from the early ‘70s apparently their operation had not involved the transportation of livestock - or perishables, for that matter - over any distances. In fact, for all intents and purposes, the system was brand new when it began to expand to the southwest of Denver as of 1878. So what decisions were made concerning transporting frozen cargo – specifically prepared meats? Again, not having specific records, the results of those decisions make it quite clear that the Park ultimately stuck to the tried and true practiced of the industry. If and when such cargo was commissioned it would be live on the hoof.

    When one considers that much of the territory that the Park served was agrarian in orientation this was perhaps the wisest and most economical option available to them.. In all quarters, with few exceptions, beef was available locally and much of it was simply driven the few miles to the nearest community butcher – on the hoof. The railroad never set up any provisions for transporting livestock because there was no demand. It wasn’t until the mining communities outgrew their local sources of food that the railroad found itself needing both refrigerators and stock cars.

    In the fall of 1879 the newspapers were full of reports and predictions of the coming famine to Leadville during the forthcoming winter. And it is no coincidence that in the early summer of 1880 the first 5 Tiffany cars were built at just about the time the South Park reached Leadville. Nor is it hard to understand that less than a year later they built their first stock cars so that meat could also be transported to mining camps that had outgrown what the local ranchers could provide.

    We ask over and over how did the South Park conduct “Stock Rushes”. Well they didn’t – not in the sense that we think of stock rushes. The stock cars were not about moving animals around on a seasonal basis. They were every bit as much about food as the reefers were. Therefore this two-part system of providing of food to the miners was both economical and logical to the conditions of a rather small and unique Railroad Operation.

    It is very satisfying to me that the Leadville Shops has produced this ‘food system” in the form of two very important kits. I hope we will see the 26 foot reefers some day soon. It is, after all, up to us.

  4. Darrell, Really incredible kits! and nice build too. It looks like the Leadville shops has reached a new level in kit design and execution. The underframe is interesting. it looks as though there are slots for the truss rods. And I especially like the siding with the intermediate grooves. Very nicely done. Wish we could talk them into doing some HOn3. Even just the laser cut parts. The rest could be done with Grandt parts. But I would love to have the siding in "electric-mouse" scale..


  5. Electric mouse scale?

    I've seen Cocha-roaches bigger than HOn3! You were once in O an S scale... backslider!

    I'm just kidding.... But not about the bugs...

    The underframe is probably more correct than any previous kit has offered. Thr more I've dwelt on the issue the more confounded I've become that kit manufacturers have completely ignored the obvious - reefers were insulated all around. They had to be. Ice needed to last as long as possible as it was expensive to set up those stations and keep them stocked. Why wouldn't the car builders spend the extra few bucks to insulate the floors? They did!

    I'm sure several HOn3 Modelers (are you there Duncan?) would appreciate the kits in HOn3. But that is up to The Guys....

    And you can always buy a car in another scale just to enjoy building it.

    Thanks for the kind words.

  6. Fantastic information Brother d!

  7. So… we can’t really talk about South Park Tiffany Refrigerators without talking about what color they were; can we? I mean isn’t this one of those “taboo” subjects like religion and politics. I guess “taboo” never really stopped me from talking about those subjects either so - here goes!

    In their instructions for the 27 foot Tiffany Reefers The Leadville Shops suggest that yellow seems to be the more popular “choice” for these car. That may very well be true. But we also have bids for White and Tiffany Moss Green – a pale mint color based on the precedence of the Lehigh Valley’s 1890s Standard Gauged cars. Let me say that proponents for all three colors have compelling arguments and logical ”evidence” they believe substantiates that their color was indeed the right one.

    Many years ago I received a letter thru Bob Brown and the NG&SL Gazette from Russ Collman. Russ related how, as a high school kid, he “fooled around” in Leadville when the C&S was still in operation. One day he scraped thru the paint on the old ex-Tiffany reefer (being used as an oil shed), which was painted the mineral red the C&S had been using, and he found what looked like yellow and then white paint next to the wood.

    On the other hand there is the DSP&PHS rag (“the Bogies and the Loop”) with its many contributions by Mal Ferrell (MF), one of which discussed basically the same sort of scenario. Apparently MF scraped paint and found what he believed was yellow paint underneath everything else. Now we have two witnesses who seem to suggest the Tiffany cars were originally two different colors.

    The Mint Green argument proposed by Jim Wilke is that we have actual record that standard gauge cars were indeed painted this color. In the 1890s the Lehigh Valley prescribed a light mint green for their Tiffany Refrigerators. Also in vintage Sherwin Williams color charts there was apparently a pale cool green called Tiffany Moss Green and there is suggestion that “Tiffany”, as a color, was used by the Union Pacific. Furthermore it has been suggested that the Tiffany Company may have had a specific logo and color that was required as part of the license to build such cars. Hard to argue with all of that – except that in relationship to the South Park cars it is for the most part speculation. To my knowledge none of this has been directly related to the EIGHTEEN EIGHTIES narrow gauge reefers (of which the South Park owned the entire world collection). It is a wonderful thought tho…

  8. Part 2

    Yellow as a reefer color was indeed quite popular at the turn of the century. But yellow pigments in the late 19th century were a bit expensive - the exception being earth or ochre yellow. This would explain the muddy pale yellows used on freight cars, buildings and other structures during that period. But cheaper still were White pigments – particularly Lead or Flake white. Of course it is hard to argue with layers of paint next to the wood on the oil shed at Leadville. While there may be arguments against Yellow on the Tiffany cars the color still seems to have a strong following.

    White of course seems to stand naturally in accordance with many photographs in various conditions and lighting. All that we have of the Tiffany cars in photos are b&w. So we delve into the murky world of tonal values and light sensitive emulations, exposure times, not to mention; "was it cloudy or bright"? We can go as deep into the subject as we want and I’ll guarantee you that it really won’t get us anywhere. Ciphering b&w photos for colors is an effort so fraught with pitfalls and left turns and unknown variables that even computers could not certify any conclusions. So let’s just NOT. Aside from yet another finding of white paint on the old car, my personal intuition when I look at photos of Tiffany cars is that they were white – my humble unqualified opinion. I appreciate that any one or even all of you might have a different sense about it. Duncan Harvey will of course paint his cars red!

    I’m just kidding, Duncan!

    I’ve said all of this for no better reason than to stir up the pot! Because here is a fact; in 1902 the C&S rebuilt nearly all of its remaining South Park reefers. The order was to strip off the old siding, remove the Tiffany devices and make the cars similar to their new St. Charles built reefers of 1898. And those cars had been patterned after Armour’s Standard Gauge Reefers recently by built the St. Charles Car Shops. This isn’t speculation. The original car colors were removed and probably burned when the 26 and 27 foot cars were rebuilt.

    So... perhaps MF did see yellow next to the wood on the Leadville oil shed. But the car was not a Tiffany refrigerator by that point. Now lest you think the story is settled… was that 26’car one of the few cars that didn’t get rebuilt in 1902 or 1903? Maybe Russ Collman did find white next to the wood. My advice to builders of these wonderful kits? Paint 'em pink! – Or what ever you wish. No one can prove you are wrong.

    I’ll try to put a bibliography of all of this later today.


  9. Part 3

    Bibliography As promised...

    “Refrigerator Cars of the Colorado & Southern” - 4 Parts, by Derrell Poole – Sept. / Oct. 1991 thru Mar. / April NG&SL Gazette (the first two parts discuss the South Park cars)

    “The South Park’s Tiffany Refrigerator Cars” - by Derrell Poole – April / May 1995 Outdoor Railroader

    Tiffany Color, Another Opinion – by Jim Wilke – April 2004 “The Bogies and the Loop” (Vol. 5 No. 3)

    “Early Black & White Photography And Its Color Renditions” – by Mal Ferrell - April 2007 “The Bogies and the Loop” (Vol. 8 Issue 3, No. 31) [Mal did an excellent job of “reiterating” the thoughts on photography written by Derrell Poole in the article published in the Mar. / April 1992 NG&SL Gazette. Of course there isn’t any credit to that article in his article] also see the note below.

    “C&S Tiffany Reefers” - by Derrell Poole – 1st Quarter 2008 Colorado Narrow Gauge Quarterly

    “Tiffany Summer & Winter Cars”- Part 1 - by Mal Ferrell – October 2012 “The Bogies and the Loop” (Vol. 14 Issue 1, No. 53) [If you can find a copy of the April / May 1995 Outdoor Railroader this is the PUBLISHED source of the MF’s article – his credit to the unpublished C&S Refrigerator Car Chronology does very little for the reader since the only source of this document is me – interestingly, since MF’s article was published nearly 2 years ago, NO ONE has ever contacted me to ask for a copy of that Chart. It took many, many months to compile! Wonder how long it took MF to write the article…?]

    The C&S – The First 10 Years – by Hol Wagner Jr. – self published on DVD [I still have not gotten in contact with Hol about how one can go about ordering a copy. Sorry I’ve been really busy and I’ve received no response from the email I sent previously – Derrell]

    Note on the Article “Early Black & White Photography And Its Color Renditions”; In “The South Park Line” on page 325 MF published a photo of “a” Tiffany reefer body” used as a tool shed near the Leadville Roundhouse. He reiterates that white, yellow and red were found on this car. In this photo one can clearly see the Link and Pin coupler he describes in the Bogies and the Loop article and suggests it was set out prior to 1903 when L&P Couplers were outlawed. No doubt this car was set out prior to 1903. Unfortunately this wasn’t the Tiffany car in question – I have no idea what it was. I have 5 photos of the car near the C&S Leadville Roundhouse and that car looks nothing like MFs photo. The photos I have were taken by John Robinson in June of 1970. This shed was destroyed a few years later. The car body was sitting on the ground perhaps 25 yards from the roundhouse itself. While you can see a striker block on one end there is no way to tell if a link & pin type coupler was present. Moreover there is no door on either end of this shed. So it is reasonable to believe this is not the same car as that shown in “The South Park Line”. The Question is – what car is MF talking about in the Bogies and the Loop article?

  10. I received an email from Hol Wagner this morning and he let me know that in reality the DVD book is simply not ready yet. He is working on photos and caption and finalizing the text. Unfortunately it is a slow process so it may be a few more years yet. I can tell you it is going to be fabulous whether you study standard gauge or narrow gauge or both (both is best). Believe me; this is meat and potatoes - not some slick picture book with blah-blah-blah "filler captions" or the rehash of someone else's hard work!. We have plenty of those!!! This is as close to the actual records as any of us laymen can get. and it will be well worth the wait.

    My apologies if I mislead anyone or spoke out of turn. Credit is due where credit is due.