Sunday, December 7, 2014

Part One - C&S Type II Boxcars | 5 Comments - Click Here :

Fig. 1

    Derrell Poole - Type II boxcars were built in two sets. The first set of 40 cars (8103 - 8142) were out-shopped in December 1907, the second set of 50 cars (8143 - 8192) were put into service between August and Oct. of 1908 (August; 8143 - 8143, 21 cars. Sept; 8164 - 8188, 25 cars. Oct; 8189 - 8192, 4 cars) The two sets were not exactly alike. They all used the Bettendorf cast trucks and body bolster and all had Murphy metal roofs. But the cast striker of 1907 were not used on the 1908 cars. That striker was the same casting that found its way onto the SUF Refrigerators. In fact, Reefer 500 was out-shopped in Dec. 1908. In later years first run Type II cars can be seen with what appears to be a wooden block with a heavy bar bolted to the face for a striker. So there may have been an issue with the first casting.

Fig. 2
    In S scale the only kits available for Type II box cars are the Berlyn products. They represent post 1919 second run cars. The singular hardware detail that makes them different from the first run cars are the strikers.

    The freight cars changed in general between 1915 and as late as early 1920. I've talked about these differences before - grab irons, brake staffs and gear and end sills, etc.

    When they were built the lettering was the 1906 Common Standard with the large Block figures. This style prevailed until the early 1920's when the Circular Trademark was adopted. But the Block lettering did vary thru the years. Cars appear to have less data details and even different font types to some of these stencils in later years; the pre and early teen period was much more homogeneous and meticulous.  It becomes necessary to study photos of the prototypes taken at specific times the model is to represent. 


Fig. 4
    The details, both in the hardware and the lettering, are what defines the period that the model represents; specific to a prototype but even to a freelance car. Details and lettering were often defined or prescribed by law. A rather well known and much admired layout was famed for its 1880's locomotives but the road operated post 1911 "United States Safety Appliances" freight cars! Ouch!

    Of Course the Herald is an obvious date marker but there are other parts of the lettering that are surely telling of the vintage. They are often what authenticates the specific vintage. Note the Data Markings in Figures 2 & 3. The bottom lines both contain dates. They are different dates but they both have integrity to the vintage these models represent - that of September 1910. 

Fig. 5

    In figure 5 the Builders Marking is also true to the vintage. Both 8103 and 8138 were built in Denver at the C&S Shops. The Date? December 1907.

    These cars are just under 3 years old (on the layout). A close look at the photos will testify to this age; the paint is faded but not deteriorated. And there is evidence of road dirt and weathering as if they have been on the rails these few years. So once the vintage is authenticated with the details the finish of the model should attempt to reinforce that vintage.

Fig. 6

    In fig. 6 the end details of the first run Type II boxcars are described including the pre USSA Brake Staff and the 1907 cast Striker. Obviously the Grab irons are different as well. These are 21" grabs and were at the time screwed to the wood siding. After 1911 the railroads were to bolt the grab irons in place. Obviously it would have been more secure to bolt them thru the framing than just thru the siding and this may have accounted for reducing the length of the irons. The grab irons were also to have been located closer together so that the rebuilt cars had 5 irons to a ladder instead of 4 as seen on the sides in Fig. 1 & 2. The Type II Stock car ends looked much the same as the car in Fig. 6. Since only first run Stock cars were built, all 23 had these cast Strikers.

    Compare this end lettering with prototype photos of the other Types of Boxcars. You will find that Type I cars place the Herald and numbers to the left corner and that the Draft Gear data was placed on the lower right on Type III boxcars. The only lettering missing on this Type II car might be the use instructions of the retainer valve that would have been located just below the diagram left of the Brake staff.

    This issue of correct lettering is among the toughest to overcome when attempting to authenticate the vintage. Decal designers typically cater to the later, post 1919, periods. Getting the correct sizes and specific data markings is especially challenging when you model 1910. Not one S scale lettering set for C&S Type II and III boxcars will accommodate all of the pieces needed to be a correct and complete car. The Berlyn kits provide decals for RGS variants and the Retainer Diagram is located on that sheet (tho not entirely a correct representation). Decals for the Berlyn kits were produced by Foothills Models. I am not sure who did the artwork. Fresh decals were quite good but as some of the kits are around 25 years old they often prove nearly impossible to use without special treatment. Fig. 7 is a set of San Juan Decals which is the current iteration of the Foothills product.

Fig. 7

    As you can imagine I need decals. The Coal car set provides lettering needed for the vintage 1910 Type III coals and Boxcars. As I said the RGS sheets also provide parts for the vintage Type II and III boxcars. I have several of each of the Berlyn Kits as well as Overland SUF kits. The Decals in the OMI kits provide nothing but the Circular Trademark in C&S or RGS decals. If those of you who build the Berlyn  cars have left over sets because they are not usable I'd like the opportunity to either trade my unusable spares or simply buy them from you. In particular I need the RGS and Type II coal Block lettering sets.

Derrell Poole
Hamilton MT.
5 Comments - Click Here :
  1. Derrell,

    Great article.

    Is there prototype documentation available for these cars? I model in 1:20.3 and am specifically looking to better understand the cast bolster and draft gear arraignment to model these items.


    Al Pomeroy

  2. Al I've been thinking about putting my drawings (The C&S Connection drawings) on disk as a collection and offering them to the public.

    There are prototype drawings but they are not easily accessed. I have some of them but I'm not sure that I should include them with my drawings.


    1. Derrell have you ever decided to offer these drawings again or on a CD? I would be interested if you have the ability to offer either.

      Todd Ferguson

  3. Excellent post Derrell. Wonderful information, I'm beginning to really enjoy learning about early 1900-ish rolling stock construction. A friend in my operating group turned me on to early Sante Fe TK-I tank cars - standard gauge but really cool cars, built around '05 or so and mainly used in water service. And a lot of the visitors to this blog should be interested in your C&S Connection drawings.
    You once told me the BLW stock car was dimensionally off, but it sounds like their boxcar is good. I have an Overland boxcar kit, 8343, an SUF and a touch later than those in the article, is that one accurate?

    Mike McKenzie

    1. I love tank cars and covered hoppers in SG especially pre 1956.

      The C&Sng had a few tank cars built out of older flats and used for fuel oil depots in 1902. I've never seen anything on these cars other than a few notes here and there. They also had a batch of new SG tanks for transporting Texas oil to fuel the big locos at the same time. There is a photo of one of these cars.

      The Berlyn box and coal car are good for their intended prototype. The Overland cars are also great models - and should be, having been designed and produced by Grandt Line. But all of them are modern versions (post 1919) so us vintage modelers have our work cut out for us.

      I have 5 of the OMI SUF kits to build as 1909 and 1910 cars. I've built the 3 SUF coals as the first three of that group and I've built 2 of the SUF Stock cars - all 1910 vintage. It is really too bad about the Berlyn Stock car. It can still be built as a believable freelance car but will stand out like a sour thumb among other C&S cars.