Friday, November 11, 2022

Consist Photo Analysis (Part 1) - 1962 Lone Pine Local at Bartlett

I'm starting a new series of blog posts on Consist Photo Analysis.  While passenger trains have a regular consist that is planned out and usually only changes seasonally and with higher or lower forecast passenger or express demands, freight trains can vary much more.  I've discussed in previous series on Tehachapi operations about different symbol freights each had 'signature blocks' which help them be identified.  Likewise, locals can often be characterized by large industries generating or receiving traffic.  Even then day to day some traffic might not be represented very much and another day they could receive extra cars.  Add to this, inbound traffic appears much more random cars as materials are brought in.  Maybe there's a weekly car from the Freight Forwarders or Less-than-Car-Lot shipments of merchandise.  This fluctuation is prototypical and helps provide some interest.

Running through the open desert, the Lone Pile Local rolls past Bartlett in 1962. - owensvalleyhistory,com - southern_pacific008_sml

This time I'm looking at a photo that was posted on from the Jawbone Branch in 1962.  This photo was taken about two years after the end of the branch was torn up and scrapped from Owenyo back to Lone Pine.  Loads from beyond Lone Pine then had to be trucked down to Lone Pine for loading.

1962 Consist:

Lone Pine Local 1962 near Bartlett - southern_pacific008_sml

Engine: SD9 is in red/gray with heavy weathering, assigned out of Mojave from the Bakersfield-LA freight pool, which included the helpers based at Mojave at the time.
1. MP 40ft steel boxcar (large sawblade herald)
2. SOU 40ft steel boxcar wtih 7ft door (Large herald)
3. Unk report marks tankcar, maybe 6.5k or 8k uninsulated car, Note A
4. IC 40ft steel boxcar
5. SP H-70-class ballast car -post 1956 gothic lettering with herald
6. SSW 50ft steel single-door 8ft door boxcar (Blue Streak Fast Freight logo)
7. Unk report marks tankcar, maybe 6.5 or 8k uninsulated car, Note A
8. NYC 40ft steel boxcar
9. MEC 40ft steel boxcar
10. N&W 40ft steel boxcar
11. SP C-40-series cupola caboose

Note A: Both cars seem to be dark color, probably black with bright hazard placards.  The cars seem to have yellowish lettering around the left end of the tanks where the reporting marks should be, so these could be smaller UTLX tank cars.

Backdating 10 Years?

While this consist photo is from 1962, which is two years after the tracks at Owenyo were torn up, I'm interested in seeing what fun can be had backdating this consist to my 1949-1954 era Owenyo Local.  So what could this train have looked like 10 years earlier?

Engine: SP 3266
SP 3266, the only Mk-5/6 which was used on the Jawbone Branch until the end of steam in 1954.

Depending what date of the backdating the selection of engine can result in a C-class (2-8-0), small Mk-2/4 class, or if I want to go into 1953 or 1955-1958 era an RSD-5 could be used, followed by an SD9 after 1955.

1. MP 46026
MP 46026 - earlier era boxcar. - (LMRC roster photo 2011)

The MP 46028 is a typical Accurail 6-panel S/S boxcar, which works for my 1950s era consist.  Certainly MP did have newer 40ft all-steel cars at the time too.  Either would work fine.

The car in the 1962 photo is an all-steel boxcar with heavy staining of some sort of white-ish material, possibly soda or pot-ash from the Bartlett plant.  I feel cement is not likely, as it is too "perishable",  cement getting damp ruins it quickly, so it is generally "short-hauled" for only a few hundred miles.

2. SOU 14514
Southern 14514, unbuilt Yardmaster kit from the early 2000s. (Jason Hill collection, 2022 photo)

A 40ft boxcar - I'm probably going to use a '37 AAR all-steel boxcar from Branchline Yardmaster series.  This car has silver herald and white lettering, I'll need to restencil the tare date from the NEW 1-41 to more like 1949.  I'll have to select a station on the Southern Rwy.

3. UTLX 72176
UTLX 72176 - Tangent 8k GA Type-17 tank car.  (2022 photo)

I'm not sure the tank cars in the 1962 photo are as large as 8k gallon, they are only about 1/2 the height of the adjacent boxcars, which makes me think these are more likely the smaller 6.5k gallon tank cars maybe for the fuel dealers at Lone Pine.  One might be other than UTLX, going to one of the other dealers than Standard Oil (Chevron), possibly Shell or Union Oil.

4. IC 30923
IC 30923 - (LMRC roster photo 2011)

Illinois Central 40ft Boxcar - currently I don't have an IC boxcar, but something like this car would work.  IC cars aren't hard to find.  I think IC 30923 photo is a Branchline BluePrint series kit, but not one of mine.

5. SP 151454
SP 151454, typical of mineral loading - (LMRC roster photo 2011)

This car would probably backdate as an GS-gondola, as in 1952 Owenyo's ore dump trestle would still be in operation.  Pre-1960, the Owenyo Local would easily have 3-5 of these cars in it each trip.  This model is one of the Red Caboose/IMRC SP all-steel GS gondolas from G-50-22 class built in 1949.

Photos after 1955 seem to show 70-ton Hart hoppers becoming very common.  After the abandonment of Owenyo in 1960, there was a ore-dump truck ramp built at Lone Pine, so the H-70 hopper in the 1962 photo was probably going to Lone Pine to get a load from the truck dump.  Another option would be that the car was in ballast service.  I think that's definitely a secondary option, given how little MW was done on the branch in general and light traffic.

6. SSW 20053
SSW 20053, earlier 50ft AAR standard boxcar - (LMRC roster photo 2011)

In the earlier 1950s it is unlikely that a 50ft boxcar would be seen on the Jawbone Branch, as most of these cars (about 90+%) were in assigned auto-parts service during that time.  By 1962 some would be relegated to general service.  This model's a 1990s Proto2000 kit, which Walthers has taken over the tooling for in recent years.

7. UTLX 8302
UTLX 8302 kitbash MDC/Tichy 6.5k gallon tank car. (2022, still not done yet!)

This is one of my kitbashes using an MDC "old time" 6.5k gallon tank, with Tichy 54" dome and Tichy shortened AC&F underframe.  I still need to drill and mount the various details such as; tank circumference belt handrail, stanchions, ladder, dome platform & brackets, grab irons, stirrup steps, hand brake, brake parts and rigging, etc.

8. NYC 111869
NYC 111869, earlier 1920s built all-steel boxcar. (Jason Hill collection, 2017 photo)

The 1962 photo shows great proof of NYC boxcars getting out onto the Jawbone Branch.  It's impossible to tell 60 years later if this car was bringing in a load or routed to the Jawbone as a 'captured' empty for loading.  This example car is one of MTH's very nice NYC standard cars from the 1920s, basically being the NYC equivalent of the PRR's X29.

9. MEC 6133
MEC 6133 - 1952 with assigned service to newsprint service. (Jason Hill collection, 2022 photo)

Another east coast 40ft steel Boxcar - The only MEC I have is a Branchline Yardmaster series boxcar  The also owned MEC owned cars of X29 series and also single-sheath from Accurail, all-steel cars from various producers of AAR 1937 cars, such as Red Caboose and IMRC.  The BL YM series boxcar for the MEC that I do have has special service placard for newsprint service, and the MEC is expecting prompt return routing of the car.  

I rather doubt that a higher-grade (B) or car such as this "newsprint placarded" car would be captured for loading on the Jawbone Branch, so this car will be finished for mainline bridge operation or routing of newsprint to Bakersfield freight house for pickup by printer for the local newspaper.  If I am doing this back-dated consist, I would try to choose cars that were not in specially assigned services.  

Cars with interior rating of B were considered suitable for paper loading.  Generally bulk or bag loading cement was for cars rated as C, but would often need more cleaning after a cement load.  Some cars would be considered contaminated after such loadings, so a good condition class B car would probably be assigned to a cleaner load.  Interestingly NKP rated soda ash for class B cars, along with grain and paper, along with steel and other moisture damageable metal loads.

10. N&W
(No file photo, sorry)

And another eastern 40ft steel Boxcar - This time I don't have anything close to any N&W boxcars suitable at this point.  About 8000 boxcars were owned by the N&W in 1950.  

The N&W did own X31A class cars, which Bowser has produced and I've discussed the PRR version of those cars.  If I want another all-steel AAR-type car, then Branchline Yardmaster, Red Caboose, IMRC, Kadee, etc have also made boxcars for the N&W.

11. SP 1108
SP 1108 - Balboa C-40-series cupola caboose - (LMRC roster photo 2011)

Most SP locals by 1962 have all-steel cabooses, after the composite C-30-1/2/3 series cars were retired.  So an all-steel car is a good choice for late 1950s or early 1960s.  If I want to stay in my normal era of 1950-1954 I would opt for something like the AMB or Walthers C-30-1 class composite caboose with the wood bodies.

In Closing - Closing Thoughts

I don't have any MP or IC box cars suitable to replicate the car in the photo or a predecessor, so I'd probably grab other mid-west cars to make an earlier version of this consist.  As for the tank cars, I'll probably use the new Tangent 8k gallon Type 17 model and finish my 6.5k gallon "X-3" kitbash of the MDC/Tichy car.  Alternately, I could use a couple of Proto2000 8k gallon Type 21 models.  The open-top SP cars will probably fall back to a standard SP all-steel GS gondola.  As for the 50ft SSW boxcar, I'm surprised there's no SP boxcars at all in this train, so I'll probably just assign a home-road SP 40ft boxcar, as the 50ft SD boxcars were uncommon for any loads I can think of on the branch.  No problems with the NYC boxcar, as I have a couple to choose from.  As for the MEC car, I could remove this special lettering from MEC 6133, but in this car's case I don't think I will if I am to replicate this consist in the early 1950s, again I'll just use a different foreign ownership east-coast car such as a Branchline YM B&M boxcar.  The N&W car will have to be replaced with something else maybe PRR, C&O, or B&O would do nicely.  Lastly, the caboose will be whatever 'regular' caboose I assign to my Owenyo/Lone Pine Local.

Running through the open desert, the Lone Pile Local rolls past Bartlett in 1962. - owensvalleyhistory,com - southern_pacific008_sml

I think this type of study is fun.  I'll probably be doing more like this in the future as I find interesting photos to review.

Jason Hill

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