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WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 13, 2017, 08:03:24 PM



Title: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 13, 2017, 08:03:24 PM
Hi All,

The WW&F is embarking on a project to build a LCL freight exhibit in one of our boxcars. We have examples of boxes that were shipped on the original railway as less than carload shipments, but need some help filling in the blanks.
If you have any documents or information that could assist in creating this exhibit, especially information from the original raiway, please either respond to this post or send a personal message. You can also reach me by e-mail @ spwoodwinds@gmail.com


Thanks in advance,
Steve Piwowarski


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Mike Fox on July 13, 2017, 08:16:57 PM
I think this could be a very interesting exhibit. Think of the things that would have been shipped by rail back then. Everything. The WW&F did not run to high dollar cities, so more than likely the things that were shipped were necessities. Or maybe some furniture. Parts for a sawmill or something. Someone has got to know.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Dave Crow on July 13, 2017, 08:25:39 PM
Steve,

Would there be any copies of station registers showing freight shipped or received in Two Feet to Tidewater?

Dave Crow


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: John Kokas on July 13, 2017, 08:42:38 PM
To give you a good idea of items, just find copies online of the 1920-30 Sears catalogs.  They were the amazon of their day and most shipped by rail.  I can remember the HUGE distribution center (now gone) in Philadelphia.  It had its own branch, mini-yard, and yard goat to service this facility.  As I remember it fed both the Reading & PRR with lots of branchline traffic until local trucking service took over and rail was used for inbound shipments until closure.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 13, 2017, 09:07:40 PM
I recently answered a "what went into the boxcars" by using Sears Catalog = Amazon; Railway Express Agency = UPS analogy. Everyone immediately got the concept. I agree that this should be incorporated into the display.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Wayne Laepple on July 13, 2017, 09:37:43 PM
Taking a look at the station register shown on pages 352 and 353 in TFTT, we see bags of potatoes, cases of eggs, a sewing machine, empty barrels, and cans of cream. Carload freight included three loads of lumber. These items went to Wiscasset, Winslow, China and Head Tide.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Joe Fox on July 13, 2017, 10:35:04 PM
Yay, its great to see something we once talked about years ago finally become reality.

On that note, as Wayne mentioned, in Two Feet to Tidewater there is mention on the registers of shipping building materials such as nails, lumber, shingles, etc. As well as other things like containers of eggs, hay bails, potatoes, and much more.

I had made mention of seeing a box car run on the train on a regular basis a few years ago to simbalize a mixed train, and then being able to slide the door open at the station or ToM to show people what was inside. Then the display could be a done with minimal work, no lighting, etc. However the idea of running said display on the train was turned down because of view restrictions, etc.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Bill Baskerville on July 13, 2017, 11:49:26 PM
My observations is that most folks like to ride in the open car.  I don't know if this is because it is near the locomotive when departing, or because they like the better view.  I suspect the latter is the primary reason with the former as the secondary, but who really knows.  That said, a box car would have to at the end of the train leaving Sheepscot so it doesn't block the view of the locomotive. 

Perhaps a better idea would be on weekends to leave the box car on the mill siding at TOM where the door could be opened and the folks could see the contents from the cars.  The conductor could explain what they are seeing and what it means.  We would have to leave the cars near the South end of the run-around so they would be close to the siding.  Perhaps a flat with a few stacks of lumber coupled to the North end of the box car could represent that part of our load and lesson.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Wayne Laepple on July 14, 2017, 02:47:27 AM
I don't agree with the ideas promulgated above, either handling a boxcar in the regular train or parking a display car on the mill siding. Here's why: in the first situation, the car would obstruct the view of passengers no matter which end of the train it is handled on, and in the second case, the car would have no context to anything sitting there in the middle of nowhere at Top of the Mountain. And with the new schedule (which I think is great), it can't be spotted at Alna Center since the siding is needed to allow the railcar and passenger train to pass. The job of the train crew at Top of the Mountain is to explain that remote location's original purpose, our plans for the future, and our intent to continue building the railway north.

In my opinion, it makes better sense to park the car in front of the shop, with various displays inside, including a display of Less than Carload Lots of freight. Moving the display cases currently in the freight house into the boxcar would free up additional floor space in the freight house for our growing retail activities and would also provide for a dedicated museum space. Having this museum, with interesting displays, photos and artifacts, would provide an additional activity for visitors while they are awaiting the departure of the next train. With the boxcar close to the shop, providing electrical power for focused lighting and perhaps a fan or two to keep air circulating would not be a problem.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Ira Schreiber on July 14, 2017, 03:05:48 AM
I agree with Wayne. This car could be an excellent time filler between trains or a part of a walking tour.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Bill Baskerville on July 14, 2017, 03:11:10 AM
Wayne has made good points and has a great idea for a display.  Parking the box car outside one of the shop bays would make it convenient for our visitors and easy to put back into the shop secure and out of the weather after hours on weekends


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 14, 2017, 06:15:32 AM
I'm in agreement that for the short term the car will be located somewhere in front of the Car Shop in Sheepscot. Why, you may ask? Because it is in need of truck work by the mechanical department before it can go out on the road again. As such it should be bad ordered and set out near the car shop for work- yet another point of authenticity. This is no gimmick, by the way. The car does legitimately need the trucks serviced and we have yet to tackle them.

For the same reasons that have been outlined by others, I don't think ToM or Alna Center are the right place to display the car. Putting the car in the wrong context would mislead visitors and give them the wrong impression of its purpose and function. The original Railway frequently ran mixed trains, so recreating them for passengers in a meaningful way could bring them to a better understanding of how the railway functioned in the original community.

Personally, I believe in the freight cars occasionally being part of the consist because it more accurately reflects what a passenger would have experienced 100 years ago. Remember that with the new timetable, which includes fewer trains, the consist has at least 30 minutes of dwell time on the platform at Sheepscot- a prime place for passengers to access the car before the 'all aboard' is called. Many heritage railways use just use freight cars as props for photo trains. This is our opportunity to go above and beyond and offer an important window into the history of how this Railway functioned.

A quick note on the open car. I believe most folks ride it based on the perception that it will be cooler than a closed car. While stationary that is true however, while moving, both open and closed cars regulate to a pleasant and similar temperature. Work the train on a rainy day and I think you'll find most people choose the closed car despite the roof on the open car. It's all about perception. Speaking of perception, the open car's great failure is that it gives visitors a mistaken sense of the level of accommodation on the original railway.

Steve


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Joe Fox on July 14, 2017, 12:32:14 PM
See I mentioned the same points Steve that I thought running a box car on the train would better show what a typical train may have looked like. I know the SR&RL ran several 1 box and 1 coach trains usually with one of the bigger engines even.

Another great reason to run a mixed train daily is because there is no other operation in the country where you can ride a mixed train on a regular basis. When we used to switch the trains around every few trips during the Picnic everyone enjoyed riding on something different, and getting a more unique experience. Sometimes people like unique. If I had better ways of presenting to the powers that be to try to get a better yes or no answer I would try, but so many are against it so I gave up. Seeing a box car with LCL items inside is great, but people won't understand what a "mixed" train actually looked like unless they see it.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on July 14, 2017, 01:53:10 PM
Check station photos in TFTT and the Kohler books to see what is setting on the platforms.

Jeff S.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 14, 2017, 09:51:30 PM
I've been consulting TFTT and the Thurlow books as well as the Kohler and Barney books. All are a wealth of information. I've also been looking at waybills and associated documentation from the WW&F archive and have been using that to paint a picture as well.

Thanks all for the great feedback,
Steve


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 15, 2017, 02:46:44 AM
I think the bigger "visibility" issue with the boxcar in the consist is not for the passengers, but for the crew. It is much more difficult for the train crew to manage a 3 car train - with isolated from visibility to/from the engine cab. Hand brakes also become an issue.

These can all be solved (and now having a run-around at TOM certainly helps.) But for now, I agree to keep it at Sheepscot,  then work towards a "destination" at TOM. (And maybe we will actually integrate "doubling the hill" in our operations someday.)


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Joe Fox on July 15, 2017, 09:30:24 AM
Doubling the hill would be good for a railfan type charter, but your normal visitor could care less about watching a train perform a switching maneuver for any length of time. (Unless it is absolutely needed)

Same can be said for the mixed train, so maybe a standing train could be set up in the yard for them to see? Even if its just a box car and coach, or something like that.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 15, 2017, 12:19:54 PM
So we need to come up with some ideas of what visitors can do at Top of the Mountain. If a trackside area was mowed and maintained, perhaps with a bench or two, people could get off and a trainman could describe our plans for the sawmill/shingle mill complex. If an information board was installed showing the proposed track layout there, with the inclusion of the track going down the mountain, commentary could be offered explaining the location's original use and our plans for the future. As has been mentioned previously, a loop walking path could be built and maintained so that people could take a short walk around the property. Even smoothing and clearing the road to the Porcupine Palace would provide a place for folks to stretch their legs.

Yes! This- I agree with Bob and Wayne that some limited development at ToM before the mill gets build would be really handy in improving the visitor experience! "Make it a fascinating destination, not just a static turnaround". I love that! I have a proposal in hand from a museum member about building an interpretive trail there and expanding some of our options at ToM. Bob, is this something you'd be interested in helping to develop along with a couple of others?

Just to clarify- the boxcar on the train would not be used for pick ups and set-outs. As I understand it, a boxcar that was designated LCL would run through, all the way from one end of the line to the other. My thought would be to run a consist such as the boxcar and coach 8 or coach 3. The boxcar would be open for display while the train is on the platform at Sheepscot. I'll be trying it as conductor once we get the trucks under 309 in good shape. As Ed said, for now, as work is being completed on the trucks, it will stay in Sheepscot and be open for the public.

Joe, some of those waybills and associated documents (I'm not sure how they all worked together- need some help figuring that bit out) will be part of the boxcar display. Thanks!

I had thought that doubling the hill would normally be tough on passengers (who would want to it around just for the loco to pic up some other cars), but if you had the mill at ToM, people could go through and tour the mill, etc. while the engine picked up the rest of the cars. Plus, visitors would get to see the engine screaming up the mountain with the rest of their train. It could be really cool one day. It's at least worth trying!

Steve





Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Joe Fox on July 15, 2017, 09:52:01 PM
Yes, those old documents are hard to figure out what certain things meant, but if a group of us sit down and try to decifer, it would be neat to have arrows pointing to certain areas to translate it into "modern" terms in a display so that people viewing them without a volunteer present can have some clue as to what they are looking at.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 15, 2017, 10:43:54 PM
I was envisioning the doubling of the hill to occur in conjunction with the activities at TOM. Ideally, the "mixed" train consist would have the freight cars on the north end of the train. The train would not stop at TOM northbound. The freight would be left at 218 (or Head Tide) and passengers brought to TOM. The train returns to 218/Head Tide to get the freight cars while the passengers see the activities at TOM. This gives plenty of time to see everything at TOM and puts it in the context of a historic operating practice. And everyone gets the thrill of experiencing the train work the grade, witness some switching operations, or whatnot.

(Of course, we are a long ways off before we get to this point.)


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Bob Holmes on July 16, 2017, 12:19:01 AM
Steve, I'm happy to get involved with such a project.  Let me know further...


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 17, 2017, 01:30:07 PM
Excellent! I will start getting the group organized. Work will likely begin after the next board meeting, which is in a couple of weeks. Send me an email with your contact information so we can be in touch regarding projects and work times. My email is spwoodwinds@gmail.com Anyone else interested in this effort, feel free to send me an email with the same.

Steve



Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Joe Fox on July 17, 2017, 11:26:25 PM
Steve, as mentioned I am more than happy to help out in any way I can.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Carl Soderstrom on July 18, 2017, 02:58:50 AM
Not having access to waybills:

How much LCL was boxcar and how much was combine car.

I would think there were more and larger boxcar LCL in the early days
and more combine LCL in the later days.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Wayne Laepple on July 18, 2017, 03:10:58 AM
You're probably right about the amount of LCL declining as time went on, Carl. Where I grew up in the 60's, the local carried an LCL car ahead of the caboose, and some days there was hardly anything in it. Come to think of it, I saw a photo one time of a couple of PRR freight trainmen unloading a crated tombstone from a caboose!


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on July 18, 2017, 04:01:24 AM
Joe, I am apt to agree with you on that. I feel something more in line with the size of the Alna Center Platform would be appropriate. I guess it would be helpful if it could move, but if we really put our thinking caps on and determine a final location, that would be great. I think your intention for the platforms was for them to be temporary and moveable, like for a special event, so maybe we could use one of those in the meantime.

Meanwhile, Wayne, thank you for the very detailed email regarding freight shipment and routing! Your explanation was great. I can see that information into some sort of graphic organizer. I suspect you and Carl are right about the LCL as well. Perhaps the waybills we have in the Museum's archives will shed some light on that.

I think we need to either split this thread, since we are discussing two different, yet related topics, or change its title to enhancing visitor experiences.

Steve


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 18, 2017, 12:50:32 PM
Does anyone have experience building or installing 12V battery powered LED DC lighting systems? I'm looking for someone who has built one.

Steve

Moderator's Note:
Splitting topic from LCL discussion and did not want Steve's question missed.


Title: Re: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 18, 2017, 01:06:18 PM
[Moderator's Note]

I think we need to either split this thread, since we are discussing two different, yet related topics, or change its title to enhancing visitor experiences.

Discussion for station platforms and a trail system at TOM is now at:
http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=2977.0 (http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=2977.0)

The existing thread for discussing the land clearing and siding construction at TOM remains at:
http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=2665.0 (http://forum.wwfry.org/index.php?topic=2665.0)

There is no thread (currently) to discuss other specific "fascinating destination" ideas/proposals/projects at TOM (including the shingle mill/saw mill complex.) I will add/split them as they come up for discussion.