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Author Topic: Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing  (Read 779 times)
Stephen Piwowarski
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« 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
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Mike Fox
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« Reply #1 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.
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Dave Crow
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« Reply #2 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
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John Kokas
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« Reply #3 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.
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Ed Lecuyer
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« Reply #4 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.
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Wayne Laepple
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« Reply #5 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.
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Joe Fox
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« Reply #6 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.
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Bill Baskerville
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« Reply #7 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.
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Wayne Laepple
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« Reply #8 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.
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Ira Schreiber
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« Reply #9 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.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 03:45:49 PM by Ira Schreiber » Logged
Bill Baskerville
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« Reply #10 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
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Stephen Piwowarski
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« Reply #11 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
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Joe Fox
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« Reply #12 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.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 12:41:20 PM by Joe Fox » Logged
Jeff Schumaker
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« Reply #13 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.
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Stephen Piwowarski
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« Reply #14 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
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