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Early UPRR Flat Cars

Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Andrew Brandon » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:59 pm

I've been nagging Curtis about making a few minor adjustments to some of his early rolling stock into slightly more accurate representations. The first two cars I've been researching are the 30' flat cars used in the 1860s and later.

I have been unable to find much in the way of early UP freight car rosters. I am sure references must exist, but UP since isn't my forte, I don't have them in my library. Thankfully many early UP images are available online in the public domain. The Library of Congress, DeGolyer Library, Online Archive of California and other sites are treasure troves for these old photographs and stereoviews.

Union Pacific has several identifiable types of flat cars in service in early photographs.

400 - 999 (full number range unknown) Series.
These cars share some similarities with the existing UP flat model. The car is probably a 24' * 30' with tapered side sills and "captured" end sills. This style of car was also used on the CP and may have come from the same builder. A captured end sill means the end sill fits between the side sills, rather than the full length side sill more commonly used.

UP-601-Laramie-Shops-AJ-Russell.jpg
UP Flat #601 alongside the roundhouse in Laramie, WY. Cropped from an A.J. Russell photograph.


UP-Flat-473-Supply-Train-AJ-Russell.jpg
UP Flat #473 in a supply train. Cropped from an A.J. Russell photograph.


Flat #473 is flanked by sister cars #755 and #533 in this photograph. The captured end sill is visible in this view.

The trucks under these cars look very similar to the "Kimball" style archbar truck used under V&T cars, with the addition of heavier spring planks and a leaf spring instead of the coiled spring.


* After further study I believe these cars were in fact 30' not 24' like I originally thought.
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Andrew Brandon » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:36 pm

Interestingly enough, in the view of the Laramie shops, the frame of one of these short cars was being assembled in the foreground.

UP-Shot-Flat-Frame-Laramie-Shops-AJ-Russell.jpg
Frame under construction. Laramie, WY shops. Detail from A.J. Russell photograph.


The sill closest to the photographer is the outside sill, showing the characteristic rounded end used on captured sill cars. Just behind it the two center sills are visible, with the end sill resting on top. I can also spot both bolsters, the needle beams and what appears to be a brake beam.

UP-Shot-Flat-Frame-Detail.jpg
Sill construction detail.
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Curtis Reid » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:26 pm

So you think they are 30', eh? I could buy that. Here's a shot of a 24' flat model (based on Mike Collin's drawings of a 24' V&T Kimball flat, but with wood bolsters and captured end sills), and it does appear like it could be shorter than the ones in the photo.
up_24_flat_wip3.jpg
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Andrew Brandon » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:49 pm

I found a couple more on DPL.
UP-Flat-907-Sydney-WY.JPG
Rock load, Sydney Wyoming.


UP flat near Promontory.JPG
Near Promontory Summit. Note the stake pockets on the captured end sill.
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Randy Hees » Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:04 am

Of course CP and SP used side sill captured end beam flat cars as well... These folio sheets show two of the classes after being renumbered in 1892. The CP car seems to be on Small's standard truck (circa 1892, a basic arch bar without swing motion) while the SP car is on Theilson trucks. Others rode on Allen's California truck. CP built some cars of this design for the V&T.
Scan0012.jpg


A drawing for cars of this framing pattern were shown in the National Car Builder in June 1884, so the design was still the railroad's standard at that time... It appears the change to conventional sills captured by end beam designs start when CP has cars built by outside builders, probably with a group of 100 cars built by Pullman for the SA&AP in 1889.
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Curtis Reid » Mon May 02, 2016 9:14 pm

Model is coming along nicely, though still on placeholder trucks:

UP_flat_wip1.jpg


I have two stake pockets on the 'A' end, and two holes in the deck on the 'B' end. I'm planning brakes on the 'B' end only.

Any idea what color UP painted their flats in the late 1860s / early 1870s?
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars Paint

Postby Randy Hees » Tue May 03, 2016 6:09 pm

The quick and honest answer is we don't know...

The longer more involved answer is based on CP practice, and ads for "Ralwins metallic paint" and a Sherwin Williams paint book customized for UP, circa 1885, is that the color is somewhere between Tuscan Red and a browner box car red. For a model in the old days, when Floquil paint was available, I might use 50/50 tuscan (a purple red) and roof brown.

This is an educated opinion, not supported by foot notes and such... but based on research. It is unlikely (but not impossible) that we will find an artifact to sample.

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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Curtis Reid » Tue May 03, 2016 7:34 pm

Sounds good. It's not that hard to repaint if / when new information comes out. Thanks!!
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Randy Hees » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:17 am

Rawlins Paint NCB april 1875 p iv.jpg
Updating the paint color thoughts for early UP flat cars... I have been researching Rawlins' Red paint. This was a mineral red from a specific quarry outside Rawlins Wy. It is a hematite based pigment. The company was active from the early 1870's though about 1886. It is likely a redder rather than purple or brown mineral color.

With that in mind, the earliest cars could not have used this paint. Considering that many of the UP managers came from PRR or US Military railroads, Tuscan might be in order for this earliest period. (very speculative)

Then the Rawlin's red (a red brown) maybe 1873 to 1885 (specific dates uncertain)

Then the red shown in the 1887 Sherwin Williams UP catalog (a browner color)

Finally, early in the 1900's they adopted CS 11, metallic. (very brown mineral paint)
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Re: Early UPRR Flat Cars

Postby Curtis Reid » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:41 am

Thanks for the information, Randy! I've also started work on a caboose, but I'll put that in a separate thread - after I repaint it in Tuscan :)

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