Posted 23 June 2007 - 06:18 PM
Okay... I'm back!
Wow, today was like a zoo... 'cause that's where we went! Took the 7 year old grand daughter to the Tulsa Zoo!
Anyhoo... Frascati asked about "typical" cars to be seen on the A&O Sub during its target era of the late 80s.
A&M (A&O Sub) During The Late 80s:
First, bear in mind that TYPICALLY a railroad's primary connections will be the most heavily evidenced rolling stock. That is, PROVIDED the home road has a modicum of rolling stock itself, which was the case in the late 80s for the A&M.
The A&M's primary connections during the late 80s were:
BN at Monett, Missouri
UP at Van Buren, Arkansas and Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
KCS at Ft. Smith, Arkansas
Now, staying within the supplied cars for the A&O Sub, you see the BN and KCS represented... but no UP. Why? Simple: The A&O Sub was created/released during UP's absurd license years, and I did NOT want to encumber the meager profits from MSTS sales with UP commissions and such. (The UP has since relaxed its stance.)
The CN cars were included with the A&O Sub because they were available for photos, and therefore I shot them and sent them to Gaetan. Same with almost all of the the other cars: Locally obtained textures.
That explains the supplied cars. Now, what about those that want to add more to the rolling stock that are plausible for the era/region?
Alright, let's look at each primary road, and extropolate from there:
First, there's the most important connection the A&M had during the late 80s: The BN.
During the late 80s in the NW Ark region, cars from the BN could be found still wearing paint for some of the absorbed roads of the BN. In order of common appearance, you could see cars (primarily grain hoppers) for the:
SOMETIMES, you could see a CB&Q car. I don't ever recall seeing SP&S cars.
Next we'll look at the UP. By the late 80s, the most notable UP assimilation was the Missouri Pacific. I can't recall when the Katy was taken over. Nor can I recall when the CNW became all yellow. So, sticking with what I know, it would be plausible to have Missouri Pacific cars in several flavors running about on the A&M during the late 80s. I'm sure if I would pull out my A&M slides and video tapes, Mopac cars will be seen in the backgrounds.
Lastly, we'll look at the KCS. The KCS was kind of its own thing then. Therefore, there weren't any assimilated roads, so it was typical to see KCS cars from the KCS. There were also TOE cars that came from the D&E/TOE connection at DeQueen, Arkansas.
In addition to the above, during that time there were scads of second-hand cars running about purchased from the Rock Island demise. These typically carried reporting marks for their new owners, but it wouldn't be impossible to see straight Rock Island, reporting marks and all.
The grain flowing into the NW Arkansas A&M region during the 80s came primarily from the BN connection at Monett. (200 car trains were common on the nightly Monett Turn.) That so, the cars used in the supply line were typically roads of the grain belt, that is, the mid and upper midwest.
Let's look again at Frascati's list of lower/mid/upper mid west roads:
C&NW, MILW, DT&I, WC, NKP, TOE, ADN, SOU, DRGW, SSW, ASAB, ACl, GMO, ICG, SOO
Now I'll try to share some logic for the above knowing the traffic patterns of the time.
For grain hoppers, in addition to the roads that I discussed above, you could lift the following from Frascati's list and often see:
C&NW, MILW, SOO
In addition, you can throw in a few UP and Mopac.
For boxcars, you could typically see:
BN, KCS, UP, MP, C&NW, TOE (lumber/paper products)
Gons? Can't recall specifics... gons are usually so beat up they all kind of blend together.
Woodchip cars were about as depicted with the stock supplied with the A&O Sub : BN and KCS.
Tanks/chem cars: Again, non-descript. Run-what-cha'-brung appropriate for era.
Bulkhead flats were still king in the late 80s, as the centerbeam cars had not gained their foothold yet.
In addition to ALL of the above, there were free-running car fleets that could be seen as well. That would be such things as Railbox, Railgon, etc. I seem to recall seeing "Solid Gold" reefer cars in Springdale while aboard the Ft. Smith Turn.
Well, there you have it, the basics. Now you can take it from here!