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 Post subject: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interchange
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:32 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1417
Location: Henderson Nevada
Member Wesley Paulson from National Capital Trolley museum suggested we add sticky with a list of links of resources for some of our frequently asked topic... He sent the attached list... I am posting it as a sticky, and soliciting suggestions for additional links... (reply to this topic) He and I will edit and add them to the list. Eventually we can move this up to announcements and this explanation will drop to the bottom of the list.

Randy Hees, Moderator, RYPN Interchange... Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interchange Topics.

RyPN readers are encouraged to review these primary sources of information for topics that are often discussed on the Interchange.


Recommended Practices
Founded in 1961, the Association of Railway Museums (ARM) encouraged railway museums in the exchange of ideas and information, and to be of assistance to one another. ARM merged with TRAIN to create the Association of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums.

One of the most valuable publications offered by ATRRM is Recommended Practices for Railway Museums. The American Alliance of Museums helped us develop this important self-help guide for institutional growth and development. Recommended Practices for Railway Museums identifies the unique characteristics of railway museums and integrates these with practices that are today standard in the broader museum field. ... _FINAL.pdf

Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums is the official publication of the Association of Railway Museums. Each quarter, RMQ highlights major projects at member museums and features articles of interest to railway museums. Preservation, Conservation, Restoration, and Collection Management are just a few of the many topics RMQ examines. As the only publication devoted exclusively to railway preservation, RMQ is an important addition to any railroad library. Back copies are available at no cost.
J. David Conrad’s Guide to Care for Park Locomotives
I have a 1974 pdf of this guide. J. David promises to update the guide for this project. I’ll need a place to host it that can provide a link.


Preserved North American Electric Railway Car Database
Frank Hicks and Jeff Haker maintain this extensive database of electric railway cars from North America preserved in collections around the world. This roster contains over 2,000 preserved historic electric railway cars which operated on North American electric railways. Each roster entry contains known information about the car's configuration, equipment and ownership history. Brief histories are available for some cars, as well as photos.

Steam Locomotive Databases
Doug Bailey with the help of others maintains an extensive database of steam locomotives, including basic roster information, photos, video and notes.

Wes Barris also maintains an extensive database of steam locomotives.

Canadian Trackside Guide
The Bytown Railway Society(BRS) in Ottawa, Ontario has for years published its Canadian Trackside Guide which lists almost all railway equipment operating in Canada with the notable exclusion of freight cars. This guide includes a section on equipment preserved and or abandoned that resides in museums, private ownership or in storage for future display. You can order a copy through their website:

More recently, the Society has made the preserved equipment listing available online in PDF format. It is subdivided into 4 geographical sections. Once you download the file, it can be searched using the “CTRL F” command from your computer. Just enter the text string of your choosing such as “Vulcan” or “0-4-0”. There are a few exceptions for equipment in private ownership where privacy has been requested to the Society, but otherwise if the equipment is in Canada you can find it here.

• Preserved AB-SK-MB.pdf
• Preserved BC-NWT-YT.pdf
• Preserved ONT.pdf
• Preserved -QUE-NB-PE-NS-NL.pdf

The Steamtown Collection
The National Park Service has a report outlining the history of each locomotive in the collection with recommendations for future use. ... n/shst.htm

Several organizations care for collections of the major North American Car Builders. The following links provide further details:

Pullman Library:
JG Brill Company: ... ll1556.htm
St. Louis Car Company: ... mpany.html
Baldwin Locomotive Works: ... olders.pdf
Budd Company: ... CC2411.pdf


National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
The primary focus of the NRHS Library is North American railways, with a small collection of selected publications on the railways of other countries.

California State Railroad Museum Library
This significant collection includes general railroad information, as well as records from Southern Pacific and subsidiaries, drawings from Santa Fe Railroad, Lima and Whitcomb Locomotive works.
General Library information ... he-library
Access to on line catalogs

Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Excellent save for one thing:

The National NRHS Library functionally does not exist any more, with much of its holdings now merged with DeGolyer (see below).

Several individual chapters maintain functional "libraries" ranging from a shed of bookshelves to the hundreds of feet of shelf space of the Maryland Rail Heritage Library in Baltimore. Utility and accessibility varies.

Several other libraries which should be highlighted:

A.C. Kalmbach Memorial Library in Chattanooga, Tenn., the library of the National Model Railroad Association: NOW MERGED WITH CSRM BELOW

The California State RR Museum Library, started in 1982 with the donation/deposit of the R&LHS research collection:

The RR Museum of Pa. Library and Archives, which includes a Reading and Research Room open four days a week:

The Hagley Library in Wilmington, Del. has as a small part of its extensive collection a focus on the PRR and locomotive builders in the Northeast:

The John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, based at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, stands today as one of North America’s largest and finest railroad history collections, with a special focus on the business aspects of railroading:

The Hays T. Watkins Research Library at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md. is dedicated to the history and preservation of American railroading, with the bulk of the research library holdings documenting the history of the B&O Railroad from its beginnings in 1827 to the 1970s.

The Colorado Railroad Museum Robert W. Richardson Railroad Library: Built in 1997, the Robert W. Richardson Railroad Library, designed to look like a small town depot, contains one of the most comprehensive railroad reference libraries in the United States. From timetables to employee records, photographs to engineering documents, maps to books, it offers a wealth of information on railroads. The Library’s collection focuses on railroads in the Rocky Mountain region and American West, but in some cases the collection’s scope is national or even international.

Northwestern University Transportation Library: Containing over 500,000 items, the Transportation Library of Northwestern University is one of the largest transportation information centers in the world, encompassing information on all transportation modalities, including: air, rail, highway, pipeline, water, urban transport and logistics. ... on-library

Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:00 am, edited 7 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:49 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:42 am
Posts: 1863
Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee

Sleeping & Parlor Cars

In addition to the builder archives listed above, Tom Madden made the effort to go through the Pullman records at the Newberry Library, resulting in a complete list of the heavyweight (all-steel era) and lightweight sleepers, parlors, business cars, etc. which were owned and/or operated by the Pullman Company, both before the 1948 divestiture and afterwards. This database includes not only Pullman-built cars, but also the Budd and American Car & Foundry (AC&F)-built cars which were ordered by the railroads and leased to Pullman for operation (also including some lightweight parlors of the PRR and New Haven). The database provides a variety of technical, design, and historical specifications, from brakes and trucks, to painting, to air conditioning, to Lot and Plan numbers, to initial dates of manufacture, just to name a few. Also of importance is the dates of sale to the railroads or other final dispositions from Pullman ownership or control.

The database was designed to line up with both Robert J. Wayner's "The Complete Roster of Heavyweight Pullman Cars" and the 3 volumes of W. David Randall's "Streamliner Cars", so all cars included in the database line up exactly with the order they appear in these books. Please note that the earlier all-wood and wood-and-steel composite cars of the Pullman Company were excluded, as were heavyweight sleepers and parlors either built by Pullman and sold directly to the railroads, or built by other manufacturers, i.e. Barney & Smith, AC&F or Canadian Car & Foundry (CC&F).

The database is available as a downloadable document in 3 formats: Microsoft Excel (2003), comma-delimited, or SYLK.

The main page of Tom's website:

The download links can be found here:

If one wants to know more about the dispositions of these cars, especially after retirement by the railroads, copies of the books mentioned above can occasionally be found for sale online, plus train shows or the library of your local railroad museum or historical society can be good places to look.

Dome Cars, Hi-Levels, and Superliners

Phil Dohmen has done thorough research on the dome cars manufactured by Pullman, Budd, and AC&F, from ownership, layout, and train assignment, to final dispositions and current statuses/locations. His website also contains sections for the Santa Fe Hi-Levels built by Budd and Amtrak's Superliners, built by Pullman and Bombardier.


For those who wish to stay up-to-date on the locomotives and rolling stock of Amtrak, the On-Track-On-Line website has a thorough database on the current status of the fleet, including all remaining Heritage equipment, cars built for specific states (California, Washington/Oregon, etc.), Amfleet, Horizon, Superliners, Viewliners, etc. The database is regularly updated with the latest information.

Main page:

Amtrak roster pages:

On-Track also has a page for ordering "Amtrak by the Numbers" by David C. Warner and Elbert Simon (published by White River Productions in 2011), which covers the entire history of Amtrak's locomotive and passenger rosters. In addition, the website also includes a Correction & Updates Page for said book.


Jerry LaBoda has spent the last 12 years building and updating a database of links to North American passenger car photos, from past to present. These photos can be found on a variety of websites, from the railroad-focused sites to the mainstream photo sites, such as Flickr and Panaramio. Each car also has the ownership and numbering history listed, making for easy cross-referencing.

Ted Brumberg

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
DATABASES, continued: RPCA Resource Library The Railroad Passenger Car Alliance (not to be confused with the AAPRRCO) has posted an online resource library with downloadable PDF files relating to passenger car and locomotive operation and maintenance old and current, from old steam heating and air brake manuals to current Amtrak regulations and standards, parts catalogues, wiring diagrams, locomotive operating manuals, complete CFR data, AAR and railroad specification standards, Pullman manuals, car diagrams, and more. They offer to host contributions of others as well. The Diesel Shop: Not 100% complete or 100% accurate, but a handy "one-stop" shopping for information on particular diesel locomotives, including museum and excursion line locos and "First Generation Survivors" preserved or not. The Railroad Station Historical Society: website includes both its own state/province-by-state/province database of surviving/extant/preserved historic depots, towers, enginehouses, powerhouses, tunnels, and other historic rail structures ( ), and a list of depot rail museums ( ). Several of the state links (Pennsylvania, for example) are to much more extensive, independently-edited website databases with photos, stations no longer extant, etc.; some listings include links to external websites for the entity owning or operating the station. American Railway Caboose Historical Educational Society, Inc. They do not have an online database, but their book is one I constantly turn to for rudimentary identification of oddball, mystery, or "which ones do they have?" identification. Only slightly out of date by now. Maybe someday someone can offer them the means to put their database online? Not a rail database per se, as it is mainly structured around road bridges, but this wiki-style database website lists over 25,000 historic and unusual bridges throughout the United States, including a great many rail and former rail bridges, as well as many tunnels and ferries. Abandoned Rails .com Another "wiki"-style database, covering the abandonment dates of hundreds of segments of abandoned rail lines nationwide, with individual pages (allowing comments and contributions) for each segment. Not complete or authoritative, but quite useful depending on the information supplied by contributors. WorldCat Sometimes the book you seek is available right across town from you! Worldcat helps you find the book you seek at any number of academic and local library systems nationwide and worldwide. With the help of your local library system, you can access that book for free through Inter-Library Loan rather than pay hundreds for it online or at a train show.

Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:02 am, edited 8 times in total.

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:03 pm
Posts: 9
Location: South Jersey
re: Databases

Electric Railway Cars

Harold E. Cox has published at [url][/url] a three-part database as follows:

Railway Car Builders U.S. & Canada 1897
Railway Car Builders U.S. & Canada 1902
The titles are somewhat misleading as these lists are organized by operating electric
railway companies and show the builders from which each operating company ordered.

Builders Car Rosters
This is a listing of orders by date, and although the firms may have built both electric and
steam railroad cars, only electric railway car orders are shown. There is probably no more
complete record of electric car orders anywhere. Builders listed are:

American Car & Foundry
American Car Co.
Barber Car Co.
J. G. Brill Co.
Canadian Car & Foundry Co.
Cincinnati Car Co.
Danville Car Co.
Federal Car Co./
Jackson & Sharp
Laclede Car Co.
Laconia Car Co.

Conspicuously missing is St. Louis Car Co., but an order
list has been published in a history of the company. Other firms are
missing; Jewett, Niles, Holman & Southern come to mind, but perhaps
these blanks can be filled in in the future.

As a bonus at this URL Cox has given us two gifts: his well-known listing of Birney cars
and a history of Wilkes-Barre (PA) trolleys, Wyoming Valley Trolleys.

David Noyes

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:12 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:57 pm
Posts: 97
Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul has the corporate records of the Great Northern, Northern Pacific, plus quite a bit of Soo Line and good material on Twin City Rapid Transit Co.

North East Minnesota History Center at University of Minnesota-Duluth library has the Frank King papers on the DM&IR and the corporate records of the Duluth Street Railway.

For the Minnesota Streetcar Museum I curate the comprehensive Minnesota Streetcar Photo collection.

Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia has extensive files on the Southern.

Aaron Isaacs

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:59 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 418
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Add to Major Archive Collections of North American Builders

Lima Locomotive Company: ... collection
Lima Locomotive Company: ... hives.html

Add to General Archive Collections of North American Railways

The archives for the Alaska Railroad while under Federal ownership were in the National Archives in Anchorage until it was closed in mid-2014. Despite what is posted on the NARA web site, the records were transferred to the Alaska State Archives in Juneau. Also included are some papers from the predecessor Alaska Central and Alaska Northern Railroads. There may also be some information on the Tanana Mines/Tanana Valley Railway, which was absorbed into the Alaska Railroad. A press release on the transfer says there are 1,200 records. The move has taken them off of the road system and made them essentially inaccessible to residents of the Anchorage commuting area, which includes most of the residents of Alaska.

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:22 pm
Posts: 61
Location: Northwest Indiana
There are two in northwest Indiana, I'm not positive of the railroads
But I believe the first is the Indiana Harbor Belt roundhouse in the US Steel ,Gary works.
I'll Try to post a link to yahoo map.

The Next is possibly the Elgin,Joliet and Eastern. It is in Hamond In.just west of Kenedy ave and south of US hwy 20.

Hoping these links work.

Steve A W

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 824
The second is the Indiana Harbor Belt. My grandfather retired from there as the roundhouse foreman.

Kelly Lynch
Vice President
Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:28 am
Posts: 229
Location: Dallas, TX
The Everett DeGolyer Library is a special collection library which is a part of the Fondren Library at Southern Methodist University in University Park, TX ( which is surrounded by the City of Dallas). There are many references to rail and transit resources within the DeGolyer and new material is being added every day. The digitizing section has an on going activity to complete all the not accessioned photographs, and other materials. A search of any section of the Fondren will also make available all the different library sections with in the query.

Material that has not been accessioned to the permanent library may be also searched and viewed for research through a contact with the DeGolyer staff. Dr. Russell Martin is the Director, Ms Pam Anderson is the Head of Public Services, and either of them may be contacted at the DeGolyer.

Harry Nicholls

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:16 am
Posts: 739
Have you thought of how to search this list as you set it up?

My contribution

Robby Peartree

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:21 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:28 am
Posts: 229
Location: Dallas, TX
The method of searching the data base is under the control of SMU staff librarians and not anything I work with. The present data base of files available now are searchable and the information I develop from the photos will probably follow the same procedure. The files are under each railroad name and will show the unit number for steam, diesel, cars maintenance of way and also the locations, some wrecks, depot/stations. and other miscellaneous items.

Unfortunately, details on manufacturer, builder number etc. are not a part of the data base. Nor does any prior rail ownership and loco number, or any other history available.
There is quite a list of searchable names in the catalog. Not the best of all worlds, but remember, at one time, there was over 100,000 items not cataloged or accessioned in any way. So, the work has come along way and I am still not out of the "I" files. much remains to be done.

If interested, I can post a complete list as drawn up by Mr. DeGolyer in my Drop Box for review. Even with his list, I have found misfiled photos that belonged under another individual railroad and have added about 20 more rail names (files) to his list. The present list is 72 pages long with approximately 50 names on each page. I can not count the total names accessible now through the normal library catalog, so I do not have anything available that is not searchable from the library catalog. Any item that is not listed may be available on special request through the Library as long as it is listed prior to the H files.

Please email me if you wish to review the DeGolyer list.

Harry Nicholls

Harry Nicholls

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 10:38 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
"What's Wrong With PRR 1361????"

The most concise answers to the 1361 dilemma are provided by Messrs. Tillger, Anderson, and Musser in this three-page thread from 2007:


The most relevant passage that explains almost all of it:
The crown sheet is not the issue at this time, rather it is the outer Belpaire roof sheet and its supporting staybolts that are in question. An ultra sound test does not find flawed engineering, which is the underlying problem with the sheets and stays. The staybolt spacing (5 1/8 X 4 1/2) is too great for the thickness of the sheet even if it were new (the entire wrapper was only specified to be 3/8" when new). Even if the sheet thickness were increased the stresses on the crownstays would be in excess of those permitted by the FRA. The extent of the flawed engineering is not known completely (thus the cost of repairs is still unknown), thus the shutdown was necessary to allow for the engineering to catch up. The factor of safety of 4 requirement has not changed since this boiler was built, the new 1999 regs have no bearing on this issue.

Virtually everything else about the loco's current plight is simply management issues, means to the goal, or distractions. (Your mileage may vary.)

 Post subject: Re: NKP 759 Info
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 2:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1993
The current stauts of NKP 759 at Steamtown.

 Post subject: Re: Guide to Frequently Asked Questions and Interch
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:48 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9980
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Since the story has ONCE AGAIN been propagated to a gullible media by the usual story-weaver and started making its way around Facebook:

"Hey, did you know FDR's secret armored rail car is still under Grand Central Station?!?!?"




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