Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New Haven Yard Operations IV

On October 21, 1947 the New Haven Railroad published a booklet entitled New Mechanized Train Consist and Car Record System in which it states: 

"...developed by New Haven officers in cooperation with engineers of the International Business Machines Corporation. Studies first projected in 1940 by the New Haven's transportation and communications departments culminated in a definite plan in 1942, but, because of war-time priorities, equipment was not received until the latter half of 1945 when operation was commenced between Maybrook, Cedar Hill, and the car service office at New Haven."

This booklet tells the story in great detail of the old and new Yard Operations processes and paperwork. In my quest to better understand the the inner workings of  New Haven Railroad, this was the single most informative document I found regarding the paperwork and processes used in yard operations. 

I've already told that story.

But there is more to the story of researching New Haven Yard Operations and the IBM-Teletype system. Such as, when was it placed into service?

Such records are probably long gone, so it's probably more a question of trying to narrow down the window of time. What clues did I have?

Narrowing the Window

The Along the Line article from February, 1946 says that it is "already installed between Maybrook, Cedar Hill and the Car Service Office, the new procedures will be extended to Bay Ridge, Oak Point, Hartford, Springfield, Worcester, Northup Avenue, Framingham and Boston."

The February 23, 1946 issue of Railway Age has an article regarding the system, again only referencing Maybrook and Cedar Hill as being online.

The system is also mentioned in another Along the Line article, from November, 1947. This also mentions the installation is only complete at Maybrook and Cedar Hill, and, "...we have been authorized to complete the installation between our other gateways and our important yards all over the system."

The IBM-Teletype booklet doesn't have a date printed on it. The text is a blend of the first Along the Line article and the Railway Age article, plus new text, but still only references Maybrook and Cedar Hill as being online. The exhibits have reproductions of actual railroad paperwork so we may be able to determine an approximate date from those. It has examples from 1942, '45, '46, '47, and the latest from January 30, 1948. With publishing lead times, perhaps mid-'48?

I also have the Standard Operating Procedure from the Car Service Department, from June 28, 1957. Although it doesn't specifically state it, it seems clear that the system is fully implemented by this time. 

So that's a window from mid-'48 to mid-'57. The second Along the Line article also states, "...we started in January 1944...After much delay caused primarily by the shortage of critical materials we now have the system in operation between Maybrook, N.Y., and our largest classification yard, Cedar Hill at New Haven..." So it took about a year-and-a-half to get the initial installation completed.

So from a model standpoint, why does this matter? 

In my case, I have trains originating at Maybrook, Cedar Hill, and Hartford. Chris has trains originating at Cedar Hill and Hartford. We know that by late '45 Maybrook and Cedar Hill were using the Teletype printed paperwork, so Wheel Reports (Outbound Consist Lists) for trains originating there will be in that format. But are trains from Hartford still using handwritten paperwork?

At this point I could reasonably guess that through at least mid-1948 Hartford was still using the old system and then pick a year to switch from handwritten to Teletype paperwork from that yard.

The Internet to the Rescue

And then, in my quest in the farthest reaches of the internet, I actually found an answer. In The National Railroad Adjustment Board Awards 5601 to 5700 Third Division. Huh?

This is a book of railroad labor disputes and their settlements. And Docket No. TE-5487, settled with Award 5627 on January 23, 1952 lists the dates when the yards were actively using the new system.

The dispute was filed by The Order of Railroad Telegraphers against the New Haven Railroad claiming that since the new system used Telegraph Printers (Teletype machines), the terms of their collective bargaining agreement required that the machines be operated by Telegraphers and not clerks.

It states:
Prior to July 1945 all communication service of record...was transmitted and/or received by employes under the Telegraphers' Agreement. The approximate time that printing telegraph machines, with the auxiliary card-controlled tape punch or tape-controlled card punch machines, began operations and such operations assigned to persons not under the Telegraphers' Agreement are:
Maybrook    July, 1945
Cedar Hill    June, 1947
Hartford    December, 1947
Springfield    December, 1947
Worcester    January, 1949
Framingham    December, 1948
Boston    October, 1949
Providence    June, 1949
Oak Point    March, 1949

There are two interesting things in this list.

First, Bay Ridge and Northup Avenue aren't on it, even though they were to receive the system. Was it not implemented yet? Did they decide not to install it at all? Or was it simply missing from the list. Note that they also do not list the Car Service Office, which may or may not have had Telegraphers performing any of the work prior to this system. My assumption is that it had been installed, and they were just not listed as part of the complaint for some reason.

Second is the date listed for Cedar Hill. We know it was in operation by the end of 1945. So it appears that either the date is wrong, or that until June, 1947 Telegraphers were operating the machines at Cedar Hill.

It also provides a date for the IBM-Teletype booklet - October 21, 1947. But we know that it had examples of paperwork from January 30, 1948, so this obviously isn't quite correct. Perhaps it should have been listed as 1948?

So this would have been interesting enough, as is the case (spoiler alert - the Telegraphers lost). But no, it's better. Because it includes a full description of the process, again similar in content but different enough to answer a few questions. For example, concise descriptions of the different reports and their uses. Listed under the Carrier's Statement of Facts:

The dispute arise from the installation on Carrier's lines of a new technique for the preparation, use and handling of the following:
Interchange report.
Switch lists.
Wheel reports.
Train consists.
Passing reports.
Car movement information.
Car record books.

These reports are defined as follows:
(a) An interchange report is a list of cars received by a railroad from another connecting carrier at a junction point. It contains, among other things, the number and initial, contents, origin and destination of each car and serves as a record of the delivery and receipt of the car by the respective railroads.

(b) A switch list is prepared at a yard where trains are broken up and cars switched to classification or other tracks for assembly in different order into outgoing trains. It gives the information necessary to place each car in the train being broken up on the proper track in the yard.

(c) A wheel report is a list and description of the cars in train order given to the conductor of an outgoing train to enable proper handling of the cars enroute and to serve as a report of the work done by the train at the conclusion of the run.

(d) A train consist is a list and description of the cars in a train in the order in which they stand in the train. It is used by the yards at which it originates, through which it passes enroute, and at which it terminates, in handling the cars, in the preparation of the other documents listed above, and for other like purposes.

(e) A passing report is a list and description of the cars passing through a particular yard or junction point. It is used by traffic and other railroad offices in tracing shipments and advising consignor and consignee of the location and progress of their freight.
(f) Car movement information refers to a number of lists of selected cars and associated data prepared at different locations to meet special needs.

(g) A car record book is a list of all cars passing through a particular yard during a given period arranged as nearly as possible in car number order. It is used for information purposes at the yard in tracing the handling of particular cars through the yard and for locating underlying records evidencing such handling, such as the interchange, train consist, wheel report, and other documents.

The essential data with respect to the movement of loaded freight cars - the car initial and number, contents, type of car, weight, route, origin, shipper, consignee, destination and other clerical detail - is contained in the waybill prepared at the station where the movement originates. This document accompanies the car from origin to destination, in the possession of the freight train conductor enroute and of the yard forces at yards where trains are broken up and re-assembled. Without this document the car may not be moved. Because the waybill accompanies the car it is necessary that each office at terminals through which it moves abstract and transcribe from the waybill the data necessary for proper handling and for making proper reports. This work has always been done by yard employes represented by the Clerks' Brotherhood.

I haven't seen the various reports so clearly defined. Although terminology and actual processes will vary from road to road, this has clarified several things:

1. The Wheel Report (Outbound Consist List) is the working report of the conductor on the New Haven. It provides the information needed for working the train on the way. Because of other resources, we know the conductor can be given additional work along the way by Train Orders, and they will document those car movements on this report as well. While this isn't clearly evident in the couple of examples I have, it points me in the right direction.

2. Switch lists on the New Haven refer to documents provided to the yard switching crews. 

3. Although I have seen them listed, I didn't know what a Passing Report was, or what it would be used for.

4. The Outbound Consist report replaces the Wheel Report that is provided to the conductor. Although the conductor still has to provide a record of work done during the run. Exactly what paperwork was used for this purpose remains a bit of a mystery, although I suspect it was still the old paperwork completely by hand by the conductor.

However, with the Teletype printed consist, did they only record additional movements by hand, or did they still transcribe the information from the Outbound Consist to their own Wheel Report? I suspect that this is the case, at least for local freights.

Still more to find, but at least I now know for ops sessions in 1946 and '47 that trains from Hartford will still have handwritten Wheel Reports, but Maybrook and Cedar Hill will have teletype Outbound Consist Reports. By 1948 all trains will be using teletype reports since Hartford was online by then.

Monday, April 12, 2021

New Britain Passenger Trains - post-1950

As I noted, the consist books only provide a complete consist for Train No 131/136. They also provide a consist for 128/129 when that train switched from the Comet to a regular locomotive-hauled train.

Starting in the 1950 book, though, it does have a list at the beginning of all of the equipment and the trains assigned. These aren't full consists, but at least I can tell which equipment was used to build the consists (and compare that with photos). The consist books also list which trains are assigned space for storage mail, and based on photos I know that every train had a baggage car. By 1953 all were replaced by RDCs

Train 131 at Stanley Works. Tom McNamara slide c1953.

The Trains

Not all trains run every year.


    • 1950 - Comet
    • 1951 - (2) 8500-
    • 1953 - RDC-1


    • 1952 - Express, 8270-
    • 1953 - RDC-2, RDC-3


    • 1950 - Storage, 8270-
    • 1951 - Storage, 8270-
    • 1952 - Express, 8270-
    • 1953 - RDC-2, RDC-3


    • 1950 - Storage, 600-620
    • 1951 - Storage 600-620, 8270- 


    • 1952 - RDC-2


    • 1950 - Storage, 600-620
    • 1952 - 8270-series
    • 1953 - (1-2) RDC-1


    • 1950 - Storage, 8270-
    • 1951 - Storage 600-620, 8270- 
    • 1952 - RDC-2
    • 1953 - RDC-1


    • 1950 - Storage, 8270-
    • 1951 - Storage, 600-620, 8270-
    • 1952 - RDC-2
    • 1953 - RDC-1


The RDCs are simple, I have the Rapido ones.

The two 8500-series cars for 128/129 in 1951 are the Pullman-Bradley lightweight Smokers, also produced by Rapido. I have them in both Hunter Green and Pullman Green, either of which will be appropriate for this train.

The Comet is relatively simple with the Con-Cor one, although I am working on repainting it in the later scheme. Custom Brass also imported one, including the later scheme, but I like the Con-Cor one better, it's much cheaper, and I think the blue used on the brass model is too light anyway.

The 8270-series are the Pullman-Bradley 11-window lightweights I mentioned in the post on 131/136. I'm largely waiting for Rapido to release these (hint, hint).

I also covered the storage/express cars before. Either the Bethlehem Car Works wood baggage cars, or the old NHRHTA/F&C resin kits for the clerestory and turtle roof versions of the steel cars. The wood cars are the standard ones for these trains.

The 600-series cars, however, are a different story. These are heavyweight cars that were rebuilt from parlor cars. The Walthers 28-1 parlor car is a good starting point. You have to reverse both the roof and the floor, remove the interior, and then make a new side. One of the sides is correct for most of the cars, but the other side is not. In addition, there are at least 5 different versions of the second side. I'm still working on how I will approach these cars, although I have a few ideas. I'll need at least two of them, preferably four.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Modifying the Tichy Flat Car Part IV

In the first post I showed how I modified the deck and assembled the basic kit.
The second post covered scratchbuilding side sills and measuring and installing stake pockets. The third post covered how I was handling the rivets with an addendum from my buddy Bill Gill here.
The impetus for this particular project was a photo of a T&P flat car which also includes prototype information for that and similar cars.

What else can we do with the Tichy kit?

I forgot to mention an important version of the kit in my earlier posts. The Central of Georgia Railway Historical Society has offered the Tichy kit for several years with custom decals to raise funds to restore a CG flat car built in 1925. As of this writing there are only 9 kits left, but they have decals available too (in several scales). Again, only 5 of the HO ones today. I don't know if they will be getting more of the decals.

While I don't have a diagram, it's a nominal 40' flat car with straight side sills and 12 stake pockets. The end sills are different, so I think I'll scratchbuild those.

But I originally started experimenting with these kits because I wanted to model at least one of the New Haven's 36-foot flat cars.

NH F-232 at New London, September 24, 1951, photographer unknown.

While I have quite a bit of data on the disposition and life of these cars, I only have limited info on this particular one. I know it was renumbered sometime in x-15-1949, but not the original road number or month. Presumably this renumbering was when it was removed from interchange service and reassigned to work service. It was rebuilt (see below) at Readville on 8-2-1938, and was presumably built 1906.

In the March 1951, and February 1953 books it was assigned to a Providence Work Train. It was condemned/sold 4-24-1956.

41000-42149, 42175-42188

These were 36' flat cars built by Standard Steel Car Co from 1906 to 1908, and rode on 40-ton archbar trucks until c1938.

It was the largest (and by the depression, only) class of NH flat cars through the era, with 1116 of a little more than 1200 cars in August 1925. There was a slow decline over the next 10 years, with 1,000 remaining in 1935. From there it accelerated, with 738 in 1936, and only 40 left by the end of 1937.

In 1938, they were split into two groups, 42150-42173 received 40-ton cast sideframe trucks, and 42174-42188 received 30-ton trucks. However, starting in the September 1943 Summary of Equipment, it is more specific, with 13 of them still 30-ton cars with archbar trucks, 2 with 30-ton cast sideframe trucks, and 24 4-ton cars. Over the next two years the cars with archbar trucks would receive new trucks, and in September of 1945 there were 12 30-ton cars, and 24 40-ton. Many, but not necessarily all, received AB Brakes.

Interestingly, the 40-ton cars would be retired faster, with several apparently receiving 30-ton trucks again, as by December 1947 there were 15 40-ton cars, and 19 30-ton. By the end of 1948 it was 13 and 17 respectively, 8 of each in December '49, and only 4 of the 40-ton and 5 of the 30-ton in December, 1950. 

In November 1951 through at least March of '52 only two remained, 42157 (30-ton) and 42168 (40-ton). Both were gone by December. However, in NH documentation is the following note dated 12-31-1952:

These two flat cars have not been located for quite some time and it is presumed they were destroyed.

Many of the cars had been converted to work service through the late '40s. Records are incomplete, but it appears that none of them lasted in work service past 1960, with most being condemned and/or sold from 1955 to 1958.

Modeling the NH Car

The Tichy model seemed the obvious choice to start, and even better there is still a prototype in existence, at the Connecticut Trolley Museum. They have ex-NH 414944. This car still has it's original KC brake system.

The easy approach is to shorten the car in the middle (instead of lengthening it like the others), then modify the side sills to fit the shorter frame. I started one version with this approach. Since it's so easy to make the side sills and the end sills are different from the model, I opted to do a more substantial kitbash. In addition, I used an underframe from an Accurail 36' double-sheathed box car since it's a better match for the NH car.

This shows the shortened Tichy version on top, with the more extensive kitbash on the bottom.

One thing I found interesting is that I had shortened the side sill by cutting just past the second stake pocket from each end, and then shortening the middle section to remove one stake pocket (the NH car has 11 instead of 12). When I measured out and applied the stake pockets for the other car, I was surprised to see that they line up almost identically. The rivets aren't necessarily correct, but this is a quicker option.

You can see that difference between the Tichy (left) and Accurail (uhh...right) underframe is quite noticeable, even from the side when the car is on the track.

The largest differences were in the end sill. The poling pockets themselves are from Cal Scale, but I built up the casting around them from styrene, along with the buffer. 

Because this car is at the end of its life, I decided it would be fun to attempt a severely distressed deck. 

This will be one of the 40-ton cars, and based on the records I have it will be 42153 (condemned 6-14-1951). To my knowledge, this car was the last of this class in revenue service.

I'll cover the specific modifications in more detail in the next post.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

New Haven Yard Operations III

On October 21, 1947 the New Haven Railroad published a booklet entitled New Mechanized Train Consist and Car Record System in which it states: 

"...developed by New Haven officers in cooperation with engineers of the International Business Machines Corporation. Studies first projected in 1940 by the New Haven's transportation and communications departments culminated in a definite plan in 1942, but, because of war-time priorities, equipment was not received until the latter half of 1945 when operation was commenced between Maybrook, Cedar Hill, and the car service office at New Haven."

This booklet tells the story in great detail of the old and new Yard Operations processes and paperwork. In my quest to better understand the the inner workings of  New Haven Railroad, this was the single most informative document I found regarding the paperwork and processes used in yard operations. 

This is that story.

I first learned of the booklet in a post on the NHRHTA Forum that led to a post on The Arts Mechanical where John C. Carlton shared the entire book.

I later hunted down my own copy of the booklet, and I should have pulled it out when I started posting on Yard Operations again. It's not uncommon for me to take a quick look through a document like this when I first get it, only to set it aside until I get back to that subject.

The first section of the booklet contains an explanation that is similar, but not exactly the same, as the Along the Line article of the system and the processes. So I won't repeat that here. Instead, what I found most useful are the exhibits.

The New Process

One notable difference between this process and the one used for tank cars earlier is that the punch cards also have the information printed at the top of the card, so they can be read by people. They also aren't codes like what was used on the tank cars, but the actual data (which then shows up on many reports). I covered the basic process in this post.

Exhibit 1 is an overview of the new process compared with the old process and is a nice overview of how the yard operates. Exhibits 2-4 are flow charts that are directly related to this summary.

This is quite informative, and covers the process well, but the focus is understandably on the paper processing process, not necessarily what happens on the ground. What I found more informative are Exhibits 5-12, which provide examples of the old paperwork, and the new paperwork that replaces it.

Switch Lists

These are old and new switch lists, in this case for Maybrook Yard. Of note is that the handwritten one doesn't follow the form, instead they simply divided it into two large columns to fit all of the cut on one form. The information as used is Car Initial and No, Station from, gross tons, and Track No. However, there are several cars that don't indicate either, so I'm not sure what to make of those.

The teletype one appears to have the same information. I don't know what the 1, 7 and 7 between the Station From and gross tons for three cars means, nor the QU 17 for RDG 2271 means.

Also of note is that the switch list is specifically for use in yards. On the handwritten form, you'll note a column (not used) that says 'Rider.' This is referring to the brakeman that rode the car down the hump, if one did. Although the form does have a Station To and Consignee field, so it could be used for the road if those fields were completed.

The teletype replacement, however, makes it clear that it is only useful in the yard, since all of that information is not on the report.

This is the form (whichever version is appropriate for a given layout) that can be used when modeling Yard Operations for an arriving train. If it's the handwritten version, the Yardmaster will prepare the form for the switching crews to break down the train.

Interchange Report

The page showing the old forms show three different ones. The first is an Inbound Train Arrival Sheet. This form was completed by yard clerks to record the consist of the inbound train. This was provided to the Yardmaster so they could create the Switch Lists.

The information was also used to type up the other two reports, the Broad Sheet and Interchange Report Cut-Up Slip were typed simultaneously, the Cut-Up Sheet being a carbon copy. These two were replaced by the new Interchange Report.

A process change eliminated the Train Arrival Sheet, and they started to work directly from the waybills instead of a clerk handwriting this report. This is easy to replicate on the model - the inbound conductor gives the Yardmaster their waybills, and the Yardmaster can use those to write out the Switch List.

Yard Car Record

These were accounting forms, recording the movement of every car through the yard. While interesting (and a gold mine if you can find historical ones), they serve little purpose for modeling.

Inbound Train Consist

The Inbound Train Consist was transcribed from the waybills, and only used in the yard. It's not clear what the difference between this and the Train Arrival Sheet is.

But the biggest change, aside from the report being printed by teletype, is that the new report was received as the train leaves the prior yard. So it would be prototypical to have Inbound Train Consist reports for each inbound train, which would be compared to the waybills to account for any cars dropped or picked on the way. This is a major change in the way the railroad operated because the Yardmaster would know ahead of time what cars are inbound and prepare for their arrival, instead of having to wait until the train arrived and the handwritten report was completed.

Passing Report

Cut-up slip reports (like the Interchange one above) were literally designed to be cut into individual strips by car, so they could be organized by Initial and Number when compiling other reports, such as this Passing Report. With the new punch cards, a sorting machine could be used to resort them prior to running through another machine to generate the teletype tape needed to print the reports locally or the Car Service Department. It looks like it was for accounting purposes (per diem, etc.) and won't be needed on a model railroad. But you can see how much more efficient the punch cards made the process.

Junction Reports

As you can see, the old Junction Report were cut up slips that were gathered by road and mailed to car owners. The replacement is an actual report generated from the punch cards. A much more elegant solution. Again, not something needed for a model railroad.

Outbound Train Consist

Along with the Switch List, this is the most important report for modeling in my opinion. It states:

This report is a copy of the hand written wheel report, the original of which was given to the conductor with the bills...the train could not depart until this report was made out.

No copies of this report were given to the "next" yard, but the conductor's copy of the wheel report was mailed to the Superintendent of Car Service after the train reached its destination.

The handwritten one happens to be for OA-4 (Maybrook to Hartford) on May 6, 1942. There are cars bound for Terryville, Plainville, Westfield, Holyoke, Florence, Collinsville, and North Hampton that would go via the Highland Line. Cars for Terryville, Torrington and Winsted will be dropped at Waterbury on the way to Hartford. In 1941 it looks like OA-4 may have stopped in Plainville too. In which case all of the remaining cars would have been dropped there.

The loads are interesting too, one box car (NYC?) of evaporated milk for Terryville, a GATX tank car with kerosene for Torrington, a MILW box car of doors for Winsted, a PRR gon of pig iron for Plainville, and the remainder of the train is for anthracite (5 cars) and bituminous (16 cars) coal. Hoppers were from PRR (9 cars), WM (5 cars), RDG (1 cars), and one each from D&H, NH, B&O, and CRR, and PMcK&Y. One of the Reading cars and the Pennsy car of pig iron are drop end gondolas ("DE"). The total consist is a box car, tank car, box car, gondola, 10 hoppers, another gondola, and 10 more hoppers. This highlights how much coal came via Maybrook.

On the right hand side there's a notation A&P Tea with what might be a long list of car numbers. But one sequence (732152, 732152, 732251, 732152, 732152) seems to preclude that. I'm not sure what to make of it. Initially I thought they were seal numbers, but the bulk of the train is hoppers and there are too many of them.

The teletype version lists consignees, but the handwritten one does not. Furthermore, the example for OA-4 doesn't have any indication that the cars for Winsted or Torrington would need to be dropped at Waterbury, where it has a scheduled stop, and in that year it may have been scheduled to drop the rest at Plainville. In other words, they seem to be missing the operational part of the run, which is required for reporting to the Superintendent of Car Service.

So I'm not clear what report (if any) would be used by the conductor for manage the work on the way. In my opinion, there must have been some sort of document that provided instructions on which cars to pick up or drop (similar to the Switch List), if for no other reason that the railroad operated by written orders. They didn't leave things to chance or interpretation, everything was documented, even if it was a form that wouldn't be filed for later reference.

So there are still some mysteries to solve, but I think this gives us a much clearer look at the yard operations on the New Haven in this era.

Monday, April 5, 2021

New Britain Passenger Trains 131 and 136

One of my ongoing projects to get the layout ready for operations is to gather the necessary information and supplies to build the passenger trains. It's easy to identify which direction the train is running, since they didn't turn the entire train at Waterbury, only the locomotives. So eastbound trains have the baggage car (and RPO where used) on the end of the train instead of behind the locomotive.

Train 131/136 was frequently photographed in my era, probably because it's the only daytime passenger train (12.30 pm and 5.40 pm). This is the only train with consistent consist information, as all of the other Highland Line trains are commuter trains and are not listed in the consist books.

Train 131/136
1 Express
1 Apartment
1 Coach (M) SL
1 Smoker (M) De Luxe (yes, that's how it's spelled...)
1 Coach (M) SL (Fri & Sat, sometimes only Friday)

What exactly does this mean? I'll start with a picture:
One of my favorite Kent Cochrane photos from March, 1947 of an I-2 with Train 131

In addition to the Russell & Erwin stacks and the 44-tonner shoving a hopper of coal up to the coal trestle, this is a fantastic side view of the entire train. It looks like a Friday train, due to the fifth car, but an extra car would also be added as needed on any day.

The first car is the Express car, that is, a baggage car carrying storage express mail. There's a compartment set aside for mail, 9 ft. from Boston to Waterbury, plus an additional 6 ft from Hartford to Waterbury. In most of the photos this is a wood baggage car, available as a kit from Bethlehem Car Works. It's Sparrows Point kit SP-61. I don't see it listed on the site right now, so you'll need to contact John to see if it's available.

Note that the New Haven clearance diagram has the doors located in the wrong incorrectly (which resulted in the first run of the model also having them in the wrong place - John fixed the issue for the later runs). I purchased cars as soon as they were released, so I'll just be modifying mine.

The second car is an RPO, or a 15' Apartment Car. This means that it has a 15 ft RPO section, and the rest of the car is a baggage car. 

It's easy to spot 131/136 from this era because of the RPO as it's the only train on the Highland assigned one. This is also available from Bethlehem Car Works, kit #263 and it looks excellent. I'll be finishing mine soon.

The third car is the Smoker, even though the consist lists a coach next. This is a heavyweight De Luxe (DL) car with mechanical (M) air conditioning. The De Luxe (also noted as Deluxe, or DeLuxe in NH documents) Smokers are numbered 6800-6823, 6824-6827, and 6829-6843. This car will be a challenge to model. I'll most likely start with a Branchline (now Atlas) single window heavyweight coach. I have a decent idea of how I'll approach it, though, I'll get to that process in a later post when I get around to building one.

Note the 8 exhaust type ventilators, plus the round vent at the end for the saloon. On the Smokers, there is only a mens' saloon at one end of the car. The car is oriented in the photo with the saloon to the right, instead of to the left as in the diagram.

The final two cars are Pullman-Bradley lightweight coaches. They were built with mechanical (M) air conditioning, and are designated as streamlined (SL). The first one is from the 8270-8369 series of cars. These are known as 11-window cars and were built for commuter service with walk-over bench seating for 92 people. The second car, however, is a 10-window coach (8200-8269 series), with twin rotating chairs on each side of the aisle, and seating for 84 people.

There were 10-window Pullman-Bradley Smokers as well. However, there were only four of them (8500-8503) until more were converted in October, 1949, and they were assigned to specific trains.  Once more were converted one was assigned to this train to replace the 6800-series heavyweight.

Note that both of these still have full skirts. The skirting was removed from in front of the trucks starting c1949. 

The 10-window coaches and smokers were both produced by Rapido in the past and can be found on eBay and at shows. In addition, to those cars, the 11-window coaches were produced by E&B Valley and brass from Custom Brass. Neither are up to the standards of the Rapido cars, which is why I have started experimenting with using the brass sides on the Rapido car. My buddy Bill reminded me that I'll also have to alter all of the rivet lines on the roof if I go this route. I've reminded him that Rapido still needs to do the 11-window coaches...

So it's the heavyweight smoker and the 11-window coaches that will be the most challenging aspects of this train, but I'm hoping Rapido will at least get around to the coaches soon.

This was the last train to run with steam on the Highland, until November/December 1948, since it received power at Boston. It was usually hauled by an I-2, but I have photos of this train behind an I-1, I-4 and DER-1 (DL-109) in this era. After the steam was pulled, it was usually assigned a DER-1 (DL-109), but was also run with a DERS-2b (RS-2) or DERS-2c (RS-3), before locomotive-hauled trains were replaced altogether with an RDC-1 and RDC-3 for this run in 1953.