One of the long-term goals is to better replicate the paperwork, such as waybills, used to operate the railroad. While it's easy to address either the shipper or receiver that is online in New Britain, it's often more difficult to determine the origination or destination of off-line cars.
AutomobilesA major commodity for most towns in this era are automobiles. Autos were shipped in 40' and 50' Automobile Boxcars, which frequently had loading racks that allowed one or more cars to fit above cars loaded on the floor of the boxcar. Some Auto Cars had end doors, and most (all?) had double doors to allow loading from the side. I believe 3 cars would fit in a 40' Auto Car, and 4 in a 50' Auto Car. I'll address the necessary freight cars in a future post.
Dennis DeBruler has a great post on his blog with lots of photos of how autos have been transported by rail over the years. Scroll down, because there are more pictures below the modern auto racks.
In most cases Autos were unloaded at bulk/team tracks, but not all towns had concrete (un)loading ramps, so I think that in many cases cars would be delivered to a nearby town. I don't know if the wooden platforms at a typical freight house was sufficient to unload automobiles. In the towns that have (un)loading facilities, they didn't always have end ramps to use the end doors.
Based on the 1% waybill study, between 1950 and 1954 there were an average of 377,500 boxcars carrying passenger automobiles were shipped to CT annually. That's more than 1,034 Auto Cars per day. Looking at an NYC 1947 Routing Guide, it lists 148 freight stations in CT. That's almost 7 cars day (including weekends) per station. Although larger cities such as Cedar Hill would undoubtedly get more cars than smaller towns, I think this is balanced in part by the fact that not all towns have unloading ramps. So to me, it's safe to say that in any given operating session I'll have at least 1, but probably more, cars of automobiles delivered to the Whiting Street bulk tracks.
I have a New Britain City Directory, and the New Britain Public Library has the entire collection. So it's easy to identify the auto dealers in town, and all brands available at the time are represented:
- A.G. Hawker Inc. (Packard)
- Automotive Service Garage (Willys-Overland) 265 Elm St.
- Becker Motor Sales Inc. (Chevrolet/Oldsmobile) 1141 Stanley St.
- Berlin Auto Sales (Ford) Berlin
- Central Motors (DeSoto) 119 Church St.
- Curry Motors (Dodge/Plymouth) 1139 Stanley St.
- Edward Sousa Motor Sales Inc (Lincoln/Mercury) 152 South Main St.
- Luddie K-F Motors (Kaiser, Frazer, and Henry J starting in 1951)
- Moran Motors (Hudson) 403 West Main St.
- New Britain Motor Car Co (Chrysler/Plymouth) 248 Elm St.
- Papa's (Hudson and possibly Crosley) 724 Allen St.
- Royal Motor Sales (Kaiser-Frazer) 35 East Main St.
- Stanley Motor Sales Inc (Ford) 85-105 Myrtle St. (Arute Ford Sales in 1951)
- Swift & Ferguson Inc (Studebaker) 238 Hartford Ave.
- Tufano Body Co (Nash) 209 Hartford Ave.
- The Williams Corp (Pontiac/Cadillac) 50 Chestnut St.
There is a lot of historical information available online regarding vintage autos and the auto industry. What isn't always obvious is what railroads service the plants. Here's what I've been able to determine for 1949. Ford and GM have numerous plants across the country, the closest plants that manufacture a given model would be servicing a given area. Although I really only need the ones east of the Mississippi, I've included all of the ones I could identify for 1949.
Note that there are some differences depending on the year. Most auto manufacturers didn't introduce new post-war models until 1949. A number of new plants were built in the decade following the end of the war, so each year is a little different in that regard as well.
- DeSoto Wyoming St Assembly, Detroit, MI (DeSoto) - DTR
- Dodge Main, Hamtramck, MI (Dodge) - GTW and MC (NYC)
- Jefferson Assembly, Detroit, MI (Chrysler Imperial) - DTR
- Lynch Road Assembly, Detroit, MI (DeSoto, Plymouth) - DTR
- Los Angeles Assembly, Commerce City, CA (Dodge, Plymouth) - LAJ
- San Leandro Assembly, San Leandro, CA (Dodge and Plymouth) - SP (?)
- Coronet Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, Sedan, Station Wagon, and Town Sedan
- Custom Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, Limousine, Sedan, and Town Sedan
- DeLuxe Coupe, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan
- Meadowbrook Sedan
- Wayfarer Coupe, Roadster, Sedan
- Crown Imperial Limosine, and Sedan
- Imperial Sedan
- New Yorker Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, and Sedan
- Royal Club Coupe, Sedan, and Station Wagon
- Saratoga Club Coupe, and Sedan
- Town & Country Convertible Coupe
- Windsor, Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, and Sedan
- Custom Brougham, Club Coupe, Limousine, Sedan, and Suburban
- DeLuxe Carry-All, Club Coupe, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, and Station Wagon
- DeLuxe Business Coupe, Club Coupe, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, and Suburban
- Special DeLuxe Business Coupe, Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, and Station Wagon
- Richmond, IN - C&O (and N&W?)
- Marion, IN - C&O
- CD Convertible, Sedan, and Station Wagon
- Hotshot Roadster
Ford Motor Company
- River Rouge, Dearborn, MI (Ford, Mercury, Trucks) - DT&I; DTR
- Atlanta Assembly, Hapeville, GA (Ford) - SOU
- Chester Assembly, Chester, PA (Ford) - PRR
- Dallas Assembly, Dallas, TX (Ford) - ATSF (?)
- Edison Assembly, Edison, NJ (Lincoln, Mercury, Trucks) - PRR
- Lincoln Assembly, Dearborn, MI (Lincoln) - C&O (formerly PM)
- Long Beach Assembly, Long Beach, CA (Mercury, Ford) - SP
- Maywood Assembly, Commerce City, CA (Lincoln, Mercury) - LAJ
- Norfolk Assembly, Norfolk, VA (Ford, Trucks) - N&W
- Pittsburgh Assembly Plant, East Liberty, PA (Ford) - PRR
- Richmond Assembly, Richmond, CA (Ford) - ATSF
- Somerville Assembly, Somerville, MA (Ford) - B&M
- St. Louis Assembly, Hazelwood, MO (Lincoln, Mercury, Trucks) - WAB
- Twin Cities Assembly, St. Paul, MN (Ford) - ???
- 6 Series Business Coupe, Club Coupe, Fordor Sedan, and Tudor Sedan
- 8 Series Business Coupe, Club Coupe, Fordor Sedan, and Tudor Sedan
- Custom 6 Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, Fordor Sedan, Station Wagon, and Tudor Sedan
- Custom 8 Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, Fordor Sedan, Station Wagon, and Tudor Sedan
- 9EL Convertible, Coupe, and Sport Sedan
- Cosmopolitan Convertible, Coupe, Sport Sedan and Town Sedan
- 9CM Convertible, Coupe, Sport Sedan, and Station Wagon
General Motors CorporationGeneral Motors had a primary manufacturing location for each brand. In addition to producing completed automobiles, they also produced "knock-down" kits that were sent to the regional assembly plants.
- Buick City, Flint, MI (Buick and Chevrolet) - C&O (formerly PM)
- Detroit Assembly, Detroit, MI (Cadillac) - GTW, and MC (NYC)
- Lansing Assembly, Lansing, MI (Oldsmobile) - LMR
- Pontiac Assembly, Pontiac, MI (Pontiac) - GTW
- Baltimore Assembly, Baltimore, MD (Chevrolet) - B&O
- Doraville Assembly, Doraville (Atlanta), GA (Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac)- SOU
- Fairfax Assembly, Kansas City, KS - (Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac) - MP, UP
- Framingham Assembly, Framingham, MA (Buick) - B&A (NYC)
- Janesville Assembly, Janesville, WI (Chevrolet) - MILW
- Lakewood Assembly, Lakewood Heights (Atlanta), GA (Chevrolet) - SOU
- Linden Assembly, Linden, MI (Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac; also GMC Truck and bus division) - PRR
- North Tarrytown Assembly, North Tarrytown, NY (Chevrolet) - NYC
- Norwood Assembly, Norwood, OH (Chevrolet) - PRR
- Oakland Assembly, Oakland, CA (Chevrolet) - SP
- St. Louis Truck Assembly, St. Louis, MO (also GMC trucks) - MBT
- South Gate Assembly, South Gate, CA (Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Pontiac) - ATSF
- Van Nuys Assembly, Van Nuys (Los Angeles) CA (Chevrolet) - SP
- Wilmington Assembly, Wilmington, DE (Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac) - B&O
- Roadmaster Convertible Coupe, Estate Wagon, Riverside, Sedanet, and Touring Sedan
- Special Sedanet, and Touring Sedan
- Super Convertible Coupe, Estate Wagon, Sedanet, and Touring Sedan
- Series 60 Special Coupe de Ville, and Touring Sedan
- Series 61 Club Coupe, and Touring Sedan
- Series 62 Club Coupe, Convertible Coupe, Coupe de Ville, and Touring Sedan
- Series 75 Business Imperial, Business Sedan, Imperial Sedan, Sedan, and Touring Sedan
- Fleetline 2-door Sedan, and 4-door Sedan
- Styleline Business Coupe, Cabriolet, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, Sedan Delivery, Sport Coupe, and Station Wagon
- Futuramic Series 76 Club Coupe, Club Coupe Deluxe, Club Sedan, Club Sedan Deluxe, Convertible Coupe Deluxe, Deluxe Sedan, Deluxe Station Wagon, Sedan, Town Sedan, and Town Sedan Deluxe
- Futuramic Series 88 Club Coupe, Club Coupe Deluxe, Club Sedan, Club Sedan Deluxe, Convertible Coupe Deluxe, Deluxe Sedan, Deluxe Station Wagon, Sedan, Town Sedan, and Town Sedan Deluxe
- Futuramic Series 98 Club Sedan, Club Sedan Deluxe, Convertible Coupe Deluxe, Deluxe Sedan, Holiday Coupe Deluxe, and Sedan
- Chieftan 6 Business Coupe, Deluxe Convertible Coupe, Deluxe 2-door Sedan, Deluxe 4-door Sedan, Deluxe Sedan Coupe, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, Sedan Coupe
- Chieftan 8 Business Coupe, Deluxe Convertible Coupe, Deluxe 2-door Sedan, Deluxe 4-door Sedan, Deluxe Sedan Coupe, 2-door Sedan, 4-door Sedan, Sedan Coupe
- Streamliner 6 Deluxe Sedan, Deluxe Sedan Coupe, Metal Station Wagon, Metal Station Wagon Deluxe, Sedan, Sedan Coupe, Wood Station Wagon, Wood Station Wagon Deluxe
- Streamliner 8 Deluxe Sedan, Deluxe Sedan Coupe, Metal Station Wagon, Metal Station Wagon Deluxe, Sedan, Sedan Coupe, Wood Station Wagon, Wood Station Wagon Deluxe
Hudson Motor Car Company
- Detroit, MI - DTR
- Commodore Six Club Coupe, Convertible Brougham and Sedan
- Commodore Eight Club Coupe, Convertible Brougham and Sedan
- Super Six Brougham, Business Coupe, Club Coupe, Convertible Brougham, and Sedan
- Super Eight Club Coupe and Sedan
- Willow Run, Ypsilanti, MI - MC (NYC)
- Long Beach, CA (Deluxe, Special, Traveler) - SP (?)
- DeLuxe 492 Convertible, and Sedan
- Special Sedan, and Traveler
- Standard Sedan
- Manhattan Convertible, and Sedan
- Kenosha WI - CNS&M, CNW
- El Segundo, CA - SP
- 600 Super Brougham, 2-door Sedan, and 4-door Sedan
- 600 Super Custom Brougham, and Sedan
- 600 Super Special Brougham, 2-door Sedan, and 4-door Sedan
- Ambassador Custom Brougham, 2-door Sedan, and 4-door Sedan
- Ambassador Super Brougham, 2-door Sedan, and 4-door Sedan
- Ambassador Super Special Brougham, 2-door Sedan, and 4-door Sedan
Packard Motor Car Company
- Detroit, MI - DTR
- Custom 8 Club Sedan, Convertible Victoria Coupe, Limousine, and Touring Sedan
- DeLuxe 8 Club Sedan, and Touring Sedan
- Standard 8 Club Sedan, Station Sedan, and Touring Sedan
- Super 8 Club Sedan, Convertible Victoria Coupe, Limousine, Limousine DeLuxe, Touring Sedan, and Townsman Station Wagon
- South Bend, IN - NJI&I (WABASH), MC (NYC), and PRR
- Los Angeles Assembly Plant, Vernon, CA - LAJ
- Champion DeLuxe Coupe, 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan, and Starlight Coupe
- Champion Regal DeLuxe convertible, coupe, 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan, and Starlight Coupe
- Commander coupe, 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan, and Starlight Coupe
- Commander Regal DeLuxe convertible, coupe, 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan, Land Cruiser, and Starlight Coupe
- Maywood, CA - LAJ
- Jeepster VJ2
- Series 463 Jeepster, and Station Wagon
- Series 663 Station Wagon
Industrial RailroadsMany of these plants are served by small industrial roads, also known as terminal and switching railroads, rather than Class I railroads directly to their plants. These roads typically didn't roster any freight cars of their own, cars from connecting lines would probably be the most common for outbound loads.
Detroit Terminal Railroad (DTR)A look at the auto industry wouldn't be complete without mentioning this shortline road that circled Detroit and was originally owned by the GTW, LS&MS (NYC), and MC (NYC) railroads. It serviced many of Detroit's auto plants, running from the Ford River Rouge complex to the Hudson and Packard plants on the other side of town. It had connections with DT&I, GTW, MC (NYC), NJI&I (WABASH), C&O (formerly PM), and PRR.
Here's an article about modeling the DTR, including a map.
Lansing Manufacturers Railroad (LMR)An industrial railway originally leased to LS&MS and MC railways, both of which became part of the NYC system. Among the industries served were the Olds Motor Works (GM Oldsmobile plant), GM Fisher Body/Lansing Car Assembly #6, and the GM Buick-Oldsmobile-Cadillac Plant #2. The railroad interchanged with GTW, MC (NYC), C&O (formerly PM).
Here's a map of the LMR (it's also available on Wikipedia).
Los Angeles Junction Railway (LAJ)This shortline in LA services the Chrysler and Ford Maywood Assembly Plants. It has connections to ATSF, PE (SP), SP and UP.
Depending on where you model, there is a lot of additional traffic related to the automobile industry. Most of the companies had additional plants that manufactured parts, which were shipped by rail to the assembly plants. For example, in 1914, the Ford Highland Park plant received 100 cars of materials, parts and supplies, and shipped 176 cars of automobiles daily. (In the postwar era, the Highland Park plant manufactured Ford tractors).
Here's a great site about the LA auto factories and dealers, including a map of the LAJ from an issue of the Warbonnet.
Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA)Although none of the plants listed here are serviced by the TRRA, it's an industrial road originally owned by MP, StLIM&S (to MP in 1917), Wabash, O&M (to B&O in 1893), L&N, and CCC&StL (aka "Big Four" to NYC in 1930) , so by my era it was MP, Wabash, B&O, L&N, and NYC. In addition to those roads, it has connections to A&S, CB&Q, C&EI, CRI&P (RI), EStLJ, GM&O, IC, IT, L&M, MKT, MRS, NC&StL, PRR, SL-SF, SOU, StL&BE, StL&O'F, SSW, along with a water connection to Mississipi Valley Barge Lines.
Here's a map of St. Louis railroads from 1921 at the St. Louis public library.
Researching the RailroadsIn order to identify railroads that serviced a given plant, I used a number of resources. First is the Opsig Industry Database. I'd search for the factory and railroads to see if any sites specifically discussed that location. If that didn't work, I'd find the location (or prior location) of a factory on Google Maps, and compare it to the USGS maps at Topoquest. Another resources is the collection of Sanborn maps at the Library of Congress. In addition to the maps, check out the Articles and Essays, and Sanborn Samplers where they've collected a series of maps with a bit of historical information as examples of how the maps can be used for research, including several of particular interest to model railroaders.
One of the main reasons I created my site and blog is to keep track of stuff that I research so I can go back to it later. Compiling this information in a single place makes it more useful to me, and hopefully you too. If there is information missing, or that you'd like to see that I'm not including, just let me know. And of course I always welcome corrections.