Pennsylvania Railroad Compendium Vol 1 Freight Car lettering arrangements 54-68

Pennsylvania Railroad Compendium Vol 1 Freight Car lettering arrangements 54-68

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Pennsylvania Railroad Compendium Vol 1 Freight Car lettering arrangements 54-68
Pennsylvania Railroad CompendiumVolume 1 Freight Car lettering arrangements 1954-1968 by Kusner & Seman.  1989 FIRST Printing   Approx 16 1/4 X 10 1/2" 115 pages PLUS two diagrams in the back pocket.
Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) freight car lettering arrangement drawings provide a wealth of information to both the PRR historian and scale modeler. Created to ensure system-wide uniformity in the appearance of company freight cars, each tracing illustrates in detail the exact size, position, color, and function of all markings used to identify and describe the illustrated class(es) of rolling stock. Used in conjunction with referenced lettering style sheets, monogram plans, and symbol plans, the reader is provided with the same tools the PRR's designers provided to the shop craftsmen.
In addition to completely describing freight car markings, the PRR's lettering arrangements also provide a considerable amount of information pertaining to the illustrated and referenced freight car class(es). The history of the car's lettering can be derived through notes explaining the plan's drawing date, issue date, revision date(s), and superceded date which are found on the sheet, usually in a "where space available" fashion. Notes referring to the car's construction, equipment features, destination and return routing, dimensions, capacities, and intended and special use are also found on the tracing, again, often in a haphazard fashion.
On April 4, 1954, the Pennsylvania Railroad issued its first freight car lettering arrangement fashioned around the new 'Shadow' Keystone monogram and larger "PENNSYLVANIA" lettering. The abandonment of the celebrated `Ball' Keystone monogram and more traditionally styled "PENNSYLVANIA" ushered the PRR into the era of billboard freight car lettering, a move made by many American Railroads during the late forties and early fifties.
Unlike the 'Ball,' or 'Circular,' Keystone lettering scheme, which endured for approximately 24 years with only subtle changes, the Shadow Keystone arrangement underwent almost constant revision in its brief seven year reign. Car identification numbers changed in style three times and in size four times. One style of numeral, the 'Calendar' numeral, was applied to only a handful of car classes over a transitory six months. With pressure mounting from the American Association of Railroads (AAR) to comply with it's recommended practices, the PRR began applying reporting marks to freight equipment in 1957, and soon there after began to stack car dimensional and capacity data in the more traditional AAR format. The move to comply with AAR practices  marked the first time in over five decades that the PRR regularly applied its initials to the sides of freight cars. But even this wasn't a concrete modification, for in 1960 these reporting marks were changed in style coincidentally with the car's numerals from the roman style of lettering to a square gothic lettering style similar to the "Futura" style that had been used briefly during the late thirties and early forties.
While these numerous changes were taking place, a new, and final freight car lettering arrangement concept was being developed. As early as August 25, 1961, when the PRR issued lettering arrangement 461853 for class H39 and H39A hopper cars, the word "PENNSYLVANIA" was being eliminated from the sides of PRR freight cars. Coinciding with this change were the deletion of the black shadow from the keystone monogram on freight cars painted freight car color, and another change in the lettering style used for reporting marks and numerals. Undoubtedly, this austere new 'Plain' Keystone paint scheme was established in an attempt to reduce painting expenses as the railroad moved swiftly towards an unfavorable financial future.
Lettering arrangements featuring the Shadow Keystone are considerably more common than arrangements depicting the Plain Keystone. This is due primarily to four factors. First, the simplicity of the Plain Keystone paint scheme allowed the combination of several car classes onto fewer, more generic lettering arrangements. This is illustrated by tracing 461915 which combined both the H33 and H34 hopper car classes onto a single arrangement. Second, as the number of older freight cars decreased, many classes were simply dropped as tracings depicting the Plain Keystone were produced. Examples are the wood stock car classes K7 and K8. Third, when the PRR contracted with outside vendors for new freight cars, it was the manufacturer's responsibility to produce a lettering arrangement based on information supplied by the railroad. In many cases these drawings were never issued by the PRR. An example is American Car and Foundry tracing number 41-73100 for H42 covered hoppers. This drawing received a PRR title-block but was never issued a PRR tracing number. Finally, arrangements depicting freight car classes acquired during the PRR's last years were not distributed across the system in the quantity that the Shadow Keystone arrangements were. Unfortunately, the quality of the surviving manufacturer created lettering arrangements is often poor, not in the same class as the PRR produced drawings.
Presented in this volume is a compilation of original Pennsylvania Railroad freight car lettering arrangements illustrating the Shadow Keystone and Plain Keystone lettering schemes issued for use during the period from 1954 through 1968. In addition to the lettering arrangements, many of the lettering styles, symbols and slogans, and monograms used during this period are also illustrated. Although these illustrations are not original PRR tracings, they are dimensionally accurate computer recreated drawings referenced to the railroad's tracing numbers for historical significance.
As most PRR historians will be quick to point out, these arrangements represent general practices and are not to be considered the final word. One has only to glance at the lettering arrangements to see that tracings depicting one painting and lettering scheme were often re-issued well after distribution of arrangements illustrating a successor scheme had commenced. It should also be pointed out that the changes and innovations brought about by these plans usually endured long after the revision or superseded date of any particular drawing. Freight cars typically exceed a life span of 30 or more years with repainting or relettering occurring only when absolutely necessary, usually when the car is shopped for major repairs or rebuilding.
We hope that you are pleased with the selection and quality of the freight car lettering arrangements in this volume. When available, the original linen was used to obtain the best possible print. When this could not be acquired, the best existing original print was used. Much tedious restoration work and redrafting was required due to the age and usually poor condition of many of the tracings and prints. The worn appearance of many linens is not surprising considering they were the sole source for producing the hundreds of copies required to supply all the system's maintenance and repair shops. The reader should bear in mind that these drawings were in essence work instructions engineers and designers created to direct craftsmen in accomplishing specific work, in this case, the painting and lettering of the Standard Railroad of the World's freight car fleet.

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