Monday, July 6, 2020

CV Form 852

I've had requests over the years for various "official" Central Vermont forms and the like - particularly operating paperwork. These requests have ranged from Form 19 "flimsies" - which are fairly easy to locate - to more esoteric paperwork.  For example, in the past week I've received requests from two people modeling the CV (on opposite ends of the country) for a copy of a CV switchlist.
The answer is I did find one, or at least a photocopy of one, shown above, buried in my file cabinet.  At least I think this is what they're looking for.  
A number of years ago (more than 40 years ago at this point!) a former railroad employee, who shall remain nameless, found a stack of CV switchlists/train consist lists, versions of which you may seen referred to as "Conductor's wheel reports" on other railroads - tucked away in the attic of the White River Junction station and/or freight office (the story varies as to the actual location of the original repository). 
What was interesting was the "stack" included a number of lists all from the same month - November 1955. 
In the early 1990s and early 2000s a number of freight car modelers across the country, primarily Tim Gilbert, conducted detailed studies of freight car distribution. While I don't think it was the original intent of Tim's research it didn't take long for layout builders interested in car routing and the like to glom onto these percentages in order to create a "correct" mix appearing freight car rosters. In other words, if you were modeling railroad x and had a total of 300 cars, you should include cars from 20 cars from railroad y and 15 from railroad z since they would likely appear based on traffic patterns, percentage of the national freight car pool, and other factors, including good ole' plain dumb luck. 
Frankly, this is a real rabbit hole and one you could spend months and years going down. 
All this was going on about the time this stash of 1955 lists appeared. And several members of the CVRHS took this stock of lists and outlined all the road names and car numbers that appeared on these lists. While it presents an interesting snapshot, it's only that. My main purpose is getting ahold of this data was to create a list of possible freight car modeling candidates - a goal not without its own tripwires. 
I covered the results of their analysis in a couple of prior posts on this blog and on my Steam Era Freight Cars Blog, and won't belabor the point here except to say it was an interesting exercise and if you want to model just one of almost any North American railroads boxcars you could do worse than White River Junction in 1955. (If you want to learn more about this, those posts can be found here and here). Note: The posts are identical, but the comments certainly are not. 
I only repeat the tale to share this image - a very bad photocopy - of just one of the sheets. 
Obviously it's noted as CV Form 852. Since I don't believe there's a CV Form 851 or 853, I surmise that it's "852" because it was introduced in August,1952. I welcome any challenges to that assumption, backed up by proof of course!
It would be easy enough to create a version of this in Excel or Word for someone wanting to duplicate this list. The notations in the right column are fairly interesting. 
I also cropped in on the top of the list for easier reference. 

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