Interpreting Confusing CCR entries
Copyright 2001 – 2010 Thomas C. Madden
Pullman’s Car Construction Records were intended to show a car’s status, not it’s history. When recording a change, the important thing was that the change be legible. It didn’t matter if earlier data was overwritten in the process. Fortunately for us, most changes were entered clearly:
This car was painted Pullman Std. (
Not every change is entered so neatly. Sometimes the clerk applied a pasted paper overlay and entered completely new data, and these overlays often fell off:
You can see adhesive residue over the exposed data, and evidence of a later hand-written entry just below the area covered by the missing overlay. In this case the database entry is <GN "Empire Builder" (nd); CED5155A (nd); Missing (nd)>. "nd" stands for "No date". It may be possible to infer the later entry by checking records of other cars from the same construction lot.
Sometimes the clerk obliterated an earlier entry:
In this case the earlier entry could have been either NP or NS, but the problem is further confused because the change is not dated. Was the original entry mis-typed? Was the truck type changed before delivery? Was this a later, true change that the clerk neglected to date? We cannot tell, and the database entry reads <41-N?-11; 41-N-11 (nd)>. The question mark shows the character is unreadable.
Sometimes entries are clearly written but difficult to understand:
The painting progression for this car (PRR Plan 4140 STONEY RAPIDS)
goes from PRR Streamline colors to CED5062C (PRR's standard paint scheme for
post-war lightweights) on 5/21/53, but then what? The rule of thumb says the
last intact date and the last intact paint number belong together, meaning the
D5062F paint job was applied on 6/9/55. But what of that repaint to UP colors
per drawing D6976? That drawing was issued in April 1956. A possible answer is
found in Tilp and Blardone's PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD PASSENGER CAR PAINTING AND
LETTERING book - STONEY RAPIDS received the UP paint scheme in June 1956 and
returned to PRR colors in July 1958.
The data in the
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