Reporting Marks

I was watching a freight train roll by a few weeks ago, and I saw a series of sand cars with a variety of patched reporting marks. I thought I’d share them – they are interesting if you look hard enough!

(what is a reporting mark?)

PMRX patch
PMRX patch

PMRX 13105 has a relatively clean patch over the previous reporting mark.

Keep an eye on the weights of these cars. The LD LMT is the load limit, how much product can go into the car. The LT LIMIT + LT WT = 286,000 lbs., a standard car weight.

The LT WT (light / empty weight) on each car in this series is a little different. They were manufactured by different companies, and periodically each car is weighed and the light weight is updated.

WFRX 406061 patch
WFRX 406061 patch

WFRX 406061 was patched more aggressively with white lettering on a black background.

SCYX overlap
SCYX overlap

There were several SCYX cars in this train and they were all lettered the same…. SCYX “right justified” against the rib with four digits on one side of the rib and two on the other. I guess six digits don’t fit between the ribs.

The font is a little thinner than most fonts used for railway marks.

CKIX patch
CKIX patch

This CKIX patch is a little less professional, in my opinion. The previous reporting mark looks like it was rollered out and the font size of CKIX is a lot smaller than the number.

SHQX original
SHQX original

SHQX 1733 clearly has its original reporting mark, with a stylized logo “Mandy preferred sands” above the mark.

Preferred Sands supplies “hydraulic fracturing proppants” (aka sand for fracking) as well as other types of sand and gravel. I don’t know why it says “Mandy”.

HWCX condensed
HWCX condensed

HWCX 14155 has a really tight and thin font to cram the five digits between the ribs.

Even a “boring” train has some interesting parts if you look for them.

Just One More Thing

I just finished reading So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. This book is a very readable discussion about the many issues about race in today’s society. Ms. Oluo writes about her experiences as a queer Black woman in America, interspersed with a lot of really good explanations of the many problems that people of colour face today.

My Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you buy something using that link.

One of the many things I liked about this book is that it has counters to all of the standard “arguments” that people use to try to shut down discussions about race. I try to speak out when I see racism, and I’ve seen a few different tactics that people try to stop talking about race. This book has given me some ideas on how to get around those and continue the conversation.

I know it’s uncomfortable to talk about racism and our part in it, but as a white male I have the privilege to be able to stop talking about it, while people of colour have to live it every day. It’s not enough to “not be racist”; we have to be anti-racist and advocate for fairness in all aspects of our society.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a great book that can help educate you on racism today, So You Want To Talk About Race is a very readable, engaging and sometimes funny book.

Buy the book on Amazon

8 thoughts on “Reporting Marks”

  1. CKIX car reminds me of some MWCX cars I see here on CN’s Kingston Sub. The reporting marks are placed high on the car side to defeat (or at least reduce frequency of re-doing reporting marks due to) taggers.

    WFRX, Wells Fargo, is being a huge fleet aggregator!

    And, I’m always stunned by the vast minority of railway reporting marks, being eclipsed by the majority of car leasing companies’.

    Marks for reporting these!
    Thanks, Steve!
    Eric

    Reply
    • I never thought of that reason for placing the marks high, Eric. Anything to defeat the vandals.

      The car leasing companies are really taking over these days!

      Reply
  2. Interesting topic on reporting marks – but I cannot get excited about this at all. I remember as a watching freight trains passing at a crossing and reading all the fascinating names on the cars. I can replicate this on my model layout but unfortunately in real life it is only the locomotives that are now identifiable.

    Reply
    • Hi Jim, cars from ten or twenty years ago were a lot more interesting to look at. Nowadays with plain grey hoppers everywhere, you have to find interest where you can!

      Reply
      • Fun post Steve!
        I find the diversity of cars and loads amazing today. I don’t see it as a lot of ubiquitous grey hoppers. There is a ton of diversity in trains today. I feel the same when people tell me all modern engines look the same. That just tells me they don’t know and appreciate the differences.

        Reply
        • Thanks, Karl. I guess it depends on what you’re interested in. I tried to find something interesting in a series of plain grey hoppers… it’s even harder with a unit train of black tank cars. The buffer cars are usually interesting!

          All modern engines don’t look the same; there certainly are some differences but I am hard pressed to notice the difference between an ET44AC and an ES44AC. It doesn’t matter that much to me. Everyone has their interests.

          Reply
  3. For those who don’t know (and didn’t know they didn’t care), a reporting mark is the car owner’s Standard Carrier Alpha Code (SCAC). Details like the trailing X is a SCAC format. One company may have more than one SCAC. Research at your own risk… its boooring.

    Reply
    • Hi Rick – SCAC – yes, I’ve seen that before. Maybe I fell asleep before I finished reading about it. 😉 Thanks for adding to the information here.

      Reply

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