I have sort of been on a tangent with them lately as I was doing some research into early Michigan loggers, which naturally brought up the earliest logging lines which were operated by Porters pretty close to what K Line once made.
I have some questions I'm sure our knowledgable members will have answers to. Firstly, I was wondering both about the prevalence of homebuilt cars on lumber lines (like the Lionel "disconnect" four wheelers), especially homebuilt cabooses. How common were such homebuilt cars in real life? Following on to that question, I have seen some photos of lumber trains run totally without cabooses and read somewhere (wiki I think) that some lines ran like that with only hand breaks for breaking. How common was that practice, and what were the laws surrounding that vs laws for the big class ones?
Also, does anybody have good examples of how the interchange between logging line and class 1 was handled\structured? I've been able to glean that most of the lumber back in the day would have moved from the mill to market via boxcar (or possibly flat\gondola, depending on how finished the wood was) back in the day, but how far from the class 1's rails would a mill be? Would the mill have been built alongside a class one, which would have a switch job handle the boxcars? Or could it have been built some ways away and a logging crew have taken cars up to\down from an separate interchange? I'd love to know what kind of equipment and supplies a logger might want shipped in via interchange from a Class One too. Presumably supplies for logging camps and what not?