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Below are some links to free research tools intended to help and encourage both novice and experienced researchers.
The first document contains a list of all reporting marks used in 2008. When time permits, it will expand to include all reporting marks used since 1911. The next two documents cover two sets of standard codes which describe important features for loading or unloading cars. Both sets have been revised on numerous occasions, so having documents which include all variations is helpful to the historian. These codes are often found in equipment lists.
A large number of railroad cars change hands sooner or later, and more than a few will change hands at least five times during their lives. Tracing dispositions is an important part of historical research and can be challenging.