Re: Wabash S/S Box Car Roadname Lettering Question

Bruce Smith


In general, with automobile cars (or any 40' double door car) with the right door centered on the car, opening the left door completely would obscure the reporting marks if they were on the left side, making it difficult for a clerk on the loading dock to identify the car. For this reason, many double door cars have their reporting marks on the right side rather than the left side of the car. Often, most of the rest of the lettering was swapped as well. A double door car with lettering in the "normal" position might indicate that the left door had been welded shut and could no longer be opened.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

On Jun 15, 2011, at 9:31 AM, wabash2813 wrote:

Am building an HO Speedswitch Media Wabash automobile boxcar. (By the way, this is wonderful kit, but I would have preferred the ladder stiles on the ends to be molded on. I have already broke one drilling it and am having a fun time getting the flash off the one I didn't break.)

To the point: I notice all the photos show the "WABASH" roadname lettering on the right side of the car. However, I recently came across a photo of one used in LCL service with the roadname lettering on the left side. Unfortunately, the photo does not show the car number. The door is opened to the right.

Did this have anything to do with which direction the door opened or could this be a single door car? Or is there some other variable? The photo was taken in the early 50s. Another interesting thing about the car is the "H" in Wabash sits higher than the rest of the lettering. Chet: If you read this, it is the car pictured in my "The Gary Local, The Last Mixed Train in Indiana" with Sam Fisher loading LCL. Folks, I can't post the photo here as it's from the Indiana Historical Society (Richard Simons photo) and the WRRHS had to pay some bucks to get it in the Banner.

Victor Baird
Fort Wayne, Indiana


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