Re: Western Union Tidbit

John C. La Rue, Jr. <MOFWCABOOSE@...>

By 1959 the last camp cars in the US had been sold for scrap, sold to railroads for further use as camp cars, or relegated to storage service at Western Union's shop at Chattanooga, where they were later burned for their metal. One three-car outfit was still operational in the maritimes in Canada until 1963 when it was returned to the US and also scrapped. After that the only cars left were the tool and material cars in the 7000 series, which gradually disappeared or were sold to railroads.

The Georgia Railroad, the Chicago & North Western, the Soo, the St. Louis-San Francisco, and the Nickel Plate are all definitely known to have had ex-Western Union camp cars, mostly acquired in the late 1940s.

Probably the easiest way to model them in HO would be to start with the La Belle wooden Pullmans (since that was what the camp cars originally were). The distinctive tool & material cars were once made by Ambroid as part of its 'One of 5000" series, and later re-issued by Northeastern.

John C. La Rue, Jr.
Bonita Springs, FL

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve <>
To: STMFC <>
Sent: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 10:30 am
Subject: [STMFC] Western Union Tidbit

Dear Group...

Over a year ago, there were some members asking about Western Union cars. This might not help, but I found this tidbit on page 34 of the August, 1959 issue of Railroad Magazine under their "Information Booth" section:

Q)...Does Western Union own and operate railroad cars?

A)...Yes, they have 33 on the Southern Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Seaboard Air Line, Atlantic Coast Line, New Haven, Jersey Central, Long Island, Canadian National and other roads where and when required.

They are used by WU's Plant and engineering Department for maintenance and repair of telegraph lines by crews dispatched in a completely self-sustaining unit comprising sleeping-car, dining-car and tool and material boxcars. At one time the company operated about 200 railroad cars.

Steve Vallee

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