Re: NEW HAVEN's 36' Rebuilt Boxcars

Chris Adams

Short answer: Keep the steel end car :^)

Longer answer, including additional information (also from the excellent two-part series in Mainline Modeler) follows:

Over 12,000 of these cars were rebuilt and they formed virtually the entire boxcar fleet of the New Haven until late 1941. Even as late as 1944, these cars made up 85% of the New Haven's fleet of more than 7000 boxcars, but the railroad had started buying new all-steel boxcars in 1941 and purchased another batch in 1944. By 1946, composite/rebuilt boxcars made up only 36% of the fleet. By 1950, there were only 41 of these cars left out of a total fleet of 6000 boxcars.

Quoting from the article: "We have no information on the proportion of cars that received the two different treatments [composite end vs. Dreadnaught end], but photos of cars with Dreadnuaght ends seem more common in later years."

Based on what I've seen in my research and photos, I'd have to agree. I model the New Haven's Connecticut Valley line in October 1947 and while I will have both types of cars in revenue service on my railroad, I suspect that in reality it was more likely that the composite car would be in work train or other captive service by then, or shortly thereafter. I'll just be sure mine (I'll only have one) is heavily weathered.

Let me know if you need copies of the articles.

Chris Adams

--- In STMFC@..., "erict1361" <erict1361@...> wrote:


That is kinda what I thought, but was not sure.
Thanks for the information. I appreciate it .

Eric Thur

--- In STMFC@..., "Charles Hostetler" <cesicjh@> wrote:

--- In STMFC@..., "erict1361" <erict1361@> wrote:
Basically I wanted to know which version was more common, The wood End or Steel end toward the end late 1940's? I am building the same two kits, but want to keep the more common version.


This excerpt is from page 37 of July 1988 MM (Barkan and Nehrich):

"With its cast-steel trucks and Dreadnaught end, car 69505 typifies the appearance of these cars as they entered their final decade of service. In 1940, just one year before arrival of the first large order of all-steel cars on the property, roughly 8000 composite box cars were in service for the New Haven. Almost all of them were of this type...

...Although some of the composite-end cars probably received new trucks, all of the clear photos we have seen are of cars equipped with Dreadnaught ends. It seems reasonable to suppose that, when choosing cars to receive the new trucks, the New Haven might have given preference to those equipped with the more modern Dreadnaught ends."

If you credit their supposition, it would seem the steel end was the more common version in the late 40s.


Charles Hostetler

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