Re: USRA SS boxcars

Frank Valoczy <destron@...>

Anthony Thompson wrote:
The GA 19300-19449 are not USRA cars, as they are 8 ft. 6 in. high
inside. USRA cars were 9 feet high inside. The GA 19500-19799 cars
have dimensions matching the USRA cars but are all steel by the
1950s. Are these not probably the Georgia all-steel rebuilds of their
USRA cars?
Yes - looking again at the photos, they all appear to be steel-sheathed.

Some of the confusion is probably my fault; on the TT forum I've talked
a lot about various freight cars (esp. boxcars). For simplicity I've
grouped things together: to someone new to really looking at this sort
of thing, a B-50-14 looks a lot like a USRA SS boxcar, so those were put
together - pointing out the differences (since I think, with some work,
a presentable B-50-14 can be modelled from a USRA SS model; or, in TT,
better put, the other way around - RailTT's model is the CN version of
the USRA SS "clone" with the fishbelly centre sill).
But the USRA SS box cars did not have fishbelly center sills. Those
sills were on the USRA double-sheathed cars.
Thank you, Tony - you illustrated my point about confusion perfectly!

I know that the "actual" USRA SS cars did not have fishbelly centre sills.
But there were copies/clones/choose-your-word - cars that largely look
like USRA SS cars - that *did* have such sills, cars like the B-50-14 and
CN 500500-503499.

I also did not say anywhere above that the USRA SS cars had fishbelly
centre sills! But they nevertheless do look pretty similar to the B-50-14
or the CN series mentioned above.

What I was trying to say was, that using the model available from RailTT
(which is by rights a model of CN 500500-503499 series cars), a
presentable model of a USRA SS car could be made - swap out the
fishbelly-silled underframe, change the ends, and you've got a reasonable
model that is considerably closer to accurate than just slapping decals on
the model as-is and calling it a model of an X26.

Part of the issue may be that those of us on this list have a different
definition of "different" than the average person, including the average
model railway hobbyist, and the deeper we get into analysing the more
minute details, the easier it is to lose sight of the fact that to an
untrained (or even an in-training) eye, a 1937 car is pretty hard to
distinguish from a 1944 car.

All this brings me back to the earlier statement: a B-50-14 is by no means
the same as a USRA SS car, but they sure do look a lot alike.

6 years ago, I didn't know the difference between a USRA SS car and a PS-1
(and I'm not exaggerating) - everyone starts pretty much at zero, and this
is easy to forget when one's been involved with something for many years.

Frank Valoczy
Vancouver, BC

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