Less than 40-foot box car data from 1943 ORER


Eric Hansmann
 

As a modeler focused on the mid-1920s, box and ventilator cars that are less than 40-foot length have garnered my attention as they are a significant portion of the US freight car fleet. I have noted the decline of these cars over the next two decades and the WW2 years seem to be the last major use for 36-foot box cars as a decent percentage of the box car fleet. The New York Central lines listed over 5000 short, double sheathed box cars, many of which sported inverted Murphy corrugated steel ends.

Assembled below you will find XM only recapitulation summary data of individual lines from the 1943 ORER. Quantities of 40-foot and 50-foot cars are included to offer perspective on the less than 40-foot car quantities. Quantities of VS, VA, XV, XA, XAB, and similar AAR designations were not included, but noted in a couple of examples.

NYC

50-foot, 6-inch - 500 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 42,391 cars

Less than 40-foot - 2894 cars

 

Boston & Albany

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 994 cars

Less than 40-foot - 1217 cars

 

Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago & St Louis

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 3293 cars

Less than 40-foot - 146 cars

 

Michigan Central

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 2211 cars

Less than 40-foot - 65 cars

Also listed 632 less than 40-foot cars designated as XAB

 

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie

50-foot, 6-inch - 100 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 2993 cars

Less than 40-foot - 888 cars

 

PMcK&Y

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 570 cars

Less than 40-foot - 303 cars

 

Here are the overall numbers for the NYC System

50-foot, 6-inch - 600 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 51,458 cars

Less than 40-foot - 5513 cars

Does not include the MC XAB shorties

 

And a few other railroads with significant numbers of less than 40-foot box cars listed in the 1943 ORER, as compared with the rest of their XM fleet.

Reading

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 3964 cars

Less than 40-foot - 3013 cars

 

Central RR of New Jersey

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 2328 cars

Less than 40-foot - 552 cars

 

Delaware Lackawanna & Western

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 5196 cars

Less than 40-foot - 1943 cars

 

Erie

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 7559 cars

Less than 40-foot - 2336 cars

 

Delaware & Hudson

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 689 cars

Less than 40-foot - 1811 cars

 

New Haven

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 1000 cars

Less than 40-foot - 7016 cars

 

Nickel Plate Road

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 5368 cars

Less than 40-foot - 1089 cars

 

Chesapeake & Ohio

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 8555 cars

Less than 40-foot - 1806 cars

 

Louisville & Nashville

50-foot, 6-inch - 300 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 5641 cars

Less than 40-foot - 7753 cars

Also lists 2096 ventilator cars of 36-foot length

 

Southern

50-foot, 6-inch - 0 cars

40-foot to 40-foot, 7-inch - 11,348 cars

Less than 40-foot - 13678 cars

 

Outside of the ACL and SAL ventilator car fleets, these are probably the majority of the US railroads with a decent proportion of less than 40-foot XM box cars listed in the 1943 ORER. I did this quickly, so I’m probably missing a plum or two. 


I chose to focus on US railroads for this information, so the list does not include several thousand Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Fowler/Dominion design box cars that were less than 40-foot in length.

 

Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX

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