SR auto/box car 12220 arrived in Portland, OR
in need of some help in 1948.
Apparently it had suffered a side swipe collision which damaged the grabs on
the right side. Crews in in Portland
replaced the grabs but they noticed
that they had difficulty matching the color of the paint on the side of the
car. They were very concerned about their inability to provide a good match
with the paints they had. Given the need to return the car, however, the
crew elected to mix some paints at hand and painted the grabs. The car was
then loaded with lumber and attached to an SP train headed south. By the
time it had ventured through various tunnels and arrived at Roseville it had
been decorated by the oil smoke expelled by numerous SP steam engines.
in a train powered by 3 cab forwards, one on the front,
one about 10 or so cars toward the rear and one on the rear, it received
again considerable amounts of oil smoke encontered in the numerous tunnels
and snow sheds. It sat in Sparks, NV, for a day, then headed to Ogden, UT,
where it sat in a frt yard near one of the steel mills nearby for 2 days.
Finaly, it left Ogden
on a UP frt pulled by a Big Boy with a Challenger
helper on the rear. Now, it received a healthy dose of coal smoke,
particularly in tunnels. Eventually it went through Altamount Tunnel [
longest on the UP ] where it again was decorated with coal smoke. On the way
to Green River it encountered a snow storm.
Just east of Green River, it
reached the leading edge of the storm and found itself in a vigorous dust
storm with winds reaching 60 mph. By the next day it reached Hermosa Tunnel
where it almost stalled and was again blessed by copious amounts of coal
smoke. Reaching Cheyenne
it sat for a day near the rolling mill there. A few
days later it arrived in Beaumont,
Texas, where it sat for several
under the smoke from several nearby oil refineries. Finally, it arrived in
its cargo was unloaded. It sat there for two days where it
received a load of paper from a local paper plant. It then headed to
Cleveland, OH where it dropped its paper load and
received steel wire from
the steel mills there. It traveled south from there, reaching Pittsburgh 2
days later. It sat in a yard there for several days where it received a
significant amount of acid rain. Two days later it was in Lynchburg, VA,
where it sat near the N&W mainline and numerous coal burning steam engines.
At that point, paper work was received from SP by SR management there,
expressing concern that the paint on the repaired grabs didn't match that of
the car's side. The SR crew boss remarked, "Huh?"