Re: Box car interior

Todd Horton

Looking at photos of car interiors it seems like the side boards were typically placed horizontally and the end board were typically placed vertically. Does anyone have any information that contradicts this?

Of the few photos of cars I've seen built in the earlier years some tended to have only wood siding only half way. I have an interior photo of some C of G series 51001-51500 boxcars built 1914 that are like this. There's no planking on the ends of these cars.

Todd Horton

From: "edb8391@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, February 1, 2016 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Box car interior

For the most part in the period this site follows, wood was used to line the interior of box cars. No need for paint or any finish coat, so it was plain. 

However, floors got scuffed up from hand carts and later, fork lifts.  Sometimes non-skid metal plates were put over the flooring at the doorways to reduce such floor damage.

Side walls also saw distress from loads shifting, as well as blocking or other retaining materials fastened to them. Later box cars were sometimes equipped with fittings set into the wall sheathings for various types of load retainers.

As for running a boxcar with the doors open, this was against the rules for many roads. B&O was one.
Compliance depended on the yard and road crews.  Doors on empty cars were to be closed and latched before moving them, after the conductor or a brakeman checked interior.

This was because if a box car's heavy door is not made secure, it could possibly become free to move back and forth in its track while underway and cause damage. Keeping empty boxcar doors closed and latched for running also reduced the likelihood of any human 'super-cargo' getting aboard. 

Again, compliance was up to yard and train crews who did not always follow rule book minutiae if inconvenient. Then too, sometimes box cars could be moved with their doors open. However, this was usually done within a yard, in a switching move, or possibly a short transfer run.

Ed Bommer  

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