Re: Interesting Photo of a Box Car and Load

Eric Hansmann

Thanks for the details, George! I would be most interested in attending a
presentation on the SRHA archives. I enjoyed a Nick Fry's recent
presentation on the Barriger Library at the RPM Valley Forge meet. There is
a mountain of material out there, but we don't know where or how to look for
it in many cases.

I just reviewed my 1926 ORER and wanted to share the following date on the
Southern box car under discussion.

Southern 150555 is one of the 150000-153457 series with 3359 listed in
service. It is listed with the following dimensions:

8-foot interior height, 13-foot, 3-inch height to running board, 2448 cubic
capacity, and 60,000 pound capacity.

This series is listed as having steel center sills. Over 8000 other cars in
different series have similar specifications, but are being equipped with
steel center sills.

The Westerfield models reflect the Southern 153500-159889 series, among
others. These cars are listed with the following dimensions.

8-foot, 3.25-inch interior height, 13-foot, 3-inch height to running board,
2537 cubic capacity, and 80,000 pound capacity

I suspect steel carlines and roof components were used on the later
versions, which lead to a slight interior height increase and larger cubic
capacity. The 40-ton capacity is a result of heftier truck journals.

Hardware differences are the main spotting features. Wood ends and a wood
roof should place a 36-foot Southern box car with the pre-WW1 cars. Steel
ends and roofs place the car with the post-WW1 cars.

I'm certain it's not always that simple, but it is a start.

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 9:19 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Interesting Photo of a Box Car and Load

Although more research can be done, here is some additional information on
Southern 150555.

It is from an order for cars 150000-151006. 725 36 ft, 30-ton steel center
sill (SCS) box cars were purchased in 1916, 282 in 1917. They are shown in
the ICC Valuation records as VO (Valuation Order) 3 Group 2 in Account 53 on
page 158 dated 12-31-27. Appearing on the initial valuations helps confirm
they were built and on the roster before the first group of valuation
entries were done 1916-1927.

They were built by Lenore Car Works on Southern Contract 633 and paid for on
Equipment Trust "T". (There are more than 1,000 contracts in the SRHA
archives and most of the Southern equipment trust records. Although not
typically very technical, those documents help "triangulate" data from other
sources. That is useful when researching records back to the beginning of
the Southern Railway System.)

Card Record F-59 (called "F-cards") shows all of the drawings for these
cars. Although I have not dug down to drawings showing individual chain
links to confirm, virtually all of the drawing exist as original linens in
the SRHA collections. The cover of the F-Card describes 350 cars were
equipped with Bradford draft gear and 973 with Farlow. Drawing SF-1078 is
the General Arrangement drawing. The F-Card also lists auto box cars in the
160000-160499 series. That is typical of the period as box cars, vents, auto
and stock cars were built to Southern specifications with many common parts
to reduce maintenance inventory. For cars not built by Lenore, Southern
would supply castings (from Lenore Foundry), new or used brake gear,
couplers and trucks to be used in their orders. A practice that made car
builders very unhappy because they could not charge for those parts.

All of this information, on virtually all SR freight and passenger equipment
is in the SRHA archives. If anyone wants to visit, contact me at If this is not too boring for many people (apologies for
the bandwidth) and I am invited to speak at CCB next year, maybe a "deep
dive" clinic on this material may be useful?

George Eichelberger

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