Re: Ventilated Box Cars


in 1953 there were 6697 XV cars in service.  2/3 were owned by the SAL and CofG

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Hansmann eric@... [STMFC]
Sent: Thu, May 11, 2017 8:54 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Ventilated Box Cars

There are historic Pittsburgh images that show ACL ventilated box cars (XV) in the produce terminal area, circa late 50s and early 1960s. 

Awhile back I compiled notes on XV listings in the 1943 ORER reprint. I was surprised at the numbers. I'm on the road at the moment but will see what I can dig up tomorrow.

As a 1926 modeler, these are an important car class with many more in service before the Depression Era. B&O, PRR, Reading, L&N, C&O, and many others had XV cars in service in the 1920s. 

Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX

On May 11, 2017 at 2:45 AM "Garth Groff sarahsan@... [STMFC]" <STMFC@...> wrote:

Tim and Jim,

I'm wondering what you mean by "weren't traveling too terribly far"? A lot of produce out of the Carolinas and Georgia came north to New York and other major cities in these cars. That is a pretty fair distance. I can't cite statistics, but the proof is in photos of RF&P trains which often show large blocks of ACL ventilators. See Richard E. Prince's RICHMOND-WASHINGTON LINE for examples.

I agree about melons and the like being shipped in ventilators. Ambroid referred to their model as a "watermelon" car, which seems cute marketing but does have truthiness to it. The genius of these cars was that they could be used for almost any clean load on the return trip. I recall reading somewhere that tobacco was another frequent ventilator commodity, though most of this traffic likely didn't leave the south.

Jim, these ventilators are closely identified with "y'all" railroads, and most of the major southern li nes had substantial fleets of these cars up WWII, with Seaboard and ACL continuing to use them in large numbers into the 1950s. However, as Dennis noted, they were replaced by ice reefers running as ventilators. By the 1920s the two biggest refrigerator operators, PFE and FGE, dominated the produce trade and the decline of ventilators was well underway.

On the West Coast, the Southern Pacific and its subsidiaries were major ventilators operators at the turn of the century. PFE made their ventilators redundant. Even the Western Pacific bought a modest fleet of ventilators just after WWI. When that road joined PFE, their ventilators were soon all rebuilt as plain boxcars.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 5/11/17 12:15 AM, Tim O' Connor timboconnor@... [STMFC] wrote:

Lots of melons and cantaloupes and squashes that weren't travelling
too terribly far and in "season" - but I think at other times of the
year they could be used like ordinary box cars.

Tim O'

What was shipped in "Ventilated Box Cars" - the ones with open/slotted doors and
ventilators on the ends of the cars? 

Most of the pics of them I've seen have been pre-WWII ... when did they stop
being used?  What replaced them?


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