Re: Interesting Freight Car

Benjamin Hom

Bob Chaparro asked:
"Here is a photo link from the Barriger Library:
This undated photo was taken on the Missouri Pacific.
Notice the distinctive car in the middle of the photo. This appears to be a car that was in captive service and didn't leave the MP. The car lacks initials and a road number but does have a sign that begins to read 'For Exclusive Use...'
I'm sure some of you already know all about this or similar cars so please share what you know."

David Jobe, Sr. replied: 
"The sign reads 'FOR EXCLUSIVE USE BETWEEN LACLEDE COKE PLANT & MISSISSIPPI VALLEY IRON WORKS'.  That would place it in the St. Louis Terminal district with my guess being the south side on the Iron Mountain perhaps in Lesperance Street yard just south of the Municipal (Free) Bridge, aka the MacArthur Bridge.  I will defer to Ed Hawkins for more detailed information or any corrections to my best guess on the location."

This is a coke rack.  Coke is less dense than coal and is in large chunks, so a tall car with slats is good enough to handle this cargo.  The presence of stock cars with this car is no accident as some stock cars of the late 19th and early 20th century were equipped with drop doors for use of the cars to handle coke.

Ben Hom 

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