Re: [Non-DoD Source] RE: Automobile Shipping

Gatwood, Elden J SAD


Jumping in late; I am not certain about the earliest date(s), but I have found photos and limited correspondence, on the PRR, on auto shipments in the twenties, shipped on their tires, blocked. They were rolled out through the double side doors onto a loading dock.

There were literally hundreds of damage claims filed on the RRs in this trade, since no one could prove the RR didn't damage the cars. This was particularly aggravating to RR leadership, who were spending lots of time training people how to load cars so they did not get away and cause damage.

I'll share more as I get it.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2017 8:48 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] RE: [STMFC] Automobile Shipping

Well, RJ, I am in the process of building a model of a box car that was built in January 1942 as an automobile car. It’s definitely a 10’-6” IH car, but it’s even labeled on the side as a 10’-4” IH car because it was originally equipped with racks, reducing the clear IH by 2”. So the railroads anticipated shipping automobiles in box cars at least into the early 40s.

They didn’t ship many, of course, because most auto manufacturers were converting their factories to make war materiel.


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 09, 2017 4:26 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Automobile Shipping

Thanks Bruce,

I've seen the replies in the past that the info is in conversation history and in the photos section, and I think "what a newbie". Until now when it is my turn! Ya know, I searched all 3 "Misc" and "Miscellaneous" folders, plus searched prior message history back to 2001. Nada. Did find a scan of an auto-rack loading damage form though in the photo section. Lots of pictures of model Auto cars.

A Google search found 2 pictures of actual boxcar loading in the 30's-40's, but no unloading.

So maybe the question is, were Automobile boxcars actually used to deliver cars from the factory to the dealers for any length of time? I figured there would be more images out there if they were.

Attempting to keep the rolling stock fleet balanced and find a use of all these automobile boxcars I tend to build/acquire.


RJ Dial

Burlingame, CA

---In STMFC@..., <smithbf@...> wrote :


There are several photos in the Miscellaneous album on the group page. There include an N&W automobile car with the Evans loaders down and in position to receive a car as well as a photo with the car loaded in the upper position.

A search of the Conversations of this group will also yield much more information.


Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... <STMFC@...> on behalf of radiodial@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 8, 2017 9:58 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Automobile Shipping

I've never actually seen pictures of loading/unloading of driveable cars in Automobile boxcars. Mainly interested in the 1930s-1940's. Are there any? From period newspaper accounts I gather that is how the cars were delivered to the far flung dealers in towns across America then.

Follow-up question is would the boxcars have been only from railroad(s) that served that manufacturing plant? For example, Yarmouth's nice looking CPR Automobile boxcar, would you expect to see it delivering cars only from factories that the CPR served? Or could it end up loaded with cars from Detroit for example?

RJ Dial

Burlingame, CA

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