Re: Boxcar identification help requested

lars svanevik


Calcium ion, in combination with bicarbonate and carbonate ions. is the the species that causes water to be "hard".  Water that contains high concentration of calcium ion, and bicarbonate or carbonate, will precipitate as calcium carbonate when the water is heated.  This causes boiler scale.


From: <> on behalf of Richard Orr via Groups.Io <suvcworr@...>
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Boxcar identification help requested
Calcium carbonate to treat water.  Much of the water available along the PRR mainline was hard which cause a buildup of deposits in the boiler tubes.  Track pans especially had water treatment facilities to soften the water and decrease the deposits.  Thus decrease maintenance costs.

If Calcium carbonite to generate acetylene for welding a wide variety of things or in a wreck train for cutting up wrecks.  Transporting in bags was safer than transporting tanks of gas

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Smith <smithbf@...>
To: main <>
Sent: Tue, May 15, 2018 12:26 pm
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Boxcar identification help requested

Elden, Folks

Brian Carlson pointed out photos of this car at the Hagley site.  It is a “Calcium Carbide” car…. Not that this sheds any light on the origin of the car…

Now the puzzle is complicated by the question what would PRR MOW forces have used a car, likely loaded with sacks of Calcium Carbonate for?



Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."

On May 15, 2018, at 11:17 AM, Gatwood, Elden J SAD <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:


I have been thinking about this since the Meet (thanks for sharing them!), and I had a few thoughts:

The sides have distinct flavor of X29, with post rivets of closer and wider spacing, not a single rivet row, and 4/4 sides;

The IH is also similarly low;

The shallow X29-like side sill with no substantial evidence of cross-bearers either under the door frame or closer to the trucks;

The roof appears to be a lap-seam design, with fairly narrow spacing, but distinct raises where the seam is, possible to minimize water entry.  No standing seam caps.  Has no look of a commercial roof, more like a home-built job;

The use of Crown trucks, which were common on the PRR;

The "plate" end, with X29/X31-ish stamped poling pockets;

The use of a narrow end walkway and cabin car-like hand grab;

The side door looking like an express or baggage car door.  And with windows in one end only.

This looks to me to be a kind of one-off PRR-built WW2 expedient special purpose car that ran in a wreck train/emergency train.  Like maybe responses to WW 2 emergencies along the ROW.

I hope we find the correspondence some time.  If those inept German saboteurs had done something big, we might've seen this car on the "curve"!

Thanks again for sharing!

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Bruce Smith
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:28 AM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] [RealSTMFC] Boxcar identification help requested


I found the attached photos of PRR 495655 at Bob's Photos at the 50th anniversary PRRT&HS meeting this weekend.  The photos pose a real conundrum as to the origin of the boxcar(?) depicted.  Here are the facts as I see them

1) The photo is dated 1/43 and appears to document a new MOW conversion, given the gray paint with black lettering and lack of any of the stencils needed for interchange.

2) The car has a straight center sill, AB brakes, and andrews trucks

3) The roof appears to be a new add-on and seriously overhangs the sides. Any suggestions as to the roof type are welcome

4) There is no running board or ladders to reach the roof of the car.

5) There is no end sill.  

6) There appears to be a steam line visible on the end of the car.

7) The car has end doors, end grab irons, and a side "express" style door

8) The car is steel with 4 sheets to each side of the door.

Given the andrews truck, I thought X26 rebuild, but the underframe is not a USRA underframe. The sides do not resemble either the X25 or X29 series of cars. Given the steam line, this car may have previously been in express service (and the side and/or end doors may be a remnant of that, or may be new to the conversion).

So, bottom line? This does not appear to be a modification of any PRR boxcar class as far as I can tell.  In discussions this weekend, we postulated that it could be a wreck write off from another road, or possibly, a "scratchbuilt" box from available components. Can anyone out there identify the car that was used for this MOW conversion?

Bruce Smith
Auburn, Al

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