In 1950 D&RGW rostered 4,399 box cars, and the NP rostered
15,259 box cars.
Nationally in 1950 there were over 718,000 box cars. So the
6 tenths of 1 percent of the total fleet - about one car in 163.
Assuming truly 'random' distribution, the probably of zero
D&RGW box cars in a
train of 100 box cars is .54 or 54%. The same probability
calculation for NP box cars
yields .116 or just under 12%. Or looked at another way, 7 out of 8
of the 100 car
trains would have at least 1 NP box car, while less than half of
such trains would
have even a single D&RGW box car.
On 6/10/2019 6:26 AM, Garth Groff
Let's look at how many boxcars the D&RGW owned (excluding
narrow gauge). My 1958 ORER says they owned 3,047 XM boxcars
(the majority being 40', 10' 4" IH steel cars with 12-panel
sides), 29 XML loader-equipped boxcars; 28 XAR and XMR
automobile cars, 8 XAP auto parts boxcars, and finally 29 XMI
insulated boxcars (the famous "Cookie Box" boxcars in assigned
service between Salt Lake City and Denver). Excluding the Cookie
Boxes, that's only 3,112 interchange boxcars, not a huge number
but likely adequate for their traffic.
The line's most common loadings were coal, and some other
mineral traffic, much of which was to other on-line destinations
(and coal in small lots was known to have been sometimes shipped
in D&RGW boxcars), so the bulk of their fleet was GS
gondolas. Their two largest outbound customers were CF&I and
USS Geneva which are unlikely to have shipped much in boxcars.
Also consider that the line functioned as a bridge line between
the WP and the CB&Q, and D&RGW boxcars would more
commonly be seen on those two friendly roads than most others in
It is no surprise to me that D&RGW boxcars are be fairly
uncommon in photos.
On 6/9/19 7:59 PM, David Soderblom
This follows on from the discussion of sill steps being bent inwards.
I couldn’t help noticing the D&RGW box. By rights it should have been a common occurrence, but it wasn’t. You just don't see them that often in these old photos. Compare to Northern Pacific, which, as so many have noted, are seen in nearly every SteamEra train. My own guess, without looking at the fleet numbers: NP boxes went everywhere because they delivered northwest lumber to a growing nation. D&RGW originating traffic was much more limited.
I’d love to hear more.