Re: Photos: Loaded Automobile Boxcar Interior

Tony Thompson

Remember that auto shipping by rail steadily shrank through the 50s, down to barely 10 percent of all shipments, until the introduction of auto racks in late 50s.
Tony Thompson 

On Oct 19, 2019, at 9:58 AM, Garth Groff <sarahsan@...> wrote:

 Tom and Guy,

Somewhere I've seen a photo taken in the 1950s of used cars being delivered to a team track for a small local auto dealer, I think on the C&O. The cars shipped were in a double-door boxcar without auto racks, or the racks were not used if present. I'm sure this was no longer done for new cars shipped by the major manufacturers, but non-rack shipping was apparently still possible.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff

On 10/18/2019 10:37 PM, Guy Wilber via Groups.Io wrote:

Tom in Texas asked:

“When would they have quit loading cars in box cars this way?”


The caption states these photos were taken in 1932.  Within a year Evans would introduce ‘The Auto~Loader’ and NYC followed closely thereafter with their own permanently mounted racking system.  Installation of these loading systems would eventually supplant the larger percentage of such methods used for tilting and decking vehicles within auto cars.  The transition was rapid with 34,973 auto cars equipped with loaders by September of 1937.

Despite the totals of cars equipped, the original Evans racks (A and B) could not accommodate smaller trucks such as these GMC models, or some larger automobile models.  Dual wheels and longer chassis made loading onto the racks nearly impossible.  Many railroads owning auto cars did modify the racks to appease the auto industry.  Evans would later (9-‘37) introduce racks with wider wheel pans and sliding frame components allowing multiple adjustments to accommodate larger automobiles and light trucks.   The same early restrictions held true for The NYC design; that, and the fact that manufacturers did not like their “tire chain” tie downs is likely why the road eventually purchased Evans loaders exclusively.

It would be hard to answer your question precisely, but I would guess it would be somewhat rare to see automobiles or light trucks loaded by these methods much past the 1937-38 model years.

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada

Join to automatically receive all group messages.