Re: D&RGW 68038 12 panel 40' box car

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>

Andy and friends,

Attached is a shot of D&RGW AX68032, probably at Glenwood Springs circa 2000 (yes it's fuzzy, but it was shot from the moving California Zephyr). This car was originally in the same class as your photo, except it is one of the famous "Cookie Box" conversions. As built, there were five blocks of these D&RGW 12-panel cars, all with the full side sills, 10' 4" IH, and Duryea underframes (all from Pressed Steel Car Co.): 

68000-68399 delivered in 1939 with 4/5 ends, Youngstown doors, 7-rung ladders and wood running boards

68400-68899 delivered in 1940 with 4/5 ends, Youngstown doors, 7-rung ladders and various steel running boards

68900-69399 delivered in 1941 with 4/5 ends, Youngstown doors, 7-rung ladders and various steel running boards

69400-69899 delivered in 1942 with 4/5 ends, Superior 7-panel doors, 7-rung ladders and various steel running boards

67500-67999 delivered in 1946 with 4/4 ends, a mix of Youngstown or Superior doors, 8-rung ladders, ASF A3 trucks

The "Cookie Boxes" numbered 60000-60076 were heavily insulated conversions drawn from various groups of the above cars rebuilt in three lots, 1954-55, 1959 and 1961. Our group of particular interest as steam-era cars is 60000-60036, the 1954-1955 group which were drawn at random from the first four blocks cited above (four cars from the 1946 group with the 8-rung ladders and 4-4 ends were from the 1959 or 1961 conversions, so don't go there). These cars were loaded at the Keebler bakery in Denver, and sent to distribution centers throughout the west, though I've read this was principally to Salt Lake City. More research needed here by those who care! AFAIK, there never were wood-sided "Cookie Boxes" as Silver Streak would have had us believe.

Most of the above information comes from Jim Eager's RIO GRANDE COLOR GUIDE TO FREIGHT AND PASSENGER EQUIPMENT (Morning Sun, 1996). There was an article chiefly on the D&RGW cars, plus photos of other 12-panel boxcars, in an issue of MODEL RAILROADING (no date or author on the pages--my copy is clipped from the magazine). This was followed on the same issue by Bill Wright's kitbash article using cut-down 50' sides from a Pacific HO/Walthers car, mixed with a roof and modified ends from an Athearn 40' boxcar. Not up to modern standards, but perhaps useful background information. I made my car using a C&BT Shops 10' 6" model with a scratch-built Duryea underframe (what's 2" among friends?).

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Wed, Dec 25, 2019 at 4:56 PM Andy Carlson <midcentury@...> wrote:
I found some pictures today which added to my understandings of the D&RGW fleet of 12 panel riveted steel box cars. A class in the 68xxx series were built pre-war and had inside height of 10'4" and had 4/5 Dreadnaught ends with above average spacing between the top rib and the end top. Enclosed is a RRPHOTOGS scan of DRGW #68038 with a build date of 9-39 (?) and reweigh date of 5-54. Still has its pre-war Youngstown door and rectangular panel roof. Like the later Rio Grande 12 panels, this car also has a full length side sill. Was this a RG added feature as not many 1939 era box cars seem to have straight side sills?
-Andy Carlson   Ojai CA

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