Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR X28A

Mont Switzer

I’m aware that in the 1950’s and 1960’s the Nickel Plate rolled wood boxcars and cabooses off of their trucks and onto their sides where they were burned.  They then salvaged the remaining metal and of course the trucks.  I know they did this in Frankfort and Muncie, IN, but this process could have been used on about any RIP track. 


Montford L. Switzer


Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.


(765) 836-2914


From: <> On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2020 11:53 AM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR X28A


On Mon, Jan 27, 2020 at 05:57 AM, Mont Switzer wrote:

During the early 1990's I made regular visits to Altoona, PA on business. While there I observed a metal building being built in an industrial area. It was sort of like your typical steel building except the vertical members were old freight car center sills. I was told they were previously under PRR cars, maybe the X28's and X29's of which you speak.

Considering the sills probably came via a scrapper they could have been around for a while. The center sills didn’t look very good in this application, but they were obviously overbuilt for this purpose.

I wonder if the building was a 'boxcar burner'? Back in the late seventies I had some dealings with Purdy Co., a scrap merchant in Hammond, Indiana, located just north of State Line Tower. We were buying hinges from old swing door reefers; many of the big doors at the Illinois Railway Museum are hung on these hinges. Anyway, Purdy had an incinerator for burning the linings out of the cars they were scrapping. As I recall, it was two tracks wide and only one car length long, built entirely out of longitudinal slices of tankcar tanks standing on end, with more of these 1/3 tank sections making the roof. Standard procedure was to slosh fuel oil into a couple cars, push them into this building, and throw a flaming rag in after them. The steel enclosure intensified the heat, and kept ashes from flying all over. After the remains of the cars cooled down, they pulled them out and cut them into bite-size chunks, ready for the furnace.

I have no idea how long this lasted; I'm sure the EPA eventually shut it down. Sometime around 1980 there were no more ice reefers to scrap, so our source of hinges dried up, and there was no reason to go down there.

Dennis Storzek

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