Re: Southern LC "Boxcar" With Vent?

Ed Hawkins

On Feb 14, 2020, at 12:47 PM, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...> wrote:

While digitizing my old negatives, I ran across this photo of Southern 50' PS-1 34242 shot in Charlottesville circa 1987. If I read George Elwood's Fallen Flags web site correctly this is not a boxcar at all, but a covered hopper (type LC, note the roof hatches). Photos on Elwood's site show these cars were often covered in some sort of white powder, which I suspect is kaolin.

According to Ed Hawkins' PS-1 article in RMJ 1995, there were no original Southern PS-1s with this number, so it must be a conversion / renumbering. These are not listed my October 1958 ORER. Can anyone comment on whether these cars were converted during our period of interest (as in 1961 or before)?

Also of interest is what appears to be a small end vent (see the partial view). I see this on other converted PS-1s on the Fallen Flags site. Is this indeed a vent, and to what purpose? 

For those interested in the end vents, attached is a one-page PDF list of 50’ PS-1 box cars confirmed to have end vents when built by Pullman-Standard from 1956 to 1960. Southern's cars had 6 vents per end while L&N’s cars had 3 vents per end. The side panels denote the number to the left & right of the door. It’s certainly possible there were other built new with end vents, as well as cars modified with vents by the railroads. 

In the Southern Railway Equipment Drawings and Photographs, Volume II, Book I, page 100 has end drawing SF-20070 showing the arrangement with 6 vents that cover 1” diameter vent holes with center lines that follow the roof line. The vent covers are .10” pressed plate of various lengths in the general shape of vertical angles covered at the top & welded to the top end sheet. It’s my understanding the vents were for air flow desired in wood pulp service.

Thanks to George (Ike) Eichelberger & the SRHA for publishing two outstanding 40’ & 50’ box/auto car books to date. 

Please advise if you know of any other new 50’ PS-1 box cars with end vents and/or if the list contains any errors.
Ed Hawkins

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