Re: What car is this on the Rio Grande?

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

Josh and Friends,

D&RGW had 76 such insulated boxcars, 60000-60076. They were drawn from several blocks of Pressed Steel 12-panel 10' 4" IH boxcars which the Rio Grande began buying in the late 1930s. According to Jim Eager's RIO GRANDE COLOR GUIDE TO FREIGHT AND PASSENGER EQUIPMENT, 60000-60036 were rebuilt in 1954-55, 60037-60046 were added in 1959, while 60047-60076 followed in 1961. Cars 60037, 60047, 60052 and 60064 were drawn from the 1946 series of boxcars and had Improved Dreadnaught ends. Based on the steam locomotive in the photo, if this is indeed a "Cookie Box", it had to be from 60000-60036.

Contrary to what Silver Streak would have had us believe, there apparently were no double-sheathed cars with this paint scheme, and none had white sides like their offering. They were all a silver-gray. 

These cars were loaded at the Keebler bakery in Denver, and Jim Eager says they were routed to distribution centers throughout the west (Keebler was not yet a national brand). Indeed, one of the two photos in his book shows a car in Albuquerque. Some commentators have claimed the "Cookie Boxes" only were used between Denver and Salt Lake City, but from Jim's book and the photo in question this is not so. They went all over Keebler's market area, including off the D&RGW.

At least one of these cars was in D&RGW MW service until well past the UP take-over. Attached is one I shot from the window of the California Zephyr in the 1990s at Glenwood Springs. On some of my trips I saw this car at Bond. I was watching for it (camera ready) every year I went to California to see my parents.

Jim mentions that they were heavily insulated in the roof, and that may be the remnants of the insulation compartment showing above the door opening in my shot. Their wall insulation was behind plywood lining, a wooden door was behind the original steel door, and some cars had load restrainers. You can also see the small access hatch to the insulation compartment just below the running board on the end of the car (they had one at each end).

Jim also mentions a similar experimental car for potatoes, 60080. Apparently it was a failure, as there was only one. Sorry, but there is no photo in his book. 

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Wed, Sep 9, 2020 at 3:52 PM Josh <segorailroadmodels@...> wrote:
I know Parker and saw his scan of the slide. That is a silver painted car, I'm not sure how any of you are seeing red. It's a single door, not double. The D&RGW painted a few dozen (if I remember correctly) Pressed Steel Car Company 40-foot boxcars silver with black lettering for service at the Denver Keebler bakery, which became known as the "Cookie Box" scheme. It may be one of those. There are a few dozen of these cars scattered across the landscape in the San Luis Valley still. A google image search will yield many good photos.

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