Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars
The B&O converted older boxcars into coke gons by removing the roofs and tying the sides together with steel rods (that was the method in photos I have seen). This was done over several decades and the boxcars reclassified as various subclasses of O-39.This happened from the late 20s into the early 50s with different boxcar classes including some M-8, M-13, M-15, M-24, and M-26 boxcars. Confirming Elden's scenario, I saved a post from the B&O Yahoo Group from 2006 and it tells a similar story by first hand account and added it below.
Bruce D. Griffin
I well recall the coke cars in the early 1960s, probably the M-15 series.. The few I saw came to a local foundry. It lacked a between-rails receiving pit, thus the need for a car that could be unloaded similar to a conventional box car. Those cars I saw all had steel underframes and were very much showing their age with badly faded paint, wear, some rust and dents from probably loading.. When loaded, the doors had been cross boarded on the inside with planks. The foudrymen would climb onto the top of the car with flat shovels and start shoveling into an adjacent bin. When they reached a level even with the first board, the door was slid open and the plank removed. The men shoveled directly through the door into the bin. This was repeated until all the planks were removed and the car was finally empty. The planks were returned to the car loose, and the door then closed. They might put four to six men on the car and it would be easily unloaded in a day. I recall