Re: B&O underframes

Eric Hansmann

Thank you, Garth! The following article is also of interest for me.



>>> Larry King asked: In 1917 the B&O ordered a batch of steel underframe freight reefers. Plans were published in the "Railway Age" trade magazine. The article stated that the underframe was supplied by Ralston. My question is this-is this the SAME underframe as the M-15 DS  box cars i.e. did B&O have a standard underframe design? I can see that the two cars have similar underframes: what I want to know is whether they were exactly the same-say like the Pennsy X23 and X25 and R7  all have the same underframe.(Things like this come up when you're a rivet counter...)  <<<


After reviewing the article and checking several resources, I cannot confirm the underframe featured in the RA article is the same as the B&O M-15 underframes. There are similarities. I do not know of any B&O documentation indicating a common underframe for 40-foot house cars.


After the M-15 cars, the M-18 (steel center sill and truss rods) were the only other 40-foot boxcar class added to the B&O before the USRA car assignments in 1919 with 500 M-24 class cars. The M-26 steel-sheathed cars began expanding the B&O fleet in 1925. There aren’t any common underframe designs to these four B&O boxcar classes.


The B&O reefers were in the R7 class and number series 15000-15500 with 501 cars listed in the 1917 ORER. These were the only B&O reefers noted with steel underframes in the 1917 ORER listings. The May 1925 ORER lists 477 cars in this number series.


FYI, the October 1926 ORER B&O entry lists ZERO reefers. As they B&O joined the Fruit Growers consortium in 1925, their reefer fleet became part of the FGE fleet. Under Miscellaneous Equipment, 115 Ice Box cars are listed for company use. I suspect these were older cars.


The B&O did roster stock cars but most were leased from the Mather Company.


While I do not have a definitive answer to the original question Larry King posted, it would seem like the B&O did not use a common house car underframe design.



Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN



From: <> On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 4:45 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O underframes





Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆


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