Re: Pool Service into California
Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>
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Though it doesn't really answer your question, the Western Pacific was heavily involved in auto parts traffic. The WP served a Ford assembly plant in Milpitas, California. They had a small fleet (just five cars, 18501-18505) 40' double-door boxcars in auto transmission service which were converted from single-door cars and given racks 1955. Some of their 50' PS-1 double-door boxcars were also assigned to the Ford parts pool. IIRC, the Southern Pacific also contributed to this pool, and the WP and SP alternated in operating service to the plant. The Ford assembly plant closed in 1983, just after the UP took over the WP, but that's beyond our era of interest.
WP also owned at least two other blocks of 50' PS-1 double-door boxcars with Evans auto racks for carting away the finished Fords. These were separate from the parts pool cars.
There was also a large GM assembly plant in Milpitas, though it was only served by the SP. Later this built plant joint GM-Toyota cars, which wags called the "Toylet". I think this is now the Tesla factory. But again, I'm getting ahead of our group's mandate.
At one time Sunshine offered a series of cars based on the Southern Pacific's and Cotton Belt's "Motor Special" trains that carried both auto parts and finished automobiles to California. Sunshine put out a special four-page illustrated flyer on these cars.
Garth Groff 🦆