Re: Burning Box Car

Mont Switzer

The Monon had the same problem with composite coke cars used as late at the 1960's. Coke was loaded in Indianapolis and hauled north to destinations throughout the Midwest.

It usually happed between Indianapolis and Monon.  Crew saw smoke, set the car out, local fire departments brought water, car usually burned all the way down, mechanical department picked up the remaining metal.

The Monon switched to gons with coke containers in the late 1960's.

Mont Switzer

From: [] on behalf of William Hirt [whirt@...]
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:26 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Burning Box Car

In Morning Sun's Rock Island Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by Steve Hile, there is a picture on page 34 of a Rock Island Outside Braced Wood Sheathed boxcar set off and burning in Cotter, Iowa, in May 1956. The caption states the car was carrying a load of coke. The supposition is either something set the coke on fire, or that the coke was still hot enough when it was loaded that it started a fire on it's own. The picture shows that one pile of the coke is still red hot with small amount of flames coming out the bottom of the car near the remaining door superstructure.

Bill Hirt

On 2/25/2021 8:11 AM, Gatwood, Elden J SAD wrote:



I’m sorry if we discussed this before, but I may have missed it.


What was the story behind this burning box car?


Does anyone have any photos of burning freight cars they can share?


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