Re: Help Identifying Unusual Boxcar (MoPac coke service?)

mel perry

still interesting, that it wound up in the
backwoods of oregon?
mel perry

On Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 9:29 PM Ed Hawkins <hawk0621@...> wrote:

On Mar 6, 2021, at 7:43 PM, Ken Roth <krowth3249@...> wrote:

I have a picture of a train on the S.P. Toledo branch in Oregon taken circa 1949.  I would like to know the prototype for the unusual double-sheathed boxcar directly behind the engine.  It appears to be a modified boxcar (roof removed and extra side doors added).  It appears also to have a "inverse Murphy ribbed end".  It is most definitely not an S.P. car and the reporting marks might be M.P.  The herald also perhaps might suggest M.P.  I looked in the 1950 ORER and found MoPac boxcars converted to coke cars.  If so, I have no idea what its doing on a branch in the Oregon woods! I have not been able to find any MoPac photo online that might confirm my guess.   Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
Ken Roth

Ken & others interested,
While the 1950 photo isn’t sufficiently clear to provide a car number, the visible clue is the Murphy end that’s the spotting feature to determine the origin. The MP coke car in the view was converted from a 36’ IL double-sheathed box car having 7-7 Murphy ends with inward-facing corrugations. The origin was 850 cars built by Pennsylvania Car Co. numbered 120000-120249 (1925) & 120250-120849 (1926).

Starting with 7 cars in 4-6/1945, MoPac converted 14 such roofless coke cars numbered as part of series 120000-120849 with Murphy ends by 4/49.

Another 900 similar MP 36’ DS box cars, but with Dreadnaught ends, were built by ACF in series 120850-121149 (1927) and by the MP DeSoto, Mo. railroad car shops, 121150-121749 (1929). During the same period as the Murphy-end cars, MoPac converted an additional 16 box cars having Dreadnaught ends as roofless coke cars with car numbers in the latter two series.

ORER’s from July 1945 thru Jan. 1951 have notes in the various groups in series 120000-121749 that relate to the MP roofless coke cars that list the specific car numbers in revenue service. The 30 coke cars retained the same car numbers as the original 36’ DS box cars. 

The service life-span of these 30 roofless coke cars was relatively short-lived as 28 remaining cars in 1/51 were reduced to zero cars in revenue service by 4/51. RP CYC Volume 14 included a short discussion of these coke cars & a photo of MP 121368 having Dreadnaught ends.

Attached is a MP diagram scan representing the first 10 coke cars converted in mid-1945 with 7 car numbers having Murphy ends & 3 car numbers having Dreadnaught ends. It denotes the sizes of three door openings per side, which were covered with slatted sliding wood doors.

Ed Hawkins

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