Re: "Tyranical" USRA in 1918

Rupert Gamlen

The CB&Q was allocated 500 double sheathed box cars, even though the company had switched to single sheathed ones in 1913. The USRA ones only lasted on the roster for about 33 years, until 1951, compared to 41 years for single sheathed ones constructed in 1914-1917.

Rupert Gamlen
Auckland NZ


From: <> On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Thursday, 15 April 2021 3:39 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] "Tyranical" USRA in 1918


The USRA messed with many roads. They used Western Maryland coal hoppers as rolling coal warehouses. Rather than emptying the cars quickly, they let them sit for long periods through all types of weather. The coal loads kept the steel sides and slope sheets wet, which accelerated metal failure and fatigue.  


The WM bought 5000 new hoppers from Pullman from 1916 and into 1917. Due to this, they did not receive any USRA hoppers. Many of these new hoppers, and their older fleet, suffered damage while under USRA control. After USRA control was relinquished and company officials surveyed the equipment damage, the company sued the government for compensation. The WM embarked on rebuilding all their hoppers in 1926 using the channel side stakes.


BTW, the only USRA car designs assigned to the Western Maryland were 300 single-sheathed boxcars.


I’m sure there are other USRA stories out there.



Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN




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