Re: Photo: NYC Boxcar 170338

Steve and Barb Hile

What intrigued me most about this photo was the photographer cites - Clarence Woodrow Sorenson.  I only knew C W Sorenson as “Woody” when he was President of Augustana College in Rock Island in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Apparently he was more a renaissance man than I appreciated at the time.  He was a CBS correspondent in Mexico in 1940, his PhD was in Geography, he travelled the world and authored text books in the subject.  His widow apparently donated his photo collection to the American Geographic Society which placed them with the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.


He was a good photographer.


Steve Hile 


From: [] On Behalf Of Ed Hawkins
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2021 4:23 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: NYC Boxcar 170338



On Apr 23, 2021, at 2:24 PM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:


The NYC boxcar bears a KC 5-57 weigh location and date stencil near the weigh data. Near the end of the bottom door track is the BLT 9-56 stencil. Additionally, the large shadow keystone emblem on the Pennsy boxcar came into use in 1954.


That narrows the timeframe a bit. 


Eric Hansmann


Eric, George, and Bob,

Concur with the NYC box car 5-57 reweigh stencils, however, the build date that’s difficult to read is 9-50. The NYC 170338 in question was one of 1,500 PS-1s built in Pullman-Standard lot 5965, series NYC 169000-170499, NYC Lot 798-B, built ca. 7-9/1950. The first 750 cars came with Superior 7-panel doors while the last 750 cars received Youngstown doors. 


In the view, the Pullman-Standard builder badge is barely visible directly under the side grab near the “A” end & therefore the car was still in original paint. Zooming the photo shows a clear demarcation just outboard of the vertical rivets connecting the “B” end to the side denoting black car cement on the end. The dark roof seam caps with sunlight coming from behind the photographer also indicate the roof received black car cement.


Regarding HO models, Kadee’s #4100 PS-1 body is accurate for this NYC car except for the push-pole pockets that other than 5,000 NYC PS-1s were relatively uncommon on PS-1 box cars; the short sections of steel plates welded to the side sills to which the sill steps were attached; those pesky roping staples that were reasonably common on PS-1 box cars.


Regarding the photo date, another car in view to help further narrow the “1934-1969 photo date" is the Burlington 40’ box car coupled behind the Santa Fe box car. While I cannot read the car number, it’s the Chinese Red scheme in which the earliest cars so-painted that I’ve come across were built in 1-58. This information along with what appears to be a deciduous tree with leaves at the far left edge gives me reason to estimate the photo taken at Bloomington, Wisconsin, was about May 1958 or later.


Bob - thank you for locating this photo on the UMW web site & posting to the STMFC. 



Ed Hawkins

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