Re: Southern #23300-23486 Boxcar Doors and Tack Boards #23300-23486


In a message dated 5/3/03 12:12:32 PM, writes:

I am posting this question for the second time to some lists. Unfortunately
I did not get any responses to the first request. Hopefully, someone can
help me soon as I am now at the point of adding the doors.

I am building four of the very fine Branchline Blueprint Southern Boxcars
(kit #1514) which represent the #23300-23486 series, built 8-47 by
Pullman-Standard (lot 5855). 
These kits as received from Branchline came with a random selection of
Youngstown and Superior 8” doors and I am trying to determine the correct
door for 1955.  As usual, Branchline is being GREAT about offering
information and replacement parts.  I can not say enough good things about
their customer service.

There are three separate issues here. First, not all cars in the entire
series specified received Superior doors. Cars in series 23300-23472 (173
cars) received 7-panel Superior doors and 23743-23486 (14 cars) received
Youngstown doors. There were other cars produced as part of lot no. 5855, but
I will not discuss them since you specified only series 23300-23486. The
prototype cars having 7-panel Superior doors had a version of the Superior
door with evenly spaces panels top to bottom. As built, the placards were
attached to the second stiffener down from the top of the door. See photo on
page 29 of the November 1999 RMJ. (Incidentally, the roster that I had
published in the October/November 1999 RMJ requires updating as I
subsequently obtained original Pullman-Standard bills of materials for this
lot number. I used the best information I had at the time, but it was
incorrect regarding this series of cars.)

Secondly, Branchline Trains has not tooled a 7-panel Superior door for
openings of 8' wide. The kits have 6-panel doors, which are incorrect for
this series cars. The 6-panel Superior door first appeared in 1952.
Conceivably, the car you are modeling could have been equipped with a
replacement set of doors by 1955.

The only HO-scale doors that I'm aware of that are correct for this car were
made by Joe Pennington of Springfield, Missouri. Joe produced these doors in
cast urethane for SL-SF PS-1s built in 1948. However, I recently heard that
Joe is sold out of these doors and was getting out of the business of
producing parts of this type.

Third, the placard could have been lowered any time after January 1, 1954,
but I've seen many examples of cars photographed in the late 1950s that
retained the placards in their original high position. Chances were
reasonably high that in 1955 the placard was still in the original high
position for many cars in the series. My only in-service photos of cars from
P-S lot 5855 have Youngstown doors.

This probably isn't the "simple answer" that you may have hoped for, but
these are the facts as I know them.

Ed Hawkins

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