Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>
With three Tichy USRA SS boxcar kits in my to-do pile (really more of
a closet), I did a little digging to find which roads still rostered
these cars in more-or-less original condition circa 1958. This means I
skipped the cars rebuilt with new roofs, replacement Z-bar bracing,
steel-sided conversions, rebuilt for special service, etc. I am
limited my search to the near original cars to minimize changes to the
To do this I consulted my 1958 ORER, RPC 17, and an article by Richard
Hendrickson in MODEL RAILROADING (sorry, but I cut off the date when I
scanned this article, and the paper copy is now long gone).
Ann Arbor had 62 cars in series 90000-90149.
B&O rostered just 8 in series 187004-187444.
Chicago & North Western had a meret 4 in series 143700-144689 and 144700-145698,
Clinchfield had 79 in series 8000-8299. All 1950s photos I've seen of
these cars suggest they were in restricted online service, either
marked for "rough freight" or in freight house service (most of the
latter had a large ring painted on their doors around the restricted
Reading rostered 26 in series 5001-5999.
RF&P had 8 cars in series 981-1130 and 9 more in series 2451-2800.
Obviously, USRA cars were pretty rare by the end our period of
interest. Many survivors were in restricted service, and others had
been heavily modified.
Additionally, Richard Hendrickson noted that Canadian Pacific had a
series of 1921 7/8-end clones (apparently with hat-shape braces,
versus the more common Z-bar clones) in series 234000-238536. There
were a whopping 3066 cars in service in 1958.
I suspect the Ann Arbor cars might have been in auto parts service, so
I would probably opt for Reading as a wild card. Thanks to a soft spot
for the RF&P, I would certainly go for one of theirs, especially if I
could find some sort of product the might be shipped regularly from
that road to my rather limited Virginia shortline. The RF&P is often
thought of as a bridge line, but they did have a number of online
shippers at Fredericksburg, plus a connecting shortline (Virginia
Central). A shippers' guide might help here.
Although Canadian cars are somewhat problematic in the US, I will
probably do one of their cars. Again, I need to find a justification
for a Canadian car in rural Virginia. Tichy sells the 7/8 ends to fit
their model, and I actually have a pair in my parts stock.
Comments are welcome.