Re: Freight car ID

Douglas Harding

Here is what Gene Green wrote about the PM cars acquired by the MSTL


25000 - 25298


A group of 150 used USRA double-sheathed box cars were purchased from Hyman-Michaels on July 1, 1937 and were numbered from 25000

to 25298.  The purchase contract for these cars required a payment of 85 cents per day per car which was less than the $1 per diem charges of the time.  Actual cost per car was $1,220.00 including interest charges.  The cars were "like money in the

bank provided we keep 'em moving," to quote an M&StL employee of the day.  As it worked out the cars earned an average of 52 cents per day leaving only 33 cents to be paid by the M&StL.



ex-PM 80000 series USRA box cars.

7 cars built Dec 1919

134 cars built Jan 1920

4 cars built Feb 1920

4 cars built Mar 1920

1 cars built Apr 1920

Car cards dated July 1937



A "Summary of Freight Equipment" lists the 25000 series as having been built by Standard Steel Car Co. in 1921 while the equipment diagram says they were built in 1920.  These cars were readied for service by the M&StL's Marshalltown car shops.  During this period the M&StL performed repairs or even rebuilt the various groups of used cars and then repainted them before placing them

in service.


The first 50 were added to the roster almost immediately in July 1937 when the number series 25000 to 25298 first appeared in The Official Railway Equipment Register.  Because the 25000s closely resembled the original USRA 22000 series box cars, they have occasionally been confused with the M&StL's original USRA box cars in the hobby press.



Doug Harding

Youtube: Douglas Harding Iowa Central Railroad


From: <> On Behalf Of Clark Propst via
Sent: Monday, July 4, 2022 11:43 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Freight car ID


Here's another interesting bit I just figured out. I've known for a long time the car behind the engine featured in this photo had PM reporting marks on the end. I zoomed in as best I could and saw other worn stenciling below the top line. I checked Gene Green's records and found that PM cars were bought used by the M&StL in 37 and 39. The photo was taken in 41 and to me anyway it looks like the PM number has been at least lined through and M&StL initials were stenciled under the PM initials/number. 
An early patch job? Freshly painted cars from this group have dates of 40 and 41. Maybe this car is about to be refurbished?

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