Re: Northern Pacific Boxcar Upgrades 1925

Steve and Barb Hile

I know that in the 1920’s, the Rock Island “rebuilt” some boxcars with steel center sill assemblies from Bettendorf.



The cars were stripped down to the trucks (which were also refurbished) and entirely new bodies with steel Murphy ends were built on the new underframes.




And as a result.  (The 30xxx series number was the series of cars used for the rebuild.)



Steve Hile


From: [] On Behalf Of Robert kirkham
Sent: Saturday, October 1, 2022 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Northern Pacific Boxcar Upgrades 1925


I’m not sure how to answer that question Tim.  (no one made the youtube video, lol).  However, it was done to thousands of cars in the late teens and 1920s on the CPR alone (and i’m sure on a lot of other RRs).  Almost all the cars rebuilt in this fashion that i’ve crawled under appear to also incorporate steel Z section cross pieces (not sure what to call them) to support the queen posts, with truss rods remaining in place with the steel centre sill after rebuilding.   The photo of the underframe on CP 52850 (almost no remaining paint) shows this.   To me that indicates that a lot of the structure was unchanged when the steel c-sills replaced the wood.  


A number of rebuilt car series on the CPR remained with wood sheathed ends (and a pair of steel posts up the exterior of the ends for support (see the 3/4 view of 52850 (almost no remaining paint))   Many other rebuilt CPR cars received steel ends (Murphy corrugated and Murphy dreadnaught on the CPR).  In some of those situations, such as the 3/4 angle view of  CP 197424 attached (well painted but unusual colour), the ends are this unusual combination of Murphy corrugated and a great big old wood end sill.




On Oct 1, 2022, at 1:52 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


Rebuilt with steel center sills to replace wooden center sills, wow ! Is that easier than it sounds ?

On 10/1/2022 4:04 PM, Hudson Leighton wrote:

Northern Pacific Boxcar Upgrades 1925




Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.