Don Valentine wrote, in part;
"Short answer, yes. Overland produced the GPEX cars like those
leased by Bowman over ten years ago. To the best of my knowledge
Bowman used the longer 8,000 gal. cars and was one of only two other
lessees to use them, one of the others being H. P. Hood here in New
England. In fact Hood ended up with most of the ex-Bowman cars in
addition to there own."
Looking at the Westerfield ORER on disk for 1940, the Bowman entry
is for 45 cars with a AAR mechanical designation "BMT", and a listed
capacity of 6000 gallons. The reporting marks are BOWX. The only
photographs I have seen of Bowman cars are GPEX leased steel BMT
Looking at the GPEX ORER entry, there are fifteen line item entries
for cars of differing characteristics and classifications. Among
the variables are AAR mechancial Designation, tank capacity, and
overall length. Most of the entries are "BMT" insulated bulk milk
cars. Interesting there are three different capacities listed for
the BMT style cars; 6,000, 7,600, and 8,000 gallons. And the "BMT"
overall car lengths vary between 44'3" and 53'6". There appear to
be 44', 45', 51', and 53' lengths listed. And just to make things
more interesting there is a single "TGB" tank car at 42'9" and a
series (17 cars?) of "RT" freight style milk refrigerator cars at
The two 8,000 gallon cars listed (GPEX 943 & 944) are slightly
shorter the longest 6,000 and 7,600 gallon cars (51'5" vs 53'6").
If I understand correctly, one of the ORER discriminators for GPEX
new build steel cars is the width of the doors, with the steel cars
doors being narrower than the wooden cars. At 30", the ORER entry
suggests GPEX 943 & 944 are recent construction steel cars.
Unfortunately, there isn't enough information in the Bowman ORER
entry to perform the same analysis.
Regards, Mike Carson