Re: 2 grab irons on the left - Exceptions?

Rob Adams


Might you have any information about the enforcement of that change with
respect to cars already in service? I model the mid-1930's and pay
particular attention to such details. It is obvious based on
photographs I have from that time period that at least several years
went by before all cars were modified.

For our interested audience, I'll cite a few examples of midwest road
cars with a single grab on the left end:

CMStP&P (Milw) 507087 40' truss-rod u.f. DS box reweigh stencil MPLS
5-37, CMStP&P reporting marks
CMStP&P (Milw) 501559 40' steel u.f. DS box, Shopped and repainted with
MILW reporting marks MPLS 7-36
CMStP&P (Milw) 89634 40' steel u.f. DS box, Shopped and repainted with
MILW reporting marks MPLS 7-37

Pere Marquette 83299 40' steel modified ARA box, circa 1940,
photographed on the Detroit, Cairo & Sandusky

Chicago Great Western 86050 Steel modified ARA plate end box, reweigh
stencil CB 11-38, For those of you who have it, this photo is on p. 71
of An American Journey, John Vachon photo from the FSA collection.

Chicago Great Western 86864 Steel modified ARA plate end box, reweigh
stencil OEL 8-38, photographed 6/39, this photo on page 43 of Summer
1992 issue of North Western Lines.

And finally...believe this...CGW 8362, a re-numbered, steel modified ARA
plate end box, photographed in revenue service in March, 1965.

The CGW must have been particularly recalcitrant about upgrading their
fleet, as there are several post-1937 examples in the above cited issue
of North Western Lines. There are even cars in MOW service that appear
to have never received a second grab.

I look forward to further discussion of this topic.

Best regards, Rob Adams wrote:

One member asked within a post that I never received (via the list):

<<Makes me wonder when it became mandatory for house cars to have 2
grab irons on the left?>>


The consideration of adding a second hand grab to the left side of
cars, hopper cars, and high side gondolas first received the attention
of the ARA
in 1931. The Railroad Carmen Union's representatives and the ARA's
Appliance Committee met that year to discuss the proposed changes.
Along with
discussion of the additional hand grabs-- the meetings also included
of the standardization of the location of retaining valves and the
standardization of uncoupling levers.

Upon recognition of the Unions' requests the (three) issues were sent
to the
ARA's voting members of the Mechanical Division for consideration on
20, 1931. All three of the proposals received ample positive input
and were
sent to the membership (via letter ballot) for adoption on April 1,
1932. All
three of the ballot issues received the required two/thirds (majority)
vote for
passage. Upon passage the three proposals became effective on March
1, 1933.

Kindest Regards,

Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada

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