Re: Gun Flats

Bob Johnson <bobjohnson@...>

Byron and list,

While I agree that F22 had a wood floor and F23 had a steel floor, I do
not agree that F23 was a gun car and F22 was not. All known issues of
PRR's "Classification of Cars" show F22 as a flat car with center plate
for twin loads and F23 as a flat car with steel floor. From photos we
know that the center plate was often removed from F22 cars.

Although one can't necessarily trust the listings in ORER's, it's
interesting to note that from 1913 through 1968 Class F23 was listed as
a Flat Car of MCB or AAR Mechanical Designation FM - never as a gun car.

The F22 cars built for PRR Lines East (435287-435400) were first listed
in the ORER in 1913 as Flat Cars, MCB FM. In 1914 this was changed to
Gun & Flat, still MCB FM. By 1916 the description had been revised to
Flat & Gun, still MCB FM. In 1924 the MCB Designation was changed to
FG. The Flat & Gun description with MCB FG lasted into 1967. By 1968
it was changed to Flat, but the AAR designation was still FG.

Oddly enough, the F22 cars built for Lines West (925526-925535) used a
different description. Like the other cars, they started as Flat Cars,
MCB FM. Starting in 1924 they were described as Gun Cars, but still MCB
FM. The MCB designation was changed to FG in 1925. The description was
changed to Flat, Gun in 1927 with MCB FG. This remained in effect
through 1967. There are lots of photos of pairs of F22 cars carrying
large caliber gun barrels, not published, unfortunately.

Bob Johnson wrote:

I'll spare you a long history of my research on the FMs, F22s, and F23s,
which BTW are all related, by saying that the MDC 30 foot flatcar is a
good stand-in for the F22. The F23 is whole 'nuther ball game. I think
that converting any model of the F22 to an F23 will be a rather difficult
proposition. The top deck of the F22s was wood boards, like most flat
cars. These cars were not considered gun cars but were used as typical
flats, only shorter. One common use was as idler cars next to mill
gondolas with loads hanging out beyond their dropped doors. The F23s
were the gun cars and had a flat riveted plate steel surface which was
tucked under the rolled top edge of the car sides. Loads on these cars
were either bolted thru the deck or welded to it. I haven't been able to
come up with a way to model it yet, even if I had an F-22 to start with,
which I won't have until RailWorks or Sunshine or Bowser or I make a
model of it.

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