Re: Ordnance Works and Freight Cars

Garth Groff <ggg9y@...>


Boxcars, probably lots of boxcars. I wonder if a civilian-operated ordinance plant would have shipped their . . . uh . . . wares in railroad-owned cars, or if they would have used military boxcars.

DODX operated an interesting fleet of 50', 10' IH, door-and-a-half PS-1 boxcars. AFAIK, these were the only 50' PS-1s built at the reduced height, and certainly the only ones with that door configuration. Given that these cars were built around 1950s or so (check Ed Hawkins' lists in RMJ), they would certainly fit the tail end of our era. Whether they would have ever been loaded at non-military bases is debatable, but they certainly showed up in through trains.

I used to see these cars rolling through California on the SP when I was young, and they were quite noticeable thanks to their silver paint. During Vietnam they moved a lot of munitions from Hawthorn, Nevada, to various military terminals in California, especially the Naval Weapons Station at Concord. It was a train of such cars that blew up at Roseville around 1972, and the UP was still finding unexploded 500 pound bombs there when they rebuilt the yard in the 1990s.

One of these cars is preserved at the Western Railway Museum (along with some older wooden cars used by the Navy for in-plant service at Concord; we've discussed the M&STL car preserved there), and I think there is also one on the Sierra at Jamestown.

The CSRM has an ex-Air Force 40' PS-1 in their collection. I don't remember seeing these in any of Ed's lists.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Beckert, Shawn wrote:


What kind of materials would have been delivered via freight
car to an ordnance factory in the 1950's? Tank cars loaded
with Toluene would be one item, boxcars loaded with empty shell
casings might be another. I'd guess that you'd see tank cars
from Hercules Powder and related companies there as well.

Would anything else besides boxcars and tank cars have shown up
at an ordnance factory in those days?


Shawn Beckert

Join to automatically receive all group messages.