Re: GN 7'9-10" IH wood Xm's

Richard Hendrickson

Earl Tuson wrote:

In 1931, the Great Northern had a substantial fleet of 27,642 box cars. A
majority portion of these cars had similar dimensions

Beyond the data I have compiled above, can anyone point me towards other
published material and photographs depicting these cars, and confirm that the
Cloverhouse lettering is correct for these cars in 1931? In fact, am I even
correct in lumping all these cars into one family? Can anyone state with
authority as to what roofs were applied to them, what styles of underframes
they had (beyond the basic type I've listed,) and more about ends? Thank you
in advance for any help you can offer.

Earl Tuson
Earl, what you need is a book that hasn't been published yet. Tony
Thompson at Signature Press is in the final stages of editing a second
edition of Pat Dorin's GN Lines East book, and it will include a greatly
expanded chapter about GN freight cars on which Staffan Ehnbom and I are
collaborating. There will be numerous photos and other information on the
cars in question, which were by far the most common GN box cars until after

They were built in the ca. 1900-1915 era and, being forty feet long, were
unusually large cars for their day to accomodate lumber and grain, the GN's
two major box car traffic sources. All had truss rod wood underframes when
built, but the GN began to rebuild them with channel steel draft sills and
(in some cases) steel ends in the 1920s. Some hadn't been converted by
1928, however,when the ARA outlawed wood underframes, and presumably those
cars didn't go off line until the application of steel draft sills was
completed in the early 1930s.

Tony currently has most of my photos of these cars, but if I recall
correctly they had outside wood roofs when new. As part of the 1920s
rebuilding process, though, they got flexible metal sheathed roofs with
flat seam battens. As to which cars had which trucks, you're dependent on
photographic evidence, as truck replacement seems to have been pretty

The Clover House transfer set is essentially correct for GN lettering
through the mid-1930s; the GN resisted adopting AAR lettering standards
until shortly before WW II. The prototype for the CH lettering was
stenciled "BLT 4 - 1922" but that's actually the date when it was REbuilt
with steel draft sills.

Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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