Re: Restoration Accuracy

Denny Anspach <danspach@...>

Garth Groff writes-

SN boxcar 2350 (at the CSRM) has arch-bar trucks from SN 2313,
itself now on temporary trucks at the Western Railway Museum; the truck
swap apparently was done by the WP/SN before the cars were disposed of).
True enough. Mea Culpa. I was there at the time.

Through a WP Surgeon neighbor of mine c. 1967-70, I received a call from a WP manager asking if we would be interested in some wood box and stock cars that were otherwise to be disposed of. I said "sure", and I was then given a very short deadline to inspect a long string of wood cars from which to make the selections (sitting on an industrial siding of the SN's old Holland branch in West Sacramento).

By any means the resulting car selection was far less the result of knowledgeable introspective study, than it was of sheer time-driven expediency. We (a WP employee and I) went down the line and marked out several cars, choosing them not by number, but purely by perceived condition and appearance. I marked the chosen cars with a spray can of yellow paint. As I recall, we ended up with cars that all had Andrews trucks, while a number of those NOT chosen had Arch Bar.

Well, for bad, worse, or otherwise, in the interests of "truck diversity", we decided to change out the trucks on one car, and that is what happened. It would have been way out off the edge of the bell-shaped curve for either of us to either be overly concerned at that time 45 years ago about the matter (Hey, there were still thousands of wood cars still out and about, and one car could surely not make a difference!) .

With the knowledge that the rest of the cars were heading imminently to the scrapper, who also would have thought that all these years later the car that was robbed of its rightful trucks would still be around to haunt us?

The CSRM does have a nice collection of wood freight cars ripe for restoration, and as has been noted, they have on occasion in the distant past been displayed outside near the Arcade Station where they looked good just as a part of the scenery, but at tremendous resulting cost to their integrity. . One of the cars in this regard not mentioned by others is a truly fine ATSF wood caboose- one of my personal favorites.

Denny S. Anspach, MD

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