Re: Numbers/percentages of important box car types

Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>


607,000 boxcars seems an awfully low total for Boxcars - at least
through 1960.

That figure (606,634) is for Jan 1964, a point I have good date for (does not
include Canadian); but it is sacrilege to talk of that late date on this
list. The early 60's seem to be a real low point in many regards. PRR went
from ~150k in 1960 to about 116k in 1965. I am sure they were scrapping X29s
and H21As like mad.

What is missing from your totals are the Boxcars built to the 1923
Design dimension (8' 7" IH) including the X29; wood sheathed cars either
single or double sheathed which still comprised about 18% of the US
Class I Boxcar fleet on 12/31/1954 - down from 29% in 1950, 48% in 1945
& 62% in 1940; proprietary boxcars designs developed by individual RR's
like the PRR X31's. This last category might include rebuilds, too.

I would love to see that data, but by year, or at least every five years from
1940 to 1965. That would be a very interesting thesis.

The X29 for my timeframe would be overrepresented, given my modeling of the
PRR, and in my area, which attracted more than its share of old ugly
equipment. Nevertheless, X29's in my time, on a fleet basis, would have only
been 0.35% of the national box car fleet. Obviously those modeling earlier
timeframes would have much greater percentages of X29's by a long shot.

So please be more specific about the date of your survey. Also, you used
many sources - what were they?

Jan 1964; ORER, plus data put together by Jim Eager, Ed Hawkins, Ted Culotta,
and others, available on the Steam Freight Cars site, as well as from them.
It is just car type totals one would use; the total of box cars, and indeed
the expectation that there was little attrition, is based on statements made
by all you folks over the years.

Clearly the attrition of SS and DS cars would be a large factor in my
timeframe. I have been told that only ~1% of all box cars were wood
sheathed, by my era. The only wood sheathed cars I actually remember in
interchange were roads like NP, GN, and a couple southern roads, in addition
to one X26 and one B&O SS car I remember seeing. Care to comment?

Additionally, the retirement of X29s and NYC cars was growing very large in
the late 50's, and by 1964, few NYC cars, and only some 2125 X29s (down from
~28,000?), were still around, despite there being about 6400 X31As still on
the rails. There were also on 3 X26's, but 2624 X26C and 716 X26F rebuilds
and 2125 X29's, but 4,344 X29B's, 4,016 X29D's, and over a thousand other X29
rebuilds. Interesting.

Take care,


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