Re: Mather Box Cars

Richard Hendrickson

On Feb 18, 2007, at 1:18 PM, Paul & Bernice Hillman wrote:

Of course it's true that the car's build/rebuild date is highly
relevant to the period one's modelling and has to be considered when
purchasing, painting & building a model car.

To the bottom left of the car's side doors there's a date, IE) C.R.5-
43. What does that literally mean? I presume it's the rebuild date,
as "Car Rebuilt 5-43"?
No, that's a reweigh date. C.R. stood for Chicago Ridge, Mather's main
(and only) shop. Mather cars were sometimes reweighed and restenciled
by the lessors, or by some other RR if the car was required by AAR
rules to be reweighed when off-line, but cars leased from Mather went
back to Chicago Ridge periodically for maintenance and repairs and were
usually reweighed there if they were close to coming due for
reweighing. Since you model 1947, 5-43 is an obsolete reweigh date; at
that time, AAR rules required the reweighing of most cars (except tank
and live poultry cars) at 30 month intervals or whenever repairs to the cars significantly changed their light weight (e.g., truck or wheel
replacement, replacement of K type air brakes with AB equipment).
Standard practice was to paint over the old data and stencil the new
reweigh station symbol and date over it (as well as new light weight
and load limit, if those had changed) – unless, of course, the entire
car was in need of repainting.

Richard Hendrickson

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