Re: Red Caboose "U.S. ARMY" boxcar.


al_brown03
 

The flat ends got me to wondering if it's a Seaboard car, but on
reflection I think not. SAL's flat-end 40' boxcars either were '32
ARA cars with tabbed side sills (a foot taller, too), or were
originally single-sheathed. Many of the flat-end single-sheathed cars
(classes B-4 and B-5) were rebuilt with steel sides, but they had
fishbelly underframes which they kept: see John Golden's article in
Lines South 4th/04, pp 22-30. The Army car appears to have a straight
underframe.

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.


--- In STMFC@..., Richard Hendrickson <rhendrickson@...>
wrote:

On May 6, 2007, at 3:20 PM, Brian Leppert wrote:

A photo of the prototype car appears in "Classic Freight Cars
vol. 7".
It is some version of an X29/ara box car, with flat ends and
bottom
hung youngstown door, and no patch panels. All my information on
X29
and 1923 ARA boxcars is out at work, so I can't do much to
figure out
it's heritage. But the side grab irons are completely attached
to the
side sheathing, not the ends. Nor is the side ladder attached to
the
ends.

This car was rebuilt in 1949. Reweighed LKOD 10-58.
It was photographed in 1981, at the Earle Naval Weapons Station,
NJ.

Ah, Ha! I'd forgotten all about that photo; since I model 1947, it
was
of no interest to me. Now that I've been reminded of it, however,
several things about it strike me as interesting. First off, there
was
no car number (it had been painted out), only a defense department
serial number, and it still had solid bearing trucks. Therefore,
at
the time the car was photographed in 1981, it could not have been
in
interchange service and was confined to the Earle Naval Weapons
Station. However, all of the dimensional and weight data required
for
interchange were stenciled on it, from which it may be inferred
that it
was (or could have been) used in interchange service at some
earlier
date. Also, the interior dimensions don't correspond with those of
any
car as originally built to the X29/ARA design, so the army must
have
added some sort of interior lining or special loading equipment.
It's
notable that the car still had its original riveted steel roof as
late
as 1981, since those roofs were notorious for their tendency to
leak.
Isn't there an old saying about keeping your powder dry? The six-
rung
side ladders are puzzling. All of the X29/ARA cars had either six-
rung
ladders with a single grab iron below them or seven-rung ladders.
Why
would the army have replaced the original ladders with new ones?
On
the other hand, why would I assume there's a rational explanation
for
anything done by the army? That the car definitely was not a
former
Pennsy X29 is evidenced by the side sheathing arrangement and
(assuming
they were original) by the trucks. But on the evidence in the
photo, I
haven't been able to figure out what its origin was. The ladders
were
certainly not original, the door probably was not, and the trucks
may
well have been replacements, which doesn't leave much in the way of
distinctive features to work from.

Richard Hendrickson



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