Re: More with freight car classes

Richard Hendrickson

On Oct 11, 2007, at 2:14 PM, Ferko wrote:

I'm not certain on whether SLSF, C&O or WM used them; I've found
mentions here and there suggesting it, but no other evidence (yet,
anyways). Anyone know for sure either way?
In the 1950s SL-SF freight car diagram book I have, there is no
reference to a system of car class symbols. The word CLASS: appears
on each diagram, but what follows it is actually a brief description of
the cars, e.g., "gondola cars with wood sides and steel side doors."

C&O Had a classification system which was used in the 1920s and early
'30s. It was alpha-numeric, with a letter that indicated the car type,
a number that denoted the nominal capacity, a dash, and then one or two
numbers identifying the particular car series of that type. For
example, the 87000-87499 series forty ton ventilated box cars built by
PSC in 1929 were class V4-2; the 68000-68499 series seventy ton quad
hoppers built by Richmond and AC&F in 1928 were class H7-10. Prior to
1935, these class symbols were stenciled on the cars, but the system
was abandoned in that year.

The Western Maryland had a car classification system in effect from the
turn of the century through the 1960s, as documented in Oertly &
McFall's book on WM box cars and refrigerator cars published by the WM
historical society. Initially it used the AAR class symbols to
designate car type followed by a dash and a number denoting the number
series, e.g. XM-2, FM-1. This was soon changed, however, to an
alphanumeric system with a single letter for the car type, then a dash,
then a number, e.g. B-5, the 27501-28000 series built by PSC in 1939;
G-1, the 5500-50649 series 61' mill gondolas built by Bethlehem in
1928; and F-20, the 53'6" AAR 50 ton flat car built by AC&F in 1943.
This system was used primarily in-house and the class symbols were not
stenciled on the cars until the 1960s.

Richard Hendrickson

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