Re: Automobile Car Shortage

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., James D Thompson <jaydeet@...> wrote:

The Soo Line bought two groups of automobile cars that straddle 1916;
a couple hundred 40' single sheathed cars from AC&F in 1915, and a
couple of hundred 40' double sheathed truss rod cars from Haskell &
Barker in 1917. Yes, I know it sounds as if they were moving
backwards, but that's what they did.
Might have been an issue with the rapidly escalating cost of steel
in that

David Thompson

All through the first fifteen years of the twentieth century, AC&F
seemed to have a lock on the Soo's freightcar business, while Barney &
Smith supplied the bulk of the passenger cars, with a couple orders
going to AC&F. neither Haskell & Barker nor Pullman had built much of
anything for the road. However, those two builders were the prime
suppliers to the Wisconsin Central, a road the Soo leased in 1909.
Orders to H&B stop abruptly in 1908.

Just before WWI there was a major realignment. B&S was quickly going
out of business, and the Soo swung the passenger car business to AC&F.
Meanwhile the freightcar business went to H&B. Looking in the 1919 CBC
at what H&B was building for other railroads, I/m not entierly sure
that in 1917 H&B was equipped to build a steel framed car... This was
right at the end of the transition period from wood to steel
construction, and H&B was by no means a major builder. I've gotten the
impression, without finding the documentation to back it up, that this
was a board directive that the business was going to go to H&B, and if
they can't build what we want; we'll take what they can build. The Soo
purchased 800 boxcars, 200 automobile cars, and 250 ore cars from H&B
that year. The ore cars were steel and 244 of them were still on the
roster in 1961, while the wood framed auto and box cars were
essentially gone shortly after WWII (only one of each remaining in 1961).

With the war over, H&B came back with a vengeance in 1920, this time
building steel framed cars; 500 boxcars in 1920 along with 300 more
ore cars; 650 boxcars, 400 stockcars, and 250 reefers in 1921, after
which they became part of Pullman, who continued the trend. By this
time AC&F had also lost the passenger equipment accounts in favor of
Pullman. AC&F only just got a couple more bites at the apple in 1923
and 24, and then they were history.

It certainly looks like there was more going on here than just the
price of steel.


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