Re: SOO postwar AAR Boxcars

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Brian J Carlson" <brian@...> wrote:

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located
the SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied?
137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY
Here's a brief chronology of Soo Line lettering on steel boxcars:

First 9'-4" IH cars built in 1936 through the 10'-5" IH cars built
during WWII, all cars built by Pullman-Standard: Oxide red sides and
roof, black ends, "$" herald with black background.

First cars built at North Fond du Lac in 1948 to 1950: oxide red sides
and roof, black ends "$" herald WITHOUT black background.

1951 was a transitional year. The first part of North Fond du Lac's
production was identical to the previous cars. Sometime during the
year the "boxcar block" lettering was introduced. Initial placement
was close to the door, tight to the top plate of the sides. The two
words were then spread out from the door for better visual balance,
still tight to the top plate. Someone must have then given some
thought to how they were going to paint the old low roof 1936 cars in
this scheme, and the lettering was lowered so it would line up with
the same lettering applied tight to the top plate on one of the 9'-4"
IH cars. This then became standard. No one has been able to come up
with an exact number of cars done in the two interim schemes,it
couldn't have been many, but because it was the "new look", a lot of
photos were taken of the cars with the lettering close to the door.
All these cars had oxide roofs and black ends.

There were no new cars built in 1952, and the black ends were dropped
with the production in 1953. Boxcar block lettering continued in the
lower, spread out position.

In in the late fifties the natural pigment oxide color was replaced
with a synthetic pigment color that was a darker brown. The boxcar
block lettering was also revised about 1958 or '59 (Too late for my
interests, so I don't have a reference handy). The revised lettering
had the center bar of the S exactly horizontal; the earlier S had it
at a slight angle. There were other differences, but this is the most

The first cars that were painted something other than oxide or freight
car red (PS-1s painted gray with black ends and red doors) came in
1961, and so are beyond the scope of this list.


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