Timken Roller Bearing Demo cars revisited... did they really exist?

Bob Lucas

A topic of previous exchanges, thought I'd post new photos of AC&Y prototypes corresponding to the models once offered by Athearn and others. I'm hoping to unravel the rather elusive history of these cars. Both the AC&Y #600 and #1500 were leased by AC&Y from 1950-58 and appear as revenue freight cars in ORER's. Oddly, not a single photo has surfaced beyond those below.






More info from previous posts:

In 1943, Timken (Roller Bearing Division) acquired one 40' boxcar and 25 gondola bodies from ACF. Ed Hawkins confirmed the sole boxcar was numbered TRBX #300, painted brown with white lettering. The car was a standard 1937 AAR with 4-5 dreadnaught ends and Murphy roof. Ed felt this was the origin of the AC&Y #600.

There was also TRBX #88 (the reincarnated #300?) with inboard bearing highspeed trucks. A photo shows TRBX #88 in "History of American Railroads" scheme (sponsored by ATSF?). Timken reported displayed a colorful box at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Expo (familiar yellow scheme) in an effort to promote their roller bearings.

One of the Timken boxcars became AC&Y #600 and together with a single gondola, AC&Y #1500, were leased by AC&Y from 1950 to 1958 – perhaps as a joint promotional endeavor (AC&Y, along with sister road W&LE, were preferential customers and early users of Timken bearings). Despite that both AC&Y cars appear to have served in regular freight service throughout the 1950's, no other photos of these colorful cars are known to exist. And, details of the other 24 gondolas are also unknown?
Bob Lucas

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