Re: open car doors


One of the reasons for seeing doors open, and for keeping them closed and locked in transit, is that those heavy doors will open and close while in transit in reaction to train dynamics. When I first started as a brakeman I recall coupling to a string of Railbox-like cars and as the train accelerated from a stop up a 2% grade, the door slid open and busted through the stop at the end of its rail. It hung up and didn't fall off of the car, but it wouldn't be a stretch to think that it could have fallen off. On USRA-era cars, the doors certainly could fall off the car.

Other notes: One of our receivers opens its boxcar doors with forklifts. Many times our car-knockers have to repair the doors because the operators somehow bent or damaged the doors causing them not to close securely.

Roof bulges are common on the rails today, from forklift operators lifting loaded pallets a little too high.

It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see such things happening in the steam era.

....Mike Del Vecchio

-----Original Message-----
From: Clark and Eileen <>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Fri, Jul 9, 2010 2:59 pm
Subject: [STMFC] open car doors

It's common knowledge on this group that doors were to be closed on cars in transit.

I grew up less that a half block from the CGW in Marshalltown IA then even closer to the M&StL in Mason City IA.

What about those trains do I remember?
I remember the make up of the CGW trains (usually) TOFC behind the motors, their little sparsely lettered X29 style box cars sprinkled through the train and a cut of tank cars in front of the caboose.
All's I remember about the M&StL freights, other than them going fast through town, was open box car doors. There must have been enough of them to impressed me. I always had the doors open on my Lionel box cars.

Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa

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