Re: USRA box car brake systems - B&M
tim gilbert <tgilbert@...>
The ICC mandate to retrofit AB Brake Systems was probably the major
reason that the B&M chose to retire most of its #70000-70499 series of
USRA Double-Sheathed Boxcars between 1948 and 1950.
The B&M did not begin to retrofit AB Brake Systems on its pre-1935
Freight Car Acquisitions until after World War II - perhaps a practice
followed by many other roads. Cars that were not retrofitted were
removed from revenue service.
The number of cars in the 500 car #70000 series removed from Revenue
Service were by year:
Prior to 1948 25
After 1950 13
So, 2.6% at most, of B&M's USRA boxes received AB Brakes - it was
probably less. B&M's last #70000 was retired from revenue service in
The decision not to retrofit with AB Brakes was also probably a cause
for the demise of the remnants of B&M's 1,500 car USRA #90000-91499 Gon
series, the 13100-13299 reefers and the 36' SUF Boxes which had survived
WW II. The B&M did retrofit about 3,200 cars after the War with AB
Brakes including its 1923 Design #71000-72999 boxcar series and its
#8000-8999 Quad Hopper series both acquired in 1929-30.
Other roads probably made similar decisions about their pre-1935
acquisitions - whether they could justify retrofitting with AB Brakes -
the alternative was to retire cars. The Pennsy's total fleet dropped 30%
from 237,813 on 12/31/1946 to 197,813 on 12/31/1949.
Hope this helps, Tim Gilbert