Re: TH&B and PGE cars in the states circa 1957

Ian Cranstone

The PGE did not really interchange its cars for a period from 1927 through 1952, so would likely have been rare sights in the U.S. at that time. At the time the only access to the PGE was to barge the cars from Vancouver to Squamish, and it wasn't until the 1950s that the line was completed south to CNR/CPR interchange in North Vancouver and north to a CNR interchange at Prince George.

The main boxcar fleet at that point were 75 steel boxcars constructed by CCF in 1947 (15 of which were converted to stock cars in 1959-60), 20 old steel frame xMKT cars (which were transferred to MoW service in the mid-1950s), and 200 steel boxcars constructed by NSC in 1958. I would guess that lumber service was a frequent use of these cars (especially the later cars with 8' doors).

In comparison, the THB & ONT fleets were huge: TH&B had 600 steel boxcars constructed by NSC (300 in 1949 and 300 in 1953), which replaced some old Fowlers and the remaining double-sheathed cars acquired from NYC in 1941 (300 cars originally).

ONT purchased 1000 cars from NSC (570 in 1947, and an additional 430 in 1948), which likely travelled extensively in paper service.

Ian Cranstone
Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

On 2010-11-28, at 1:52 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

From Dan Smith's slide-sharing collection, Andy Carlson sent me slides
of PGE and ONT box cars in southern California circa 1958. The PGE box car
was newly built in 1958 but the ONT box car was built in 1947.

The PGE owned fewer than 100 box cars in 1955, and only about 300 in
1959 (after buying 200 new cars in 1958). So I imagine sightings of them
would be very rare indeed in the STMFC era. I believe there was a large
aluminum smelting operation in British Columbia, in addition to lots of

I agree with Richard AC, ONT, and TH&B box car sightings were not unusual
esp near US-Canadian border. From the ancient FCL (pre-freightcars list) I
seem to recall someone mentioned spotting an AC box car in Mexico.

Tim O'Connor

I can add to this and other reports numerous photos from my own
collection of ONT, TH&B, and Algoma Central cars below the border,
including AC single sheathed cars in Mason City, IA and Minneapolis,
an ONT steel car in San Francisco, and TH&B 40 ton USRA wood sheathed
box cars in New Haven and Kansas City.
Richard Hendrickson

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