Re: Murphy ends with vertical ribs

Frank Valoczy <destron@...>


Best I've been able to gather is that these were known as Vulcan ends.

I haven't seen this particular variety of Vulcan end (8+8) on anything but
the PM 85000 series cars (which were also sold off to other roads besides
the M&NE - the Piedmont & Northern, the Chattahoochee Valley and the
Escanaba & Lake Superior, at the least).

I've also seen this end on a UP stock car; perhaps they had other cars
with such ends, too.

The W&LE had cars with vertically-ribbed ends, too, but these had thicker
ribs fewer in count; the Michigan Central/NYC had some, too, but those
were inverse (and may have had a different rib count than the PM's 8+8s,
but I can't remember right now).

I share your pain!

I'm planning on modelling the 85000 and 86000 series cars at some point,
and may well resort to an avenue I'm currently exploring: I'm working on
CAD drawings right now for PM 17250-17649 series gons as rebuilt with
steel sheathing; when the CAD is done, I'll be getting it printed up via
rapid prototyping. Through earlier experience via such work done by others
in TT scale, I know the result is affordable - a PS2 hopper done in this
way costs about $18. If this works out, and I have no reason to believe it
shouldn't, I'll be doing other PM-appropriate things, such as the Vulcan
ends and both early and late varieties of the Hutchins ends.

The end result of this process is quite satisfactory if one chooses the
right material - the "white detail" material is quite smooth, and tolerant
of 1mm wall thickness and 0.2mm surface detail, so well within my range of
acceptance for details I'd want cast on to the shell.

For wood-sheathed cars like the 85000 series cars, I'm thinking to only
have the roof, underframe, doors and ends done by this method (perhaps
also the side bracing for single-sheathed cars) and then build the
sheathing out of wood or styrene, in order to better replicate the
appearance of wood.

Frank Valoczy
Vancouver, BC.

Fritz Milhaupt wrote:

As I sat down to look for wood-sheathed boxcars I could kitbash reasonably
easily for my future Pere Marquette layout, I was struck by how limited my
options were. The PM seemed to have had a taste for unusual ends on their

The one that I felt was most striking was the Murphy end made of two steel
vertical panels with 8 vertical ribs per panel, as used on the PM's
85500-series Western Steel Car & Foundry DS boxcars, as shown at

The equipment diagrams list them as simply "Murphy" ends. Is there a more
accurate name for these to distinguish them from the more common
horizontal-rib Murphy ends that were commonly used on USRA cars?

I can't recall seeing photos of any other road's cars with these ends,
aside from the Manistee & Northeastern which bought some of the PM's cars.
Did any other railroads even own cars with these ends?

I'll touch on the Hutchins ends woes later...

-Fritz Milhaupt
Web Guy and Modeling Editor, PM Historical Society, Inc.


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