Re: PRR Merchandise Service Boxcars

Greg Martin

Ben and all,

The reply you pulled down regarding the Merchandise Service cars was
incomplete as I went on to say:

"Again, LCL service which died off in the mid fifties, when cars went short
and the management of the nations cars was a problem for all the railroads
car applicators."

Then Ben posted:
Here's some photographic evidence of off-line cars:
PRR 30998, Class X29B, 4/8/62, Dallas TX (PRR Color Guide Vol 1 p 71)
PRR 118728, Class X41B, 4/10/65, Dallas TX (PRR Color Guide Vol 1 p 82)
PRR 568169, Class X29, 11/6/54, Council Bluffs IA (PRR Color Guide Vol 2 p33)
PRR 37013, Class X40B, c. 1955, Lawrence KS (PRR Color Guide Vol 3 p 58)

Definitely a nonscientific sample, but we can see a correlation between the
drop-off in LCL service and the cars appearing in interchange (obvious in the
two 1960s Dallas photos, with the silver and white bands of the MS1 scheme
heavily faded on both cars). The two cars in the mid-50s shots may be in
interchange service for the same reason, though I don't have exact 1950s LCL
numbers for the Pennsy. (Chime in any time, Tim Gilbert!)<<

This does support my statement and makes perfect sense that with the LCL
business all but dead by 1954 and a definite car shortage nationwide the cars
were likely used in general merchandise service. Remember Pennsy reminded
receivers that car turn over was critical with their slogan "Don't Stand Me
Still" applied to their X29D rebuilt cars.

Greg Martin

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