boxcar design evolution

Robert kirkham

A while ago I was able to make a trip into Sandon BC and take photos and measurements of the freight cars there. Now I'm writing a description of two of the cars. They were from the CPR 230000-233499 series composite boxcars - boxcars very much like the USRA design. And as I write about them, I wanted to say that when the cars were built in 1920-21, they were more or less the best boxcar design on the market.

But I wonder if that is really accurate? For example, would the similar cars used on other railways that used Z bracing (rather than the pressed steel shapes on the USRA and CP cars) be considered better or poorer - or was the difference inconsequential from the point of view of boxcar design evolution? Meanwhile, was there anything else on the market yet that was clearly superior?

Rob Kirkham

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