Re: boxcar design evolution

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>

Dennis Storzek wrote:
There was a reasonable amount of resistance to the 9'-0" IH of the USRA cars as being "too big", wasteful since with most loads the cars would reach their load limit before they cubed out. Indeed, the ARA standard cars of 1923 reverted to the formerly common 8'-7" IH, although they retained the use of purpose designed pressings for posts and diagonals.
Not from all railroads. The SP had been building box cars of 9' 0" or more inside height (with Z-bar bracing) before the USRA cars came along, and after the war (when they had received 1000 cars of USRA single-sheath design) returned to Z-bar bracing and not only stayed with 9' 0" height but went beyond, to 9' 3" IH in the B-50-14 class of 1924. Moreover, the SP went on to build two sample cars to the ARA standard box car design of 1924, but then modified both the underframe (with reinforcements) and the height (increased by six inches to 9' 1") to construct two large classes of cars superficially like the ARA standards. Other western railroads also believed in tall box cars, whatever the viewpoint in the east.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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