Date   
New England Prototype Meet (Casual) Op Session

Randy Hammill
 

So we're less than a month from the New England Prototype meet. As I often do, I'm opening my layout on Thursday, May 30 for a casual ops session.

I'm in the midst of some changes on the layout, but my buddy Joseph and I tested it for a quick op session and it worked well. 

The session will be at 6:00 pm, although folks can come by anytime starting at 1:00 pm. I can accommodate 6 operators:
New Britain switcher: conductor and engineer
Stanley Works switcher: conductor and engineer
Through trains: engineer
Freight Agent: handles the paperwork and prepares switch lists for the crews

If there's enough response, I can add a second session in the afternoon.

This will be a casual session, focused on 1949 when traffic was lower, making it easier to operate. The Berlin Line and second New Britain Switcher will not be in service for this session. 

I live about 20-30 minutes from the new site this year, and if you've been coming since it was in Collinsville, I'm easy to find since I'm only a half-mile from the original site. Contact me at nhrr [at] newbritainstation.com if you're interested in coming by. If you've never been here, there's plenty of info on my blog (http://blog.newbritainstation.com) and site (http://newbritainstation.com). 

This may very well be the first session with all NH power (prior sessions used O&W power leased from Bill Schneider). 

Randy

Randy Hammill
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954  | https//:blog.newbritainstation.com

Re: B&O C-16 Question

Matthew Hurst
 

You are welcome Nelson.  Anything I can do to help anyone grow there rolling stock fleet!

Of course you will NEED some PRR X29s in REA service, in your consists as well. I know I need a CB&Q car in at least one of my REA/express trains on the PRR.

Also, I have also seen Seaboard REA cars show up in CB&Q trains as well. 

Who says these cars didn't get around?!?!?!?!

Matthew Hurst



On May 7, 2019, at 7:47 PM, Nelson Moyer <npmoyer@...> wrote:


Thank you  Matthew. Now I have justification for including C-16s in CB&Q consists, since the Q interchanged with UP in Omaha.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Matthew Hurst
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2019 8:18 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Cc: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

 

Hello Claus and all,

 

To piggyback onto Claus's statement:

 

The PRR's REA X29s went everywhere. They were equipped with air,steam and signal lines just like the B&O's C17 cars. Also the B&O cars DID go offline. I have seen them show up on the CNJ, Reading and all the way out west on the UNION PACIFIC. So.......

 

Just saying 

 

Matthew Hurst


On May 7, 2019, at 9:10 AM, "Claus Schlund \(HGM\)" <claus@...> wrote:

Hi Chris and List Members,

 

Chris quoted the following: "As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train"

 

The PRR express X29 cars did not have heat nor car-end access, and they were interchanged EVERYWHERE in the nation as express cars on passenger trains.

 

Sorry, but basically the above quote does not hold water.

 

Claus Schlund

 

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 3:08 PM

Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

 

I passed you question over to the B&O group and here's the answer:

Having a pass-through electrical circuit for a C-16 express car makes little sense. These cars did not have end doors for access while in a train.  Also, according to their equipment diagram, they had a pass-though steam line, indicating no heat was provided in them. 

 

As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train. Express cars usually had some kind of lighting in them as well, often by means of a terminal connection.

 

These cars were often worked (being loaded and unladed) in dark, covered, terminal areas. The only available light being that of the open side door (no windows),more light would be needed inside the cars, especially at night. So that fixture may have been a provision to power added lights inside the car for express workers, by use of a terminal connection - maybe at 110 volts?. 

 

Nothing is mentioned about interior lights in the C-16 and C-17 diagrams. But the C-15 express car diagram notes 'head end electric' lighting. Car and head-end lighting circuits in the past were often 32 volt systems. 

Re: B&O C-16 Question

Nelson Moyer
 

Thank you  Matthew. Now I have justification for including C-16s in CB&Q consists, since the Q interchanged with UP in Omaha.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Matthew Hurst
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2019 8:18 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Cc: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

 

Hello Claus and all,

 

To piggyback onto Claus's statement:

 

The PRR's REA X29s went everywhere. They were equipped with air,steam and signal lines just like the B&O's C17 cars. Also the B&O cars DID go offline. I have seen them show up on the CNJ, Reading and all the way out west on the UNION PACIFIC. So.......

 

Just saying 

 

Matthew Hurst


On May 7, 2019, at 9:10 AM, "Claus Schlund \(HGM\)" <claus@...> wrote:

Hi Chris and List Members,

 

Chris quoted the following: "As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train"

 

The PRR express X29 cars did not have heat nor car-end access, and they were interchanged EVERYWHERE in the nation as express cars on passenger trains.

 

Sorry, but basically the above quote does not hold water.

 

Claus Schlund

 

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 3:08 PM

Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

 

I passed you question over to the B&O group and here's the answer:

Having a pass-through electrical circuit for a C-16 express car makes little sense. These cars did not have end doors for access while in a train.  Also, according to their equipment diagram, they had a pass-though steam line, indicating no heat was provided in them. 

 

As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train. Express cars usually had some kind of lighting in them as well, often by means of a terminal connection.

 

These cars were often worked (being loaded and unladed) in dark, covered, terminal areas. The only available light being that of the open side door (no windows),more light would be needed inside the cars, especially at night. So that fixture may have been a provision to power added lights inside the car for express workers, by use of a terminal connection - maybe at 110 volts?. 

 

Nothing is mentioned about interior lights in the C-16 and C-17 diagrams. But the C-15 express car diagram notes 'head end electric' lighting. Car and head-end lighting circuits in the past were often 32 volt systems. 

Re: ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Steve and Barb Hile
 

I can't say for sure, but the single sheathed cars do look like Rock Island series 264000 - 264149 built by Standard Steel Car company in 1930.  In 1946, 54 of these cars had their roofs raised by 6 inches.  About the same time, the Rock Island was using a lot of plywood for replacement sheathing.  The RI sold a lot of equipment to the Salzberg lines in the 50's and 60's.  So all the circumstances are there.
 
Steve Hile



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Scott
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2019 2:34 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Ben,

My guess for the cars in your reply would be Rock Island.  Maybe Steve Hile can weigh in on them.

Scott McDonald

Re: ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Benjamin Hom
 

Don Valentine asked:
"Does anyone know when they were rebuilt, when they went to the DT&I and when and how many went to the St. J. & L.C.?"

See Eric Lombard's nice summary posted earlier today at 1:49 PM.


Ben Hom


Re: There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929

Benjamin Hom
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
"I photographed the car all over (except the roof) in the early 1990's and sent prints to Martin Lofton, hoping that Sunshine would be interested in doing these."

He eventually did.


Ben Hom

Re: B&O C-16 Question

Matthew Hurst
 

Hello Claus and all,

To piggyback onto Claus's statement:

The PRR's REA X29s went everywhere. They were equipped with air,steam and signal lines just like the B&O's C17 cars. Also the B&O cars DID go offline. I have seen them show up on the CNJ, Reading and all the way out west on the UNION PACIFIC. So.......

Just saying 

Matthew Hurst


On May 7, 2019, at 9:10 AM, "Claus Schlund \(HGM\)" <claus@...> wrote:

Hi Chris and List Members,
 
Chris quoted the following: "As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train"
 
The PRR express X29 cars did not have heat nor car-end access, and they were interchanged EVERYWHERE in the nation as express cars on passenger trains.
 
Sorry, but basically the above quote does not hold water.
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

I passed you question over to the B&O group and here's the answer:
Having a pass-through electrical circuit for a C-16 express car makes little sense. These cars did not have end doors for access while in a train.  Also, according to their equipment diagram, they had a pass-though steam line, indicating no heat was provided in them. 
 
As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train. Express cars usually had some kind of lighting in them as well, often by means of a terminal connection.
 
These cars were often worked (being loaded and unladed) in dark, covered, terminal areas. The only available light being that of the open side door (no windows),more light would be needed inside the cars, especially at night. So that fixture may have been a provision to power added lights inside the car for express workers, by use of a terminal connection - maybe at 110 volts?. 
 
Nothing is mentioned about interior lights in the C-16 and C-17 diagrams. But the C-15 express car diagram notes 'head end electric' lighting. Car and head-end lighting circuits in the past were often 32 volt systems. 

Re: There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929

Tim O'Connor
 

Don

I photographed the car all over (except the roof) in the early 1990's and sent prints to Martin Lofton,
hoping that Sunshine would be interested in doing these.

I, too, was very impressed by that massive underframe. I took a number of pictures of that!

Tim O'Connor


On 5/7/2019 4:21 PM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io wrote:
Thank you Tim,

    My memory is getting fuzzy as these are exactly the cars I was thinking of. For some reason this morning I was thinking they were still single sheathed rather than rebuilt from such. You are also correct about them going to the DT&I first as I also remember
the DT&I compass emblem showing through on the right end of each side but couldn't think how it was on the car when thinking
they were still single sheathed this morning. Does anyone have a photo of these cars as built or at least when still Santa Fe equipment? They must have been rather interesting as built also with that very heavy underframe.

Cordially, Don Valentine


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Re: ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Donald B. Valentine
 

Thank you Ben,

    Learning that these cars were rebuilt from double sheathed cars makes snese and probably should have been though of
on my part before. As a double sheathed car the reason for the underframe being so heavy becomes apparent even if it looks
like they went overboard on this group! Does anyone know when tey were rebuilt, when the went to the DT&I and when and
how many went to the St. J. & L.C.? None are listed inn the Oct 1976 ORER, the latest one I have, but #3043 and #3052 are
listed in the Jan. 1973 issue when Sam Pinsly still owned the St. J. There were 64 cars of the same description, #3000 -
#3063 listed in the Jan. 1962 ORER when Sam Pinsly's cousin H.E. Salzberg owned the St. J. so it appears they must has
been purchased around that time. That surprises me, however, as I was here attending college at that time, saw a St. J. train almost every week day, often road the switcher from Morrisville to the talc mill in Johnson or just road while the talc mill was being switched out and have no recollection of ever seeing any of these cars then, only the converted single sheathed, open top box cars
then used for limestone loading in Swanton for shipment to paper mills in Maine that the low sided Maine Central #17,000 series gondolas had been used for in steam days.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Re: There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929

Donald B. Valentine
 

Thank you Tim,

    My memory is getting fuzzy as these are exactly the cars I was thinking of. For some reason this morning I was thinking they were still single sheathed rather than rebuilt from such. You are also correct about them going to the DT&I first as I also remember
the DT&I compass emblem showing through on the right end of each side but couldn't think how it was on the car when thinking
they were still single sheathed this morning. Does anyone have a photo of these cars as built or at least when still Santa Fe equipment? They must have been rather interesting as built also with that very heavy underframe.

Cordially, Don Valentine

Re: ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Scott
 

Ben,

My guess for the cars in your reply would be Rock Island.  Maybe Steve Hile can weigh in on them.

Scott McDonald

Re: ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Eric Lombard
 

Hello Don and Ben,

The SJL cars have a meandering history starting for some in 1909. It was fun to pull this together.

SJL 3000-3063  4 deep fishbelly sills in underframe. 
  • 1909, 1910, 1912 -- 1500 cars. as ATSF Fe-K, Fe-M wood-sheathed.
  • 1936-1937 -- 1309 cars rebuilt to steel sheathing, ends, roof, into several classes, mismatched ends, and some with auto end doors.
  • 1955 -- 200 (approx: 130 Fe-13; 24 Fe-08; 22 Fe-09; 24 Fe-11) renumbered to DT&I 16000-16199. 
  • 1956 -- 64, DT&I 16200-16263, keeping same serials, rebuilt by DT&I to IH 10-3 and unusual side door pattern. Equipment diagram indicates in Note 2: "car sides are not symmetrical - in  that doors on left side are closer to car CL by 3'-0 1/2". The diagram clearly shows the asymmetry. The effect is to shift the door opening one side sheet to the  right on the left side of the car resulting in a different side sheet pattern on the right and left sides:
right | : : : [ | ] : : : : : : |A-end,  
left   | : : : : [ | ] : : : : : |A-end  
  • ~1960-1961 all 64 to  SJL 3000-3063.

1960(10)   Not listed in ORER.
1959-1962 the underframes turn 50 years old.
196x  64  RENO from DT&I 16200-16263
1961(7)  64  listed in ORER.
1962(1)  64
1969-1972  Underframes turn 60 years old.  
1969(4)  40  (9 cars with hatches in roof, mechanical class LC)
1970(1)  31  (9 cars with hatches in roof, mechanical class LC)
1972(1)    8  (1 car with hatches in roof, mechanical class LC)


On Tue, May 7, 2019 at 8:49 AM Benjamin Hom <b.hom@...> wrote:
Don Valentine asked:
"Speaking of early 50 ft. cars I'll bring this type up at least one of which ended up here in Vermont on our little St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County RR. This was a 50 ft., single sheathed ex-Santa Fe car that had the heaviest cast underframe I can ever recall seeing. It is that underframe that makes it stick in my mind because there were hollowed out places within it to account for the pivot of the trucks on sharp curves. I have no idea when it was constructed or by whom and, unfortunately, never got a photo of the one that sat just east of the Eastern States Farmers Exchange building for some years in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Does anyone know more about it from this meager description?"

Not single-sheathed cars, but ATSF Class Fe-13 rebuilt double-sheathed automobile boxcars.  I'm away from my references and won't be able to follow up until tonight, but another list member might be able to pull info from their copy of Santa Fe Furniture & Automobile Boxcars before then.


Ben Hom


Re: SOUTHERN PACIFIC B-50-25 - ACCURATE MODEL

Ken Adams
 
Edited

Some years back (2015) I built a B-50-25 from Andy Carlson's IM parts kit and other parts such as a Kadee Apex roofwalk, (I subsequently fixed the wavy look in the photo) brake wheel  and South West Scale doors. I think I used Tichy ladders not being into etched brass as I would today. 


A fun build. 

Ken

Greif Miniatures Realistic Light Lens

qmp211
 


Greif Miniatures Realistic Light Lens
 
Sprue Brothers announced Greif Miniatures Realistic Lights Lens are now in-stock in their weekly newsletter.
 
They are available in various colors in sizes 1.0 mm to 2.7 mm.
 
 
Sprue Brothers carries a nice selection of unique scratch building supplies and tools not found other places.
 
I have no affiliation other than a customer.
 
Randy Danniel

Re: B&O C-16 Question

Tony Thompson
 

I agree with Claus. Most railroads rostered express box cars, AAR Class BX, and all were as  Claus described for the X29.
Tony Thompson 


On May 7, 2019, at 6:10 AM, Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...> wrote:

Hi Chris and List Members,
 
Chris quoted the following: "As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train"
 
The PRR express X29 cars did not have heat nor car-end access, and they were interchanged EVERYWHERE in the nation as express cars on passenger trains.
 
Sorry, but basically the above quote does not hold water.
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

I passed you question over to the B&O group and here's the answer:
Having a pass-through electrical circuit for a C-16 express car makes little sense. These cars did not have end doors for access while in a train.  Also, according to their equipment diagram, they had a pass-though steam line, indicating no heat was provided in them. 
 
As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train. Express cars usually had some kind of lighting in them as well, often by means of a terminal connection.
 
These cars were often worked (being loaded and unladed) in dark, covered, terminal areas. The only available light being that of the open side door (no windows),more light would be needed inside the cars, especially at night. So that fixture may have been a provision to power added lights inside the car for express workers, by use of a terminal connection - maybe at 110 volts?. 
 
Nothing is mentioned about interior lights in the C-16 and C-17 diagrams. But the C-15 express car diagram notes 'head end electric' lighting. Car and head-end lighting circuits in the past were often 32 volt systems. 

Re: There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929

Tim O'Connor
 


I have several photos of the car that I haven't scanned. Here's a picture
I found on the internet somewhere. The car is an Fe-13 and first went to the
DT&I (lettering was visible when I took photos) and then the StJ&LC.

Tim


On 5/7/2019 7:58 AM, Donald B. Valentine via Groups.Io wrote:
   Speaking of early 50 ft. cars I'll bring this type up at least one of which ended up here in Vermont on our
little St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County RR. This was a 50 ft., single sheathed ex-Santa Fe car that had the
heaviest cast underframe I can ever recall seeing. It is that underframe that makes it stick in my mind
because there were hollowed out places within it to account for the pivot of the trucks on sharp curves.
I have no idea when it was constructed or by whom and, unfortunately, never got a photo of the one that
satjust east f the Eastern States Farmers Exchange building for some years in the late 1970's and early
1980's. Does anyone know more about it from this meager description?

Cordially, Don Valentine
_._,_._,_

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Re: There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929

Eric Lombard
 

Good Morning, Everyone...Again

Thanks to Rupert Gamlen (CB&Q X-5 class) and Jim Gates ( ATSF Fe-K class.) for noting two classes missing in the  50 ft cars Excel data table. The two are definitely in the database but somehow my query that produced the excel spreadsheet was not constructed correctly (its complicated). So, here is the last word baring further notifications form RR specific knowledgeable list members. 

The table lists 114 series and includes those built new up to 12-1929, those either new, or renumbered, or rebuilt without renumbering, or rebuilt and renumbered and in service in 1928, 

I very much appreciated the interest and comments from the members and the opportunity to polish my query skills. There are 8500 series in the box car database: those that came into existence new between 1910- 1944, or as renumbered or rebuilt from those cars up through the 1960's. Series built prior to 1910 but with steel underframes are also included and similarly cars from select railroads that appeal to me: Illinois Central and absorbed lines at the moment. The box car database is a work in progress and is now nearing 35 years of data entry. 

The dates in the format 1-18xx or 1-1900 are place holders: the year is documented but the month is pending documentation.


On Sun, May 5, 2019 at 2:56 PM Claus Schlund &#92;(HGM&#92;) <claus@...> wrote:
Hi List Members,
 
There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929, but there were some.
 
Here is a nice view of three different ones, all gathered together at the extreme right side of the image, taken in 1929.
 
 
Too bad the negative has some damage, and the film resolution is not quite where we can make out the road numbers. I think the rightmost one (partial view only) is Union Pacific, the next one moving left might be CB&Q, but I cannot quite make out the other with the fishbelly underframe, maybe it is Illiniois Central? Thoughts?
 
Enjoy!
 
Claus Schlund
 

Re: ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Benjamin Hom
 

Don Valentine asked:
"Speaking of early 50 ft. cars I'll bring this type up at least one of which ended up here in Vermont on our little St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County RR. This was a 50 ft., single sheathed ex-Santa Fe car that had the heaviest cast underframe I can ever recall seeing. It is that underframe that makes it stick in my mind because there were hollowed out places within it to account for the pivot of the trucks on sharp curves. I have no idea when it was constructed or by whom and, unfortunately, never got a photo of the one that sat just east of the Eastern States Farmers Exchange building for some years in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Does anyone know more about it from this meager description?"

StJ&LC also had secondhand 50 ft SS automobile boxcars. These had fishbelly sidesill reinforcements at the door opening, but are definitely not the same as the massive underframes on the ex-ATSF automobile boxcars.  I believe you conflated the features of the two series of cars.

My gut feeling is that these are ex-CB&Q, but I'll leave it to their experts on the list to confirm.


Ben Hom


ex-ATSF Class Fe-13 Auto Boxcars on the StJ&LC (was There were not a lot of 50 foot boxcars around in 1929)

Benjamin Hom
 

Don Valentine asked:
"Speaking of early 50 ft. cars I'll bring this type up at least one of which ended up here in Vermont on our little St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County RR. This was a 50 ft., single sheathed ex-Santa Fe car that had the heaviest cast underframe I can ever recall seeing. It is that underframe that makes it stick in my mind because there were hollowed out places within it to account for the pivot of the trucks on sharp curves. I have no idea when it was constructed or by whom and, unfortunately, never got a photo of the one that sat just east of the Eastern States Farmers Exchange building for some years in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Does anyone know more about it from this meager description?"

Not single-sheathed cars, but ATSF Class Fe-13 rebuilt double-sheathed automobile boxcars.  I'm away from my references and won't be able to follow up until tonight, but another list member might be able to pull info from their copy of Santa Fe Furniture & Automobile Boxcars before then.


Ben Hom


Re: B&O C-16 Question

Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Chris and List Members,
 
Chris quoted the following: "As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train"
 
The PRR express X29 cars did not have heat nor car-end access, and they were interchanged EVERYWHERE in the nation as express cars on passenger trains.
 
Sorry, but basically the above quote does not hold water.
 
Claus Schlund
 
 
 
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2019 3:08 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] B&O C-16 Question

I passed you question over to the B&O group and here's the answer:
Having a pass-through electrical circuit for a C-16 express car makes little sense. These cars did not have end doors for access while in a train.  Also, according to their equipment diagram, they had a pass-though steam line, indicating no heat was provided in them. 
 
As such, the cars likely did not go off B&O lines. Interchanged express cars had to have heat and car-end access in a train. Express cars usually had some kind of lighting in them as well, often by means of a terminal connection.
 
These cars were often worked (being loaded and unladed) in dark, covered, terminal areas. The only available light being that of the open side door (no windows),more light would be needed inside the cars, especially at night. So that fixture may have been a provision to power added lights inside the car for express workers, by use of a terminal connection - maybe at 110 volts?. 
 
Nothing is mentioned about interior lights in the C-16 and C-17 diagrams. But the C-15 express car diagram notes 'head end electric' lighting. Car and head-end lighting circuits in the past were often 32 volt systems.