Nice Shot of ATSF Rr-27 in Dec Trains

mike brock <brockm@...>

After beating up on MR for their evaluations of the Trix cars, I suppose
it's only fair to commend Kalmbach fot the interesting photo in the Dec
Trains of a Santa Fe Rr-27 reefer. The photo is interesting because it is an
in service shot and shows the end to be relatively non weathered while the
side is quite weathered. Not as deteriorated as one might see in today's
cars, but dirty. Also present in the likewise interesting article about the
Frisco during our time period by Pat Hiatte is an excellent shot of the yard
throat trackage of the Springfield, MO, frt yard.

Mike Brock

Re: Mainline Photos

Benjamin Frank Hom <b.hom@...>

Ed Mines asked:
Do you have any contact info? I need photos for my next RMC article.

Mainline Photos
PO Box 411
Portage WI 53901

Look forward to seeing the article.

Ben Hom

Corner Question



OK, time for a basic question. Can somebody explain the external
visual differences between a "W" corner post and a square corner

The car in question is a 1937 AAR 40' boxcar. I've searched the
archives, and looked on the STFMC website. I've read the listings of
which cars were built with either corner and such, but still haven't
found a clear explaination of the features.

I can figure out that the square corners were just that, square.
Does the "W" refer to a structural member inside the corner of the
cars with the outside of the car corner having a radius?

Thanks for your help and for putting up with such a basic question.


Doug Heitkamp

Re: UP ore cars


Ben Hom said:
(This is one of Henderson's more hilarious caption errors - the caption
states that the car is "road-classed CH-0-71," which is actually the reweigh
date CH 10-71. The "ORE-70-2" stencil is clearly visible on the side of the
Ah, I foresee a long and entertaining thread, discovering the relative
hilarity of the VERY many blunders in the Henderson books. But should we
really go there?

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Ulster & Delaware Milk Cars on the West Shore?

Steven Delibert <STEVDEL@...>

Throughout the classic milk era, possibly starting even as early as the
West Shore's completion to Kingston in 1883, until NYC's takeover of Ulster
& Delaware in 1932, U&D milk cars ran through on the West Shore to
Weehawken, but I don't think I've ever seen a picture of one.
Does anyone here have such, or know of a source?
Steve Delibert

Re: UP ore cars

Benjamin Frank Hom <b.hom@...>

Tim O'Connor asked:
Did UP ever have a car class ORE-70-2 that looked anything
like this? I'm just curious. I know they had some ORE-100-x
cars painted this way.

Sort of - there's a photo of UP 26000, Class ORE-70-2 on page 50 of Classic
Freight Cars, Vol. 4. It's a rectangular side ore car in a 1960s oxide
scheme with a partial renumbering. The prototype has detail differences
from the MDC model in the areas under the slope sheets.

(This is one of Henderson's more hilarious caption errors - the caption
states that the car is "road-classed CH-0-71," which is actually the reweigh
date CH 10-71. The "ORE-70-2" stencil is clearly visible on the side of the

Ben Hom

Re: Reefer ID

Douglas Harding <dharding@...>

To date I know of three different Decker paint schemes: 1) a dry transfer
offered by Clover House as a dry transfer in HO & 0 and recently offered by
MDC in HO. This image has a large black state of Iowa image with lettering
reading Iowana Hams & Bacon. Iowana Ham was a Decker trademark. 2) a decal
offered by Art Griffin in HO and new Atlas meat reefer in N and soon HO,
with word Deckers on the roof in white and large block letters in Black on
the side. There is a photo with this image in the background on my website
3) the photo of the string of new reefers I have posted on my website, date
new 2-35. To my knowledge this image has never been offered. The early
Decker schemes are billboard style and I believe the one with the state has
been offered in silk-screen in the past.

Richard Hendrickson has confirmed that all Decker reefers (leased) were gone
by Oct 1941. Armour bought Deckers in Oct 1935 and do doubt got rid of them
or repainted as quickly as possible. Con-Agra still uses the Decker name in
Texas and the southwest. They just closed their last Deckers plant in Texas
in the late 90's.

Operations: the M&StL worked the Decker plant in Mason City (they also had
plants in Texas among other places), switching it three times a day. Find a
complete account of this operation written by Clark Propst at According to
Vaughn Ward, retired M&StL engineer, the DMX, the meat train, had to leave
Mason City by 6:30pm to meet the ILL Central at Ackley where most of the
meat was interchanged. Some did go to the CGW at Marshalltown. And of course
meat went in other directions. We do know of Decker meat traveling west on
the MILW. And recently I found a company history reference that mention much
Decker meat (pork products) went to Puerto Rico.

Doug Harding
Iowa Central Railroad

Re: PFE R-40-23 Questions

Walter M. Clark

--- In STMFC@..., "Dick Harley" <Dick.Harley@w...> wrote:

Tim O'Connor writes :

...maybe someone in the neighborhood of the CSRM could mosey over
and answer this question!

Well Tim, Sacramento is not exactly close to Laguna Beach (about 4
away by New England standards). You could pick on Jeff Aley, but that
wouldn't do much good anyhow, since their catalog does not list that
drawing. As it turns out, my own catalog lists that drawing, so it
must be
at home somewhere.

Unfortunately, I just learned that my father died this morning, and
I will
be headed for Ohio soon. This answer and others will have to wait a few

More in due time,
Dick Harley


I'm so sorry. My prayers are with you and your family.

Walter M. Clark
Riverside, California

Pullman Standard 100th Year Box Cars...

John F. Campbell <jcampbel@...>

Hi Folks...

The Lake Superior & Ishpeming RR (LS&I) purchased a group of 40' Box Cars
in their 2400 series from Pullman Standard in 1952... And PS applied a
100th Year stencil to them on the lower "A" end side... I'm interested to
know if other House Cars are known to be built and stencilled that way by
PS for other railroads...

I've posted an image of LS&I #2436 to the Files Section taken on Labor Day
1969 at Munising, MI... Built 8/1952 with "black" (term?) applied to the
ends... And a second image showing a Close-up of the PS 100 Year stencil
from LS&I #2410...

As the Files Section is about "chuck full" I'll remove these images in a
couple of days... Apology as the Photos Section is not an option for me...

Cordially... John

Re: Colorado Midland Hanrahan reefer lettering


David Soderblom said:
...In 25 words
or less, the CM was the first standard-gauge railroad across the
You mean, of course, the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies, however, extend
some distance north and south of Colorado (though I have met Coloradans who
are aghast to hear this). Both UP (a bit north of Colorado) and Santa Fe (a
bit south) had crossed the Rockies well prior to 1899. I bet James J. Hill
would be pretty surprised to hear he hadn't built the GN through the
Rockies...following the NP, which was already there...and then there's
Canada, where those rascally Canadians persist in calling THEIR mountains
the Rockies, too. Will wonders never cease...<g>

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history

Colorado Midland Hanrahan reefer lettering

David Soderblom

The book "Colorado Midland" (Cafky, Morris; 1965, Rocky Mountain Railroad Club) includes a full-page reproduction (p. 393) of a black and white photo of car 1206 in a 3/4 view. The photo is credited as "H. H. Buckwalter photo, from R. A. Ronzio Collection.". The shading referred to is in the main reporting marks "COLORADO / MIDLAND / REFRIGERATOR LINE". The shading is offset to the right and down from the primary lettering. The side's reefer yellow (according to the caption) shows between the lettering and its shading as a thin line. The end lettering appears to be white as it is a shade lighter than the sides.

Since these cars were built in 1897 and were few in number, only a very few of this group's readers would likely model them, but they have to have the single most extraordinary paint job ever done on a freight car, bar none. I am unable to find a photo reproduced on the web, alas.

The above mentioned book is rare and expensive but a genuinely "good read" as a history of a truly unusual railroad. I especially recommend Chapter VII "Tunnel Trouble and the Wild Winter of 1899." In 25 words or less, the CM was the first standard-gauge railroad across the Rockies, yet was mostly marginal its whole life because of operational costs (i.e., grades). It was ultimately done in by "success" when the USRA decided that the CM was the shortest route for traffic and dumped more traffic on them than they could handle in WWI. Once the USRA realized there was a log jam they reacted in the opposite sense and the RR was pretty much doomed.

Like other "lost cause" railroads, the CM has its many fans, helped considerably by its considerable charm. The Hanrahan reefers are one example, the cabooses with their unique cupola roofs were another. Then there was Hagerman trestle, a huge curved structure at high altitude, and...

David Soderblom
Baltimore MD

On Tuesday, Nov 11, 2003, at 14:29 US/Eastern, STMFC@... wrote:

Message: 4
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 13:47:01 -0000
From: "montydogsdad2" <artgriffindecals@...>
Subject: Colorado Midland Hanrahan Reefer

Hello Group,

Does anyone out there have a real photo of the Colorado Midland
Hanrahan reefer #1201 shown in White's "Great Yellow Fleet" pg.51?
Enlarging the lettering of this photo leaves it uncertain as to the
spacing between the main letters and the shading. Does the spacing
(which might be white)encircle completely the main letters?

I know it's a Smithsonian photo, but trying to purchase their photos,
is to say the least,fruitless at times. They are either misfiled,or
missing in action in some way or another. I do have photo #1206 in
the same series a (3/4 view,) but it also renders itself useless.

I wasn't going to do this decal, because it has been done a few times
in the past.But ,from some CM fans, noticing the spacing, mentioned
the other decals were wrong.

Anyway, thanx in advance.

Art Griffin

David Soderblom
Operations and Data Management Division
Space Telescope Science Institute

UP ore cars

Tim O'Connor

Did UP ever have a car class ORE-70-2 that looked anything
like this? I'm just curious. I know they had some ORE-100-x
cars painted this way.

Re: Mainline Photos


--- In STMFC@..., Ted Culotta <tculotta@s...> wrote:
He {Mike Gruber} does not have a list that I am aware of, but he does
take requests and will search his files for you.

Do you have any contact info? I need photos for my next RMC article.

Ed Mines

Re: Reefer ID

Thomas Baker


Soem years ago, a mom-and-pop operation in New Hampsire offered
silk-screened refrigerator car sides in HO, S, and O. Their selection was
not large--five choices I think--but among them was a silk-screened
offering for Decker in Mason Citiy. From what you and others know, is the
art work on a Decker refrigerator car undocumented? I have a friend who
was an M&StL engineer having begun his career about 1947, and he spoke
about picking up meat at Decker's and taking it to Marshalltown on the
local, some of it being transferred to the CGW at that point.


Re: Mainline Photos

Ted Culotta <tculotta@...>

On Nov 13, 2003, at 9:56 AM, Beckert, Shawn wrote:


Does Mike Gruber of Mainline Photos have a catalog or list
of his photos, or does one just walk up to his files and
dive in? I don't recall seeing a list or catalog when he
came out to the NMRA San Jose show, but that might not mean
he doesn't have one.

He does not have a list that I am aware of, but he does take requests and will search his files for you.

Ted Culotta

Mainline Photos

Shawn Beckert


Does Mike Gruber of Mainline Photos have a catalog or list
of his photos, or does one just walk up to his files and
dive in? I don't recall seeing a list or catalog when he
came out to the NMRA San Jose show, but that might not mean
he doesn't have one.


Shawn Beckert

Re: Reefer ID

Douglas Harding <dharding@...>

Richard Hendrickson and I have exchanged some emails regarding
the photo of the Decker loading area I recently posted on my
website. In the message below you can read he has confirmed it
is a Mather meat reefer and that it does have bogus lettering
painted on the photo, and he has ID the reefer as leased to
the Hygrade Food Products Co. My apologies to Richard Brennan
and Joe Binish for dismissing their suggestions that the
letter was bogus. I was just too excited about finding a photo
of a Decker reefer. And that idea that it was a Mather car to
boot was too much.

I stand corrected. And thanks to all who have helped ID the
Decker reefers.

Doug Harding
Iowa Central Railroad

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Richard Hendrickson [mailto:rhendrickson@...]
|Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 8:03 PM
|To: Douglas Harding
|Subject: RE: Fwd: Decker more visible
|>Richard thanks for your response. I appreciate any help on ID'ing
|>Decker reefers. Your information is very helpful and adds to
my cache
|>of knowledge.
|>>From the hi-res scan I have of the photo of the string of reefers
|>2587, etc I can read in the lower left corner of the first
|reefer "RPKD
|>E.C. 2-14-35 G.A.C.C." It shows a built date of 2-35 (just
|past the man
|>in the photo). Bob Katella says "could be RPKD for repacked; E.C. for
|>location of East Chicago (Indiana) where General American had
|a repair
|>and service facility; the date for date; and GACC for General
|>Car Co." As the numbers are in sequential order I am assuming
|this is a
|>publicity shot of a new reefers being delivered. The photo certainly
|>has all appearances of late winter, ie late Feb/March which
|>with the build date.
|Doug, that information confirms that GATC built them at East
|Chicago, which was their house car construction plant, in
|mid-February of 1935
|>I have also learned that URTC had an agent in Mason City from before
|>WWII until 1967. And that General American owned a building with two
|>tracks and a gantry crane at the south end of Mason City, which they
|>sold to the M&StL in 1957. I don't know when they acquired the
|>property, perhaps when they purchased URTC. Or perhaps it was built
|>when Armour bought Deckers in Oct 1935. We do know that
Armour leased
|>reefers from GACC. Deckers had their own clean/repair tracks and a
|>nearby carpenter shop. But a major expansion and the
|subsequent sale to
|>Armour may have exceeded their capacity on site and prompted
|the Lease
|>holder to provide an offsite facility in Mason City.
|Ah ha! The fact that Armour acquired Decker in late 1935
|accounts for the disappearance of the Decker reporting marks
|(see below), as Armour owned and operated a sizeable fleet of
|RSM reefers and doubtless preferred to use their own cars
|rather than leasing from GATC. My guess is that they turned
|the cars back to GATC as soon as the lease was up and retired
|the reporting marks.
|>I have a Jan 41 ORER which lists DMRX cars 2800-2949 under General
|>American as RAM cars. IL 28' 9", IW 8' 2" IH 7' 1" OL 37'
Crushed ice
|>capacity 5600. The NMRA 43 ORER no longer lists them. Like
you, I can
|>not determine when the Decker reefers disappeared. Further I
|don't know
|>if Decker's owned or leased the cars that carried the DMRX and JEDX
|>reporting marks.
|With a little further research, I found those Decker cars
|listed under the General American entries in 10/38 and 1/40,
|and they obviously lasted until 1/41, but they were gone by
|10/41. So they would certainly have been GATC-owned and
|leased to Decker between 2/35 and early '41.
|>I have attached a hi-res image scanned from a Decker promotion piece.
|>It shows what appears to be a Mather reefer in the foreground with
|>questionable lettering, some feel the lettering was applied to the
|>photo. In the background, behind the Decker tankcar is
another Decker
|>reefer with what I believe is authentic Decker lettering. It appears
|>the tank car is has JEDX reporting marks. One question this
|photo does
|>raise: did Decker's lease Mather reefers?
|This is a very interesting photo, one of the few that clearly
|shows a Mather reefer roof. The photo was definitely
|retouched to add the "Deckers" lettering, because if you look
|very carefully at the end of the Mather car you can just make
|out the reporting marks and numbers HFPX 1415, establishing
|this car as a Mather 37' reefer leased to the Hygrade Food
|Products Co. in the HFPX 1400-1499 series. So it wasn't a
|Decker car at all, and as far as I know Decker never leased
|reefers from Mather.
|Richard H. Hendrickson
|Ashland, Oregon 97520

ARA 203 & 203-W

Guy Wilber

In a message dated 11/7/03 1:11:27 PM Pacific Standard Time,
blindog@... writes:

<< Hmmm, an insulated AAR-203W? Built in 1940? Probably forge welded, not
fusion welded, so it should be an AAR-203F.>>

The ARA adopted the specifications for the ARA-203 during the latter part of
1930 to take the place of the original ARA Class III. These specs were the
same as the ICC 103 (aside from the safety valve and bottom outlet
requirements). The design was adopted for cars transporting commodities which developed
little (or no) vapor pressure. Cars built to the 203 specs could be lagged, or

The ARA-203-W "Specs" were first approved for "experimental" use in 1933.
The AAR approved 65 cars to be built in the year 1940. The ARA became the AAR
in October of 1934, but the bulk of the tank car specs (including the 203-W)
were not changed to AAR prefixes until 1937.

There is no mention of any forge welded 203 being built within ARA Tank Car
Committee annual reports, all the welded design 203s (submitted for approval)
were to be fusion welded. I have yet to find any ARA/AAR classification with
an "F" suffix, though the cars that were forge welded were noted as such.

<< Not sure they had a 203 classification in 1940, so this sounds like a tank
converted from some other service. >>

There is a very good chance that the car was; constructed in 1940, was fusion
welded, was lagged, and had multiple compartments.


Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada

Re: Reefer ID

Guy Wilber

Bob wrote:

"We have a few cars in the IRM collection that were essentially rebuilt so
thoroughly that they came out as new cars. Examples include the
Borden's butterdish milk car and the B&O wagon top boxcar. Both were
new from the floor up, with running gear and frame from a previous
life. Essentially they were 'new' cars and I believe were so
stenciled with the later date as NEW."

Cars re-built to such an extent (prior to 1937) MIGHT have been stenciled
"NEW", but "REBUILT" would have been predominant. All "REBUILT" cars classed as
such (on paper and for interchange) after 1937 were required to meet all the
conditions of Interchange Rule 3 for newly built equipment. The list is
within Rule 112 of the AAR's Interchange Rules. Those cars not meeting all the
listed requirements were classed as repaired or reconditioned.

"In that case the pre-existing trucks might logically be a re-pack."

There were numerous cars built new that had second hand (reconditioned)
trucks applied. Thus, stenciling would have contained date of repacks. ARA
shortened the REPKD to RPKD in 1926 for brake service, but the stenciling for
journals ranged from "Repacked" spelled out -- to any form of abbreviation.

"Note that there is a fine line distinction between stenciling declaring
BUILT versus NEW."

New was "NEW". Any maintenance work performed subsequent to that date
required stenciling as such; the date and the station abbreviation at which the work
was performed.

"We have an old tank car with a BUILT date of 1918 and also stenciled NEW for
1924. How can that be?? Evidence suggests that a newer tank was applied to
the older frame, and both items continued to be recorded with the
first data they were assigned."

Applying new tanks to older frames was a common occurrence from the 1920s
forward. New frames to old tanks, though less frequent, occurred as well. In
either case, both tanks and underframes were to be stenciled and/or receive bage
plates listing "built" dates. The car you mention falls into the ARA's
parameters for tank cars "rebuilt" prior to the ARA's 1927 rules changes. After
1927 any underframe to which a new tank was applied had to meet (at least) the
current specs for Class III underframes and the car also was required to be
fitted with cast truck side frames meeting the current ARA specifications.

"I suppose there were rules governing use of terms and required data
but there is an exception to every rule and if a particular car or
order did not fit the classical pattern, it may have been left to an
ordinary guy in the paint shop to come up with the scheme."

Doubtful...Interchange rules were not "optional" in these cases, especially
when work was performed by a non-owner. It had to be correct in order to log
any fees associated with the labor and/or parts.


Guy Wilber
Sparks, Nevada

Bob's Photo Duplicates - Rebuilt Boxcars

Benjamin Frank Hom <b.hom@...>

I have the following Bob's Photo duplicates for sale or trade. All are 8x10
prints of 40 ft rebuilt boxcars.

ATSF 158594, Class Bx-36, Fayetteville NC, 12/30/1951, "El Capitan," right
side of car
ATSF 158594, Class Bx-36, Fayetteville NC, 12/30/1951, "Ship and Travel...,"
left side of car
CMO 1672, c. 10/1954, color photo, green/yellow "Route of The '400'"
GTW 470429, Durand MI, 7/21/1957, Automobile service
LOVX 978 (ex-DT&I), Conneaut OH 8/30/1969, plug door , American Colloid
SL-SF 130474, Scop, Baja California, Mexico, 12/17/1955, Large "Frisco"
herald/"Ship it on the Frisco!"

Please contact me off-list if interested.

Ben Hom

172821 - 172840 of 198533