SOO postwar AAR Boxcars


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

What trucks did the Soo post war boxcars use? I am building a model of
137006 from a Branchline kit. Are the doors and handbrake in the kit
correct? I'm searching my library for photos but coming up empty. Thanks.
Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Brian J Carlson" <brian@...> wrote:

What trucks did the Soo post war boxcars use? I am building a model of
137006 from a Branchline kit. Are the doors and handbrake in the kit
correct? I'm searching my library for photos but coming up empty.
Thanks.
Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY
Brian,

The Soo Line diagram sheets for the cars built at North Fond du Lac
from 1948 through 1959 (137006 was built in 1951) all show the same
entry for "trucks":

ASF RIDE CONTROL A-3
BARBER S-2-B STABILIZED

Most sheets don't break out which cars had which trucks, but luckily,
the sheet for the 1951 cars does; 137006 had Barber trucks.

All these cars were originally built with 33" cast iron wheels, so
"ribbed back" wheels would be appropriate.

Doors are not listed, but photographic evidence is that they were
improved Youngstown. The Soo was not using any Superior doors during
this period.

Hand brakes are listed as "various".

These cars had nailable steel floors.

Dennis


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Dennis Storzek wrote:
All these cars were originally built with 33" cast iron wheels, so "ribbed back" wheels would be appropriate.
Yes, they could be, though MANY cast iron wheels did NOT have ribbed backs.

Anthony Thompson
Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering
University of California, Berkeley
thompsonmarytony@...


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

I'll be using Branchline semi-scale wheels in the S-2A trucks so the ribs
ill not be there regardless. Now if someone would make a semi-scale wheeel
with the ribs, that would be cool.

Brian Carlson

On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 09:21:01 -0800, Anthony Thompson wrote
Dennis Storzek wrote:
All these cars were originally built with 33" cast iron wheels, so
"ribbed back" wheels would be appropriate.
Yes, they could be, though MANY cast iron wheels did NOT have
ribbed backs.


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:05:30 -0000, Dennis Storzek wrote


Doors are not listed, but photographic evidence is that they were
improved Youngstown. The Soo was not using any Superior doors during
this period.
Thanks Dennis, I guess what I was really asking about the doors is if they
had the same panel arrangement, at the BLT cars, or did Soo use 5/6/5 4/6/6
or different doors.

Brian Carlson


Tim O'Connor
 

And many forged steel wheels had ribs too. I remember them
from Griffin ads in the 1960's.

At 2/20/2009 12:21 PM Friday, you wrote:
Dennis Storzek wrote:
All these cars were originally built with 33" cast iron wheels, so
"ribbed back" wheels would be appropriate.
Yes, they could be, though MANY cast iron wheels did NOT have
ribbed backs.

Anthony Thompson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
And many forged steel wheels had ribs too. I remember them from Griffin ads in the 1960's.
Correct, and I should have mentioned that too. What I wanted to discourage was the implication that cast iron wheels all had ribbed backs. As Tim observes, the reverse isn't true either.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Brian J Carlson" <brian@...> wrote:

On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:05:30 -0000, Dennis Storzek wrote


Doors are not listed, but photographic evidence is that they were
improved Youngstown. The Soo was not using any Superior doors during
this period.
Thanks Dennis, I guess what I was really asking about the doors is
if they
had the same panel arrangement, at the BLT cars, or did Soo use
5/6/5 4/6/6
or different doors.

Brian Carlson
5/6/5

Dennis


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located the SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many different
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war boxcars?
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied? 137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Brian Carlson wrote:
While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located the SOO LINE lettering in different locations on different cars. How many different locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war boxcars? Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied? 137006 has the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.
Hopefully a Soo expert will reply, but I recollect reading an article about the Soo box cars awhile back, which stated that the location of the large SOO lettering did vary from era to era. So the Branchline cars are probably not automatically wrong, but I don't know the era of each style.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history


Brian J Carlson <brian@...>
 

Thanks Tony: I don't think Branchline is wrong with any of the placements.
I'm more curios to find out if either of the cars I have 137006, and 136502
are one-off experimental locations?

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Ed Hawkins
 

On Feb 21, 2009, at 6:52 PM, Brian J Carlson wrote:

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located the
SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many
different
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war
boxcars?
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied?
137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.
Brian,
Perhaps Bill Schneider will chime in on this question. I recall
assisting Bill by sending to him a variety of photos plus some other
references to photos in various books and magazines.

Bill will probably tell you that no other box car in Branchline's
product line was more challenging than the Soo Line's postwar AAR box
cars. Some had black ends, others not. There were at least three
variations on the lettering including the original dollar-sign railroad
emblem, then at least two variations on the billboard SOO LINE stencils
with some cars having SOO LINE close to the doors and others more
widely spaced. The latter version appears to be most common.

There's a neat shot of one of these cars on page 52 of the Morning Sun
book Trackside Around St. Louis. The car is upright, but had come
disengaged from the train and is shown on the ground in the middle of a
street near a railroad overpass. This car had the SOO LINE billboard
stencils closely spaced next to the door. The car had black ends and
possibly a black roof. Unfortunately I cannot make out the car number,
but the first 3 digits were 137, which indicates the car was built in
either 1951 or 1953 given the placards were in the high position. Soo
Line box cars built in 1954 had their placards in the low position. The
photo was taken Oct. 15, 1954.

I have a number of photos of cars that I will describe for your
potential use:
45450, new 11-51, wide spacing
46034 and 45056, new 7-54, wide spacing
136802, built 1951 (cannot read date stencils), reweighed 6-58, $ sign
emblem
137190, new 11-51, wide spacing
137272, new 6-53, wide spacing
136502, built 10-49, apparently repainted and reweighed 2-52, wide
spacing (appears to have black ends)

From all appearances the earliest Soo LIne postwar AAR box cars built
in 1949 and the first part of the order built in 1951 originally had
the $ sign emblem. The switch to the billboard SOO LINE stencils
apparently occurred sometime during the 1951 production run.
Regards,
Ed Hawkins


sparachuk <sparachuk@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Ed Hawkins <hawk0621@...> wrote:


On Feb 21, 2009, at 6:52 PM, Brian J Carlson wrote:

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located the
SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many
different
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war
boxcars?
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied?
137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.
Brian,
Perhaps Bill Schneider will chime in on this question. I recall
assisting Bill by sending to him a variety of photos plus some other
references to photos in various books and magazines.

Bill will probably tell you that no other box car in Branchline's
product line was more challenging than the Soo Line's postwar AAR box
cars. Some had black ends, others not. There were at least three
variations on the lettering including the original dollar-sign railroad
emblem, then at least two variations on the billboard SOO LINE stencils
with some cars having SOO LINE close to the doors and others more
widely spaced. The latter version appears to be most common.

There's a neat shot of one of these cars on page 52 of the Morning Sun
book Trackside Around St. Louis. The car is upright, but had come
disengaged from the train and is shown on the ground in the middle of a
street near a railroad overpass. This car had the SOO LINE billboard
stencils closely spaced next to the door. The car had black ends and
possibly a black roof. Unfortunately I cannot make out the car number,
but the first 3 digits were 137, which indicates the car was built in
either 1951 or 1953 given the placards were in the high position. Soo
Line box cars built in 1954 had their placards in the low position. The
photo was taken Oct. 15, 1954.

I have a number of photos of cars that I will describe for your
potential use:
45450, new 11-51, wide spacing
46034 and 45056, new 7-54, wide spacing
136802, built 1951 (cannot read date stencils), reweighed 6-58, $ sign
emblem
137190, new 11-51, wide spacing
137272, new 6-53, wide spacing
136502, built 10-49, apparently repainted and reweighed 2-52, wide
spacing (appears to have black ends)

From all appearances the earliest Soo LIne postwar AAR box cars built
in 1949 and the first part of the order built in 1951 originally had
the $ sign emblem. The switch to the billboard SOO LINE stencils
apparently occurred sometime during the 1951 production run.
Regards,
Ed Hawkins
Guys: Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me but it seems to me
Branchline said they had the big SOO LINE in three different places. I
used to work in a hobby store and I was puzzled why there were three
different product numbers for what looked like the same car. There was
wide and narrow spacing and also I think there was a lower spacing....
Actually I just checked the Branchline site and they said they have
four different spacings. What do you say, SOO fans?

Stephan Parachuk
Toronto


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Tim O'Connor
 

Brian

During 1951 Soo started with $ herald, e.g.
(WC) 136800-137198 blt 1951 FOND DU LAC (200) [MORTON rb]

In 1951 Soo changed to bold SOO LINE close to the doors, e.g.
45100-45498 blt 1951 FOND DU LAC (200) [MORTON rb]

By 1953 Soo changed to lettering further from doors, e.g.
(WC) 137200-137698 blt 1953 FOND DU LAC

All of the above series were even numbers only.

Tim O'Connor

P.S. I have a bunch of Soo cars, including Front Range
kits from the Soo Historical Society. I think I've got
all the lettering variations. :-)

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located the SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many different
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war boxcars?
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied? 137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Brian J Carlson" <brian@...> wrote:

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located
the SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many
different
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war
boxcars?
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied?
137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.

Brian J Carlson P.E.
Cheektowaga NY
Here's a brief chronology of Soo Line lettering on steel boxcars:

First 9'-4" IH cars built in 1936 through the 10'-5" IH cars built
during WWII, all cars built by Pullman-Standard: Oxide red sides and
roof, black ends, "$" herald with black background.

First cars built at North Fond du Lac in 1948 to 1950: oxide red sides
and roof, black ends "$" herald WITHOUT black background.

1951 was a transitional year. The first part of North Fond du Lac's
production was identical to the previous cars. Sometime during the
year the "boxcar block" lettering was introduced. Initial placement
was close to the door, tight to the top plate of the sides. The two
words were then spread out from the door for better visual balance,
still tight to the top plate. Someone must have then given some
thought to how they were going to paint the old low roof 1936 cars in
this scheme, and the lettering was lowered so it would line up with
the same lettering applied tight to the top plate on one of the 9'-4"
IH cars. This then became standard. No one has been able to come up
with an exact number of cars done in the two interim schemes,it
couldn't have been many, but because it was the "new look", a lot of
photos were taken of the cars with the lettering close to the door.
All these cars had oxide roofs and black ends.

There were no new cars built in 1952, and the black ends were dropped
with the production in 1953. Boxcar block lettering continued in the
lower, spread out position.

In in the late fifties the natural pigment oxide color was replaced
with a synthetic pigment color that was a darker brown. The boxcar
block lettering was also revised about 1958 or '59 (Too late for my
interests, so I don't have a reference handy). The revised lettering
had the center bar of the S exactly horizontal; the earlier S had it
at a slight angle. There were other differences, but this is the most
noticeable.

The first cars that were painted something other than oxide or freight
car red (PS-1s painted gray with black ends and red doors) came in
1961, and so are beyond the scope of this list.

Dennis


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Brian

During 1951 Soo started with $ herald, e.g.
(WC) 136800-137198 blt 1951 FOND DU LAC (200) [MORTON rb]

In 1951 Soo changed to bold SOO LINE close to the doors, e.g.
45100-45498 blt 1951 FOND DU LAC (200) [MORTON rb]
The Soo equipment diagram sheets show 45100-45498e as built in 1950
under GMS (General Mechanical Supt.) order number 6284, and
136800-137198e as built in 1951 under GMS 6285. However, I seem to
recall that there are lettering variations in both groups, so it would
seem that both were being built concurrently, perhaps in alternating
batches. In Wallace Abby's "The Little Jewel" there is a photo of at
least nine cars (the string goes out of the picture) being switched
out of the paint shop, all with the lettering close to the door, and
while the numbers can't be deciphered in the half tone, it is clear
that it is a mix of five and six digit numbers. The number series
relates to which company was paying for them and thus owned them;
remember, between 1909 and 12-31-60 the Wisconsin Central was still a
separate company being operated by the Soo. The cars with six digit
numbers are WC and should have a tiny WC stenciled in the upper left
corner of the sides.

In Patrick Dorin's "The SOO LINE" there is a company photo of a car
right outside the paint shop with the close lettering, numbered 45398,
weighed 10-51. On page 129 of the same book there is a photo of a
short train heading away from the photographer; the last car, 137154
with the spread out lettering in the high position.

I was also wrong about no new car production in 1952, the diagram book
claims 45500-45898e and 137200-137498e built that year under GMS 6342
and 6343.

By 1953 Soo changed to lettering further from doors, e.g.
(WC) 137200-137698 blt 1953 FOND DU LAC

All of the above series were even numbers only.

Tim O'Connor

P.S. I have a bunch of Soo cars, including Front Range
kits from the Soo Historical Society. I think I've got
all the lettering variations. :-)
No one to my knowledge has ever done the cars with the lettering high
but spread out.

Dennis


Tim O'Connor
 

P.S. I have a bunch of Soo cars, including Front Range
kits from the Soo Historical Society. I think I've got
all the lettering variations. :-)
No one to my knowledge has ever done the cars with the lettering
high but spread out. Dennis

Dennis,
If you can get me a picture of one, I've got the decals! :-) But
you're right, my Des Plaines custom cars and the SLH&TS cars do
not represent that short lived lettering.
Tim O'Connor


Tim O'Connor
 

Dennis Storzek wrote

The Soo equipment diagram sheets show 45100-45498e as built in 1950
under GMS (General Mechanical Supt.) order number 6284, and
136800-137198e as built in 1951 under GMS 6285. However, I seem to
recall that there are lettering variations in both groups, so it would
seem that both were being built concurrently, perhaps in alternating
batches.
In Patrick Dorin's "The SOO LINE" there is a company photo of a car
right outside the paint shop with the close lettering, numbered 45398,
weighed 10-51. On page 129 of the same book there is a photo of a
short train heading away from the photographer; the last car, 137154
with the spread out lettering in the high position.

Model Railroading, April 1989: photo of SOO #136802 w/ $ herald.

So is it possible that 136800-137198 got all three variations as
they were being built?? The three being (1) $ herald (2) close to
door, high letters (3) further from door, high letters. And then
repaints got (4) away from door, lowered letters!

Tim O'Connor


Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Model Railroading, April 1989: photo of SOO #136802 w/ $ herald.

So is it possible that 136800-137198 got all three variations as
they were being built?? The three being (1) $ herald (2) close to
door, high letters (3) further from door, high letters. And then
repaints got (4) away from door, lowered letters!

Tim O'Connor
Yes. It's also possible that the lettering was moved to the final
location during the production of that run; also cars in series
45100-45498 might exhibit all the same variations because it appears
the two groups were produced concurrently. Now you see why no one has
ever tried to determine the start and end number of each variation;
with two unrelated number series it's just too confusing... for the
number of cars of any of these variations really needed on the layout,
it's better to just find a photo and use that specific car number.

Since these cars were built in-house rather than being ordered from a
builder, it appears that production was more or less continuous over a
span of years, so things like lettering changes just happened when
they happened.

Interspersed with the production of 40' cars were several groups of
40' insulated cars (XLI), 50' XLs, and 50' double door cars with the
door openings centered for paper loading. The 40' combo door cars
built in 1959 were about the end of the in house production, but after
buying a few small lots of PS-1's from Pullman and some RBLs from
PC&F, they cranked up again in 1963 to build 50' exterior post cars,
which continued for another sixteen or so years. North Fond du Lac was
building cars almost continuously between 1948 and 1979.

Dennis


SUVCWORR@...
 

Branchline does have 4 different PL schemes for these cars.? If you purchase the 4 pack you will receive one of each version.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: sparachuk <sparachuk@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 9:17 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: SOO postwar AAR Boxcars










--- In STMFC@..., Ed Hawkins <hawk0621@...> wrote:


On Feb 21, 2009, at 6:52 PM, Brian J Carlson wrote:

While working on my 2 SOO cars, I noticed that Branchline located the
SOO
LINE Lettering in different locations on different cars. How many
different
locations was the large SOO LINE lettering applied on the post war
boxcars?
Perhaps more importantly how many of each location was applied?
137006 has
the SOO LINE high and tight to the door.
Brian,
Perhaps Bill Schneider will chime in on this question. I recall
assisting Bill by sending to him a variety of photos plus some other
references to photos in various books and magazines.

Bill will probably tell you that no other box car in Branchline's
product line was more challenging than the Soo Line's postwar AAR box
cars. Some had black ends, others not. There were at least three
variations on the lettering including the original dollar-sign railroad
emblem, then at least two variations on the billboard SOO LINE stencils
with some cars having SOO LINE close to the doors and others more
widely spaced. The latter version appears to be most common.

There's a neat shot of one of these cars on page 52 of the Morning Sun
book Trackside Around St. Louis. The car is upright, but had come
disengaged from the train and is shown on the ground in the middle of a
street near a railroad overpass. This car had the SOO LINE billboard
stencils closely spaced next to the door. The car had black ends and
possibly a black roof. Unfortunately I cannot make out the car number,
but the first 3 digits were 137, which indicates the car was built in
either 1951 or 1953 given the placards were in the high position. Soo
Line box cars built in 1954 had their placards in the low position. The
photo was taken Oct. 15, 1954.

I have a number of photos of cars that I will describe for your
potential use:
45450, new 11-51, wide spacing
46034 and 45056, new 7-54, wide spacing
136802, built 1951 (cannot read date stencils), reweighed 6-58, $ sign
emblem
137190, new 11-51, wide spacing
137272, new 6-53, wide spacing
136502, built 10-49, apparently repainted and reweighed 2-52, wide
spacing (appears to have black ends)

From all appearances the earliest Soo LIne postwar AAR box cars built
in 1949 and the first part of the order built in 1951 originally had
the $ sign emblem. The switch to the billboard SOO LINE stencils
apparently occurred sometime during the 1951 production run.
Regards,
Ed Hawkins
Guys: Perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me but it seems to me
Branchline said they had the big SOO LINE in three different places. I
used to work in a hobby store and I was puzzled why there were three
different product numbers for what looked like the same car. There was
wide and narrow spacing and also I think there was a lower spacing....
Actually I just checked the Branchline site and they said they have
four different spacings. What do you say, SOO fans?

Stephan Parachuk
Toronto






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