Wabash Boxcar in Atlanta, IL


railsnw1 <railsnw@...>
 

Nice display of a grain elevator and single sheathed Wabash boxcar.

http://rypn.sunserver.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27262

Richard Wilkens


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "railsnw1" <railsnw@...> wrote:

Nice display of a grain elevator and single sheathed Wabash boxcar.

http://rypn.sunserver.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27262


What a super boxcar restoration and display but a double door auto car for shipping grain???? Was this a "common practice"??

Don Valentine


gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Donald B. Valentine" <riverman_vt@...> wrote:

What a super boxcar restoration and display but a double door auto car for shipping grain???? Was this a "common practice"??

Don Valentine
Mr. Valentine,
In a word, no. Grain doors were sized to fit the standard 6' boxcar door opening in the steam era. Occasionally, 7 and 8 foot door boxcars may have been pressed into service, but this required the use of more than one grain door per side, both to cover the door opening and reinforce the "splice" in the doors to prevent failure of the grain door and subsequent loss of lading. This was done only as a last resort, because grain doors, like boxcars, were always in short supply during the harvest rush.

Late in the steam era, the GN (and several other roads) built and bought several series of 40' and 50' plug/sliding door boxcars that had 6' sliding doors so that they could be coopered if needed for grain service.

Sincerely,
Robert D. Heninger
Iowa City, IA


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "gn3397" <heninger@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Donald B. Valentine" <riverman_vt@> wrote:

What a super boxcar restoration and display but a double door auto car for shipping grain???? Was this a "common practice"??

Don Valentine
Mr. Valentine,
In a word, no. Grain doors were sized to fit the standard 6' boxcar door opening in the steam era. Occasionally, 7 and 8 foot door boxcars may have been pressed into service, but this required the use of more than one grain door per side, both to cover the door opening and reinforce the "splice" in the doors to prevent failure of the grain door and subsequent loss of lading. This was done only as a last resort, because grain doors, like boxcars, were always in short supply during the harvest rush.

Late in the steam era, the GN (and several other roads) built and bought several series of 40' and 50' plug/sliding door boxcars that had 6' sliding doors so that they could be coopered if needed for grain service.

Sincerely,
Robert D. Heninger
Iowa City, IA
Thanks very much, Bob. That's about what I expected. I'm reasonably familiar with both Signode grain doors and, to a lesser extent, the wooden ones. But it is still good to see the Rock Island automobile car so well taken care of though it is unfortunate that the museum could find a more appropriate car, even if it were an older steel one.

Thanks again,
Don Valentine


Ray Breyer
 

Hi guys,

What a super boxcar restoration and display but a double door
auto car for shipping grain? Was this a "common practice"?
Don Valentine
In a word, no. Grain doors were sized to fit the standard 6'
boxcar door opening in the steam era. Occasionally, 7 and 8
foot door boxcars may have been pressed into service. This
was done only as a last resort, because grain doors, like
boxcars, were always in short supply during the harvest rush.
Robert D. Heninger
Thanks very much, Bob. That's about what I expected.
Don Valentine


OK, not so fast. I just quickly went through my photo stash, and almost immediately found two photos of double door cars spotted at grain elevators. One's from the Tacoma Public Library collection, and shows an old C&O single sheathed, double door car, with both all-wood doors open, spotted under an elevator's loading lean-to. The second is from the Life collection, and shows a Pennsy steel double door car spotted at a large elevator/mill complex.

I can think of at least four reasons why a "double door" box could be spotted at an elevator:

1) The car was misdelivered. Yard crews, trainmen, and agents aren't gods, and they certainly didn't get things right all the time, especially in the pre-computer era. Show me someone who says railroads didn't regularly screw up car deliveries, and I'll show you someone who doesn't know what they're talking about.

2) The car was carrying something, or was being loaded with something, other than bulk grain. Is the "elevator" really a mill? If so, a double door car could be loaded with bagged grain and feed. Is the small town elevator also a hardware store, tractor sales point, lumberyard and local team track? If so, that double door car could be delivering just about anything to "the elevator" from lube oil to hatched chicks.

3) Is that "double door" boxcar REALLY a "double door" boxcar? Or has one door been sealed 14 years ago, making it into a plain box which is now suitable for grain loading? This is pretty common, so you may not really be seeing what you think you're seeing. The Wabash sealed a lot of those double door cars like the one in Atlanta, so that car's completely appropriate for the display. Chet French has provided me with Wabash car delivery lists to the Central Soya mill in Gibson City, IL, and there are a couple of these sealed door cars in the mix.

4) A conversation as overheard in Green Bay, Wisconsin, circa 1944: "Welcome to the grain rush. We're short of cars, so that elevator in Sturgis is getting anything we can find. What's that? We've a single sheathed with double doors on hand? Good; someone send that new kid from the car department over there with a 4x4, a bunch of 2x4s and some nails; we'll fix the doors so the car can hold grain."
(OK, this is a made up conversation, but you get the point. And some early double sheathed double door wagon cars had removable vertical posts between the doors; I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of these sorts of cars on the roster of granger roads)


The 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are NOT the 2000s. Things were hugely different 50 to 100 years ago, and railroads did things intuitively back then that are NOT intuitive today. Remember, "Sunday chicken dinner" was a big deal because chickens weren't eaten all that often (too expensive and valuable as egg makers). Today, chicken is the most eaten meat in America. It's this sort of difference in thinking that can make a double door boxcar a natural (though probably not common) thing to see at a local elevator.

Regards,

Ray Breyer


Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Ray Breyer <rtbsvrr69@...> wrote:
<snip>

I can think of at least four reasons why a "double door" box could be spotted at an elevator:
<snip>

And a fifth reason might be that the car was used to deliver grain doors. Grain, as you all know, were owned by the railroads which wanted them returned for reuse.

Gene Green


Gene Green <bierglaeser@...>
 

Good grief! Did I really write that??? I should have said "Grain doors," not "Grain." I'm sure no one was confused but a little proof-reading isn't so hard to do.

Gene thinks faster than he types Green

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Gene Green" <bierglaeser@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Ray Breyer <rtbsvrr69@> wrote:
<snip>

I can think of at least four reasons why a "double door" box could be spotted at an elevator:
<snip>

And a fifth reason might be that the car was used to deliver grain doors. Grain, as you all know, were owned by the railroads which wanted them returned for reuse.

Gene Green


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Ray Breyer wrote:
Remember, "Sunday chicken dinner" was a big deal because chickens weren't eaten all that often (too expensive and valuable as egg makers). Today, chicken is the most eaten meat in America.
Also remember that those were what we now would call "free range chickens," much tastier than today's factory product. It's no accident that poultry cars were used to ship the entire chicken to market in that period. Another phrase to remember from that period is the political slogan, "a chicken in every pot," which may sound dumb if you're thinking of some of the "chicken-like" material you can find for sale today.

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


np328
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "railsnw1" <railsnw@...> wrote:
Nice display of a grain elevator and single sheathed Wabash boxcar.
http://rypn.sunserver.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27262
Richard Wilkens

Not to muddy the waters too much more on this topic.
I do know that I had seen in the NP records, a vendor's brochure about a heavy paper liner that would have made major coopering of grain cars unnecessary. Of course, roofs would still need to be water tight, as they would in any case.
If I recall correctly, the paper liner came folded many times and was unfolded until it assumed a u-shape along the walls, and of course covered the floor also. Two of these would be unfolded in a car until combined they took on a bathtub like shape and the overlap provided strength by the door openings. I thought that I would find this however like many things in life, now that I want to find it again…oh well. I'll keep looking. If anyone has had experience
with these I would like to hear of how common place that the use
of this product may have been.

What I did find was from NP General Managers file. (Loc 37.G.9.1b) was a letter referencing an automobile car fitted with a false end. The NP would get these cars in interchange and crews wondered when cleaning the cars if the false end was to be left in place. The NP did NOT use these cars for bulk grain loading as it was thought
that they would not pass inspection on line. They were however to
be left in place as a check with the Santa Fe reveals the following.

A reply letter from the Santa Fe c/o F A Isaacson, Engineer of Car Construction, dated Dec. 23rd 1931 (SF file 1084-2) goes on to explain the "application of false ends to our end door automobile cars", and attaches memorandum dated April 21, 1931 covering "application of false ends to furniture cars for grain loading". Also attached was a (faded) blue print of sketch 4006 detailing the false door assy. The memorandum titled FALSE END FOR FURNITURE CAR GRAIN LOADING, looks to be cross referenced to Santa
Fe files 1084-2 and 1207-4.
The memorandum lists the following class and series of cars can
be fitted with false doors - Class - Fe-K, series 8401-9400; Fe-L, 9401-9900; Fe-M, 64201-64700; Fe-N, 51501-62450; and Fe-O, 62451-62750. (Over 13,000 additional cars available to move grain).

Things that I find interesting are what pass inspection in the areas the Santa Fe served would have a different standard in the areas the NP served. And so what might not be used in one area of
the US could be ubiquitous to another area.
Much grain moved on the NP moved east to Staples, MN where it
was either diverted to Duluth/Superior (to be shipped via water)
or went on to the Twin Cities.

This application of different standards only seems to blur the question of the above double door boxcar at a grain elevator. I do like the mention of possible use for grain door retrieval as this
was an expense the railroads in my area kept close watch upon.

James Dick - St. Paul, MN


gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "np328" <jcdworkingonthenp@...> wrote:

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "railsnw1" <railsnw@> wrote:
Nice display of a grain elevator and single sheathed Wabash boxcar.
http://rypn.sunserver.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27262
Richard Wilkens

Not to muddy the waters too much more on this topic.
I do know that I had seen in the NP records, a vendor's brochure about a heavy paper liner that would have made major coopering of grain cars unnecessary. Of course, roofs would still need to be water tight, as they would in any case.
Jim, I was hoping you would chime in. I was curious if you had found any correspondence in the NP archives about this topic. The trainmaster I had corresponded with did mention that the GN provided a "heavy paper" liner in the episode I described in my posting. Apparently the elevator managers on that particular branch found them unsatifactory.

Sincerely,
Robert D. Heninger
Iowa City, IA


Guy Wilber
 

In a message dated 4/8/2009 10:45:50 AM Central Daylight Time,
jcdworkingonthenp@onebox.com writes:

Not to muddy the waters too much more on this topic.
I do know that I had seen in the NP records, a vendor's brochure about a
heavy paper liner that would have made major coopering of grain cars
unnecessary.
Richard,

Your description of the paper liners was typical of those offered by
several vendors of which the Kennedy Car Liner was the most prevalent. First
introduced in 1923 the original prepackaged liner consisted of four units
unfolded and overlapped to form a complete liner. Kennedy modified its design
in 1932 and offered the liner as a two piece unit which also incorporated
a thicker floor bottom section.

The Kennedy Bag and Car Liner Company offered a wide array of rail related
products including the liners, door baffles and cover sheets. The door
baffles expedited the sealing of car doors from weather, dust and cinders.
Cover sheets were often applied over "hot" loads such as bagged flour to
protect the lading from dripping condensation built up within the sealed cars.




Of course, roofs would still need to be water tight, as they would in any
case.

It was generally understood that a small amount of moisture entering a car
would not substantially harm a load of grain. Especially in times of car
shortages plenty of cars with roof and side leakage were utilized in the
movement of grain products. Of course, milled grain products did require
Class "A" cars for shipment.

Regards,

Guy Wilber
West Bend, WI


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