Murphy ends with vertical ribs


Fritz Milhaupt
 

As I sat down to look for wood-sheathed boxcars I could kitbash reasonably easily for my future Pere Marquette layout, I was struck by how limited my options were. The PM seemed to have had a taste for unusual ends on their boxcars.

The one that I felt was most striking was the Murphy end made of two steel vertical panels with 8 vertical ribs per panel, as used on the PM's 85500-series Western Steel Car & Foundry DS boxcars, as shown at http://www.fritzmilhaupt.com/bbgraphics/85500EndSm.jpg

The equipment diagrams list them as simply "Murphy" ends. Is there a more accurate name for these to distinguish them from the more common horizontal-rib Murphy ends that were commonly used on USRA cars?

I can't recall seeing photos of any other road's cars with these ends, aside from the Manistee & Northeastern which bought some of the PM's cars. Did any other railroads even own cars with these ends?

I'll touch on the Hutchins ends woes later...

-Fritz Milhaupt
Web Guy and Modeling Editor, PM Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org


Frank Valoczy <destron@...>
 

Fritz,

Best I've been able to gather is that these were known as Vulcan ends.

I haven't seen this particular variety of Vulcan end (8+8) on anything but
the PM 85000 series cars (which were also sold off to other roads besides
the M&NE - the Piedmont & Northern, the Chattahoochee Valley and the
Escanaba & Lake Superior, at the least).

I've also seen this end on a UP stock car; perhaps they had other cars
with such ends, too.

The W&LE had cars with vertically-ribbed ends, too, but these had thicker
ribs fewer in count; the Michigan Central/NYC had some, too, but those
were inverse (and may have had a different rib count than the PM's 8+8s,
but I can't remember right now).

I share your pain!

I'm planning on modelling the 85000 and 86000 series cars at some point,
and may well resort to an avenue I'm currently exploring: I'm working on
CAD drawings right now for PM 17250-17649 series gons as rebuilt with
steel sheathing; when the CAD is done, I'll be getting it printed up via
rapid prototyping. Through earlier experience via such work done by others
in TT scale, I know the result is affordable - a PS2 hopper done in this
way costs about $18. If this works out, and I have no reason to believe it
shouldn't, I'll be doing other PM-appropriate things, such as the Vulcan
ends and both early and late varieties of the Hutchins ends.

The end result of this process is quite satisfactory if one chooses the
right material - the "white detail" material is quite smooth, and tolerant
of 1mm wall thickness and 0.2mm surface detail, so well within my range of
acceptance for details I'd want cast on to the shell.

For wood-sheathed cars like the 85000 series cars, I'm thinking to only
have the roof, underframe, doors and ends done by this method (perhaps
also the side bracing for single-sheathed cars) and then build the
sheathing out of wood or styrene, in order to better replicate the
appearance of wood.

Frank Valoczy
Vancouver, BC.

Fritz Milhaupt wrote:

As I sat down to look for wood-sheathed boxcars I could kitbash reasonably
easily for my future Pere Marquette layout, I was struck by how limited my
options were. The PM seemed to have had a taste for unusual ends on their
boxcars.

The one that I felt was most striking was the Murphy end made of two steel
vertical panels with 8 vertical ribs per panel, as used on the PM's
85500-series Western Steel Car & Foundry DS boxcars, as shown at
http://www.fritzmilhaupt.com/bbgraphics/85500EndSm.jpg

The equipment diagrams list them as simply "Murphy" ends. Is there a more
accurate name for these to distinguish them from the more common
horizontal-rib Murphy ends that were commonly used on USRA cars?

I can't recall seeing photos of any other road's cars with these ends,
aside from the Manistee & Northeastern which bought some of the PM's cars.
Did any other railroads even own cars with these ends?

I'll touch on the Hutchins ends woes later...

-Fritz Milhaupt
Web Guy and Modeling Editor, PM Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org



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ed_mines
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Fritz Milhaupt" <fmilhaupt@...> wrote:
The one that I felt was most striking was the Murphy end made of two steel vertical panels with 8 vertical ribs per panel, as used on the PM's 85500-series Western Steel Car & Foundry DS boxcars, as shown at http://www.fritzmilhaupt.com/bbgraphics/85500EndSm.jpg

I've always assumed that there panels were stamped in the same dies as USRA box car ends, gon ends etc. Maybe they had different ends, sides, thicknesses of metal etc.

These panels were used as replacements in RDG hoppers, not only for the ends but also in the bodies.


cinderandeight@...
 

Fritz,
Michigan Central Lot 324-B auto box cars (99500-99999) had Vulcan ends
on one end only. There were seven ribs per side, and had the added interest
in that they were also end doors on the cars. Apparently they didn't hold
up well, and were replaced with more conventional end doors later on.
The ribs on these cars had a "negative" pressing, and from what I've
seen in a number of places this is sometimes associated with the term
"Vulcan", although I don't know if there was any "official" reason for this
association.
One down side of vertically alligned end sheets would be that the car
couldn't have a heavier guage sheet on the lower section where it was more
prone to damage from shifting loads.
Rich Burg


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Valoczy" <destron@...> wrote:

Fritz,

Best I've been able to gather is that these were known as Vulcan ends.
Let's not mix apples and oranges, so to speak. The Vulcan ends were marketed by the Chicago-Cleveland Car Roofing Co. As mentioned elsewhere, the Murphy name is usually associated with items sold by the Standard Railway Equipment Co. Both companies made corrugated ends, both with the corrugations pressed inwards and outward relative to the flanges that attached to the car side framing, and both made versions with the ribs oriented either horizontal or vertical. Yes, they look somewhat the same, because they were intended for the same purpose, but it's like Ford and Chevy; both make mini-vans and both make pick-up trucks, but that is where the similarity ends.

Dennis


Frank Valoczy <destron@...>
 

Dennis,

Not to make a big issue of it, but all the references I've seen to the
ends on the PM cars with the vertical 8+8 ribbing called it a Vulcan end;
I've never seen any reference to vertically-placed Murphy ends. That there
were other vertically-ribbed ends besides Vulcan is quite likely - a CBC
(1926 I think?) has a drawing of an "Atlas" end with vertical ribs, though
it's quite different from the one on the PM cars (or on the WLE cars, or
on the NYC cars, for that matter) - this Atlas end has ribs of different
widths, narrow outboard and wider inboard. Maybe it's just my eyes playing
tricks, but the tapered bit on the ribs on the PM car seem a bit longer
than the tapered part on a car with a 7/8 horizontal panel (NdeM 60891 for
reference - first one I flipped open to in the 1932 ARA book).

Did car builders have a tendency to favour one supplier over another? Or
was the use of ends specified by the railway? Or did the builder get to
make some input on that decision? I ask because the PM cars in question
were built by Western Steel Car & Foundry (the very similar PM cars of
86000 series with 4-panel Hutchins ends were built by Pressed Steel Car
Co.), maybe that might shed light on who made the ends for the cars in
question, which may lead towards an answer to our initial question...

Frank Valoczy
Vancouver, BC

soolinehistory wrote:



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Valoczy" <destron@...> wrote:

Fritz,

Best I've been able to gather is that these were known as Vulcan ends.
Let's not mix apples and oranges, so to speak. The Vulcan ends were
marketed by the Chicago-Cleveland Car Roofing Co. As mentioned elsewhere,
the Murphy name is usually associated with items sold by the Standard
Railway Equipment Co. Both companies made corrugated ends, both with the
corrugations pressed inwards and outward relative to the flanges that
attached to the car side framing, and both made versions with the ribs
oriented either horizontal or vertical. Yes, they look somewhat the same,
because they were intended for the same purpose, but it's like Ford and
Chevy; both make mini-vans and both make pick-up trucks, but that is where
the similarity ends.

Dennis



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al_brown03
 

Dennis,

How does one tell the difference?

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "soolinehistory" <destorzek@...> wrote:



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Valoczy" <destron@> wrote:

Fritz,

Best I've been able to gather is that these were known as Vulcan ends.
Let's not mix apples and oranges, so to speak. The Vulcan ends were marketed by the Chicago-Cleveland Car Roofing Co. As mentioned elsewhere, the Murphy name is usually associated with items sold by the Standard Railway Equipment Co. Both companies made corrugated ends, both with the corrugations pressed inwards and outward relative to the flanges that attached to the car side framing, and both made versions with the ribs oriented either horizontal or vertical. Yes, they look somewhat the same, because they were intended for the same purpose, but it's like Ford and Chevy; both make mini-vans and both make pick-up trucks, but that is where the similarity ends.

Dennis


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "al_brown03" <abrown@...> wrote:

Dennis,

How does one tell the difference?

Al Brown, Melbourne, Fla.
Considering the small number of Vulcan ends Chicago-Cleveland seemed to sell, assume they are Murphy unless something says differently :-)

There are illustrations (photos) of both horizontal and vertical Vulcan ends in the 1922 Car Builder's Cyc., and possibly older editions that are now available from Google Books. Interestingly, there is no illustration specifically of a Murphy end in that volume, but there is no shortage of photos of those elsewhere. To my eye, the tips of the tapers seem to come to a sharper point on the Vulcan end, which would indicate that the radius of the crest of the ribs is smaller, and the resulting flats on the flanks of the ribs wider, but since very few of the commercially produces model ends get these right, that's not much to compare. The Vulcan ribs also seem to be a bit wider, but a three panel end still has five ribs per, so they can't be much wider. I've never found a sectional drawing of a Vulcan end (mostly because I never looked for one), nor have I had the opportunity to get up close and personal with one, so photos is about all I can offer.

Dennis


Gene <bierglaeser@...>
 

Car makers may have favored one part or appliance supplier over another but the purchasing railroad specified the various parts and appliances in incredible detail - usually more than 125 different items.

Gene Green


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Valoczy" <destron@...> wrote:


Dennis,

Not to make a big issue of it, but all the references I've seen to the
ends on the PM cars with the vertical 8+8 ribbing called it a Vulcan end;
I've never seen any reference to vertically-placed Murphy ends.
Frank,

I personally don't know beans about PM boxcars, but didn't Fritz Milhaupt just say in message 97935 that the PM diagram specifically called these out as "Murphy" ends? I thought that since Mr. Million passed away, Fritz was the go-to guy for things PM.

Now, Mr. Milhaupt's reference is apparently a railroad company diagram sheet. There is, of course, the possibility it is in error. Care to cite you references?

Dennis


Frank Valoczy <destron@...>
 

Dennis,

I have the PM book in my hand and look at the same company diagram, and
yes, it says "Murphy". But as Fritz said, "Murphy" was often used pretty
loosely...

When I was doing the research several years ago on the origin of the
Piedmont & Northern's 1100-series cars, I found reference to these
vertically-ribbed ends as "Vulcan" ends. I hope you'll forgive me but
after 4 or 5 years passed since I was doing that research, I can't
remember where it was that I saw that. But it is possible I'm in error
with regards to the nomenclature of the PM ends, and that the Vulcan
reference was about the vertically-ribbed ends on some WLE cars (which are
admittedly quite different from the ones on the PM cars).

But as I can't recall the source, that's about equivalent to a wild-ass
guess in academic terms. That said, it doesn't mean I'm necessarily wrong,
nor does it mean that the diagram sheet is wrong. Either is, IMO,
possible, which is why I asked the question I did about whether car
builders had a preference for certain parts suppliers, and whether this
preference may have had influence on what the railway ultimately decided.

If it were to turn out that Western Steel Car Corp. had a preference for
getting parts from Chicago-Cleveland, then I would think it fairly
reasonable to assume that the PM 85000-series cars had the
Chicago-Cleveland ends. Given that the otherwise almost identical
86000-series cars built by Pressed Steel had Hutchins ends, I don't think
the PM had a set-in-stone preference for what manufacturer supplied the
steel ends, so long as they were steel ends. But again, I'm just guessing
here - and a point against my case is that the diagram for the
86000-series cars indicates Hutchins ends by name.

But to conclude, I wasn't making any assertions, just passing on what I'd
read/heard, and asking my own questions to go along with it.

Frank Valoczy
Vancouver, BC

soolinehistory wrote:



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Valoczy" <destron@...> wrote:


Dennis,

Not to make a big issue of it, but all the references I've seen to the
ends on the PM cars with the vertical 8+8 ribbing called it a Vulcan
end;
I've never seen any reference to vertically-placed Murphy ends.
Frank,

I personally don't know beans about PM boxcars, but didn't Fritz Milhaupt
just say in message 97935 that the PM diagram specifically called these
out as "Murphy" ends? I thought that since Mr. Million passed away, Fritz
was the go-to guy for things PM.

Now, Mr. Milhaupt's reference is apparently a railroad company diagram
sheet. There is, of course, the possibility it is in error. Care to cite
you references?

Dennis



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Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Valoczy" <destron@...> wrote:

Dennis,

I have the PM book in my hand and look at the same company diagram, and
yes, it says "Murphy". But as Fritz said, "Murphy" was often used pretty
loosely...
... only by modelers who haven't a clue. There have also been published references to corrugated ends that call them "Youngstown" ends, apparently because they look kind of like the doors. I think those of us who inhabit this list are trying to get beyond such mis-informed references.


When I was doing the research several years ago on the origin of the
Piedmont & Northern's 1100-series cars, I found reference to these
vertically-ribbed ends as "Vulcan" ends. I hope you'll forgive me but
after 4 or 5 years passed since I was doing that research, I can't
remember where it was that I saw that. But it is possible I'm in error
with regards to the nomenclature of the PM ends, and that the Vulcan
reference was about the vertically-ribbed ends on some WLE cars (which are
admittedly quite different from the ones on the PM cars).
I would suspect that the W&LE cars did have Vulcan ends, since one of the photos Chicago-Cleveland used to illustrate the Vulcan end in the 1922 Cyc. was of a W&LE car. But that doesn't mean that all ends with vertical ribs were Vulcan ends, especially in light of the "Murphy" notation on the PM drawings. Railroads seldom get this information wrong, because they don't use these names as generic terms for similar looking items as modelers do. Instead they tend to use generic trade names, but the actual part specifications would be found by going back into their files; unfortunately, much of that information is now lost.

If it were to turn out that Western Steel Car Corp. had a preference for
getting parts from Chicago-Cleveland, then I would think it fairly
reasonable to assume that the PM 85000-series cars had the
Chicago-Cleveland ends. Given that the otherwise almost identical
86000-series cars built by Pressed Steel had Hutchins ends, I don't think
the PM had a set-in-stone preference for what manufacturer supplied the
steel ends, so long as they were steel ends. But again, I'm just guessing
here - and a point against my case is that the diagram for the
86000-series cars indicates Hutchins ends by name.
And, the drawing for the 80000-80499, 80500-81999, and 85000-85999 series cars call out the Murphy ends by name? How is that any different? Sure, some are horizontal and other vertical ribs, but that would be determined by going into the drawing files. Equipment diagrams are kind of like an index; they just tell basic info about the cars, and the important thing here, to the railroad, is that if they need to order replacements, they need to talk to S.R.E.Co.

A couple other points. Carbuilder preferences didn't count for much, because in this era they didn't write the specifications; the railroads did. The car equipment manufacturers knew this, and weren't going to spend a lot of effort lobbying the builder, only to be overruled by customer preference. Customer preference was dictated by lots of factors: the mechanical department's intense like, or dislike for certain designs, or certain suppliers; the desire to support an on-line shipper, or conversely the need to spread the wealth, so to speak, around to several; and of course, which sales rep passed out the best booze, or bought the most dinners. Oh, yeah, price might come into play, but I suspect most these were commodity items that had long since had their price whittled down to the bare minimum.

Now, looking at the PM diagrams in the Million-Paton book, it appears that the first two series listed above came from the USRA, so the railroad had absolutely NO say in how they were equipped; that was the USRA's purchasing decisions. Other than that, the PM appeared to REALLY like to specify Hutchins products, using their roofs and ends on EVERYTHING, from several different builders, except this one other series of auto cars. The reason why is, I'm sure, lost to history.

Dennis


Eric Hansmann
 

As a Wheeling & Lake Erie modeler, the vertical corrugated rib discussion has caught my attention. It seems this hardware was not employed on large numbers of rolling stock. I only recently discovered the Pere Marquette usage through a notation on page 51 of Focus on Freight Cars Volume 2. Here's what I know about the Wheeling cars.

W&LE 27000-27999 :: 1000 cars installed July 1921.
Single-sheathed wood construction with seven-foot, offset doors and Vulcan vertical corrugated metal ends.
First 500 cars built by Pressed Steel Car Company, McKees Rocks, Penna.
Second 500 cars (lot 9110) built by AC&F, St. Louis, Mo.

A builders image of W&LE 27998 is available on the Westerfield AC&F image collection. While I can't quite read the builder mark on the side sill, the weigh location and date reads ST.L. 7-21.

In a 1931 freight car diagram of these cars, the ends are noted as "steel ends Vulcan corrugated". Those details can be found through the 27000-27999 link here:
http://www.alphabetroute.com/wle/1931fd.php

There are no images of the Pere Marquette cars with the vertical corrugated ends in the Westerfield AC&F image collection.

The W&LE box cars are also notable for two other aspects. The door opening was seven-feet wide, which seems to be fairly wide for 1921. And the doors were not centered on the sides. There was a slight offset. So if both doors were open and a view was perpendicular to the car side, you could not get a clear, seven-foot wide view through the other doorway.

Vertical corrugated ends
Seven-foot door opening
Offset doors

Three different spooting features all wrapped up in one car design. And as far as I have found, no other cars were built to this design.

One of these Wheeling cars sits in an industrial site north of Warren, Ohio. Listmember Dean Payne snapped a few images in 2005. One is featured on my blog post on the 1926 Wheeling freight car fleet.
http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/2010/06/21/wle-freight-car-fleet-of-1926/

Eric



Eric Hansmann
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Don't miss RPM-East!
http://www.hansmanns.org/rpm_east/2011.htm