1949 for Younstown doors, was: Fox Valley (and ExactRail) B&O Wagontop

Jim Mischke

"No memos have appeared in the B&O archives describing a planned door replacement program for the M-53."

B&O memo exists. The cover letter for M-53 Youngstown replacement door drawings is dated Jan. 3, 1949. This would have much implications for who can have what wagontop boxcar door when on their model railroads. Youngstown doors were available in early 1949.

Rather than replacing orignal Tatum XLT doors in kind, B&O was already specifying vendor doors, such as Superior doors for the M-26, as early as early 1943. Such vendor hardware measures seemed to appear after the retirement of John Tatum effective 1-1-42. Unappreciative former subordinates.

Memo came to B&OHS when we emptied out the Gassaway station attic of all its B&O stored records. Included were the car shop foreman's files (named Arasmith), with perhaps every relevant B&O freight car memo 1925-1960. These files bore much fruit, helping Chris Barkan compose his boxcar and hopper car lettering scorecards back in 1994-5.

--- In STMFC@..., "rwitt_2000" <rwitt_2000@...> wrote:

This was discussed in some earlier posts. Briefly, the photo evidence
indicates that most cars appear to have Youngstown doors after ~1955,
but there is a photo from 1952 of an M-53 already with a Youngstown
door. >
Trying not to confused the facts, but it appears from photo evidence
that the when the M-15 wagon-tops received new AAR underframes in ~1955
they also received new Youngstown doors. A speculative suggestion would
be that the use of replacements doors on the M-15 wagon-tops led to a
door replacement program for the class M-53.

The circle "T" indicates that the box car is suitable for l.c.l.
(less-than-car load) service, which was named "Time-Saver Service" on
the B&O. That usually indicated that the box car was suitable for class
A loads.

Bob Witt

Todd Horton wrote:

Does anyone know if (all of the cars had)Â and when the doors would
have been replaced? The Springs Mills site shows in service pics of cars
with Youngstown doors on all of them. One other minor detail, what's the
"circle T" designate? Todd Horton

From: rwitt_2000 rwitt_2000@
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 8:27 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Fox Valley (and ExactRail) B&O Wagontop



I just checked the Spring Mills Depot web site and they don't imply
their special run from Fox Valley is sold out. You can check with


Also there is another run from Fox Valley due first quarter next year.
The B&OHS will have a special run of unique numbers so keep checking
that site as more details become available. http://borhs.org/

For an Exactrail, I would try to get a kit as I believe the door is a
separate part.


Bob Witt

Andrew wrote:


Like John Degnan, I model 1957. I have seen photos of my
modeling area (eastern Ontario) that indicate B&O M-53
boxcars were an occasional visitor--though not as common
as B&O open hoppers with soft coal for industrial customers.

Photos I've seen of M-53 boxcars in my area and time period
all have the Youngstown doors, not the Tatum doors.

I missed out on the Fox Valley run of M-53s earlier this year
but am interested in possibly getting one of the ExactRail
models. I notice ExactRail isn't offering a version with the
Youngstown doors.

Any guesses on the likelihood of ExactRail doing a future
run of these cars with Youngstown doors and later period
lettering schemes? Alternately, what would be a good
aftermarket Youngstown door to retrofit onto one of the
upcoming run of ExactRail models?


--- In STMFC@..., "rwitt_2000" rwitt_2000@ wrote:


I forgot to add that I observed a M-53, ~1960, in a long line of
ordered B&O box cars in Caseyville, Illinois. It still had Tatum
one, which was off its tracks was lying on the floor of the car. I
believe it was the first time I saw a XLT door. As you suggest, it
possible that some M-53s made it to the late 1950s still with
Tatum doors.


Bob Witt

Tim O'Connor wrote:

Thanks Bob. Since my modeling -begins- with 1955 I'll be waiting
the cars with replacement doors... but maybe an XLT will slip in

I have 6 photos and/or Xeroxes of photos of M-53 and 1 M-53A
with their Tatum "XLT" doors. Most are from the Anderson,
King Collection. The re-weigh dates range from 12-45 to 3-55.
schemes range from the early "13 Great States" to the late "13
States" as described in the Barkan document. The re-weigh dates
1950s include 1950, 1951, 1952 (2), and 1953.

The last is a shop photo at Mt. Clare of a M-53 wearing the
"Billboard scheme". It was common for the B&O to do samples at
"mother shop", Mt. Clare in Baltimore, before changes were
system wide.

Based upon photos its appears the doors were replaced beginning

Bob Witt

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