PRR X29 and B&O M-26 roofs


Bill Welch
 

I am curious if any PRR and B&O scholars have come across correspondence, memos, or reports related to the flat paneled riveted roofs used on the PRR's X29 and B&O's M26 boxcars as to its effectiveness in keeping the load space dry?


Bill Welch



genegreen1942@...
 

Bill,
Are you inquiring about leaks or "sweating?"  Or both?
Gene Green



Tony Thompson
 

I am curious if any PRR and B&O scholars have come across correspondence, memos, or reports related to the flat paneled riveted roofs used on the PRR's X29 and B&O's M26 boxcars as to its effectiveness in keeping the load space dry?


     In the proceedings of the ARA Mechanical Committee in the late 1920s (this was the successor to the MCB), there are disparaging remarks about the leak-prone roof of the X29, and Penny stubbornness about changing it. But I know of no PRR or B&O documentation on the point.

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Bill Welch
 

Gene:

I was interested in their tendency to leak but was not aware of any sweating issue.

Bill Welch


destorzek@...
 




---In STMFC@..., <fgexbill@...> wrote :

Gene:

I was interested in their tendency to leak but was not aware of any sweating issue.

Bill Welch
==========

Slightly different discussion, but sweating was a big problem with ANY all steel roof, given the proper conditions. Jim Dick of the NPHS sent me copies of a considerable amount of correspondence generated in the Minneapolis milling district concerning this. It seems, during cold weather cars loaded with warm flour would have the moisture condense on the car roof as the load cooled, and rain back down on the load. This did not occure on older cars with outside metal roofs, since they had a layer of wood under the roof panels, or cars with inside metal roofs, because the outer board covering allowed the roof panels to warm with the load.

There was really no good solution to this, as the railroads had a lot of compelling reasons to go with the new all steel roofs. In later years, when bunkerless refrigerator cars (RB's or more commonly RBL's) became more common, these became the preferred car for flour loading, as they had a wood lining under the roof.

As a side note, one has to keep in mind that as long as the railroads were the only game in town for bulk shipments, they were not particularly responsive to customer complaints, often choosing to pay a certain amount in damage claims rather than spend additional capital funds on improving the car fleet.

Dennis Storzek


Tim O'Connor
 

Interesting point Dennis -- Do you know whether "XF" box cars had wood lining
above the load as well? I never heard of the sweating problem before but lined
ceilings make a lot more sense now. The N&W B-18 PS-1 box cars were not insulated
but they had plug doors and lined ceilings -- just to name one car for which I
happen to have an interior photo scan from the Virginia Tech web site.

Tim O'

Slightly different discussion, but sweating was a big problem with ANY all steel roof, given the proper conditions. Jim Dick of the NPHS sent me copies of a considerable amount of correspondence generated in the Minneapolis milling district concerning this. It seems, during cold weather cars loaded with warm flour would have the moisture condense on the car roof as the load cooled, and rain back down on the load. This did not occure on older cars with outside metal roofs, since they had a layer of wood under the roof panels, or cars with inside metal roofs, because the outer board covering allowed the roof panels to warm with the load.

There was really no good solution to this, as the railroads had a lot of compelling reasons to go with the new all steel roofs. In later years, when bunkerless refrigerator cars (RB's or more commonly RBL's) became more common, these became the preferred car for flour loading, as they had a wood lining under the roof.

As a side note, one has to keep in mind that as long as the railroads were the only game in town for bulk shipments, they were not particularly responsive to customer complaints, often choosing to pay a certain amount in damage claims rather than spend additional capital funds on improving the car fleet.

Dennis Storzek


Clark Propst
 

Ben Hom wrote: “Do not depend on the kit instructions regarding brake layout”
 
I didn’t Ben. I noticed the difference from the photos in the Cyc.
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


destorzek@...
 




---In STMFC@..., <timboconnor@...> wrote :

Interesting point Dennis -- Do you know whether "XF" box cars had wood lining
above the load as well? I never heard of the sweating problem before but lined
ceilings make a lot more sense now. The N&W B-18 PS-1 box cars were not insulated
but they had plug doors and lined ceilings -- just to name one car for which I
happen to have an interior photo scan from the Virginia Tech web site.

Tim O'
===========
I donno, Tim. I can't seem to find "XF" in the list of mechanical designations in either the 1/58 or 10/70 ORER, but in 1958 there was a designation "XME" which was lined for "merchandise loading". I do recall seeing XF stenciled on cars, but after the period of this list. It may be one of those designations that came and went; disappearing when it became evident that if you are going to spend the money on lining a car, you may as well insulate it. "XI" was another short lived designation; eventually all these lined and insulated high value cars were also built with loaders and became the ubiquitous RBL of today.

Dennis Storzek


np328
 

I will try to provide a bit of an update on that sweating concern.

        Looking at records of XM's constructed on the NP Ry in the later fifties, (beyond my modeling timeframe) there are products that can be certainly found in Railway Age advertisements if one looks. These are spray on products composed of cork granules in asphalt like substances.  They were advertised for use on caboose interior roofs also, both as a sound and temperature insulator.

     When I get a chance I will try to give the names however I did note (while doing some research for our historical group) that these items were listed on the NP's spec sheets of material requirements per car that was supplied to the builders. The price in 1950-1960 dollars x 1000 or so cars (per order) was large enough that there had to be some justification. Doubly so for a frugal outfit like the NP. 

    I am not sure of the longevity of these as I had also seen other correspondence of these same materials later flaking off and contaminating the loads.  However that was this company vs that companies product.

 

    I will see if I can find the mfg names, so that the HS societies of these two cars might check if these products can be found in connection with the cars records. 

                                                                                                         Jim Dick - Roseville, MN 



caboose9792@...
 

XF was food loading only and had a interior coating to protect foodstuffs, think RB or RBL without the insulation. The car type post dates the list so I guess its discussion is irrelevant.

Back to your regularly scheduled programing.
Mark Rickert
 

In a message dated 4/15/2015 9:27:34 A.M. Central Daylight Time, STMFC@... writes:
I donno, Tim. I can't seem to find "XF" in the list of mechanical designations in either the 1/58 or 10/70 ORER, but in 1958 there was a designation "XME" which was lined for "merchandise loading". I do recall seeing XF stenciled on cars, but after the period of this list. It may be one of those designations that came and went; disappearing when it became evident that if you are going to spend the money on lining a car, you may as well insulate it. "XI" was another short lived designation; eventually all these lined and insulated high value cars were also built with loaders and became the ubiquitous RBL of today.

Dennis Storzek


rwitt_2000
 

Bill,

My reply is tardy, but I am not aware of any memos in the B&OHS Archives discussing any problems with the roofs leaking on their class M-26 box cars. There is no evidence of a mass program to replace the roofs on these cars.

I do have a few photos and field notes of class M-26 box cars refurbished at the Washington, Indiana Shops from the late 1950s into the early 1960s to be suitable for Class A freight loading, food stuffs, etc. The roofs appeared to be the originals. Some were labeled with a "circle T" indicating it was also suitable for LCL service. I have one note that one car was loaded with can goods. These photos and notes were from observations in Wisconsin which had a large canning industry.

Could manufacturing specifications and procedures have affected the frequency of leaks appearing. On blueprints I have reviewed it seems the specification was to use car cement at all riveted joints of the steel plates. Maybe some did this better than others.

Bob Witt


Jim Mischke
 



I would respectfully disagree a little with Bob on leaking B&O M-26 boxcar roofs.


The problem was leaking at the roof edges, the water remaining within the boxcar wall, persistent moisture at the car side bottom, and excessive rusting there.   This was why it was routine to apply patch panels along the bottom (12 inches high on B&O, 15 inches high on PRR X29 and Red Caboose models).  Almost all latter day M-26 photos show most or all side panels so patched.