SAL single sheathed series 13001-13500 and 13501-13965

Eric Lombard

Good afternoon, Folks...

I have been unable to determine if any cars in the 13000s were rebuilt to steel sheathing. Does anyone know about this possibility? If so is there a photo to share? Many of the nearly identical cars in 12000-12999 (1926), 15000-15999 (1930) and 16000-16999 (1930) were rebuilt to steel sheathing: First in 1941 (12000s without renumbering); then 1952-1955 (15000s, 16000s renumbered to 14000s, 20000s). Some were rebuilt with the steel plating inside the posts and braces, some with plating outside the braces. With this in mind it makes sense that the 13000s would also participate since they were essentially identical to 12000s, 15000s, 16000s when built.

Much appreciation if someone(s) might be able to enlighten me with an image and/or words.

Thank you in advance,
Eric Lombard
Homewood, IL


Hi Eric,

SAL 13000-series were the B-4 class cars.  My information shows there were 1,000 cars delivered in two lots: 13001-13500 delivered from Pressed Steel, Baltimore in April 1929, and 13501-13999 also from Pressed Steel delivered in August.  I acknowledge the series stops in the ORER at 13965.

A large number of these former B-4 cars were rebuilt to maintenance of way cars in the 1940s and 1950s.  I've counted at least 19 different maintenance cars were originally B-4 box cars.  Many of those cars were re-sheathed with plywood--but AFTER they were rebuilt for maintenance.  Also, at least 100 cars were rebuilt into R-4 wood racks in the late 1940s.

To your question: I have run across no evidence that any B-4s were rebuilt with steel sheathing.

A small number of B-3 class cars (12000-12999) were rebuilt with steel sheet inside the trusses by 1940.  Most of the B-3s were rebuilt into wood racks, stock cars, and maintenance cars.  Over 1,200 of the 2,000 B-5s were rebuilt with steel sheathing in at least three different variations...but that wasn't your question of course.

I have lots of images, but nothing showing a steel-sheathed B-4.

John Golden