Hide Loading Only Boxcars

Bob Chaparro

Hide Loading Only Boxcars

Now for the fun and fond memories. These are comments from real railroaders on the Facebook If You Work(Ed) On The Railroad group:

Doug Burge:

They brought a hide car in and spotted it on the RIP track for repairs. The center plate was broke and the rivets needed burned out to drop it out and replace it, you know where this story is going. I’d already seen the writing on the wall but my buddy hadn’t. We jacked up that end of the car, unhooked the brake rods and rolled the trucks out. He crawled under the car and started burning the rivets out. The heat from the torch liquefied the tallow that was all over the floor and dripped through all over my buddy’s head, shoulders and back and down the crack of his ass. He didn’t realize what was going on till after the fact. He stunk to high Heaven and cussed me like a dog for laughing at him.

and in the hot summer time I could look across the rail yards and spot a hide car just by the flies swarming around it. And if the summer breeze was blowing your way you could definitely smell it.

Pete Kerlin:

If the company was short of box cars the hide loading placard disappeared. The door tracks were bent most of the time and if you didn't have a come along the door stayed open stinking. I suspect they were used for lumber loading brick and other commodities.

Hal Smith:

Hated to work on them, on the rip or in the yard, brake shoes had to be paper thin before anyone would change them, and if we thought they might make it to another yard, we'll it did roll in, should roll out.

Russ Bryan:

The stench from a hide car was unmistakable. As the hides were soaked in brine during processing and shipped wet, the residue continuously dripped from the cars enroute. Of course, the cars used in hide service were severely rusted from the brine. That's why only cars near their end of service life were used.

Marc Pudney:

I remember when they came into the car shop only the new guys were allowed to work on them.

James Henderson:

Nothing much worse than replacing worn out cast iron brake shoes on a hide car after it had been washed, terrible smell.

Bill Lewis:

Welding a draft sill patch, you ever tried to weld rust? Yeah that's right and the fat was seeping thru the sill going down your back also. Yeah, this is a horror story.

Bob Chaparro


Railway Bull Shippers Group


Tom Madden

Ah! The romance of the rails.....

Tom Madden

charles slater

Tom, did you ever produce those beautiful Santa Fe tank cars in classes Tk-G,H,I & J that you did a clinic on at Naperville many years ago. At that time you said you only had some detail parts you finish up and they would be ready. Did you ever offer them for sale, if so, I missed getting them.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
Take Care
Charlie Slater MSFN2 

Sent from Outlook

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tom Madden via groups.io <pullmanboss@...>
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2022 10:58 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Hide Loading Only Boxcars
Ah! The romance of the rails.....

Tom Madden