Photos: 140 Foot Tank On 3 Flatcars (edited message)

Ralph W. Brown

Edited message follows:
Hi john, et al.,
Drawing from your listing of possible candidates, and being a certified (or maybe certifiable) SPF, I did a little research regarding the PRR cars listed.
The hundred PRR Class F30 50’ flat cars numbered 470100-470199 were built in 1929 of riveted construction using pressed steel shapes and rode on a single pair of PRR 2E-F4 or 2E-F4A trucks.  In 1942, most were upgraded to 190,000 lbs. capacity with the application of AB brakes and 2F-F4 trucks.  The nearest flat car in the first two images (outside the plant) clearly are not PRR Class F30 flat cars.  See: Pennsylvania Railroad Flat Cars Revenue & Work Equipment, 1881 to 1968 by Elden Gatwood and Al Buchan, pp. 43-44.
PRR 470200-470202 were PRR Class F34 flat cars.  PRR 470200 and 470201 were railroad built at Altoona in 1938, and PRR 470202 followed in 1943.  These cars had a capacity of 375,000 lbs.  They each has two sets of AB brakes and rode on two sets of two PRR 2F-F3 four-wheel trucks with each set being connected by a span bolster.  Given the date of the photograph, one of these cars, especially one of the first two of them, is a strong possibility for that nearest flat in the first two images.  The stirrup steps at the corner appear to be an exact match for the car in question.  See: Pennsylvania Railroad Flat Cars Revenue & Work Equipment, 1881 to 1968 by Elden Gatwood and Al Buchan, pp. 61-63.
PRR Class F36 consisted of the thirty flat cars numbered 470205-470235.  The cars date from 1940, each had a capacity of 250,000 lbs., and were of welded construction.  Inasmuch as they rode on PRR 3F-F3 six-wheel Buckeye trucks, they are not candidates for the car in question.  See: Pennsylvania Railroad Flat Cars Revenue & Work Equipment, 1881 to 1968 by Elden Gatwood and Al Buchan, pp. 65-68.
Incidentally, I’d recommend Elden’s and Al’s PRR flat car book to anyone interested in PRR flat cars.  It’s my go to resource on the subject.  This duo also authored a similarly titled book on PRR gondolas that is my go to source on that subject.
Hope that helps.
Ralph Brown
Portland, Maine
PRRT&HS No. 3966
NMRA No. L2532


From: John Barry
Sent: Sunday, January 26, 2020 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photos: 140 Foot Tank On 3 Flatcars

There aren’t many possibilities.  We can eliminate the short FM and FG cars, as well as the FD and FW cars.  That leaves the following FM flats from the Oct44 ORER list of Heavy Capacity Flat Cars

C&O 80950-80959             56’9

Erie 7220-7224   50’9

NYC 499000, 499007       40’10

NYC 499015-499019         35’6 (probably not)

NYC 499035-499039         34’8 (probably not)

NYC 499041-499042         47’

NYC&StL 2900-2901         50’9

PRR 470100-470199         50”

PRR 470200-470202         45’

PRR 470206-470235         50’

P&LE 6885-6889                36’7

SP 44091-44094                 45’

And a longer FG

C&NW 48051, 48053       45’

I'm not familiar with all of the HD flats, but this should narrow the search as it's likely that several of the above don't have the double truck bolsters.
John Barry
ATSF North Bay Lines
Golden Gates & Fast Freights
Lovettsville, VA
PO Box 44736
Washington, DC 20026-4736
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, 06:32:23 PM EST, Jack Mullen <jack.f.mullen@...> wrote:
On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 12:09 PM, Tony Thompson wrote:
Can anyone see whose flat cars they are? I can't read any of the cars.
No luck, the scans are rather low-rez and details just disappear into pixel legos as I zoom in.  What may be reporting marks  appear just left of center of the left-hand car in the first photo. That area resolves to what seem to be three characters.
This car, closest to the camera in the two outdoor photos, seems to have a cast steel body, which brings the Commonwealth CNW/PRR/SP 44' 200 ton cars that have been modeled in several scales to mind. However, unless it's an illusion caused by photo lens and angle, the car appears somewhat longer, and the trucks seem to have the proportions of 5'6"+ wb, rather than the 5'0" of at least the PRR and C&NW cars.  The truck sideframes are flat-topped, lacking the characteristic arch of the 5'0" 100 ton trucks.  So maybe a similar cast car, but say 47-50' length?
Who else had similar cars? NYC and D&H come to mind, but I don't have hard data or photos at hand.
The car bearing the other end of the load, closest to the camera, is different - riveted construction, and with stake pockets, which we don't often see on very heavy-duty flats.  The welding flare obscures what I think are the marks and number.
Hope these clues help somebody recognize these...

BTW, it's not " William Boiler & Manufacturing Company", but "William Bros...", and Bros is a name, not the abbreviation for brothers. They also made snowplows, some for railroads.

Jack Mullen