Topics

SOO Line prewar 50 foot double door box car

Tim O'Connor
 

Resin Car Works has announced a kit for the 1939 box cars with 12'6" door openings.
I've attached a photo of what looks like the car rebuilt with new postwar ends, new
fishbelly side sills, new doors - am I correct about this? Is that what it is, a
rebuild of a prewar/wartime car?

Thanks for any facts you care to share. :-)



--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

Ken Soroos
 

Hi Tim -

Your first photo of car 176494 is from one of the series that Resin Car Works is replicating.  These cars were built new for the Soo Line and Wisconsin Central by Pullman-Standard in 1940 and 1942.  They had 10’-5” inside height and 5-5 Dreadnaught ends.  See the Resin Car Works website (resincarworks.com) for a builders photo.

Pullman-Standard did build similar cars for the Wisconsin Central in 1937 and 1939, but these cars had 10’-1” inside height with 4-5 (top to bottom) Dreadnaught ends.

Your second photo of car 176682 is from the second series of cars built / assembled for the Wisconsin Central in 1950, 1954, and 1957 at the Soo’s North Fond du Lac, WI shops.  These cars had 10’-6” inside heights and R-3-4 Dreadnaught ends.

The most distinguishing feature of all of these nominally 50’ cars is their centered doors covering 12’ openings.  The cars in both of your photos have essentially their as-built configurations.

Ken Soroos

On Oct 20, 2019, at 12:41 PM, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


Resin Car Works has announced a kit for the 1939 box cars with 12'6" door openings.
I've attached a photo of what looks like the car rebuilt with new postwar ends, new
fishbelly side sills, new doors - am I correct about this? Is that what it is, a
rebuild of a prewar/wartime car?

Thanks for any facts you care to share. :-)



--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*



<soo_176494 50ft_DD_box AAR-1939 white-line-scrap ColgateWI 12-1965.jpg><soo_176682 50ft_DD_box AAR WashingtonDC 1967.jpg>

 

Hello Ken,

In your info about Tim's second photo, build dates are 50, 54 and 57. Did the R-3-4 ends change between 50 and 54? Do you have # of cars built for each date? # series? No changes to basic features between dates?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Soo line info deprived,
Dan Smith

mopacfirst
 

So the one thing I'm curious about, that I don't recall from the Soo book (mine is packed),is what prompted the center-door design?  I know this became quite a bit more common, alter the end of this list, but was it a specific need, say specific loading spot spacing, specific commodity, or this is an inherently better design because it's symmetrical?  (I threw that last one in out of thin air.)

Ron Merrick

Ken Soroos
 

Hi Dan -

The third type of W.C. 50’ double-door boxcars (350 total) was built/assembled by the Soo Line at its North Fond du Lac, WI shops in 1950, 1954 and 1957.  These cars were built with underframes and hardware fabricated at NFduL.  Sides, R/3/4 Dreadnaught ends, diagonal panel roofs and doors (Youngstown) were sourced from other manufacturers.  These cars had 50-6” inside lengths and 10’-6” inside heights.

W.C. 176500-176598 (even nos. only)   (50 cars)   1950   GMS 5965
W.C. 176600-176798 (even nos. only)   (100 cars)   1954   GMS 6403
W.C. 177100-177498 (even nos. only)   (200 cars)   1957   GMS 6936

There is more photographic evidence relating to the 40’ boxcars also built at North Fond du Lac from 1949 through 1958.  I’m quite sure the ends were the same for the 40’ and 50’ cars based on years built.  All were of the R-3-4 configuration.  However, the cars built in 1950 and 1954 had “rolling pin” tapers to their non-rectangular end ribs and those built in 1957 had even (banana?) tapers to those ribs.  The side sills on the 1950-built double-door cars were “notched” towards the ends as opposed to the smooth transitions in Tim’s second photo.  The 1950-built cars would have had the Soo's “dollar-sign” herald originally as in Tim’s first photo, but by 1954 the 4’ billboard lettering had been adopted for newly built cars.

Ken Soroos


On Oct 21, 2019, at 2:01 AM, Dan Smith <espeefan@...> wrote:

Hello Ken,

In your info about Tim's second photo, build dates are 50, 54 and 57. Did the R-3-4 ends change between 50 and 54? Do you have # of cars built for each date? # series? No changes to basic features between dates?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Soo line info deprived,
Dan Smith

Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 09:37 AM, mopacfirst wrote:
So the one thing I'm curious about, that I don't recall from the Soo book (mine is packed),is what prompted the center-door design?
As far as I know, while the cars were marked "AUTOMOBILE" because the AAR lettering standards said they were supposed to be, the cars were actually built for paper loading. The paper mills liked the big door openings for loading rolls of newsprint, and staggered doors were of no advantage. Within the next fifteen years (in the future for this discussion group) the standard boxcar on the Soo was a fifty foot car with a 10' plug door, which suited the paper mills just fine.

Dennis Storzek

Tim O'Connor
 

what Soo Line freight car book?

On 10/21/2019 12:37 PM, mopacfirst wrote:
So the one thing I'm curious about, that I don't recall from the Soo book (mine is packed),is what prompted the center-door design?  I know this became quite a bit more common, alter the end of this list, but was it a specific need, say specific loading spot spacing, specific commodity, or this is an inherently better design because it's symmetrical?  (I threw that last one in out of thin air.)

Ron Merrick
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

James Brewer
 


On Mon, Oct 21, 2019 at 3:23 PM Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

what Soo Line freight car book?


On 10/21/2019 12:37 PM, mopacfirst wrote:
> So the one thing I'm curious about, that I don't recall from the Soo
> book (mine is packed),is what prompted the center-door design?  I know
> this became quite a bit more common, alter the end of this list, but
> was it a specific need, say specific loading spot spacing, specific
> commodity, or this is an inherently better design because it's
> symmetrical?  (I threw that last one in out of thin air.)
>
> Ron Merrick


--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*



rwitt_2000
 

Dennis,

Since these cars were constructed for paper or news print service would the shorter interior length of 50'-0" be the result of extra thick end linings?

I am curious what do the drawings show?

Bob Witt

Steve and Barb Hile
 

Bob,
 
Frank purchased the General Arrangement drawing from IRM Pullman Library to create his masters.  Copies of that drawing are available for purchase by anyone, just as Frank did.  The drawings at IRM are still the property of Bombardier and they do not allow them to be posted on line.  Each purchaser must agree to a license created by Bombardier stipulating this.
 
I have seen the drawing.  The inside length is 50'0" and the length over the underframe end sills is 50'2-1/4".  The side lining boards are 25/32 thick by 3-1/4 inches wide.  The side linings are nailed to 3 by 3 posts.  The 3x3's are recessed into the dreadnaught ends.  I don't see a dimensions on the end lining, but it is certainly thin, like the side lining.
 
Hope this helps.
 
Steve Hile



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of rwitt_2000 via Groups.Io
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 9:20 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] SOO Line prewar 50 foot double door box car

Dennis,

Since these cars were constructed for paper or news print service would the shorter interior length of 50'-0" be the result of extra thick end linings?

I am curious what do the drawings show?

Bob Witt

Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Oct 22, 2019 at 07:19 PM, rwitt_2000 wrote:
Since these cars were constructed for paper or news print service would the shorter interior length of 50'-0" be the result of extra thick end linings?
Bob,

Steve Hile gave a more complete answer since he has viewed the P-S drawings and I have not, but it's my impression that the 50'-0" IL was a Pullman Standard thing, since the 50' P-S cars with 6' doors built in 1936 share the same IL, with a length over the strikers of 51'-2 1/2". The post war cars the Soo built at North Fond du Lac are 51-10 3/4" over the strikers with a 50'-6" IL, except insulted cars which are shorter inside due to the insulation in the ends.

Wandering into the future for a bit, I recall in the eighties, after Wisconsin Central Ltd. took over the old Soo trackage in Wisconsin, they were running the 50' exterior post cars built by the Soo in the sixties, which also had Dreadnaught ends, through the shops to add two reinforcing beams across the lower end to beef them up for roll paper loading. Apparently Dreadnaught ends aren't quite up to the rigors of paper service.

Dennis Storzek

rwitt_2000
 

Steve and Dennis, thank you for your replies as they fill-in some gaps in my knowledge of freight cars. I didn't realize Pullman-Standard had this thing and actually built boxcar with interior lengths of 50-ft.

In this period, the depression, my railroad, the B&O, was building experimental and production wagon-top box cars in their own shops and not working much with commercial car builders.

Bob Witt