Thursday, January 28, 2016

Interesting New York Central System Auto Car End

We humans are drawn to the unusual. It may be our natural programming for survival to spot the unusual or different things around us. Whatever the cause, many of us manifest that in our selections and choices of freight cars. We want vinegar tank cars, auto frame loads, three-, four- or even six-compartment tank cars, the PFE reefers that had the colors in the stripes in the UP shield accidentally reversed when painted by a shop, etc. However, the laws of probability and statistics dictate that as rarities, anomalies, and oddballs pile upon one another, they become more and more unrealistic. That doesn't stop us from craving them, though.
from Standard Oil of New Jersey photograph
This portion of the end of NYC 196551 was a very small portion of a photo of a worker tending to a UTLX tank car in a Standard Oil of NJ photo. My attention was captured by the large corrugation in the top of the end. It is roughly triangular in shape. I scanned the image to focus on this car.
It turns out that it is part of a group of 1,000 cars built by MDT in 1926-1927 and 1928 and assigned to series 53000-53499, Lot 540-B and 53500-53999, Lot 572-B, respectively. They had end doors, as shown above, plus 10' door openings and a cubic capacity of 3,544 feet. By the time of this photo, the car above had been renumbered into the series 196500-196999, a transition started for this series of cars in 1941 (the other series was renumbered into 196000-196499 at the same time).
Sirman Collection
MDT also constructed an additional 1,000 cars for NYC Lines road CCC&StL in two groups in 1928 and 1929. These cars share the same basic design, right down to the 3,544 cu.ft. capacity, but had 12' door openings instead. The first group was assigned to CCC&StL 91000-91499, Lot 578-B, and the second group was placed in CCC&StL 91500-91999, Lot 585-B. Beginning in 1937, they were merged into series NYC 58000-58999, and three short years later, in 1940, were assigned to NYC 67000-67787. In 1941 and 1943, they were split back into two groups, 203000-203499 and 203500-203999, respectively. It is unclear if the 1941 and 1943 renumbering resulted in mixing of the original lots.
For both types of cars, there were additional renumberings and conversions to box cars and plating of the end doors in the 1950s. As I develop my CAD capabilities, I will put this end door car, with its distinctive corrugation, on my to-do list. It's unusual and there were 2,000 cars with this end door design, making it less of an oddball car.

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