Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wordy Wednesday - Omaha, Nebraska May, 1948

Click on the images to see a larger view.

This photo is interesting to me for a number of reasons. The unusual PFE painting arrangement on the -16 rebuild is one, but the other is that as an early 1950s modeler, I am on the lookout for 36' box cars that I can credibly include in my fleet; this photo shows two such candidates. The photo was recorded by Lee Russell for the CB&Q in May, 1948 in Omaha. The Rock Island freight terminal is visible, as well as the Bekins warehouse, among other structures. A couple of Rock Island truck trailers can be picked out flanking the PFE R-30-9 reefer in the background. Photo from the Newberry Library

PFE - R-30/40-16 - With 3,554 cars (nos. 73001-76554) the -16 rebuilds were the second largest group of PFE rebuilds, after the -9 classes. They employed Murphy solid steel roofs (with rectangular panels, as shown here) and retained wood ends. The extremely interesting detail in this photo is the 1946 style UP medallion by itself on the car side. According to PFE painting specifications, this style of medallion was always to be paired with an SP medallion, with both on each side of the car. This is a highly unusual, if not unique, application. HO scale models of the -16 rebuilds were offered in resin by Sunshine Models as well as styrene by Pacific Freight Enterprises

PFE R-30-24 67179 - the final group of rebuilds of the late 1930s and 40s were the -24 classes. They were unusual for the use of 'Harborite' exterior plywood sheathing (some other rebuilds of the era used this as well, notably many -9s refurbished during the same late 1940s period.) There were 2,610 -24s in total (nos. 65921-68532.) They were the only rebuilds to use Improved Dreadnaught ends and the last cars also received diagonal panel Murphy roofs. Preco FG-41 or FK-2 mechanical fans were installed, as well. Almost all of the -24 rebuilds used "built-up" 30-or 40-ton underframes, as the vast majority of the Bettendorf underframe cars were rebuilt in earlier classes. HO scale models were offered in resin by Sunshine and the MTH PFE reefer, while decorated as a steel car, closely resembles a -24.

WP 20529 - Western Pacific received 350 Modified AAR box cars from Mt. Vernon Car Manufacturing Co. in 1945, nos. 20201-20550. They had Youngstown Steel doors, Apex Tri-Lok running boards, Barber S-2 (20201-20350) or ASF A-3 Ride Control (20351-20550) trucks, and Royal Type F brake regulators. The placard boards were lowered fairly quickly, as illustrated by the one shown on the door of WP 20529 above. Sunshine Models offered resin kits and Intermountain has styrene versions of these cars.

UP 79420 - B-50-6 The Union Pacific and Southern Pacific both rostered large fleets of double sheathed box cars constructed to a (mostly) standard design. The UP purchased over 7,500 cars from various builders, constructed between late 1910 and 1913. The UP cars were interesting as the UP rebuilt many cars with Murphy or Dreadnaught ends, extending the service lives of many through World War Two. Thereafter, numbers dropped significantly, with most gone by 1949 and none in revenue service in 1953. UP 79420 is a B-50-6 with Dreadnaught ends, still in service in May, 1948 and adorned with the 'Road of the Streamliners' and 'Serves all the West' scheme. Westerfield offers HO scale resin kits to build all known variants of these numerous cars.

D&H 24062 - These cars were profiled in a previous post. Since that posting, I have located the article from the November and December, 1987 issues of Railroad Model Craftsman.

CN 523497 - This cars was one of the over 16,000 postwar AAR-design box cars purchased by the CN between 1947 and 1957. CN 523497 was from a 1,500 car order (nos. 522500-523999) from Canadian Car & Foundry delivered in 1948. They featured pre-War Youngstown steel doors, 4/4 Improved Dreadnaught ends with a shorter top rib, Murphy rectangular panel roofs, Barber S-2 spring plankless Stabilized trucks, Ajax power hand brakes, and 8-rung ladders with integral sill steps on both sides and ends. Intermountain has produced the correct end in styrene, as well as Speedwitch in several mini-kits (Erie and P&WV postwar AAR box cars.)

L&N 11147 - Louisville & Nashville rostered a large fleet of 36' double sheathed box cars during the Steam Era. L&N 11147 was part of a group of 500 cars built in 1923 by Mt. Vernon Car Manufacturing Co., nos. 11000-11499. Sunshine offered HO scale kits for some cars and there have been articles over the years about kitbashing models, usually beginning with the MDC model as a starting point. There is another HO scale resin offering in the works.

ATSF 272464 - Bx-46 (272000-272977, 978 cars) rebuilt in 1945 from Santa Fe's ARA-design double sheathed box cars in classes Bx-9 and -10. There were also rebuilds in classes Bx-41 (270000-270134, 134 cars; from Bx-8), Bx-42 (270500-271033, 534 cars; Bx-9/-10), Bx-45 (271600-271949, 350 cars; Bx-8), and Bx-49 (272978-273914, 937 cars; Bx-9/-10). The Bx-49 cars were different in that they employed postwar 'Improved' Dreadnaught ends.

UP B-50-20 - The UP converted 886 of the A-50-6 class automobile cars to box cars in 1934-1935 (500 cars, nos. 350000-350499) and in 1940 (386 cars, nos. 350500-350885). The cars were distinctive for their size and single sheathed style structural members, but with steel where wood boards were normally used. Westerfield offers HO scale resin kits to replicate these distinctive cars.

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