Friday, December 13, 2019

Late Steam Era 36-foot Box Cars

Jim Gerstley
Several months ago, I mentioned that I would post a list of 36-foot box cars that would be useful prototypes for late 1940s to early 1950s modelers (meaning that these cars were still operating in reasonable quantities, either in gross numbers or as a percentage of the road’s fleet.) Without much fanfare, here is the list, along with some photos, and HO scale model references where known.

Al Armitage photo
*Canadian National Dominion/Fowler Patent single sheathed box cars - the CN's cars including subsidiaries are too numerous to chronicle in a sentence; it is sufficient to say there were over 33,000 cars with many subtle detail differences; HO scale models from Speedwitch K104 kits (five-foot door opening), Westerfield, True Line Trains/LifeLike Canada, AccurailMainline Modeler, November 1985

Roseville, Calif., Oct 24, 1952, Col. Chet McCoid photo, Bob's Photo
*Canadian Pacific Dominion/Fowler Patent single sheathed box cars - like the CN, the CP had a massive fleet, with over 33,000 cars for itself and subsidiaries; too many to delineate in a sentence or paragraph; HO scale models from Westerfield, Accurail (six-foot door opening only); Mainline Modeler, June 1985

George Sisk photo, Charles Winters Collection
*Other Dominion/Fowler Patent single sheathed box cars, including Erie, NYS&W, NC&StL, PGE, Wabash, Soo, and others - Westerfield, AccurailMainline Modeler, April 1986

Delaware & Hudson double sheathed box cars profiled through the link included herein - models may be kit-scratchbashed or old Funaro & Camerlengo kits; Railroad Model Craftsman, November and December 1987

Bob's Photo
Erie single sheathed box cars (different from the Erie's Fowler/Dominion cars and more numerous in the late Steam Era). These cars were built by Standard Steel in 1921 and assigned to 93000-93999. They featured hat section pressed steel structural members as shown on Erie 93132 above. - no models at present

Harry Zillmer photo
Illinois Terminal 8100-8199 series single sheathed box cars built by Mt. Vernon in 1928. Note the Dalman Two-Level trucks (without Barber Lateral Motion devices) - Sunshine Models kits

Paterson, New Jersey, ca. 1947, Sirman Collection
Louisville & Nashville double sheathed box cars. Over the years, the Louisville & Nashville had thousands of such cars, with many subtle and not so subtle differences in characteristics. By the twilight of Steam, they were concentrated in two series: 8000-8999 and 10000-11999. Note the extensive damage to the door frame and roof at left edge of door in photo above - Sunshine Models

Missouri Pacific Lines double sheathed and rebuilt box cars. MP had cars as shown above well into the late 1940s and 1950 with many rebuilt into distinctive all-steel cars like MP 120050 shown at the top of this post - Sunshine Models; Railway Prototype Cyclopedia, Vol. 14.

Bob's Photo
New York Central System (NYC, B&A, P&LE) double sheathed box cars - Funaro & Camerlengo (general site link - search by road for specific kits), Accurail. F&C had a kit for this B&A car with Dreadnaught ends (I had one and gave it away to a friend recently as I have no need for more than one B&A car and my one is a USRA-design steel car.) 

Al Armitage photo
Southern (Mobile & Ohio and Lancaster & Chester) double sheathed truss box cars. These were incredibly numerous (almost 15,000 cars) and some of the last truss rod cars built - WesterfieldFunaro & Camerlengo; Railroad Model Craftsman March 2004
*Russ Pinchbeck and the late Stafford Swain presented a clinic about the Fowler/Dominion cars on the RPM circuit circa 2003 and included a detailed handout.

Eric Hansmann's blog Notes on Designing, Building, and Operating Model Railroads has much good information about 36-foot cars (particularly the NYC System cars produced by Accurail) as he is a 1920s-era modeler and his need for these cars is obvious!

Below are a few models. From top to bottom, Westerfield, Speedwitch, Westerfield

1 comment:

  1. The Atlantic & Danville also had secondhand Southern SU boxcars. Sunshine did a kit for the Charleston & Western Carolina's 36-foot DS sides and end cars when they offered their ACL Ventilated boxcar kit. Sunshine's L&N 36-foot kit was actually an earlier car then the one pictured to model their cars with Double Sheathed ends. Bill Welch


Comments always welcome!