Thursday, January 25, 2024

Milwaukee Road 40' and 50' Single Sheathed Auto Cars of 1928 & 1929


This photo shows one of the 40' cars with a raised roof. Big Four Graphics

In 1928, the Milwaukee Road received 300 single sheathed automobile cars from American Car & Foundry. These were assigned to series 593025-593324. This was followed in 1929 by orders from Bettendorf (nos. 593325-594324) and Pacific Car & Foundry (nos. 594325-594524.) All of these cars were nominal forty-foot cars, with end doors on cars 593025-593324 (AC&F) and 593325-593374 (Bettendorf.) Cars without end doors had 8" x 14" lumber doors in the A ends. All cars were single sheathed construction with 3/3/3 square corner Dreadnaught ends, Youngstown corrugated steel doors, Hutchins Dry Lading roofs, Dalman one-level trucks, and Klasing power hand brakes (early type with vertical shaft and hand wheel) on cars 593325-594524 and what appear to be unpowered, shaft hand brakes on 593025-593324. Some cars received Evans auto loaders and were renumbered to series 595000-596147. Further, the cars in the series 595000-596147 had their roofs raised by seven inches and their racks removed (likely in the lead up to and during the war.) Finally, in the postwar period some of the raised roof cars had auto loading racks (re)installed and were again renumbered, to the series 597000-598143. By late 1951, there were only two cars remaining in the 595000-series. When racks were removed, the cars were renumbered back into the 595000-series.

Good photos of the 50' cars are rare, but this is noteworthy not only for its good illustration of many of the traits of the cars, but also because, for some inexplicable reason (before its derailment shown here) the entire car was repainted and stenciled by the Northern Pacific (as opposed to the owner, the Milwaukee Road.) Bob's Photo

In 1929, Pullman Car & Manufacturing built 500 fifty-foot automobile cars for the Milwaukee that were assigned to series 271500-271999. The cars were essentially longer versions of the forty-foot cars, with an additional panel on either side of the doors. In all other respects they were identical, including the same ends, doors, roofs, trucks, lumber doors, and even Klasing power hand brakes. They did not have auto loading racks. 

These cars are the subject of a blog post because the next kit release from Speedwitch will be the fifty-foot cars. The completed model will be profiled here in the next week or so. It is likely these will be followed at some point in the future by the release of a kit for the forty-foot cars.

This crop of an FSA-OWI image provides a fine view of the Universal power hand brake, an enhancement when the roof was raised, as well as the tell-tale line at the top of the end, showing the additional section added to accommodate the raised roof. Jack Delano photo 

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