Various Eras

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by Bob Collins, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    I am trying my best, without a great deal of luck, to try to get my arms around the era I would like to be using as my base for sceniking on my layout.

    I want to be "somewhere" around the transition time from steam to diesel and I realize that depending on where you are geographically that might not always be the same, so let me try to tackle it a different way. I have basically been collecting 40' box cars and refers. When did the 50' box car become fairly standard issue?

    Also, I would like to have a fleet of 54' covered grain hoppers. When would they have begun to appear on the railroad scene?

    I am not interested, at least at this point, in Gundersons or car carriers and can fairly well ferret out the other newer stuff like 33,000 gal tanker and the like and the 86' boxes, but I can't seem to put my finger on when it would be "legal" to run both 40' and 50' boxcars and the 54' grain hoppers.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'm not that expert on dates and things, but you might look at the BLT dates on your cars. IFF the manufacturer has it right, that should give you an idea when the cars came in. (May not give you the earliest date).
  3. Bob Collins

    Bob Collins Active Member

    Great idea David.

    I just knew there was someone out there on The Gauge that was a lot smarter than I am. I'll do some checking and let you know what I find:)

  4. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    I would say sometime in the early 1960s is when the fifty-foot boxcar started to replace the forty in quantity. I can't say that I could imagine 40' boxcars in service next to larger grain hoppers, either. It would seem to me that the introduction of the hopper spelled the end for the old boxes as the hoppers replaced the boxes in grain service. For a more exact date on the hopper issue, the Southern Railway introduced its famous "Big John" covered hoppers 1962; they were probably the first high-capacity covered hoppers in the country. Other competing designs were introduced in the years that followed.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I am checking FURNITURE AND AUTOMOBILE BOX CARS by Richard Hendrickson published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society. It shows an all steel 50 foot box car built by the Erie in 1928. The caption mentions the all steel automobile box cars to the AAR design beginning to appear in the mid thirties.
    I think you would see a mix of 40 & 50 foot cars in the thirties through WW2 with the forty foot cars being predominate. Right after the war railroads needed to replace their existing box cars as many were dating back from the 20's and were worn out from the high mileage use in WW2. Car builders were building 40 and 50 foot cars in the AAR design, and also the popular Ps1 from Pullman Standard. You would probably see a roughly even mix of 40's and 50's from 1948 to @1955 or so. After that, the 50 footers would start to predominate. In the early sixties railroads started experimenting with the multideck autoracks on flat cars that have developed into what we see today. Many of the 50 foot cars had their roof walks removed in the mid sixties, but by the early 70's most of the 50 foot cars were disappearing.

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