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 Post subject: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:05 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:48 pm
Posts: 345
Location: Hickory, NC
Here's an unusual item on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vtg-Wood-Railroad-T ... 0790835285

Matt Bumgarner


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:53 am 
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Location: Henderson Nevada
Does anyone know where Wisconsin's Mercy box car is?

Randy

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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:12 pm
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Location: Tidewater, VA
http://www.mercitrain.org/wisconsin.html

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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
Randy Hees wrote:
Does anyone know where Wisconsin's Mercy box car is?

Randy


Randy -

Well, we now know where the Wisconsin Merci box car is, but the fact that this is a relatively small car, and WAS on wheels to be moved, means that it might have come from some other state. As I recall, the location of all of these cars had not been determined. This car could be from one of those other "missing" states.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:45 pm
Posts: 117
In my opinion it does not look like one of the Merci Box cars, the side braces (I don't know what to call them) are diagonal but the ones on the Merci Box cars are vertical.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 789
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies
As suggested by the Ebay description, this is very likely a WW1 boxcar. It looks like a carbody built by Pullman or one of the other major US manufacturers. It was probably surplus material which never went overseas. Below are photos of a WW1 600mm gauge boxcar in the UK and a meter gauge wWW2 surplus boxcar in the US.
Image
http://www.davesrailpics.bravehost.com/lclr/lclrb.htm

Image
http://www.trainweb.org/foothill/frother.html


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:32 am
Posts: 19
http://www.trainweb.org/foothill/images/usboxcar.jpg

That last boxcar is indeed surplus, but it wasn't necessarily meter gauge. It's from the 'Overseas Knockdown Fleet', which was designed and initially assembled as a completely metal kit (ten kits in a package, no less), and then assembled at the war front. The trucks/bogies would be supplied by the local railroad if they were non standard. The small stature of the fleet is due to the likelihood (at the time) of a third European War, and the infrastructure in that area.

The base kit was a flatcar, with optional upgrades being low and high side gondolas, boxcars, and I think cabooses and troop cars.

They didn't get around much here in the States, as they were undersize for their time period (the kits were built in the early 50s).

That boxcar is the seventh car one I've seen evidence of. Two boxcars at Bluegrass Railroad Museum in Kentucky, a flat, gondola, and possibly a boxcar at the National Transportation Museum in St. Louis, and there should be a flatcar at the US Army Transportation Corp Museum in Virginia.

I think that few people are familiar with the railcars of the Knockdown Fleet, though most know about the accompanying locomotives to this set, the EMD and ALCo MRS-1's.

James


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:52 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:41 pm
Posts: 188
Location: Colfax,WI
Any chance this was simply a Wisconsin narrow gauge car, possibly from the logging roads in NE WI?

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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:25 pm
Posts: 217
I saw a number of former knockdown fleet cars inside the restricted area at the naval base in Indian Head, MD, when I was last there in late 2002. Some were in better shape than others, and like steel boxcars from the WW II and Korean War eras, they had been abandoned in place and left to rust and rot. As far as I can tell from Google Earth, they are still there. The abandoned line between the base and White Plains, MD, was pulled up in January 2008 and the right-of-way converted to a trail for Charles County. Most of the rail within the perimeter of the base, however, remains on the ground. I believe the storage of munitions within the restricted area complicates scrapping activities (e.g., no open flames allowed), so the rail and abandoned rolling stock simply sit there. Many of the boxcars were spotted alongside buildings when the rail system shut down in the 1980s and were being used for additional storage space by adjacent offices. One of the old knockdown cars had old computer equipment stored inside, but since the roof had collapsed, the contents had been fully exposed to nature for some time. If someone has the means and desire, he or she might be able to talk the Navy into donating one of those old knockdown cars to be trucked out and restored somewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 5:10 pm
Posts: 951
At least a couple of these "knockdown" kits showed up at Cass Scenic Railroad, and one currently serves as the sandhouse next to the coal wharf.


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:56 am
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Location: Roanoke Va.
Jack Showalter had a few of these converted to open coaches on the old "Allegheny Central" in Covington Va. (along with USATC 606) Will Harris ended up with them at North Fork Lumber Co. I think they have all been scrapped now.

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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:43 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:42 am
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Location: Haslett, Michigan USA
There were a half-dozen or so of these boxcars at the state-government surplus depot at Lansing, Michigan in the 1970's, full of old mattresses. I don't know if they're still there. I saw them while shopping for tools for use on PM 1225. You never knew what would show up in this surplus yard. One day I thought we'd struck gold when their railroad siding had a train of Budd commuter cars on it (ex-PRR sleepers), but they were en route to the SEMTA commuter-train operation at Detroit.

Aarne Frobom
M&M Enterprises, Michigan


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:32 am
Posts: 19
I appreciate the tips on the Knockdown Fleet equipment!

James


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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:58 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:02 am
Posts: 620
Location: Albany, Georgia
There were, at least up until around 2001 or so, three or four of what almost certainly were these Knockdown Fleet boxcars at an outdoor nursery business just northeast of Columbus, GA. I have some photos sent to me by a coworker at the time, but they were from the road and the cars were some distance off the highway. I later visited the site during a business trip but did not have a camera so no photos. The cars were in fair shape, sans trucks and most all metal hardware. I hoped to acquire one for a museum exhibit, but that never happened. Residential development in that area has now taken over and the cars are long gone...last time I drove up that way I didn't recognize anything...

If I recall correctly, the story was the cars had been purchased as surplus from nearby Fort Benning.

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 Post subject: Re: WWI French boxcar on ebay
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:47 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 5:52 pm
Posts: 513
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Fort Benning had an extensive 60cm gauge system that ran around the post and out to the rifle ranges. This gauge was the same as the "trench railroads" using on the WW I western front. (The huns called their railroads feldbahn or field railway.) Other army posts in the US that had 60cm systems included: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; Camp Dix, New jersey; and, there were several other army posts that had narrow gauge systems that were more short-lived.

The Fort Benning system at its height had 27 miles of track, 20 locomotives and 196 pieces of rolling stock. The last year of operation of the Fort Benning system was in 1946.

I recall seeing the track still in the concrete roadways at many points on Benning's old main post area while attending The Infantry Officer Advanced course in the mid 1970s. Gasp, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away!

Thanks!

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