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 Post subject: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
I've mentioned this place before. It's a junkyard with a large collection of 1940's ere boxcars forming the perimeter fence. Based on Google Maps, it appears there are roughly 40 boxcars and two passenger cars.

One of the passenger cars -appears- to be an RPO, though I may be mistaken on that. The boxcars appear to be 1940's era steel cars, complete with GN and NP logos, badly faded.

The property is now up for sale. What this means for cars is uncertain, however I'm going to hazard a guess that the new owner may not want them. I have no idea whether you could purchase the cars separately, I suspect you could. As with many craftsman kits, they are less trucks and couplers. :) (I would also suspect that anything else on the underbody is probably gone too, brake rigging etc.)

I have no additional information, nor do I know if there are any plans for the cars already in place.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Great ... b18e5945a8


Last edited by Bobharbison on Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:07 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
Photos taken 12/23/14

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
One of the passenger cars and the contact info. This is Great Falls, MT, so the area code would be 406.

I don't have any info on the second passenger car. While the photo makes it look like I could just waltz right in, I was shooting through a locked gate.

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Last edited by Bobharbison on Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
Just a small portion of the collection, I was not able to see many of the cars except from a distance.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
Can you just imagine what these would look like behind SP&S 700 or one of the operational Berkshires? What an incredible photo freight that would be!

As I said, I have no idea what the plans, if any, are for these cars. Maybe the owner plans to restore them all and put them in covered storage. Maybe they have a date with a cutting torch. If I was betting, I'd put my money on the latter by about 1 million to 1.

Hopefully somebody can save some them.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 455
Perhaps buy the trucks, brake rigging, couplers and so on from the Navy boxcars that will certainly be scrapped soon.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 5:38 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:13 pm
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Location: Baltimore. MD
A lot of the Navy boxcars I have seen have cast iron wheels!

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
I think the trucks and brake rigging should be replacable, but I guess I don't really know. This certainly would aeem to be easier than some steam loco projects I've seen.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 12:44 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 540
Location: St. Louis, MO
Does anyone have knowledge of what the other side of these cars look like? I've seen junk yards that did this before and the other side of most of the cars were cut open to serve as open storage areas with just the roof intact. We should be aware of just how complete are any of these are before considering getting anything but some parts from them?

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:05 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
Posts: 323
Location: western Maryland
I would be very surprised if the owner took the time to remove the brake rigging and other hardware from under these cars. That seems like a lot of unnecessary work merely to build a barrier around that enclosure.

I'd love to get a few of those cars. There is some really neat stuff in those pictures.

Hey, Santa!!!

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: Northern Illinois
Then again, if the cars were sold to be sheds, typically the trucks, couplers, draft gear, and reclaimable brake equipment were not included in the deal. That made the bodies cheaper to the purchaser (by not having to pay for the scrap value of the trucks) and easier to load as well. Once you remove the brake valve and reservoir, cylinder and loose rods and levers, there is very little left (lever carriers) and those also may have been torched off to make loading easier.

Everyone always assumes that boxcar sheds went by rail to the very closest point to where they sit today. In reality, at least in the era these bodies became sheds, cars were sold off a railroad RIP track that was equipped to do the reclaim work, and the buyer was responsible for having them trucked from there. The cars had to get loaded on a truck to be positioned as they are; the fact that they might have been loaded fifty miles away didn't add all that much to the cost, especially if the buyer was using his own equipment.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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Dennis -

I believe that the steel Pennsy X29 class boxcar at HVRM still has these items. The car was sold to a grain elevator and used for storage there before it was eventually donated to the museum. One thing that is missing are the couplers. I have often thought that we should get the car off the ground (where it is slowly deteriorating) and put it up on a set of trucks. Unfortunately, that has never happened. I think that steel cars when sold for storage use kept the underbody parts, certainly the steel frame, unlike the old wood bodied cars where the railroad removed the parts and frame for scrap. Would be interesting to find out if this is correct, either with the cars in Great Falls, or with other cars sold for such use.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:02 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2435
Ron, both sides are intact. The last two photos I posted are opposite sides of the same string of cars. Every car I could see looked virtually untouched.

I didn't look under the cars, so I can't vouch for what's there. They're located quite close to the Great Falls yard, so presumably they were sold as sheds. I agree, the owner wouldn't bother, but I'm guessing (key word) the railroad did, both to reduce weight and to reclaim the scrap.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:42 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: Northern Illinois
Les Beckman wrote:
Dennis -

I believe that the steel Pennsy X29 class boxcar at HVRM still has these items. The car was sold to a grain elevator and used for storage there before it was eventually donated to the museum. One thing that is missing are the couplers.


While anything is possible, if I were a betting man, I'd bet not. Brake equipment is even easier than drawbars to remove... now, where did I put my striker for the hot knife... and things that hang down tend to get in the way when loading.

One thing that likely is intact on these cars is the body bolsters, because they are so tightly integrated with the frame. In an earlier era with built-up bolsters the lower chords were usually taken, this was the case with the Michigan Electric steel interurban body we moved to IRM forty or so years ago; that body was just as smooth as could be underneath, even the step wells (which could have been useful to the new owner) were gone.

There was (is?) another Michigan Electric body along the same lake shore, and we spoke to the owner, whose father had purchased and moved it onto a sloping lot where the end that faces the lake is now perched one full story above the ground. It seems when they were moving it into position, it got away and started sliding down the hill; the owner was sure it was going into the lake, but it hit a stout tree on the edge of the water. They winched it back up the slope and had better luck the second time. Back in the seventies, the tree was still there, with a large burl where it had taken the hit.

Speaking of lakes, the Soo Line observation car CURZON that used to be in Pipe, WI on the east side of Lake Winnebago was not moved there by rail, even though there was a Milwaukee Road line up the east side of the lake. The car body was purchased at the shops in in North Fond du Lac on the other side of the lake, and slide across the winter ice.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 old boxcars in Great Falls MT face uncertain future
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 540
Location: St. Louis, MO
Good news that the bodies of the cars are intact. Best of luck to those who might want them.

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