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 Post subject: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:50 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:29 am
Posts: 45
Location: Michigan
The 1949-1951 Car Builders’ Cyclopedia denotes in an Alcoa advertisement that the first aluminum tank car was built in 1928.

From The American Railroad Passenger Car book by John H. White, Jr. he writes that the first large-scale use of aluminum occurred in 1923, when Pullman delivered twenty-five suburban cars to the Illinois Central Railroad.

And from Brian Solomon’s book on Coal Trains: The History of Railroading and Coal in the United States, he states the first aluminum hopper car was built in 1934 by the Baltimore & Ohio, at the Mt. Clare Shops in Baltimore in conjunction with Alcoa.

Are there any of these first generation aluminum rail cars remaining? Where are they?

The reason I’m asking is I’m attempting to “school up” on the subject as it parallels my grandfather’s use of the material when he started building a 1-1/2” scale miniature railroad in 1946. His all aluminum train of equipment will be running in a public venue this holiday season
and it would be handy to reference some prototype history facts when people invariably ask me questions about the use of aluminum on full-size railroads.

Thanks!

John


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:30 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:01 pm
Posts: 85
While not in the list you mentioned, Long Island Rail Road double decker coach #200, built in 1932, is widely regarded as the first all aluminum passenger coach. It is preserved at the Rail Museum of Long Island. Here is a brief webpage on it http://www.geocities.ws/gold27ca/200.html.


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:27 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 789
Location: Califoothills / Midwest Prairies
I count 15 surviving transit cars built in the 1930s, on this list
http://www.bera.org/cgi-bin/pnaerc-query.pl?match_field=constr&match_target=aluminum&Tech=Yes&pagelen=200

Its interesting that the largest group of them were in service on SEPTA into the 1980s.


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:29 am
Posts: 45
Location: Michigan
Thank you both for the URLs.

The bera.org site info is helpful indeed for it gives me an idea of how long various equipment was in service.

Thanks again.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:48 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
Posts: 341
Location: Northern California
The Pacific Electric blimp that came from the Northwestern Pacific at Orange Empire is one of those early cars with an aluminum and steel mix. The dry weather in Southern California may be helping it resist the corrosion so much of the early aluminum suffers from.

The Liberity Bell car at Seashore, 1030, has an aluminum under frame. It is slowly returning to aluminum oxide. As far as I know, there is just not much that can be done in an advanced state of aluminum oxide,other than replace it.

There are a lot of the CRANDIC cars around the C and LE. They are a steel and aluminum mix. Many of them suffer from advanced corrosion of the aluminum. CRANDIC reworked many of the cars to replace deteriorated aluminum.


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:31 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:08 am
Posts: 213
Location: Whitefield, ME
There is a one of a kind aluminum reefer on display by the McComb, Mississippi IC depot. The car was built in-house by the IC at their McComb shops.

Steve Piwowarski


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1483
Location: Southern California
Also the five Brill "bullet" cars built in 1932 for the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad in upper New York state. These were later sold to the Bamberger Railroad that operated between Salt Lake City and Ogden. The bodies survived as housing for seasonal workers of the Utah Pickle Company. Two bodies still exist in Utah and a third is in the collection of Orange Empire Ry Museum. The OERM one has been re-trucked using truck parts obtained from Pennsylvania operations using the same style trucks.

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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:50 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 3:07 pm
Posts: 641
What became of the one and only aluminum hopper car that the Montour RR operated as a test for Alcoa, who actually owned the car?


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:40 pm
Posts: 125
Location: San Francisco, CA
Folks,
I believe the Chicago pre-PCC experimental streetcar #4001 at the Illinois Railway Museum is mostly aluminum.

The body has been at the museum for many years; but has not been placed in the line for restoration.

Ted Miles, IRM Member


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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:56 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
So is IRM's first car, Indiana Railroad 65, nicely restored.

http://www.irm.org/gallery/IR65

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 Post subject: Re: Any first generation aluminum railcars in existence?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:41 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:34 pm
Posts: 632
Location: Union, IL
ted66 wrote:
I believe the Chicago pre-PCC experimental streetcar #4001 at the Illinois Railway Museum is mostly aluminum.

Car 4001 is almost entirely aluminum, which makes it somewhat different than most other early aluminum electric cars such as the Brill Bullets or the IRR and C&LE lightweights. In fact the only steel used on the car in any structural capacity are retrofitted gusset plates to which the brake cylinders are affixed. More info here.

A true pioneer in this area, though it's long gone now, was Cleveland Railways #1376, built in the company shops in 1926. According to the book "Cleveland Transit Vehicles" the car was entirely aluminum, including some truck components, and was featured at the 1926 AERA convention in Cleveland. Its design was identical to a series of steel cars built at the same time.

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Frank Hicks
Preserved North American Electric Railway Equipment News
Hicks Car Works


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