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 Post subject: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:57 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:17 pm
Posts: 81
Hi everyone,

For the past year I've been slowly but surely working on ex-B&O 381357, later B&O/Chessie System 910510. The car is stored on the Wilmington and Western Railroad on one of our sidings. It is fenced in and monitored. Saved in 1983 by a former W&W volunteer with the intent to restore it and have it be used as a historical piece on W&W trains and as part of our "rolling museum" fleet of equipment.

In 1991 he began restoring the car piece by piece. Little to no metal work was needed. Everything was cosmetic, with the exception of the roof walk, which had rotted away after 54 years of sitting outside. By 1996 the car was painted, lettered, and technically "In service". The W&W used the car for storage of crossing lights and equipment. After an unfortunate turn of events with the owner, he had to move a good distance away from the boxcar and had little to no way of working on it or maintaining it. November 28th, 1997 (6 days after I was born) was the last time the car was used. A private charter with MSC 98 and an Erie 2 bay hopper.

18 years later, she sits on a storage siding between some trees and a pole barn. The metal is showing it's age in some spots and a possum is living in it. The Sears exterior house paint is peeling off in a most unfortunate way. I took on the project by myself, using my funds and equipment to restore the car a second time around. The railroad made it clear they want nothing to do with it, and thats understandable. I use two generators and propane torches to get any on site work done. Everything else is done at my shop at home.

Attached are a few photos to show what's going on at the moment. Not a whole lot is done, but it's a start. Side A is halfway primed and ready for paint. Side B is being prepared.

Also, if anyone has any information on this car or can reference me to someone who has the big B&O lettering from 1962 until the end, please do so.

Thanks,

Christian B.


Attachments:
Firstprimer12-12-15.jpg
Firstprimer12-12-15.jpg [ 66.67 KiB | Viewed 3756 times ]
Damage2.jpg
Damage2.jpg [ 83 KiB | Viewed 3756 times ]
B&O381357Mar1999.jpg
B&O381357Mar1999.jpg [ 211.94 KiB | Viewed 3756 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:15 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:17 pm
Posts: 81
The undercarriage of the car provided me with a shady area with somewhere to sit (mud) during our recent heat waves. All of the trucks have been painted flat black (for now) to help keep anymore mud and journal oil and debris from covering them once more. All of the journal boxes were jacked up, inspected, and cleaned before the project went any further. Melted brass and a torn axle would've slowed down progress A LOT...

The focus this week is the brake system. I've found a working replacement for the AB valve that currently hugs the car. Getting it inspected and finding new studs for the brake pipe should be the hardest part of putting it back together. Hopefully some air and adjusting will result in a good brake test.

As stated before, I work at the pace my job and life allows me. I haven't spent any time this weekend working on it because of the railroad needing help and finishing my personal "to-do" list. Time is a valuable thing, especially when winter is approaching.

Attached is a photo of one of the cleaned and painted trucks. Excuse the quality of the photo.

Thanks,
Christian B.


Attachments:
13557920_1264493293560899_1416514107147174651_n.jpg
13557920_1264493293560899_1416514107147174651_n.jpg [ 58.69 KiB | Viewed 3270 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4994
Christian -

I applaud your continuing efforts to restore this car. I hope that the W&W realizes what they have there. I know we sure would like to have a wagon top box car at HVRM. Keep up the good work!


Les


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:17 pm
Posts: 81
Hi all,

This past week was spent removing the AB valve from the brake assembly, carefully storing it, and preparing to put the "new" ABD valve on. The improvement in using an ABD valve is both historically accurate and convenient to our train crews as the ex-B&O cabooses had their brakes upgraded long ago.

Thursday night I closed the doors and threw all of the work material inside. The tropical storm will surely flash flood the spot where the car sits. Work continues next weekend (hopefully).

- Christian B.

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 2:03 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3031
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Les Beckman wrote:
Christian -

I applaud your continuing efforts to restore this car. I hope that the W&W realizes what they have there. I know we sure would like to have a wagon top box car at HVRM. Keep up the good work!

Les


Maybe No. 381357 needs a new home at HVRM. . .

Would that be possible?


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4994
J3a-614 wrote:
Les Beckman wrote:
Christian -

I applaud your continuing efforts to restore this car. I hope that the W&W realizes what they have there. I know we sure would like to have a wagon top box car at HVRM. Keep up the good work!

Les


Maybe No. 381357 needs a new home at HVRM. . .

Would that be possible?


J3a-614:

From what's been said, the car is privately owned so I don't think I should comment about the owners future intentions.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:14 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Brother Gears will chime in with the full scoop, but as I am to understand it the car is now the property of the W&W/Historic Red Clay Valley. The problem remains that there are other boxcars used as storage, and as such this thing is probably just a track-hogging relic, in the eyes of the operating department.

What the railroad needs to consider is that there's at least one group--and probably several more--waiting for the chance to throw together a freight photo charter with B&O 8408, B&O 381357, a flat car, and B&O caboose C-2013......... and whatever else they can scrounge up in freight equipment.


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3031
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Cjbdiesel wrote:
Also, if anyone has any information on this car or can reference me to someone who has the big B&O lettering from 1962 until the end, please do so.

Christian B.


Don't know if you've tried these guys, but they might have something.

http://www.borhs.org/index.html

http://www.borhs.org/archives/index.html

http://borhs.org/Logos/bo_font_logo.html


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
Posts: 2355
Location: Faulkland, Delaware
The boxcar is still privately owed and as far as I know leased to the W&W and is used for storage. It did go out on a photo freight in 1997 and I don't think it has been up the line since. It would be really nice to have a fleet of freight cars for such adventures but there is no foreseeable payback in extensive restorations. However our fine organization is always willing to listen to proposals.

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:24 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8353
Location: Baltimore, MD
Supposing those "proposals" include underwriting the preservation of such "rolling history" vehicles. . . . .

The problem we run into is that most contributors are reluctant to subsidize another private party's private property. If this car were the property of HRCV/W&W, and either were a 501(c)3 non-profit (which I know HRCV is), then the B&OHS, NRHS Chapters, etc., could make donations towards the preservation of the car in working order--like we did with the caboose, in the case of the Baltimore Chapter NRHS.

One can easily make the case that this is much more a historical artifact for the Red Clay Valley than a Mississippi Central 4-4-0, Lackawanna coaches, PRR MP54 cars, or rail bikes, even though we understand the reality of what "makes money" (or, more accurately, best recovers expenses).


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:45 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:17 pm
Posts: 81
The boxcar is privately owned and the owner and myself are in good contact. He even made the trip from North Carolina to check out progress and meet me in person. Very nice gentlemen and would do anything to see the car preserved as a rolling example of a unique B&O design and historic item for the W&W/HRCV.

Unfortunately, however, the car will never leave W&W regardless of possible second options (which there are plenty of). It is willed to the W&W. I fear that unfortunate day when that happens. Until we have a reason to use the car for a profit, it will remain a storage item shoved in a damp siding and have little to no use for W&W from a corporate stand point. "Surplus" and "Railroad" do not go well together, if you catch my drift.

If a fine organization, such as a local NRHS chapter or RRHS, were to show interest in such an item IN WRITING that could result in a win-win situation for both the railroad, myself, and the party interested, it would have a bright future and warrant a reason to keep it semi-maintained (as in better than under a tree tunnel in the mud).

I get hastled constantly by many people, including my own family, about why I'm doing this. They usually don't like the answer. Because I can. There's so much potential in one item that could result in a better public and railfan appeal while benefiting our shop forces (one of those many ideas). Plus it's a neat item in general.

Regardless of what the future holds for the lone boxcar, is intend of restoring it at least one last time and keeping it in the best condition I can. Money and time only goes so far, especially on a 78 year old car maintained by an 18 year old working full time and running a railroad on the weekend. I thank you all for your input on this thread, especially Tom Gears who has always had an open ear when it came to my ramblings about some boxcar in the woods.

- Christian B.

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:42 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:17 pm
Posts: 81
The railroad cut down 50 years of growth around the resting place for the car to make way for storage units. This is the first time I've had a real look at the whole car as it sits. Probably the first time this side has seen a decent amount of sunlight in 20 years.

- Christian B.


Attachments:
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September 2016.jpg [ 111.05 KiB | Viewed 1913 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:58 pm
Posts: 873
it looks like you are doing a fine job Christian. sometimes others don't understand a persons drive to restore that old car,farm tractor, or boxcar.


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4994
Christian -

The 381357 is looking really good! Keep it up!

Your efforts have got me wondering about how many of these "wagon top" boxcars are still around. I think they came in more than just the M-53 class. I know that a few are still in existence and maybe now might not be a bad time to find out just what is out there. It wouldn't really detract from Christian's singular efforts to restore the 381357 and might actually give him some ideas in case he needs any info about the car.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: B&O 381357 M-53 Restoration
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:07 pm
Posts: 186
The first wagon tops were rebuilt from old double sheathed composite M-15 boxcars. The success of these early wagon top cars led to the development of the much more numerous M-53 class. Wagon top construction was also used in B&O covered hoppers and cabooses (I-12's and I-5 rebuilds). Most preserved wagon top cars are M-53's and I-12's, but I think there may be a very few M-15 rebuilds. I agree that a complete list would be nice to have.

Tom

(edited to correct erroneous caboose class I.D.)


Last edited by Tom Davidson on Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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