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 Post subject: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel boxcar
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
Over 10 years ago, I happened upon the car in these photos. At the time, the car was just one of three 40' boxcars being used for storage by the Maintenace of Way department. On my infrequent visits over the years, two of the cars disappeared, apparently being sent out for scrap. But this one remained. Possibly because of the coupler missing from one end.

Perhaps the railroad didn't know about the car. Contact them, and perhaps they would just come in and scrap it. Would it be better to just "stay quiet" and hope that the railroad would just leave it alone? At least until someone might eventually want to save it?

More photos, including the cars heritage, forthcoming.

Les


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West Baden, St. Louis & Nothern late Jun `15 006.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:47 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
So, some additional photos of the underframe, which tells us some of the story of the car.

Les


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West Baden, St. Louis & Nothern late Jun `15 003.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:59 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
So, now we see reporting marks and a car number; NYC #155524 and also a company service car number X40947.

Back in 1995, I sent a letter to the New York Central System Historical Society and got this reply back from Charlie Smith, who has since passed away I believe. Here's the story of the car as Mr. Smith furnished it to me in a letter dated 5/14/95:

"The X-40947 was built in Lot 431-B in 1922 as a steel underframe (wood side sheathing) auto-box car, 10'0" double door. Original number series were Cincinnati Northern 3600-3849, then CCC&StL 95501-95750. In 1939 they were rebuilt with steel sides and 6'0" doors, reclassified to Lot 672-B and renumbered in the NYC 155000 series. The roofs were raised in the rebuilding, hence the 3rd section on the steel end. As rebuilt, these cars received metal roof walks, although they had been built with wood roof walks, in connection with the wood sides."

As you might be able to determine from the notes on the photos, I took these pictures in late June of this year. There's a bit more to the story, so stand by.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
On my ride through Greencastle, Indiana in late June 2015, I stopped to see if this old New York Central car was still there and, as you can tell by the photos, it was. Upon returning home, I contacted a friend of mine who works for CSX to see if I might find out who I could talk to about this car. I was not asking for a donation, but just to see if I could find someone who might be able to put "a hold" on the car, if CSX ever decided to get rid of it in the future. "Hold off for now" I was told. Heck, I've had this in the back of my mind for over 10 years, what's a bit more of a wait? And then someone came by Hoosier Valley this past Saturday and, during our conversation, I found out he was from Greencastle. Know about the old boxcar there? "Oh, the one over by the old Big Four depot?" Yeah, that's the one I told him. "Yeah, it's been donated to the group down in Linden". REALLY? "Yeah, they're trying to raise the funds for the 40 mile trip up the highway". Wow, great news! But then when I got home, I started to wonder. Are they really getting the car? Are they really trying to raise funds? Looked on their website. They're getting a CSX caboose and trying to raise funds for that, but nothing about a box car. Well, I hope the guy was right. I know that Linden has some empty display tracks down there. Maybe they're getting both a caboose AND the box car. Sure hope so. This "plain old Jane" of a boxcar is too historic to end up as razor blades! At least in my opinion.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:07 pm
Posts: 186
Les ---

It's great to see that you and others care about this and other "Plain Jane" freight cars.

If you study freight cars, you'll find that there are very few items whose history can be justly summed up as "just a plain old [whatever]". This car bridges the period between the era of wooden cars and the era of steel cars. In that era, it was the boxcar and the hopper car and the lowly gondola that made the money and allowed railroads to fulfill their mission. This particular design dates back to the USRA era. I hope the new custodians of this car will give it the respect and attention and care that it deserves.

A car like this may not have the instant "eye candy" appeal of a locomotive or caboose or passenger car. For that reason, it is easily overlooked. But without carefully preserved/restored cars of this kind, no railroad oriented museum or attraction can hope to evoke the kind of feelings they need to evoke. Without these basic cars to provide a solid foundation for the RR industry, the locos and cabooses and passenger cars would have had no reason to exist. Every year we lose too many because somebody thought they were "just a plain old [whatever]". Once they've been cut up, they're gone for good.

Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Flat Rock, MI
There is 1 I know of in Jackson, MI at the NS Communications and Signal shop along with a CR and a forgotten PRR B60b baggage car waiting to be saught. Since MDOT bought the former NYC from CP Townline to Kalamazoo, there have been many upgrades, 1 of which includes tearing down the old C&S building and the remaining cars there.

Also, there is another truckless 50'? car down at one of the Detroit scrap yards still in good looking NYC paint that is storage off of the Old Main.

_________________
James B.


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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:05 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
I sent a note to the Linden Depot Museum asking about the New York Central boxcar in Greencastle, Indiana and got a nice note today from their President, Gary Vierk. Mr. Vierk confirmed that NYC 155524 has been donated to Linden and they are in the process of arranging for the move of the car.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Just a Plain old New York Central steam era 40' steel bo
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4996
The previous message in this thread was just over a year ago and I know that the CSX caboose mentioned in a report above WAS moved to the museum there in Linden, Indiana. But nothing on their website about the New York Central box car in Greencastle, Indiana. I sent an e-mail to Mr. Vierk as to the status, but have heard nothing back. Now I wonder if the move of the NYC box car is still in the works. Any info about whether the car is still in Greencastle, or if the Linden folks are still planning on moving it, would be welcome.


Les


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