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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5224
J3a-614; Thanks for "rotating" Franks's OERM boxcar photo. Helped a lot!

Dennis; Appreciate your comments about the cast brake diagram.


Les


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:41 am
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Location: NW Ohio
You know, the more I think about this, the more I think that the Maumee car was donated by The Andersons. I remember when I was a kid going by their facilities and seeing boxcars with military insignia on them. That might be where it was before the Wolcott House.

The search continues...


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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veddy interesting...and not shtupeed. The rebuild would have wiped everything above the frame, the scrap company did the rebuild, and perhaps used the cars for its own operating, rebuilding cars like this seemed to be a rather common practice around then. The original wood car design was inspiration for the new steel body using the original frame hence its non-standard construction. Probably when the scrap company was done with the cars or went out of business the cars likely sold to the army who used them and then sold them and on and on till we see what we see. The frame is about the only original piece with the existing brake system or maybe they changed the brake system but not the plaques. I'll poke around a little more, a train show is coming up soon, I'll be looking for books, data etc or anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:12 am 

Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:33 am
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Dennis Storzek wrote:
I hate to say it, but the mark may never have been officially assigned. In pre-UMLER days just about any bogus mark would fly... there was no instantaneous referencing a national data base, and unless by coincidence there was another car with the same initial in the area to cause confusion, no one questioned it and no one was the wiser. I know that over the years IRM has moved equipment temporarily marked UTC (don't ask), IRM, IRMX, and finally after UMLER was in effect they actually had to get a mark assigned, which is IRYM. Essentially, anyone could paint anything they wanted on cars for in-plant use, even if they occasionally went out of the plant for local inter-plant use. Given the trucks under those cars, by the mid seventies they were no longer allowed in interchange anyway.



Exactly! I have seen USAF, USAX, DODX, USN, USNX, DLAX, and a few more associated with Military and DOD equipment, but were never entered in Umler.

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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:00 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
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I think some of the new South Shore cars when delivered to the railroad they were temp marked something else for some legality reason, and removed once delivered. I tend to believe the existing plates of the boxcars are original as they may have been a low priority or ignored/forgotten piece unimportant to the rebuild. I would believe the frame and associated errata may be totally original.
This makes the frame a true historical piece. Good digs.


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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The evidence for the car at Maumee (and the two sister cars at OERM) seems to be that they were originally built for the Chicago and North Western, probably from outside braced wood bodied boxcars. I never was able to find a photo of a C&NW single sheathed (outside braced) boxcar, but then stumbled across this photo tonight on the Classic Trains website:

http://ctr.trains.com/photo-of-the-day/ ... -and-2-8-0

The photo was made in Pennsylvania in 1955 and shows TRAINS Magazine editor David P. Morgan watching a B&O freight crossing the road while photographer Philip Hastings grabbed a shot from inside their car. I seem to recall something significant about this particular Consolidation (#3127) but can't recall what it might have been. What really caught my eye however, was the car behind the 2-8-0's tank. It appears to be a Chicago and North Western outside braced box car! Maybe of the series that the C&NW converted into the subject cars of this thread? Sure wish that Hastings had waited just a split second longer to snap that shot, or that Morgan was seated just a hair to the left, so that we could have seen the road number of this old wooden veteran!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3236
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Les Beckman wrote:
The evidence for the car at Maumee (and the two sister cars at OERM) seems to be that they were originally built for the Chicago and North Western, probably from outside braced wood bodied boxcars. I never was able to find a photo of a C&NW single sheathed (outside braced) boxcar, but then stumbled across this photo tonight on the Classic Trains website:

http://ctr.trains.com/photo-of-the-day/ ... -and-2-8-0

The photo was made in Pennsylvania in 1955 and shows TRAINS Magazine editor David P. Morgan watching a B&O freight crossing the road while photographer Philip Hastings grabbed a shot from inside their car. I seem to recall something significant about this particular Consolidation (#3127) but can't recall what it might have been. What really caught my eye however, was the car behind the 2-8-0's tank. It appears to be a Chicago and North Western outside braced box car! Maybe of the series that the C&NW converted into the subject cars of this thread? Sure wish that Hastings had waited just a split second longer to snap that shot, or that Morgan was seated just a hair to the left, so that we could have seen the road number of this old wooden veteran!

Les


I could be wrong, but with what limited information I have as to freight cars, this one looks like it could be a USRA single sheathed car. C&NW had 1,000 of those in two lots (143700-144698, even numbers only, American Car & Foundry, and 144700-145698, also even only,Haskell & Barker Car Co.).

Source:

http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/usra ... signments/

Model photo:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:53 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
The USRA single sheathed car was apparently pretty widely distributed, and copied as well.

https://www.ttnut.com/usra-single-sheat ... t1012.html

And the search goes on. . .if only we could have gotten a number or a glimpse of the end.


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:27 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2213
Location: Northern Illinois
Somehow I get the feeling that this discussion is going in circles, since thse rebuilds were discussed above. Perhaps I can turn this into a "teaching moment."

It is not likely the welded boxcar in Maumee OH was rebuilt by a railroad for one simple reason... it would be too narrow. This is the same reason not many wood sheathed boxcars had their sheathing directly replaced by steel, which is the subject of Les' other discussion.

The USRA design cars were built to the defacto standard width of the day, 8'-6" inside width, a number that dated back to the MCB (Master Car Builder's Association) recommended practice voted on sometime before the turn of the twentieth century. The 40 ton capacity double sheathed cars had an underframe only 8'-6 5/8" over the side sills; the wood side truss mounted entirely outside the sills, supported by angles riveted to their outside faces. The 50 ton single sheathed car frames were a bit wider, 8'-9", with the pressed steel car posts riveted to the outside; with the lining/sheathing attached to the inside of the framing, the inside width was again 8'-6".

By the early thirties, when the 40 ton USRA cars wood framed bodies were nearing the end of their useful lives, the ARA (American Railway Association, successor organization to the MCB) had designed a new standard boxcar with a wider, 8'-9" inside width. These cars had steel sheathing outside their frames, which acted as a shear panel, so did not have diagonal bracing. Youngstown Steel Door Co. saw an opportunity for a product aimed at upgrading the USRA 40 ton cars, and so offered a prefabricated side that included brackets to adapt the wider body to the narrow underframe. The photos below show the process:

Image
The 40 ton USRA car to be rebuilt.
Image
The tempory props are holding the roof up.
Image
Note the deeply inset side sill and offset at the ends of the sides to adapt to the original ends.
Image
The finished product, ready for another twenty years of service.

In 1937 the AAR, successor to the ARA, revised their standard car design to have a 9'-2" inside width. Most of the 40 ton USRA cars had already been rebuilt, and Youngstown adapted their product to rebuild the 50 ton steel frame cars with new wider bodies. These cars are virtually indistinguishable from the "standard" 40' steel boxcar of the forties and fifties.

How does this tie in with the car in Maumee? Well, these are what it's not. It is evident that the car in Maumee was rebuilt after WWII; few railroad shops did extensive welding before the war and all the advances in welding technology it brought. A railroad rebuilding cars for itself after the war would be rebuilding them to the current standard width, making use of modern pressed steel end and roof panels. Whoever rebuilt the cars at Maumee and OERM was pretty far outside the mainstream, and not concerned about serving a general customer base. My best guess is they were done for, and possibly by, the Army, for internal use in a munitions plant or the like. Certainly not typical railroad rebuilds of the era.

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Last edited by Dennis Storzek on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:15 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Three Rivers, Michigan
C&NW had not only the USRA-design cars, but also around 6500 cars with the same general truss arrangement but built to a slightly different design, i.e. 9-panel trusses. AFAIK, however, all of them had corrugated metal ends - some Murphy, some Dreadnaught. If these three preserved cars were adapted from any of the USRA or similar cars, then either C&NW had some with composite ends after all, or they all had metal ends and the heavy end posts were neither copied nor adapted from what was there, but based on general, long-standing, and outdated practice.

However:

C&NW also had cars built to the Fowler design, a 7-panel truss-sided, single sheathed car which DID have exposed vertical end posts. As built, the cars had four posts. Some railroads eliminated the outer posts over time; I do not know whether or not C&NW did this. However, see these photos:

https://www.ttnut.com/resources/image/2315

and

https://www.ttnut.com/resources/image/2316

The first shows a car on C&NW subsidiary CStPM&O, which clearly shows the end posts; the second shows a car of the same design in C&NW lettering, even though the ends are in shadow.

If the Army--whom I suspect are the most likely culprits--or, the folks in Buffalo, or whomever else might have rebuilt the cars used the existing framing as the basis for the new end posts, then I'd suspect that these cars started out as Fowler cars.

If the numbers on the brake diagram do indeed indicate a build date of 1912, then they are more likely to be Fowler cars anyway, as USRA design and similar 9-panel cars didn't really proliferate until the near the end of the decade.

Someone familiar with the comparative underbody framing arrangements of one design versus the other could possibly shed some more conclusive light.

As far as distribution post-Army goes, the cars at OERM could have come through the outfit in Buffalo, or could just have easily been disposed of via a broker or scrapper in California. The Army had enough installations west of the Rockies, and the possibilities increase if there is a possibility that they were ever transferred to other branches of the DOD. If the Army were disposing of enough cars at once, would they have gone to the time and expense of getting them all to Buffalo, or would they have disposed of them regionally?

Or, from a slightly different angle, would a local shortline, industry, or other business in southern California have gone all the way to Buffalo, NY for a few used boxcars, or would the source likely have been more local? The yellow paint evidence suggests that all three came from some common source, of course, but do we know whether that paint job might have happened before or after the Army got rid of them? I.e., do we know whether the Army ever painted boxcars yellow, or were they always green? Alternately, is there any evidence of Army reporting marks applied directly to yellow paint on the surviving examples?


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 6:15 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Three Rivers, Michigan
Here's another pair of photos of C&NW Fowler cars. Turns out that Mid-Continent has one, built 1914-15 ish. If the numbers on the brake diagram represent the date that the pattern for the plate casting was made--a more likely explanation--then it would be appropriate for such to appear on a 1914-15 ish car.

https://www.midcontinent.org/equipment- ... nw123576d/

https://www.midcontinent.org/equipment- ... nw123576a/

One minor mystery/twist: the C&NW Fowlers in these photos appear to ride on Vulcan trucks, whereas the cars at Maumee and OERM ride on Andrews trucks - like the USRA cars did. I do not know what kind of trucks the Fowlers originally came with, whether the Vulcans would be original or later upgrades.


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:46 pm 

Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 9:19 pm
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The C&NW reference is likely a red herring. But...take a look atthis:
http://www.hawaiianrailway.org/historia ... adise.html


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:00 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
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Location: Northern Illinois
David A. Vago wrote:
Here's another pair of photos of C&NW Fowler cars. Turns out that Mid-Continent has one, built 1914-15 ish. If the numbers on the brake diagram represent the date that the pattern for the plate casting was made--a more likely explanation--then it would be appropriate for such to appear on a 1914-15 ish car.


I wouldn't put too much stock in that "10-12" being a date, since it is the brake cylinder size... here is another example, from e-bay, in stainless, so less:
Image
I don't even think they had stainless in 1910.

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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:08 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
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Location: Inwood, W.Va.
[quote="Dennis Storzek". . .It is evident that the car in Maumee was rebuilt after WWII; few railroad shops did extensive welding before the war and all the advances in welding technology it brought. A railroad rebuilding cars for itself after the war would be rebuilding them to the current standard width, making use of modern pressed steel end and roof panels. Whoever rebuilt the cars at Maumee and OERM was pretty far outside the mainstream, and not concerned about serving a general customer base. My best guess is they were done for, and possibly by, the Army, for internal use in a munitions plant or the like. Certainly not typical railroad rebuilds of the era.[/quote]

And I think we are finally near the end of this journey. We have what appear to be three surviving cars that were originally built for the C&NW, that were all rebuilt by somebody or something that wasn't in the common carrier business. I do think the evidence suggests the Army did the work; I can't imagine an equipment broker or scrapper fooling with it. I also imagine it as being done in wartime, both as an economy measure in both time and money, and also recall that the Army would have been a pioneer in welding for repair work. The narrow width Dennis points out would suggest the internal use (essentially a plant railroad) he speculates these cars were used for.

And thanks to Dennis, we even have the likely explanation of the DROX reporting marks being temporary and unregistered, for shipment to Dressler Tire only.

Your last mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to determine the car series that was the origin of these rebuilds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0tNw4jNp28


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 Post subject: Re: Little mystery in Maumee, Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:15 pm 

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

Lots of info on these three cars. I am overwhelmed! I do want to set a couple of things straight though if I may. The DROX reporting marks that were reported by BnOTolSub as being on the underframe, I believe was on the car at Maumee, Ohio and not on the two cars at OERM that were once at Dresser Tire. Not to say that those reporting marks aren't on one or both of those OERM (Dresser) cars, but I don't think that has been confirmed. The reason I think that the DROX marks are on the Maumee car is that BnOTolSub is reported as being from "NW Ohio". I guess he COULD have been in California, but I'm going on what his location is from his 1/8/18 report.

Frank Hicks looked at, and photographed, at least one of the OERM cars and in his report of 2/6, he gave a U.S.Army road number of 25828. I don't think Frank stated what the cars initials were, and from his photo, I can't tell for sure that they were DROX, or something else.

If I have this info wrong, please correct me. I do agree with most of what else has been said and the latest explanation makes sense to me.

Les


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