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Are 40' box cars appropriate (still being used) in'70 to '80s era?

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Are 40' box cars appropriate (still being used) in'70 to '80s era?
Posted by johnnyrails on Sunday, May 14, 2017 3:17 PM

Just wondering if a 40' box or flat would be out of place  on a layout using 6 axle diesels, set in the mid '70s to late '80s?

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, May 14, 2017 3:27 PM

There were still 40' boxes in use, though they were steadily disappearing.  So I don't think you'd be seeing a huge string of them, but occasionally.....

Here's a car that Kadee recently announced, 

 

 

repaint date is 5/80.  It surely stayed around awhile longer, 'cause no one is going to repaint a car that's on its death bed.

A little more research shows that this car did not make it to October 1984, though it likely did to May 1983.

 

In October of 1990 (which will call EXTREME late '80's) Santa Fe had no 40' boxes. BN had 14.  So you can see there were darn few forty footers at the END of the '80's.

 

You can learn a lot about which cars were around by getting a copy of "Official Railway Equipment Register" for your particular era(s) of interest.  They have been published quarterly for a very long time.

 

Ed

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Posted by Bundy74 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 4:00 PM

As stated above, they'd be rare.  Late 70's into early 80's would be appropriate for rebuilt 40 footers.  After 81-82, most photos I've seen of 40 footers are in MOW service.  

Modeling whatever I can make out of that stash of kits that takes up half my apartment's spare bedroom.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Sunday, May 14, 2017 7:35 PM

http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/199255.aspx

40/50 year rule.  49 CFR 215.203

Look at the build dates stenciled on your models.  Add 40 or 50 years as appropriate to the oldest one.   That is the latest that the car inquestion could have been in interchange service.  Also note that roofwalks would have been removed and potentially the brakewheel lowered.

And despite what some people were saying the linked thread, it has nothing to do with solid/plain bearings.  Those were not banned from interchange until 1994.  All new cars after 1966 were required to have roller bearings.  

 

You could also acquire an ORER from the year(s) you are interested in modeling.

 

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
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Posted by dknelson on Sunday, May 14, 2017 9:13 PM

I was seeing plenty of 40 ft boxcars in the 1970s, and a good number still in the 1980s.  Many were in grain service and since I lived near some large elevators that served the beer industry in Milwaukee, perhaps I was seeing a disproportionate number of them (many even still had 6 foot doors), but not all the 40 footers I saw were in grain service.  

To my knowledge the Rock Island got new 40 foot boxcars in 1965.  That might have been just about the last year for making the "standard" 40 footer.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by wjstix on Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:18 PM

Yes, during the 1970's - especially the earlier part - 40' boxcars were still standard for hauling grain. During the fall harvest rush you could see quite a few of them in use. As time went on the 55' covered hopper took over. But you could still see 40' steel boxcars once in a while in the 1980's.

Stix
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Posted by wp8thsub on Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:51 PM

At least toward the earlier part of that era 40' boxcars would have been around in reasonable, if diminishing, numbers, and a fair proportion could still have running boards.  All of these are from http://rr-fallenflags.org/ .

1982.

1979.

1981

1979

Rob Spangler

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, May 15, 2017 10:29 AM

The last 40' boxcar with a high brake wheel I remember setting while braking on the Chessie was in '83 I was layoff 6 months later in '84.

Larry

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Posted by ericsp on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:08 AM

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:02 AM

BRAKIE

The last 40' boxcar with a high brake wheel I remember setting while braking on the Chessie was in '83 I was layoff 6 months later in '84.

 

Now that is some interesting information!

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:02 PM

The June 2017 RMC has an article on 40' "baby hi-cube" boxcars, with pictures showing several of the cars still in service in the mid-1980s.

Stix
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Posted by NittanyLion on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:53 PM

If you just want an excuse to use a 40 footer after their most common expiration date, you can manufacture a reason: copper.  There's still (as in, here in 2017) 40 foot boxcars out there hauling copper, but these were purpose built in the 70s.

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:19 PM

NittanyLion

If you just want an excuse to use a 40 footer after their most common expiration date, you can manufacture a reason: copper.  There's still (as in, here in 2017) 40 foot boxcars out there hauling copper, but these were purpose built in the 70s.

 

 

I think these R them:

 

http://www.railgoat.railfan.net/spcars/byclass/box/b100-41.htm

 

 

Ed

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 8:03 PM

rrebell
 
BRAKIE

The last 40' boxcar with a high brake wheel I remember setting while braking on the Chessie was in '83 I was layoff 6 months later in '84.

 

 

 

Now that is some interesting information!

 

 

The best part the ladder rungs was covered in ice. So,for my safety I used a fusee to melt the ice one rung at a time and it was a slow process..Melt some ice,climb,stop,melt more ice,climb stop,melt more ice all the while there was a stiff cold wind.That's the only reason I remember that fool car.Wasn't for that it would have passed unnoticed as just another boxcar.

Railroading at its finest..Mischief

Larry

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Posted by ericsp on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:35 PM

7j43k
NittanyLion

If you just want an excuse to use a 40 footer after their most common expiration date, you can manufacture a reason: copper.  There's still (as in, here in 2017) 40 foot boxcars out there hauling copper, but these were purpose built in the 70s.

 

 

 

http://www.railgoat.railfan.net/spcars/byclass/box/b100-41.htm

 

 

Ed

 

 
I have links to all three classes in the thread I linked to in my previous post.

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 7:48 AM

Grain was being shipped in 40 ft boxcars into the 1980's, particularly in Canada and into Mexico.

The last regular service 40 ft boxcars I remember seeing in the Houston area were the "sugar boxes", a cut of about 30 or 40  40 ft MP "Route of the Eagles" boxcars that cycled between Sugarland and Galveston, TX hauling raw sugar (dumped in piles on the floor) from the port of Galveston to the refinery in Sugarland.  In the late 1980's they were replaced with RBOX cars that had been transferred back to the MP.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:05 AM

People tend to forget that the rules applied mainly to interchange servise and as the railroads got larger, this had less and less affect. Remember someone still used a wood reffer in the 70's for some delivery, they had been outlawed from interchange for a long time.

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Posted by dti406 on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 12:39 PM

In the C&NW Modeler there have been numerous articles on the 40' Boxcar Fleet that existed in the mid 70's, and the cars on the C&NW numbered over 20,000 from various railroads (M&StL, CGW and C&NW).

Rick Jesionowski

Rule 1: This is my railroad.

Rule 2: I make the rules.

Rule 3: Illuminating discussion of prototype history, equipment and operating practices is always welcome, but in the event of visitor-perceived anacronisms, detail descrepancies or operating errors, consult RULE 1!

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