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40 foot boxcars in the 80's

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40 foot boxcars in the 80's
Posted by bmvernil on Thursday, October 28, 2010 3:54 PM

I'm modeling the early 1980's. I know 40 foot boxcars were on their way out, but what railroads were still using them in the early 80's? Anyone have any pics?

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Posted by chutton01 on Thursday, October 28, 2010 5:02 PM

No pictures, but Canadian National and Candian Pacific had some.  Also Ferrocarril Nacionales de Mexico.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:21 PM

The MP used some for grain service to Mexico and a cut for hauling bulk raw sugar from Galveston to Sugarland, TX.  All were gone from revenue service by the mid 80's.

Dave H. Modeling the P&R and W&N 1900-1905, Iron men and wooden cars

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:34 PM

I'm not sure if anyone has a complete answer to your first question, but, should no one come through in the next few days with one,  you can find the answer yourself by getting an appropriately dated Official Railway Equipment Register and going through it from start to finish looking for 40 footers.   

As a partial answer, I got out my May 1983 copy of the ORER.  For the BN, it lists 2238 40' boxcars  WITH BN REPORTING MARKS.  There were also 749 GN, 209 NP, 661 CB&Q, 4 SP&S, 26 C&S, 297 FW&D and 464 Frisco 40' ers that were owned by the BN but still had their previous owners' reporting marks.  

Photos are available.  I got out my copy of the Burlington Northern Color Guide and counted 11 pictures of BN 40' boxes.  For online pictures, you can go to Fallen Flags, rrpicturearchives.com, and railcarphotos.com.

 

Ed

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:44 PM

dehusman

The MP used some for grain service to Mexico and a cut for hauling bulk raw sugar from Galveston to Sugarland, TX.  All were gone from revenue service by the mid 80's.

But the July 1985 ORER lists 85 40' boxcars as being in service with MP reporting marks.  That is pretty close to none since MP had about 45,000 freight cars at the time.  But they're still in the book.

 

Ed

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Posted by AltonFan on Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:14 PM

I remember reading in the early 1980s that a twenty-year rule was about to go into effect, which would have banned any cars older than twenty years from interchange service.  (Presumably older cars could continue to be used in company service.)  I don't know when the last forty foot cars were built, but I doubt many would have survived the 1980s.

Dan

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Posted by ericsp on Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:29 PM

SP bought a few hundred 40 foot, 100 ton boxcars for copper service in the 1970s. Almost all were still in service in the 1980s.

I have never heard of a 20 year rule. The AAR Interchange rules limit cars built before July 1, 1974 (if I remember correctly) to 40 years of interchange service. It does allow for programs to extend the interchange life.

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Posted by dehusman on Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:38 PM

7j43k

But the July 1985 ORER lists 85 40' boxcars as being in service with MP reporting marks.  That is pretty close to none since MP had about 45,000 freight cars at the time.  But they're still in the book. 

And extremely rare.  Even the BN's 2700 40 footers when diluted amongst 40-50,000 cars is a pretty small.  So if you based your roaster on the system roster of a large railroad, if you modeled the MP  and had a 5000 car roster you would have one 40 footer.  If you modeled the BN and had a 200 car roster then about 8 cars woud be 40 footers.

Dave H. Modeling the P&R and W&N 1900-1905, Iron men and wooden cars

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Posted by cv_acr on Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:56 PM

Canadian National and Canadian Pacific definately still had tons of 40' boxcars in the 1980s.

The 1986 ORER has well over 10,000 40' boxcars indicated for CN.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, October 29, 2010 8:27 AM

I remember seeing some Rock Island 40' boxcars that had a built date of 1965; the C&NW got some when the Rock went under in the early 80s.  I suspect the main use was grain elevators to serve shippers on branches, or sidings, that could not handle a covered hopper.  I think I still saw a few into the 1990s.   There cannot have been too many 40' cars built in the 1960s that is for sure.  By the way even more rare in the 1980s was a 40' car with a 6' door. 

 I remember being excited at seeing a 40' boxcar with full ladders and roofwalk in the mid 1990s at Milwaukee's Butler Yard (C&NW, now UP) but closer examination showed it had roof hatches and thus was actually a kaolin clay car -- in a sense, it was almost being used like a very tall covered gondola!  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by cv_acr on Friday, October 29, 2010 8:57 AM

ericsp

SP bought a few hundred 40 foot, 100 ton boxcars for copper service in the 1970s. Almost all were still in service in the 1980s.

Those cars are still in service today I believe, although some of them are marked NOKL now. They're modern design outside post cars with 10' doors and not really the same thing as the classic 40' box that's really the topic of discussion. Also, given their assigned service, the probably wouldn't really be seen outside of one or two routes. They are neat cars though.

ericsp
I have never heard of a 20 year rule. The AAR Interchange rules limit cars built before July 1, 1974 (if I remember correctly) to 40 years of interchange service. It does allow for programs to extend the interchange life.

When did the 40-year rule come into effect? There were some pretty old cars still in service in the late 1970s at least...

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Posted by bmvernil on Friday, October 29, 2010 5:13 PM

I realize that most 40 footers were gone by the early 80's. However as some of you have pointed out a few were in service.I was merely asking if anyone had any prototype pictures showing cars still in service or knew of any on the web from the 80's. I remember as a kid seeing them myself but unfortunately at that young age I did not have a camera attached to me like I do now (they were Penn Central by the way) as a matter of fact the few times I did have a camera I caught some cool pictures like a 50' boxcar still in New York Central green paint with the cigar band herald in 1982 (yes in revenue service). I also know how to work a search engine and I am aware of most of the "rail picture" websites, unfortunately their search capabilities are somewhat limited and forget google or bing which have become worthless to finding any sort of useful information anymore.

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Posted by ericsp on Friday, October 29, 2010 9:50 PM

cv_acr

 

 ericsp:

 

SP bought a few hundred 40 foot, 100 ton boxcars for copper service in the 1970s. Almost all were still in service in the 1980s.

 

Those cars are still in service today I believe, although some of them are marked NOKL now. They're modern design outside post cars with 10' doors and not really the same thing as the classic 40' box that's really the topic of discussion. Also, given their assigned service, the probably wouldn't really be seen outside of one or two routes. They are neat cars though.

 

 ericsp:
I have never heard of a 20 year rule. The AAR Interchange rules limit cars built before July 1, 1974 (if I remember correctly) to 40 years of interchange service. It does allow for programs to extend the interchange life.

 

When did the 40-year rule come into effect? There were some pretty old cars still in service in the late 1970s at least...

It is AAR Rule 88. I do not know when it was adopted.

http://cs.trains.com/TRCCS/forums/p/176887/1951310.aspx#1951310

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Posted by cv_acr on Saturday, October 30, 2010 10:47 AM

bmvernil

I realize that most 40 footers were gone by the early 80's. However as some of you have pointed out a few were in service.I was merely asking if anyone had any prototype pictures showing cars still in service or knew of any on the web from the 80's.

1985: http://rr-fallenflags.org/cn/cn541505akg.jpg

1986: http://rr-fallenflags.org/cn/cn539255agd.jpg (in 1950s paint!)

1989: http://rr-fallenflags.org/cn/cn562955akg.jpg (car has a reweigh date of 87)

1986: http://rr-fallenflags.org/cn/cn577103akg.jpg (a full dozen)

1988: http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=14873

1983: http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp53107&o=cprail

1997: http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp70000&o=cprail

 

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Posted by cv_acr on Saturday, October 30, 2010 10:50 AM

The other thing is of course, sometimes older cars soldier in company service long after their 40-year interchange expiry. They wouldn't be listed in an ORER roster anymore though.

2003: http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp54970&o=cprail

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Posted by Dave-the-Train on Tuesday, November 02, 2010 8:29 PM

There was a Trains Magazine article called "40' At a Time" sometime in the late 80s or 90's.  IIRC it was specifically about BN 40' cars being used on long prairie single tracks to collect grain from producers.  IIRC the cars were returned empty to the prairie for storage when the peak season died down.  I recall pics of small locos (GPs?) sandwiched beteen long cuts of nearly identical cars.

Wouldn't numbers of cars have been recycled into MoW use?

Thanks

Cool

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Posted by ericsp on Tuesday, November 02, 2010 9:36 PM

I think that article was in a 1989 issue of Trains Illustrated.

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 10:52 AM

Dave-the-Train
Wouldn't numbers of cars have been recycled into MoW use?

Lots of old cars of various types would get used in MOW service after their normal interchange service life came up to its end limit. Old flatcars, gondolas for ties, track materials, scrap and debris; boxcars for storage, MOW or company supplies, or repurposed as tool cars, generators etc.

These 40' boxcars are all in work service. Most of these photos are from the 2000s or late 1990s.

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn43615&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn43691&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn72447&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn72491&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn73115&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn73204&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cn73215&o=cn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=hbry72529&o=hbry
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=bn951474&o=bn
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=bcol993068_2&o=bcol
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=pge993307&o=bcol
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp401265&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp401309&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp401563&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp401571_3&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp401596&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp401650&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp404094&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp404077&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp403390&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=barX1108&o=bar
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=barX1102&o=bar
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=co910008&o=co
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=co910037&o=co
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=co910070&o=co
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cr60142&o=conrail

Some even turned into bunk cars:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp412572&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp409995&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp412090&o=cprail

And here's one last interesting variation:

http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp410010&o=cprail
http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?i=cp404553&o=cprail

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Posted by Dave-the-Train on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 4:46 PM

Wondered why I couldn't find that article in Trains Confused  Laugh

The ice breaker cars are interesting.  When breaking ice would they have been run in a train or pushed or pulled by a loco on their own please? 

I guess that once they had been run through clearing large accumulations of ice they may have run through in trains to keep it from building up again but that is wild guesswork.

Thanks

Cool

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