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PRR Tool Car Usage

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  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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PRR Tool Car Usage
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, September 03, 2017 12:47 PM

What was the "TOOL CAR" used for on the Pennsylvania Railroad?

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This is the car I am refering to:

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These show up for sale all the time. Westside models must have made thousands of them. I am thinking about getting a couple for the STRATTON & GILLETTE.

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Could they be used a cabooses on a local freight? The most prominent difference I see is the lack of side grabs and end railings. I can change that easy enough.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, September 03, 2017 1:14 PM

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, September 03, 2017 1:52 PM

The car is on display at the Indianapolis Children's Museum:

http://mykidlovestrains.blogspot.com/2013/10/childrensmuseumofindianapolis.html

scroll down.

 http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1882259

https://www.childrensmuseum.org/exhibits/all-aboard

 

No need to worry about end railings.

PRR Class TA (I believe there were only two of this class, #60 & 61). Note the link-and-pin couplers! 

Almost all M-of-W rolling stock was "handed down" from revenue or regular service equipment so there probably was a time when these cars were used as cabooses.

Good Luck,

Ed

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Posted by ACY Tom on Monday, September 04, 2017 2:09 PM

Actually, with all due respect to Ed, I wouldn't be too quick to assume these cars were ever used as cabooses. Details show that the car was photographed before the adoption of the Safety Appliances Act of 1909. Up to that time, the typical PRR cabin car had only 2 axles. Early 4-axle N5's and N6's were being introduced in the 1900-1910 period, but this certainly isn't one of those. PRR did modify older cars for maintenance service, but this looks more like a purpose-built car. During the 1930's and 1940's, many XL, X23, and other cars were modified for work service (Westerfield has great kits for these), but this car obviously predates that era.  

As to the original question, I have no idea how many of these cars existed or how they were used, but they certainly weren't numerous, and they may have been short-lived. If you are modeling the period after 1909, add those safety appliances to bring it into compliance.

Tom 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Monday, September 04, 2017 3:54 PM

Hello all,

SeeYou190
What was the "TOOL CAR" used for on the Pennsylvania Railroad?

Think of an M.O.W. "Tool Car" as a combination tool shed and machine shop on wheels.

M.O.W. crews were required, by the railroads, to carry a set number of tools from picks and shovels to track alignment gages, tamping tools and rail bending/alingment tools.  

These tool sheds on wheels also had to maintain these impliments as well.

Many M.O.W. cars were re-purposed from rolling stock that could no longer be used in regular service.

This car would have been used in a M.O.W. consist along with a bunk car and a kitchen car for the workers.

Other cars in the consist might be: ballast cars, flat cars; for track lying equipment for ties and rails.

To re-, re-purpose this car back to a caboose would not be prototypical.

In theory, the railroad already "retired" this car from service. Without a complete overhaul it would most likely not be returned to regular service. 

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 04, 2017 4:08 PM

Thank you all for the useful information.

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These cars usually sell for about $80.00, so I do believe I will get two of them. I will install a new plastic floor, typical caboose trucks, end railings, ladders, and roofwalks. Hopefully that will make them look OK in 1954.

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They will be representing cars purpose built as "local" cabooses, not cars that were in MOW service and returned to caboose duties. Hopefully the changes will make that look right.

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This is a project for 2019. For now, I will begin bargain shopping for a pair.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

  • Member since
    August, 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, September 04, 2017 4:19 PM

ACY Tom
Actually, with all due respect to Ed, I wouldn't be too quick to assume these cars were ever used as cabooses.

Precicely why I underlined the word "Almost" and said probably as in, maybe it was maybe not.

Again, link-and-pin couplers? Certainly this predates the 1909 Safety Appliances Act. Also the cupola leads me to believe it may have had a former history as a cabin car, perhaps acquired from one of the predecessor roads? 

I have twenty years worth of PRR Keystone magazines here and I recall at least one of the issues featured a history of PRR M-of-W equipment but don't have the time to search for it now.

http://prr.railfan.net/diagrams/PRRdiagrams.html?diag=TA-.gif&sel=tool&sz=sm&fr=

If I come up with any further information, I'll certainly pass it on...

Regards, Ed

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, September 04, 2017 5:04 PM

More likely they started out as baggage or express cars (note passenger car trucks) and were downgraded to MofW service.  I would think they never saw a single day's service as a caboose.  Why haul around something that big and heavy as a caboose.  They are twice the size of a typical caboose of their day.

The grab irons and sill steps are not designed the way a caboose's would be, they would be horrible to get on or off of, especially while moving.

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, September 04, 2017 10:35 PM

dehusman
The grab irons and sill steps are not designed the way a caboose's would be, they would be horrible to get on or off of, especially while moving.

One thing we know for sure the car was around in the days of the link and pin when a brakeman's family kept a clean white sheet in case that dreaded knock on the door came.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

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