Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

What is this thing? Mystery of the Southern "boxcar" #5955.

1399 views
18 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 2,440 posts
What is this thing? Mystery of the Southern "boxcar" #5955.
Posted by NWP SWP on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:44 AM

OK I was searching through some train pictures on Google and stumbled upon this, I tried searching through rrpictureaechives which apparently is the source of the photo. 

So what is it?

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 9,548 posts
Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 10:14 AM

It is a Locotrol receiver, allowing radio signals from the cab to remotely control the mid train helpers on this coal train.  1960s technology, obviously considerably miniaturized for today's DPUs!

The Southern used old retired locomotive frames for these so-called "slave unit" receivers FT B unit, some Alco RSs, some Fairbanks Morse switchers), then got some that Berwick built, at least some of which used old boxcar bodies.

It is hard to tell but the trucks under 5955 almost look like Fairbanks Morse.  I am sure some Southern specialist will fill us in,

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • 352 posts
Posted by j. c. on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 11:02 AM

here is link to a better photo of a different unit  http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/sout/sout-5948.jpg 

  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 5,742 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 1:39 PM

There is a guy over at Atlas Rescue Forum who modeled one in HO. 

http://atlasrescueforum.proboards.com/thread/6663/sunday-photo-fun-3-18?page=1

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,673 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:52 AM

One difference with the model shown in the Atlas Rescue Forum link and the prototype pic in J.C.'s link for 5948 is it appears they don't have a side door, but the pic of 5955 in the orignal post does appear to show a side-door, kinda like WW2 Pullman 50' troop sleepers had. Interesting....

Stix
  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • 399 posts
Posted by DavidH66 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:25 AM
I thought someone actually made these a few years back. I think it was either Rapido or Bowser.
  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • 399 posts
Posted by DavidH66 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:29 AM

DavidH66
I thought someone actually made these a few years back. I think it was either Rapido or Bowser.

 And I'm instantly proven wrong.Oops - Sign

I was thinking about Rapido's Steam generation cars. :S

 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 2,440 posts
Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:46 AM

You are right though a steam generator car would be a good start for a radio car being that they share a quite common platform.

Now my other question is how would you run those cars would you have a car with the leading units the one with the midtrain helpers and another with the end of train helpers or what?

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 9,548 posts
Posted by dknelson on Thursday, July 12, 2018 10:56 AM

I think with the Locotrol system, as it was in the 1960s at least, you'd have some version of the receiver car near the unmanned helpers (mid train and/or end of train)  but not at the head end with the crewed locomotive.  I do not know if Locotrol worked with more than one set of unmanned helpers per train, so perhaps it was mid train OR end of train but not both.  Again perhaps someone more expert can weigh in.

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,755 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 11:45 AM

Here's a tiny bit of news from the January 1970 Extra 2200 South. The #5955 is a radio car built from a Fairbanks Morse roadswitcher by the Marion Machine Works. 

 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,755 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 11:57 AM

dknelson

It is a Locotrol receiver, allowing radio signals from the cab to remotely control the mid train helpers on this coal train.  1960s technology, obviously considerably miniaturized for today's DPUs!

The Southern used old retired locomotive frames for these so-called "slave unit" receivers FT B unit, some Alco RSs, some Fairbanks Morse switchers), then got some that Berwick built, at least some of which used old boxcar bodies.

It is hard to tell but the trucks under 5955 almost look like Fairbanks Morse.  I am sure some Southern specialist will fill us in,

Dave Nelson

 

 

The SOU #5952 and #5953 were the radio cars rebuilt from FT boosters. 

 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    November, 2016
  • 352 posts
Posted by j. c. on Thursday, July 12, 2018 12:54 PM

i may be wrong but the link photo is in mid train and has a 90 added to 5*** number , so it might be a reciver. http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/sout/sou905924y17.jpg 

  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: Shelbyville, Kentucky
  • 1,755 posts
Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:06 PM

Southern radio car #5955 was rebuilt from H16-44 #2149. The radio car was rebuilt in April 1970 to a switcher slug and renumbered to Southern #2484, then renumbered to Southern #924. As a switcher slug it was paired with an SW1500. Data from Extra 2200 South #74. 

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
  • Member since
    June, 2007
  • From: Northern Virginia
  • 5,742 posts
Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, July 12, 2018 1:53 PM

Yeah, the angle of the prototype photo made it less clear, but still a radio car.

Looks like Steven is warming up for his next scratchbuild.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 2,440 posts
Posted by NWP SWP on Thursday, July 12, 2018 2:17 PM

Very observant Rio grande, I won't be pulling the trigger just yet, I want to finish my super gondola project first.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • 61 posts
Posted by 1019x on Saturday, July 14, 2018 7:33 PM

dknelson

I think with the Locotrol system, as it was in the 1960s at least, you'd have some version of the receiver car near the unmanned helpers (mid train and/or end of train)  but not at the head end with the crewed locomotive.  I do not know if Locotrol worked with more than one set of unmanned helpers per train, so perhaps it was mid train OR end of train but not both.  Again perhaps someone more expert can weigh in.

Dave Nelson

 

The Southern lococontrol master locomotives had the equipment in the high nose and on top of the regular control stand. The receiver cars were only used with the midtrain units. They could have put the receiving equipment in a locomotive as well but by using the receiver cars you could use any locomotive mid train. On Southern they would put the midtrain unit(s) in the middle of unit coal trains and about 3/4 of the way back in the train on general mixed freight trains. I don't recall Southern using them on the rear but may have been tried. I have heard they experimented with two sets of midtrain units but never became general use. 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • 2,440 posts
Posted by NWP SWP on Saturday, July 14, 2018 9:07 PM

So theoretically a locotrol radio car could've been at the head end IF the units weren't equipped BUT it's not likely.

Steven

Crooner, Imagineer, High School Graduate, living with Aspergers, President of the Republica Pacifica micronation,  President of the NWP-SWP System.

Hook'em Longhorns! 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,913 posts
Posted by Overmod on Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:02 AM

NWP SWP

So theoretically a locotrol radio car could've been at the head end IF the units weren't equipped BUT it's not likely.

No.  The radio cars received the telemetry and converted it back into MU data, if I recall correctly sent to trailing units through standard 27-pin cables.  The equipment on the 'leaders' converted the control movements to radio and sent them ... many of the early problems coming when the radio signal was distorted or interrupted by terrain.  Suspect we have several people on these forums with EXTENSIVE memories about what didn't quite work and what was done to fix the problems...

  • Member since
    May, 2005
  • 1,000 posts
Posted by dragonriversteel on Friday, July 27, 2018 8:48 AM

DavidH66
I thought someone actually made these a few years back. I think it was either Rapido or Bowser.
 

 

 It was Wright Track Models and yes they still produce Southern Railway Locotrol Radio repeater cars in HO. Great kit too.

 

Fear an Ignorant Man more than a Lion- Turkish proverb

Modeling an ficticious HO scale intergrated Scrap Yard & Steel Mill Melt Shop.

Southland Industrial Railway or S.I.R for short. Enterchanging with Norfolk Southern.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!