C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

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C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Keith Hayes
Years ago, Harry Brunk alerted us to boxcar 8242, a Phase III Bettendorf steel underframe (SUF) car that was modified to haul new automobiles to towns along the C&S. Most of the modification has to do with adding full width doors to the 'A' end of the car. Harry wrote of his HOn3 modification in the Gazette many, many moons ago.

Dr. Stears has reminded us of this unique car with the publication of his fine plans in the latest issue of the Gazette. As I am nearly done with my UTLX tank car project,  I thought this would be a neat project.

Dr. Stears notes that this car had an 9-rib Murphy roof (I guess you don't count the ends), different than the 13-rib roof used on many C&S house cars. I have long wanted to model a different roof,  but didn't have a car number on anyone's word but Harry's. (and ya'all have to admit Harry is a sound authority). Anyway,  a Murphy roof is a brand of metal roof used on house cars--essentially pieces of sheet metal a couple feet wide with the sides turned up; Murphy developed a patented system (several in fact) that attached these pans to the wood sub-roof and cap the joints with a weatherproof trim piece much like a standing seam roof on a building. The different systems have a different number of ribs. The D&RG favored the 9-rib system with the wider battens, and our C&S used the 13-rib system with skinnier battens and added edge clamps.

So...while pondering the last finicky moves on The UTLX cars, I thought I would take a break and start the roof modification.

So far, so good.

If one of you knows other car numbers that got the 9 rib roof, please post them. Also, RGS modelers,  stay tuned because 8242 was one of the Miller cars, and according to Dr. Stears it was not repainted with RGS reporting marks.

As always if you know of a good photo, or have some interesting information,  please share!
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Keith Hayes
So far, this is an easy project. I located a suitable model to lay out the 9-rib roof.

I transferred the centerline to the C&S roof.

And some measuring and cutting and solvent application and VIOLA! a new roof.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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Re: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

John Greenly
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
Hi Keith,

there was this earlier thread:

http://c-sng-discussion-forum.41377.n7.nabble.com/How-long-did-C-amp-S-boxcars-stay-in-service-td3293.html#a7473

In that thread Jim Courtney posted a list he had made of boxcars with the various roof types.  Note that the date of photo evidence is important if you want to be strictly correct for your chosen time frame, since the 9-rib roofs were replacements and the actual date of replacement is probably unknown.  

I can add 8301 to the 9-rib cars in Jim's list, it's in a 1941 photo (P.44 NGPictorial Vol. VIII).  There's also a photo of the automobile car 8242 (in 1938) on p.38.  Cars 8200 (p.34) and 8280 (p.43) are also pictured.  In that volume Derrell Poole wrote that the wide rib (9) roof first appeared in the late'20's.  

For my time frame of 1916-18, I've been toying with the idea of making a SUF boxcar with a wood roof, just to do something different.  Jim's list has 8222 with a wood roof, but that was in 1938.  I don't suppose the original 13 rib roof would have been replaced as early as 1918....  On the other hand,  if the car was damaged early on, a wood replacement might have been chosen since the 13-rib roofs were found to be expensive to maintain (again, according to Derrell) and the improved wide roofs were not yet available.

Ooh-  I just noticed on Jim's list that 8222 was listed as having block lettering in 1938.  If the roof was replaced after the lettering change, certainly they would have re-lettered it while it was shopped??  So that indeed seems to place the roof replacement date fairly early??  Opinions hereby solicited!

Cheers,
John
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Robert Stears
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes

A good summary of C&S SUF (Steel Under Frame) boxcar/autocar #8242 is located in the final volume of the Sundance Publishing Co. book series on the RGS. I think it is volume 12 on RGS rolling stock. I think, but I am not sure,  that there is a list of the C&S SUF boxcars transferred to the RGS in May 1938 and what type of roof they had in volume 12 of that book series.

 

In Vol. 12 there is also evidence presented that C&S automobile car #8242 / RGS #8801 was not repainted in RGS livery but placed in storage  and only used in the later years as a RGS MOW car. In my drawings of C&S #8242, I wanted to include not only how the automobile car appeared when shipped to the RGS in May, 1938, but also how it looked new as delivered in late 1909 as a regular revenue boxcar, and how it may have looked if on the off chance it had indeed been repainted in RGS livery.

 

The C&S SUF boxcars were originally built in late 1909 and early 1910 with the “13 rib” Murphy roof – which was a real maintenance headache. These SUF C&S boxcars began to get replacement “9 rib” roofs sometime in the 1920s. For some reason, not all of these boxcars received the new improved “9 rib” roofs and retained their ’13 rib” roofs to the end. Apparently, none of these SUF C&S boxcars ever received double board wood roofs.

 

To add even more variation to the C&S SUF boxcars, some had the 5 ¼ inch wide center scribe side/end wood sheathing while other cars of the class had 3 inch side/end wood sheathing.  Look closely at the SUF boxcar photographs in the Grandt/Robb C&S rolling stock book and the difference in side/end sheathing becomes conspicuous.

 

So, to insure that I can build accurate On3 models of the various C&S SUF boxcars as they appeared in the 1930s, I am compiling an excel spread sheet of which C&S SUF boxcars in the 1930s had which type of roof and which type of wood side/end scribed wood.

 

As a side bar, I was very lucky to come across an iron “Miller Ownership Plate” at a narrow gauge convention many years ago. It was the source for the “Miller Plate” scale drawing in my #8242 drawings.

 

Best Regards,

Bob Stears

 

 

 

From: Keith Hayes [via C&Sng Discussion Forum] <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:24 PM
To: Robert Stears <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

 

So far, this is an easy project. I located a suitable model to lay out the 9-rib roof.

I transferred the centerline to the C&S roof.

And some measuring and cutting and solvent application and VIOLA! a new roof.

Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3

 


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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Jim Courtney
Great drawings, Bob! My Gazette was in the mailbox when I got home from work this morning. I always turn to the middle to see what plans you've given us with each new issue.

I especially liked the as-built drawing with the original pre-USSA hardware.

I purchased this print from John Maxwell when I was in Med School in the late 1970s. It looks like the same photo published in Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII, credited to Jackson C. Thode:




The automobile car is loaded on a flat car in Denver, ready to depart to Ridgeway on May 21, 1938.

And John --

The entry on my early spreadsheet concerning C&S 8222, the SUF boxcar with wood roof, is in error -- it wasn't still in the block lettering in 1938. Another photo on the same day at the same event, also purchased from John Maxwell:




Bob, note that the wood roof on this SUF boxcar appears to be a double board roof. At least one other SUF boxcar also had a wooden roof, C&S 8xx4 in this Otto Perry photograph (second boxcar):


http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/43131/rv/singleitem/rec/8




And guess what John!

Derrell Poole, in his introductory comments to Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII, points out that there were actually two C&S automobile cars. Derrel cites C&S 7571 had been converted to an automobile car by 1915, per company records. I believe that 7571 was one of the 27-foot UP built boxcars -- just imagine, SP's model T truck being hauled over Boreas Pass in a converted boxcar from the early 1880's.

But get this: C&S 7571 was off the roster by the end of 1917 and been replaced by our SUF friend C&S 8242, the only remaining automobile car for the rest of the C&S narrow gauge operations. When originally converted in 1917, it still would have had the original narrow rib roof and the block lettering. Kinda fits your time frame, doesn't it?

C&S 8242 must have been shopped in the mid-1920's, received a new wide rib Murphy roof and a new paint job with button herald at that time.

I don't recall ever seeing a C&S boxcar with a wide rib roof in the old block lettering, only the "button" herald lettering of the 1920's.

So, John Greenly, you need to pick up a couple more Grandt (oops . . . ) San Juan Model Co SUF boxcar kits, give one a wood roof and build the other as the original version of Keith's project car, both with block lettering. Come to think of it, I probably need one for my 1920 roster . . .
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Robert Stears
Thanks Jim! Can you make out the car number?

Now I can build one of the SUF boxcars with the double board roof. Even more variation on a theme!

Bob

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 20, 2019, at 11:08 PM, Jim Courtney [via C&Sng Discussion Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Great drawings, Bob! My Gazette was in the mailbox when I got home from work this morning. I always turn to the middle to see what plans you've given us with each new issue.

I especially liked the as-built drawing with the original pre-USSA hardware.

I purchased this print from John Maxwell when I was in Med School in the late 1970s. It looks like the same photo published in Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII, credited to Jackson C. Thode:




The automobile car is loaded on a flat car in Denver, ready to depart to Ridgeway on May 21, 1938.

And John --

The entry on my early spreadsheet concerning C&S 8222, the SUF boxcar with wood roof, is in error -- it wasn't still in the block lettering in 1938. Another photo on the same day at the same event, also purchased from John Maxwell:




Bob, note that the wood roof on this SUF boxcar appears to be a double board roof. At least one other SUF boxcar also had a wooden roof, C&S 8xx4 in this Otto Perry photograph (second boxcar):


http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm/fullbrowser/collection/p15330coll22/id/43131/rv/singleitem/rec/8




And guess what John!

Derrell Poole, in his introductory comments to Narrow Gauge Pictorial VIII, points out that there were actually two C&S automobile cars. Derrel cites C&S 7571 had been converted to an automobile car by 1915, per company records. I believe that 7571 was one of the 27-foot UP built boxcars -- just imagine, SP's model T truck being hauled over Boreas Pass in a converted boxcar from the early 1880's.

But get this: C&S 7571 was off the roster by the end of 1917 and been replaced by our SUF friend C&S 8242, the only remaining automobile car for the rest of the C&S narrow gauge operations. When originally converted in 1917, it still would have had the original narrow rib roof and the block lettering. Kinda fits your time frame, doesn't it?

C&S 8242 must have been shopped in the mid-1920's, received a new wide rib Murphy roof and a new paint job with button herald at that time.

I don't recall ever seeing a C&S boxcar with a wide rib roof in the old block lettering, only the "button" herald lettering of the 1920's.

So, John Greenly, you need to pick up a couple more Grandt (oops . . . ) San Juan Model Co SUF boxcar kits, give one a wood roof and build the other as the original version of Keith's project car, both with block lettering. Come to think of it, I probably need one for my 1920 roster . . .
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA



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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

John Greenly
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Jim Courtney
Hey, Jim,

this is excellent!  Many thanks for pointing out Derrell's discussion.  I do have one Grandt SUF boxcar kit squirreled away, waiting for a good project.  This is it!  Just as you suggest,  I'll make 8242 circa 1917 with its automobile car conversion and original 13-rib roof.  I imagine that it would have had the USSA hardware applied at that time.  

By the way,  if the first auto car 7571 was a 27 ft car I can imagine why it didn't last long in service.  Two autos would fit only if they were short ones.   SP's T truck, or my model of it anyway, is a few inches over 15 ft long overall (SP,  is that right? I judged the bed length from your photos), so it would have to be a solo load in the 27 ft car, while in the 30 ft car, another vehicle could (just barely) get a ride:





I'll have to wait to do a wood-roof SUF boxcar until the San Juan folks re-issue the kit.

But for the moment 8242 will have to wait, because there's a special secret project going on in the shops here-  the Skunkworks team is hard at it.  If all goes well, it might be revealed in a couple of weeks.

many thanks, Jim!

John
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Robert McFarland
Is it a SR-71?
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

John Greenly
Robert,

no, I'm pretty sure it is not anything nearly so speedy as that.  But I don't know, they're keeping the shop doors locked.

John
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Keith Hayes
In reply to this post by Robert Stears
Well, this is all very interesting.

Years ago, I decided to pass on the Sundance RGS series--too many books for too much money at the time. I have spied a couple sets since, but the yearning has not been there. I will have to keep my eye out for the volume in question to give it a look at the library.

Jim, thanks for posting the pic--I had not started my investigation yet. Can you possibly do a higher resolution scan of the auto door on the end? I am trying to figure out the latch mechanism. I figured this would be more like the latch on a refer, but it is hard to tell if there is just a hasp and bolt, or actually the rod and closure device with bits on the top and bottom to restrain the doors? With the gap in the middle, I wonder if the shadow we see and interpret as a rod is really the gap in the door or a plate to cover the gap? And...nice to see 8242 has an eclipse herald!

Thanks to the reminders, I will add a couple more 9-rib roofs to my rolling stock fleet.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Jim Courtney
Okay Keith,

Here is Maxwell's 3x5 print scanned to 2400 dbi:




And here is a cropped enlargement of the end door at the same resolution:




When I've looked at this scan before, my eye took the darker vertical line to be a shadow of a vertical bar.  The small bracket near the top suggested a latching bar like on a refrigerator door.

But I don't see any receptacles at the top or bottom for the door to latch, unless the receptacles are recessed into the bottom of the peaked end fascia and the top of the coupler striker plate. Nor is there any obvious swivel mechanism in the middle to retract the ends of the bar.

Perhaps the vertical bar is just a stiffener for the door edge. Or maybe, it isn't there at all -- the darker vertical line, just being the edge of the left hand door, that is slightly ajar.

Waddaya think?
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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Re: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Robert Stears
In reply to this post by Keith Hayes
I am not a rabid RGS fan, however the early c.1900 RGS has some appeal. I picked up the Sundance RGS set as they were published by Sundance. It gave me a chance to head down to the Sundance office on South Broadway in Denver and visit with Dell.

The last volume in the RGS set (Vol. 12) has great shots of the Miller cars, including a photo of a former C&S reefer converted into a MOW outfit car. Another volume, I can’t remember which, covers the various aspects of the Miller/C&S dispute in extreme detail.

Bob

PS: I would also love to have a high res copy of the C&S #8242 photo if possible.



Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 21, 2019, at 7:28 PM, Keith Hayes [via C&Sng Discussion Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Well, this is all very interesting.

Years ago, I decided to pass on the Sundance RGS series--too many books for too much money at the time. I have spied a couple sets since, but the yearning has not been there. I will have to keep my eye out for the volume in question to give it a look at the library.

Jim, thanks for posting the pic--I had not started my investigation yet. Can you possibly do a higher resolution scan of the auto door on the end? I am trying to figure out the latch mechanism. I figured this would be more like the latch on a refer, but it is hard to tell if there is just a hasp and bolt, or actually the rod and closure device with bits on the top and bottom to restrain the doors? With the gap in the middle, I wonder if the shadow we see and interpret as a rod is really the gap in the door or a plate to cover the gap? And...nice to see 8242 has an eclipse herald!

Thanks to the reminders, I will add a couple more 9-rib roofs to my rolling stock fleet.
Keith Hayes
Leadville in Sn3



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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

South Park
In reply to this post by John Greenly
  Mr. Greely wrote:

"By the way,  if the first auto car 7571 was a 27 ft car I can imagine why it didn't last long in service.  Two autos would fit only if they were short ones.   SP's T truck, or my model of it anyway, is a few inches over 14 ft long overall (SP,  is that right? I judged the bed length from your photos), so it would have to be a solo load in the 27 ft car, while in the 30 ft car, another vehicle could (just barely) get a ride."

===========================

  I already locked up the shop for the night, and it is snowing hard.  I'll
try to remember to measure the length of the truck in the morning and
post back here on that.  I DO know that the height is 84" at the back of
the cab, as it is something I have to regularly measure clearance for when
out and about in it.  The roof of this truck is as-built original, having only
had the covering replaced at some point, so I am very careful to preserve
this for reference for others restoring a similar vehicle, and in doing so,
make sure that things I have to drive under are not going to be too low
and damage it.

"Duty above all else except Honor"
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Chris Walker
Jim Courtney wrote :

Perhaps the vertical bar is just a stiffener for the door edge. Or maybe, it isn't there at all -- the darker vertical line, just being the edge of the left hand door, that is slightly ajar.

Spot on Jim,
check the wedge shadow above the left door thrown by the peaked fascia board.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

John Greenly
Yes, I agree with Chris and Jim.  I wonder if there might have been also something attached at the bottom of the left hand door where two holes are visible along the vertical edge- maybe a simple slide bolt or latch to go down into a hole in the end sill to hold the door closed?   Otherwise there is only the rather insubstantial looking hasp.  I would guess that the small overlapping tab near the top of the left door means that was closed last, and held the right hand  door closed?

John
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Chris Walker
That Hasp is of heavy plate 3/8" or 1/2" note on the Righthand door has a grabiron handle with a Bolthead above indicating to me it swings to the right, up and over the slit-wedge plate on the Lefthand door; what looks like a smaller wire or rod hasp secures that heavy plate in place, the plate taking the forces, not the hasp.  Well, that's what I see FWIW.
UpSideDownC
in New Zealand
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

John Greenly
This post was updated on .
Chris,
yes,  I think I understand what you're seeing.  The heavy hasp plate would rotate up to sit horizontally in the equally heavy latch fitting on the left door, and the proportions look to be such that the handle would straddle that lefthand fitting. This would be a nice strong type of closure that was in common use back then, commonly called a gate latch.  When I make my model, that's what I'll make.  That little hasp I saw would just be for securing the plate as you say, and could probably accomodate a lock, if the  shipper wanted to make sure his  valuable cargo reached its intended destination.


thanks!!
John

By the way, has anybody made working hinges in HO scale like the ones on these doors?  I'd like to do that so the doors could be opened for SP's truck to take a ride to Kokomo.  It'll be a tight squeeze, though.  The truck's 84" height  may barely fit into the auto car,  but I fear it may be just a couple of inches too tall.  I might have to let the air out of the tires to get it in.  I'm not exactly sure of the inside height of the boxcar.
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Jim Courtney
That Hasp is of heavy plate 3/8" or 1/2" note on the Right hand door has a grab iron handle with a Bolthead above indicating to me it swings to the right, up and over the slit-wedge plate on the Lefthand door; what looks like a smaller wire or rod hasp secures that heavy plate in place, the plate taking the forces, not the hasp.

The heavy hasp plate would rotate up to sit horizontally in the equally heavy latch fitting on the left door, and the proportions look to be such that the handle would straddle that left hand fitting. This would be a nice strong type of closure that was in common use back then.


A simple diagram would be appreciated by us non-engineering types. ("open" vs "closed")

And I wondered when our HOn3 blacksmith would get around to working hinges and opening doors . . . pressure is now on, Keith.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

John Greenly
This post was updated on .
Jim, it's too cold out there to go out and take a picture of the one on my own barn doors, but here's a typical gate latch of the sort we are describing, pictured closed:



On the auto car doors, the grabiron-like handle on the hasp (the pivoting part that goes across from one side to the other) would, I think, fit over the catch on the lefthand side.  Open, the hasp would be hanging downward from its pivot bolt, as it is in the photo of the auto car doors.

right, Chris?

John

No pressure on Keith, though- it'll be a while before I get around to trying to make working hinges.
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RE: C&S 8242: The Automobile Car

Jim Courtney
OK, got it.

That's not really a fixed grab iron / handle on the right door in the photo.

And what looks, at first glance, to be a bracket at the top of the joining of the two doors is merely a door "stop".

I'm always amazed at how much detail hides in those little grains of silver on old B&W prints.
Jim Courtney
Poulsbo, WA
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