Monday, May 15, 2023

SP Supply Train (Part 9) - Upgrades for Supply Boxcars

In this update post, I'm starting to do the upgrades to my fleet of Accurail Supply Boxcars, installing the new "Man-door" plugs to the cars.  In this case SPMW 2681 and several other cars. 

SPMW 2681's open door side from new OwlMtModels 4076 door set.

Prototype Photo


SPMW 2681 Unloading Supplies from man-door - screen shot from This Is My Railroad, Steam Versions (1946)

This car's receiving incremental upgrades.  Last time I repainted the car, then realized that the doors needed to be rebuilt.  I will probably keep a couple of Supply Cars with full size 6ft doors, but several should be changed over to this small man-door version.

SPMW 2209 with "Keep Lights Away" stenciling

The white diamond warning is probably a 'flammable' placard warning.  So far SPMW 2209 is one of the cars that has warnings for flammable materials.  The SPMW 2681 isn't listed on the 1945 Los Angeles Supply Train consist (that we looked at from Part 7), so I will need to do cross checking what this car in the film and then decide what car will be so placarded of the cars I'm modeling. 

Upgrade Parts - OMM 4077 (open and closed pair)


OwlMtModels 4077 SPMW Supply Car Man-Doors (Open & Closed).

The replacement "man-doors" are 3d printed by OwlMtModels' 4076 (open/closed pair) and 4077 (closed pair), price TBD/pr.  Contact OwlMtModels at sales(at)owlmtmodels(dot)com to order.  Both open and closed versions are available.  Most cars should probably be modeled with the closed-door option, as the open option would really only be seen when the cars were loading with supplies at the big General Shops or unloading at stations in Supply Train service or division point material yards.

Back side of OMM 4076 SPMW Supply Car Man-Doors (Open & Closed) set.

The backs of the plugs are designed to catch on the interior of the carsides to provide the correct depth spacing back from the exterior of the car side.  Obviously cars with the open door, should probably be fitted with some form of interior, board detail on the floor and material racks on the inside of the car's walls.  I will probably go in and at least scribe the floor weight and paint it to look like wood.

Removing the Molded Door


Removing the sliding 6ft door

I started the door upgrades by drilling around the corners of the door with a 0.093" drill in my larger pin vise, 

Cutting out the door.

Then I used a key-hole razor saw to cut between the holes.

Shaped door opening.

Continued shaping of the opening by carving with brand new sharp no.11 X-acto blade.  The door's remaining overlap of the steel body structure also needs to be carved off.  I did this quickly with the No.11 blade and a couple of light passes with the file to clean it up smooth.  It would have been easier to do this on cars without the grab-iron ladder already in place.

Open-door side after installation.

Continue enlarging the opening with the No. 11 blade and flat files as needed to get a press fit of the new 3d printed OMM 4076 & 4077 doors.


I had to trim the closed man door to clear the existing wire grab-ladders on the inside.  On a new car conversions, I would hold off on putting in these grab irons until after the replacement Man-Doors were in place.  Thick ACC/CA glue was used to glue the Man-Door plugs in place.  Small amounts of super-thin ACC/CA glue was also used to finish, and a drop of Canopy Cement was used under the bottom plate of the open door to fill a slight gap.

Closed-door side of SPMW 2681 after installation.

The plastic corner steps took some damage during the multiple assembly cycles, removing and putting the underframe back in to support the sides, that it took to open both side doors.  I will be replacing them at this point with A-line wire stirrup steps.

In Closing



SPMW 2681 reassembled and waiting for replacing of the corner stirrup steps.

I will probably do the same upgrade to a couple more of my Supply Boxcars, but will be using the closed door option, as that's the normal way these cars would be seen in trains and around the SP system unless someone was actively loading or unloading the car.

Next up on the rebuild list, I'm planning to do some replacement ends, to correct the 5-5-5 steel ends back to the SP's standard wood ends, which are also different than the Accurail wood ends, but I'll get to that next time.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:


Freight Car Modeling Index - overview of all my freight car modeling projects

SP Supply Train (Part 7) - 1945 Consist info From Ken Harrison's SPMW Book

SP Supply Train (Part 8) - Revisiting Modeling Supply Boxcars

Sunday, April 16, 2023

SP Supply Train (Part 8A) - Whoops in Modeling SPMW 2767 & Second Again to 3931

Minor correction to my Tichy B-50-12 Supply Car covered in Modeling SP Supply Train (Part 3) - Boxcars, I put the wrong number on it last year!  So a quick patch of FCR and new "MW2767" set of decals applied to the car.

Right side of redecalled SPMW 2767.

After reviewing the This Is My Railroad 1946 - Steam Version, I also need to be adding an SP standard  herald in the upper right diagonal area and replace the 6ft door with the man-door plug.

Left side of redecalled SPMW 2767.

I need to finish up a few other details on the car still, like installing the floor weight.  Then getting into the corner stirrup steps, B-end brake rigging on the end of the car, and roof lateral corner grabs..

In Closing - Edited...


So this won't be the last time I do an update on the 2767 as I'm working on the new man-door plugs for both the Tichy car and also the Accurail boxcars.

String of SPMW Supply Cars

- BTW, Now that Ken Harrison's SPMW book came out, the 2676 is wrong decalling,  I crosschecked the original car number, build dates, builder, etc... and know this is the wrong car number... AGAIN!  (Shakes head in disbelief for second time in 3 weeks.)  

The 2767 is actually a B-50-11.  I will have to redecal this car yet a 3rd time to either 3931 or 3932, which were both retired (USRA) B-50-12s.  Both cars were assigned to Supply Service on 17 Sept, 1945 at Bayshore and lasted until July 31, 1953 and April 1949 respectively.  Given the longer service life of the 3931, I'll probably choose that car and head back to the repatching booth yet again.

This error was caused by a typo on the 1956 Roster, but the car number should have given it away, as 26240 is 120 car numbers too low for the B-50-12s, which started at 26360.  So, I guess the Part 8B blog will be on me changing the car number yet again and installing the new 3d printed OwlMtModels 4077 Supply Man-door set to the model, like on the SPMW 2681.

Jason Hill


Monday, April 10, 2023

SP Supply Train (Part 8) - Revisiting Modeling Supply Boxcars


A string of SPMW Supply Cars ready for service... or not, we'll talk about it.

I'm revisiting the small flock of Supply Boxcars that I've been working on.  A new clip of SP TIMR'46 was uploaded in April 2023, so in this post we'll be looking at some screen captures closer and see what more I need to do on the Supply Cars.


The SP Company Film shows several great shots of the SP Company Shops at Roseville and the Supply Train operations.  I grabbed four great screen shots to discuss here regarding the SPMW Supply Boxcars.

SPMW 2681 and sister cars loading supplies at Sacramento Shops' material yard.

Notice the white diamond placard warning on the car's four sides.  That would probably be a "Flammable" warning for some of the contents this car is carrying regularly.  Also of interest is that these cars all have the small heralds painted on them, so that seems to have been standard, which I've not put back on my cars as of yet... but I probably should to match these photos.

Small station agent-operator gets his dust pan and broom... see you in another 90 days!

In this shot we see the grab iron ladder and the fact the car has had its doors removed and partly paneled over with a standard "man door" installed.

Clerk/conductor seeing to the unloading with a "signal" maintainer or section gang member receiving materials.

It appears that most of the Supply Cars in this train have had their doors replaced with the man-door version.  I'll probably look into replacing the doors on my five Supply cars here, like I did on the Scale Test Repair Car (SPMW 438), but probably using 3d prints and then just blowing out the doors on the cars with a drill and knife.

Supply Clerk (possibly Conductor) steps aboard the train as it highballs out after dropping off supplies.

Interesting that the the SPMW 2681 is placed right behind the clerk's car, which normally would be a pair of flatcars according to the 1945 consist.  However, this passenger car appears to be the SPMW 740, which was based out of Sacramento, I believe.  So there's certainly plenty of documentation that the Supply Trains changed quickly after WWII.

This is My Railroad - Steam Version (1946) - YouTube link

Back to the Models


SPMW 701 - B-50-13 - Retired to MW 7-51

Left side SPMW 701

Right side SPMW 701

A more heavily weathered SPMW pool car, the 701 can show as serving the SP with rougher loading materials, such as scrap, etc.  I still need to fit the 701 with the standard stirrup step to the left of the side door.  Heralds need to be added.

SPMW 2209 - B-50-10 - Retired to MW 10-40

Left side SPMW 2209

I finished SPMW 2209 with the "SUPPLY CAR" style used in a 1945 photo of SPMW 3698, assigned to the same supply train.  I assume this was an "earlier" standard position for the stencilling, which was slightly smaller than the later style seen in This Is My Railroad - Steam Version (1946-47 era) which I've used on the rest of the cars.  The car also has two sets of the fire warnings next to the CAPY data line and also on the doors, this car was assigned to Supply Train service hauling flammables.

Right side SPMW 2209

Roof walk is off while I work on the roof weathering.  I'll probably also be back-dating the car to using K-brakes instead of the stock Accurail AB schedule system.  I still need to fit the 2209 with the standard ladder and stirrup step to the left of the side door.  Heralds need to be added.

SPMW 2681 - B-50-10 - Retired to MW 5-43

Left side SPMW 2681

Right side SPMW 2681

Freshly repainted SPMW 2681, as seen in This is My Railroad - Steam Version (1946), ready for service with the grab ladder and stirrup for the door in place.  Heralds need to be added.  As we'll see below the 2681 was fitted with replacement Andrews trucks.

SPMW 2767 - B-50-12 - Retired to MW 6-44

Left side SPMW 2767

Unfortunately, I messed up the reporting mark lettering on this car... SOOO, I'll be repatching the car's numbers to correct the reversed number decals from last year. (oops)  The doors are much easier to remove on the Tichy USRA car, so I'll probably be replacing this car's doors with the man-door version.

Right side SPMW 2767

The grab ladder is installed and I need to finish a few minor details on the 2767, such as the brake staff & wheel, corner grabs, etc.  Heralds need to be added.

BTW, Now that Ken Harrison's SPMW book came out, the 2676 is wrong decalling,  I crosschecked the original car number, build dates, builder, etc... and know this is the wrong car number... AGAIN!  (Shakes head in disbelief for second time in 3 weeks.)  The 2767 is actually a B-50-11.  I will have to redecal this car yet a 3rd time to either 3931 or 3932, which were both retired (USRA) B-50-12s and assigned to Supply Service on 17 Sept, 1945 at Bayshore and lasted until July 31, 1953 and April 1949 respectively.  Given the longer service life of the 3931, I'll probably choose that car.

SPMW 3724 - B-50-10 - Retired to MW 2-45

Right side SPMW 3724

Left side SPMW 3724

In these photos I still need to fit the 3724 with the standard ladder and stirrup step to the left of the side door.  Heralds need to be added.

In Closing


The TIMR'46 footage shows that the Supply Cars will mostly have replacement doors in their futures.  I'll probably 3d print a door plug to do the job.

Here's the SPMW 438 with the double-man door.

The B-50-10s that were used in Supply Service also still had wood ends.  The car I started with for the SPMW 438 had wood ends that I modified.  Most of the cars I converted for SPMW service were the Accurail version with steel ends.  So I may look into 3d printing new ends to further kitbash the cars at some point, which will include my fleet of B-50-8/10/11s as well.

One problem with completely replacing the car's ends is that it will compromise the structure of the whole body shell, unless I do a solid job attaching the new parts to the existing body.

Jason Hill


SP Supply Trains (Part 6) - SPMW 2681 - Repaint & Decal

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

SP Supply Train (Part 7) - 1945 Consist Info From Ken Harrison's SPMW Book

In Modeling an MOW Supply Train (Part 1), I covered the July, 1946 Consist of the Supply Train from Bruce Petty's SPMW book. 


Now in 2023, Ken Harrison's new SPMW book has been printed and released by the SPH&TS.  Included in the Appendix II (pgs. 474-475) is a consist for the LA General Shops Department for Oct 18, 1945.  I'm going to do my usual modeling consist analysis of how to model it with cars available in HO scale.  I'm also going to look at the differences from the previous consist in Part 1.

The new resource for SPMW modeling from Ken Harrison

The consist is basically the same, but it is expanded with extra spare cars, filling the consist from 9 cars to 25 cars.  I wonder what the reason for the 1945 consist of 25 cars verses the consist of 15 months later dropping to only 10 cars (counting caboose).  Perhaps the 1946 consist still had some of the other storage boxcars behind the 'caboose', but maybe the consist really did shortened down as the post-war rebuilding of the railroad was getting caught up after 4-5 years of war time shortages.

October, 1945 Supply Train Consist


1. Gondola, 40ft - Empty
SP 53825 G-50-6/8-class kitbash

If the SP was using revenue gondolas to support the Supply Train, then I would think that they would have been using G-50-6/8 class cars.

SP Rule 229 states that "All coal and wood falling from trains must be picked up from the right of way, piled at section-houses, and held subject to orders from the Superintendent."

So maybe these extra empty cars were filled with this reclaimed material, maybe loaded by hand using shovels?

2. Gondola, 40ft - Empty
Same comments as for Car #1, above.

3. Flatcar, 40ft - Empty
SPMW 1413 with more 'orderly' sideboards than the more random ones I'll show later on 161 and 229.

I do wonder if this empty flatcar would have full sideboards, partial, or removable sideboards.  It's not clear exactly what this car's purpose for being empty is.

4. Flatcar, 40ft - Push Cars & Speeders, etc (this is the first car of the previous consist list from Part 1)
SPMW 1782, while assigned to T&M service, I think would have similar sideboard arrangement.

The speeder car I think would have to use low and removable sideboards, to allow the equipment to be loaded and unloaded.  I also wonder if there was a small jig crane or other mechanical assistance to load and unload this car along the right of way.  I'll probably do a car with "removable" sideboards based on a couple of cars showing that type of arrangement in the Ken Harrison book.

5. Flat or Gondola, 40ft - Lumber Car
NWP 4474 loaded with stacks of rough cut wood.  I would think that the lumber cars in Supply Train would be finished sizes and to order based on the requests from the division.

The source doesn't say if it's a gondola or a flatcar loaded with lumber.  So this car could certainly be a revenue flatcar or a revenue gondola, or just as easily a MW service car, reloaded specifically for the Supply Train.

6. Gondola. 40ft - Load New, S.H., Scrap Rail
Example of one of the few SPMW gondolas, in this case a G-50-3, heavily kitbashed from a Bachmann/Tyco gondola.

The cars assigned to spot #6 and #8, and possibly spots #1 & 2, probably could also be standard revenue gondolas.  I'm showing SPMW "Ready Shop" cars... I'm not sure that the SP used their "Shop" cars in this way.  I need to do more research if 'Shop' cars were used for scrap and secondhand material to haul back to the 'shops' or if they were really used to move 'Shop' supplies, like raw steel from the big material yards, like Sac General Shops to the various outlaying division shops.  Compared to the Supply Cars, there weren't many 'Shop' cars, and no gondolas assigned to Supply service.  Given those conditions, I'm more thinking that gondolas in this consist were revenue cars.

7. Flatcar, 50ft - with Crane SPMW 3400, SPMW 2011 - F-50-14
Likewise, SPMW 5879, also an F-50-14, which was retired to MW service after 1954 and fitted with Burro SPO-257.

The consist shows SPMW 2011, one of only two 53ft F-50-14s retired in 1940, probably specifically for the LAGS and Sac General Shops' Supply Trains.  I believe this assignment would use an electro-magnet on the crane to pick up and handle the steel and iron materials.

8. Gondola. 40ft - Load Track & Car New, S.H., Scrap Materials
SPMW 1162, an ex-EPSW gondola assigned to Ready Shop service.

Same notes as for Car #6.  SPMW 1162 isn't quite done in this shot.  I'll probably do some more finishing work on it, and do it's own blog post at some point.

9. Tankcar, 40ft - Gasoline Supply, SPMW 1317 - O-50-8
SP 58578, while a regular O-50-13, shows the paint scheme that SPMW 1317 used.

This car is equipped with pump, meter equipment in the A-end of the tank and hoses to fill the gasoline cans at each station.  These cars were painted SP Colonial Yellow (light yellow) on the tank with black frames and lettering.

I plan to kitbash an Athearn tank car to model SPMW 1317 as an O-50-8, which will require converting the car to a radial course construction and installing all of the pumping, metering, and hose boxes.  I'll be covering that project when I do it.

10. Tankcar, 40ft - Switch Light Oil, SPMW 1633 - O-50-11
SPMW 1633 Supply - Switch Light Oil Tank Car O-50-11 - Brian Black & Nolan Black collection

The hoses and support gear were fitted for use on the Supply Trains delivering switch light oil.  I'll probably kitbash a model of SPMW 1633 using the various techniques to model the radial tank with teh smaller 54" dome, in addition the boxes for the hoses and meter boxes.

SP 58684 is a later class than the SPMW 1633, but shows the Diesel scheme.

Diesel Fuel Oil and Switch Light Oil cars were painted aluminum (silver) with black lettering.

11. Boxcar, 40ft - Misc Scrap & Old Tools - Pool Car
SPMW 701 Supply Car "Pool Car" kitbashed from Accurail wood 40ft boxcar

I'm guessing this would be a car out of the SPMW "Supply Car" pool, these cars should probably have the ladder and stirrup to the left of the side door.

12. Boxcar, 40ft - S.H. & Scrap & S.H. Picks Only, SPMW 1165 - B-50-10
It would appear that there was an assigned car for this position, probably with tool racks and bins inside.

13. Boxcar, 40ft - Motor Oil, SPMW 1341
Not much is given about this car, it was retired by 1956 as no car is assigned to the number and doesn't show in the roster.  Probably a boxcar with SPMW racks or fittings for drums inside for the service.

Harrison's new book and roster data CD states that this car is equipped as follows:
    Equipped with six internal tanks and pumps for oil supply service.
    First assigned to Los Angeles. At Los Angeles 8/19/1948. 
    Last assigned LAGS.  Dismantled Los Angeles 2/20/1953.

Interesting statement paired with the Appendex II consist of the Supply Train shows this car was used for Motor Oil, so I'm guessing this was six tanks of various weights of motor oil for refilling cans along the resupplying route.  The car was converted to SPMW service in Sept, 1937 and retired in 1953.

14. Coach, 67ft - Office, SPMW 1370
These office and crew cars provided space for the Supply Train crew to stay during their multi-day trips around the system.  At least two of these "Office" cars had to be in service at any point in time, as one Supply Train worked out of Sacramento General Shops and one out of Los Angeles General Shops.
The SPMW 1370 seems to have been a coach in "Office" service in 1945, but that 1370 must have been replaced, because by February, 1953, a retired B-50-13 was assigned to SPMW 1370 as a Bunk car.  Another retired coach, ex-SP 1193, become SPMW 583 in March 1951, so the 1370 coach may have been replaced around that time.

SP 2810 'Crew Car' is a good "Protection Car" as for now I don't have an extra body to build the 1370 more properly.

As I don't have a spare 60ft coach carbody hanging around to build a more proper Freight Car Red painted SPMW 1370, I would probably use either my model of SPMW 740 (shown below) or a "crew car", like SP 2810 (above), to fill the spot in the 1945 consist.

SPMW 740 Right Prototype - Tony Johnson Photo Collection (cropped, used with permission)

Previously, I covered the SPMW 740 which was used from circa 1935, until retired after 17 years in 1952, dismantled in 1954.  The SPMW 598, ex-SP 2935 Lounge replaced SPMW 740 in December 1953, transferring the internal fittings over to the new car.

15. Flatcar, 40ft - Truck Mat'L
This Supply Car, SPMW 161 with sideboards, I decalled for assignment to Sacramento Stores Department for a customer.

I'm suspicious that this should read "Track" Mat'L... as I doubt that in 1945 "Truck" material would be shipped in the supply train.  Freight car trucks... like brasses? or is it talking about trucks, like the MW support vehicles?  For now I'm leaning towards this meaning 'Track" material.

16. Flatcar, 40ft - Spikes
Another flatcar, SPMW 229, a Supply car assigned to LA General Stores Dept.

There's actually a photo of a Spikes car being unloaded in the new book!  These would be kegs of spikes.  The car has low sideboards, like my SPMW 229, but with a removable door between the center stake pockets.  The crews were using sliding the kegs down to the ground level on the ramp using a C-channel ramp.

The car shown in the new Ken Harrison book is a revenue F-50-1/2/3 class car (40214) with sideboards, like my SPMW 229, but with a center removable section for unloading the kegs.  I may end up building a removable spike load with the sideboards attached that can fit on one of my revenue F-50-5+ series cars to use temporary in Supply Train service.

17. Boxcar, 40ft - Small Supplies, SPMW 3698 - B-50-10
SPMW 3698 ready for its Supply Train assignment.

I'm assuming this one was fitted with racks for small materials, like is shown in SP This is My Railroad 1947 for signal lenses, etc.

The 1956 roster shows a B-50-10 retired in 1951, and also assigned to this service.  Thankfully the 3698 from 1945 is shown in a photograph in Harrison's new book on pg. 336, which clearly shows the car to be a B-50-10.  So I'm guessing that either the 1956 roster is a typo on the date the car was retired... or that the 1945 B-50-10 #3698 was retired and replaced by the new car in 1951 with the same number, maybe for the same assignment.

18. Boxcar, 40ft - Track Tools, SPMW 1343 - B-50-9
SPMW 2272 is a Ready Boxcar, B-50-6/9 were almost identical, so I'm showing it as a stand-in for SPMW 1343.

Probably an assigned car, fitted with tool racks and hangers for the specific track tools.  The 1343 was retired in 1950.

Note that this car is a B-50-9, which is interesting, as this car appears to be the only B-50-9 Supply car, while there were 6 other B-50-6s in Supply Car service.

19. Boxcar, 40ft - Peddler?, SPMW 2164 - B-50-5? or SPMW 2195 - B-50-10
No idea what "Peddler" is supposed to mean in this case.  It seems that two cars are assigned to rotate through this position in the consist. 
 
There must be a problem in the records somewhere as the 1956 Roster shows the 2164 as a B-50-5 converted in 1929 as a Boarding car with no further details, so it must have been reassigned between 1945 and 1956 or the records are in error, typo in the car number, etc.

A possible look for B-50-10 with Bruce Petty's "Klamath Falls Supply Car" style windows (using my SPMW 438 Scale Repair Car kitbash as example)

An interesting thought on what this car might be found in Bruce Petty's SPMW book from a drawing on page 25 for a Supply Car for the Klamath Falls Branch from 1924.  This plan shows plenty of windows (4-5 window to each side of the door, and two in the side door) on both sides.  I think the car must have been a double-sheath car, B-50-1/2/4/5 or B-40-series to have so many windows.  The interior shows many multiple compartments for misc tools below the work bench, 'pigeon holes' on about 1/3 of the wall length.  Also there is a berth, stove, closet and lockers, presumably for the Stores Department worker.  I'm guessing this K.Falls car was used to transport on a regular basis, company material for the branch so a multiple car Supply Train didn't need to be sent up the branch.  Perhaps this is why there are two cars that are assigned to the LA Supply Train, which allows them - or at least one - to 'roam' on the branches, while the other stays with the train.  The problem with this theory is then, why would they need a car like this in the regular train with accommodations, when the "Office" car probably has sleeping accommodations for the regular staff for the Supply Train.

20. Boxcar, 40ft - Rack for Oils, SPMW 2209 - B-50-10
SPMW 2209, assigned Supply Car service.

I'm assuming a car with racks for various oil containers.  The assigned car makes me thin the car is fitted with racks or other restraints for the drums or cans.

On the 2209 I used the "SUPPLY CAR" from OwlMtModel's SPMW (Decal #1214) which is smaller than the "standard" lettering, which I've seen on post-war examples (such as SPMW 2681).  Instead I followed the example found on page 336 of Ken Harrison's new SPMW book, showing SPMW 3698 which has this style of smaller "SUPPLY CAR" lettering.  The rest of the decals came from a mix of the OwlMtModels sets and the SPMW Boxcar and Pullman sets from Todd Osterburg's artwork.

I also applied some of the "KEEP FIRES & LIGHTS AWAY" stencils, as this car would be hauling various oil and petroleum products.  I placed two pairs of these: one just to the right of the weight information and the other on the door near the locking levers.

I still need to do a little more on this one with the mid-car ladder and stirrup step fabrication and installation.

21. Boxcar, 40ft - Drums For Oils, SPMW 2196 - B-50-10
Maybe for distributing smaller oil containers.  I'm not sure if those would be loaded or empty.  The assigned car makes me thin the car is fitted with racks or other restraints for the drums.

22. Boxcar, 40ft - Supplies, SPMW 3724 - B-50-10
SPMW 3724 assigned Supply Car

Obviously the SPMW 3724 was fitted internally with something special for carrying these "Supplies" as it is specified by number for this assignment, possibly racks, etc.

Like the 2209, I still need to do a little more on this one with the mid-car ladder and stirrup step fabrication and installation.

23. Boxcar, 40ft - Misc Supplies, Pool Car
SPMW 2681, pool SUPPLY CAR.

I'm guessing this would be a car out of the SPMW "Supply Car" pool.

24. Boxcar, 40ft - Renewals, Pool Car
SPMW 498, another pool SUPPLY CAR.

I'm guessing this would be a car out of the SPMW "Supply Car" pool.

25. Boxcar, 40ft - Drum Gas, Pool Car
SPMW 2676, the last B-50-12 in MW service and in use as Supply Car.

I'm guessing this would be a car out of the SPMW "Supply Car" pool.  I'm also guessing this car was carrying bulk drum gasoline which could be unloaded at various stations. - BTW, I know this is the wrong car number, now that Ken Harrison's SPMW book came out, the 2676 is wrong decalling, 2767 is actually a B-50-11.  I will have to redecal this car yet a 3rd time to either 3931 or 3932, which were both retired (USRA) B-50-12s and assigned to Supply Service on 17 Sept, 1945 at Bayshore and lasted until July 31, 1953 and April 1949 respectively.

Comments & Thoughts


I tend to disagree with Ken Harrison's assertion in the book that the SP used revenue boxcars in the Supply Train service, as the 1956 roster seems to show about 120 cars, a healthy number of available boxcars, assigned for such use.  

The availability of gondolas on the other hand in the SPMW roster is a problem.  Most are assigned to the SP Shops, not Supply Train service... which I find interesting.  They usually show as Ready Gondolas, and were mostly G-50-2 and G-50-3s, perhaps sand service?  I'm not sure if these would have been borrowed or if regular revenue GS gondolas would have been used in the Supply Train service.  It's also possible that these "gondolas" were actually F-50-series flatcars fitted with metal ends, like the wheel cars and possibly wood sides or stakes that could have been removed easily.

I would guess that the first two empty gondolas in the consist are meant to be available to swap into the 6th and 8th positions when the cars next to the crane get full?  The same is probably the case with the 3rd car, an empty flatcar, but it's not obvious which car this empty is protecting.  Cars 15 & 16 seem to be unloading materials, not loading used material, so they wouldn't get replaced with an empty car.

The SP took delivery of the G-50-22s in the end of 1948, so these were not available for the 1945/1946 consists.

I should also comment that these consists are from 1945 and 1946, several years before the orders of F-70-6/7s, F-50-16 and G-50-18/20/22/23 were built, so the newest GS gondolas available would be the G-50-9/10/11/12 Enterprise cars and the majority rest of the SP Pacific Lines gondolas would have been G-50-3/6/8s which had squared floor-side joints, but only half drop doors.  Likewise the majority of the flatcars in service would still have been the F-50-series cars.  This means that if I was to build this exact consist, for 1945/1946, I couldn't use the Red Caboose G-50-18 and G-50-22s in the train.

In Closing


Supply Cars SPMW 2681, 701, 2676, & Ready Box 2257.

This post was supposed to be mostly a quick update for my Supply Train series now that Ken's book is out.  I'm still planning to do some more kitbashes to better model some of the unique cars used on the Supply Trains.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

Freight Car Overview Index - Links to various SPMW blog posts

Modeling an MOW Supply Train (Part 1) - Back to the beginning of this series.

This is My Railroad - Steam Version (1947) - YouTube link