Friday, February 19, 2021

Modeling SP B-50-series Boxcars (Part 2) - Post-War All-Steel

While in general, I've not spent a lot of time or energy researching SP boxcars over the last 20-odd years of my modeling.  The new Jawbone Branch layout project has pushed some of this research back into my field of view relating to modeling projects which will need to be addressed at some point.  Below is a photo of one such car at the Owenyo trans-loading platform with a caboose in the background.

SP 102856 post-war B-50-28 boxcar receives bagged loads, possibly gypsum at SPNG Owenyo Transfer Dock 1954 - s-l1600_ebay01_sml (Cropped)

B-50-28 showing the 3/4 Improved Dreadnought End with the extra small rib at the top, and the Improved Youngstown 7ft door.  These cars had 10-panel sides and diagonal panel roofs.  IMRC makes this 10ft height boxcar, as Tony Thompson describes in his post about Paul Lyon Sr.'s Sunshine resin kit that he finished up.  So I guess I'll be keeping my eye out for one of these models.

SP Post-War Boxcar Classes

Pulling the following table information from Anthony Thompson's Southern Pacific Freight Cars, Vol.4 - Boxcars let's look at the explosion of orders and delivers of SP boxcars after WWII.


Built 7-9/1946, Mt Vernon
    SP 97620-98069, 450 cars (classic black, all steel "Overnight" boxcars)
    SP 5700-5749, 50 cars - BX (Boxcar - Express, painted SP DOG for express service with passenger steam pipes and signal lines)

Totaling 500 cars total, all originally assigned to Overnight or full express service, later downgraded to regular boxcar service and repainted after TOFC business took over express operations around 1958.


Built 7-9/1946 thru 1947 Pressed Steel Car (1st group), remainder by Pullman-Standard (P-S)
    SP 20500-21499, 1000 cars
    SP 21500-21749, 250 cars
    SP 21750-22249, 500 cars
    T&NO 54850-55199, 350 cars
    T&NO 55200-55699, 500 cars

Totaling 1750 Pacific Lines cars, 850 Texas Lines cars = 2600 cars combined


Built 12/1947-1948 by P-S and AC&F
    SP 58920-59479, 560 cars
    SP 60250-60439, 190 cars
    SP 60440651189, 750 cars
    T&NO 55700-56499, 750 cars
    T&NO 56450-57199, 750 cars

Totaling 1500 Pacific Lines and 1500 Texas Lines = 3000 cars combined


Built 10/1948-3/1949 by P-S
    SP 100000-102099, 2100 cars
    T&NO 58500-59749, 1250 cars

Totaling 3350 cars in this class combined


Built 9-12/1950 thru 6/1951 *
    SP 102100-103599, 1500 cars
    SP 104100-105099, 1000
    SP 105100-105599, 500
    T&NO 59750-60249, 500
    T&NO 60250-61249, 1000

Totaling 3000 Pacific Lines, 1500 Texas Lines = 4500 cars combined

New Tangent B-50-28 model.  I'm covering more on these cars as I finish a couple models for the Jawbone Branch.

Tangent Scale Models has now (2023-08) released SP B-50-28 and -32 (T&NO) models.  The SP models from the first run seem to be confined to the first 500 car numbers, with their details for hand brake, roof walk, and trucks.  So while the class had 3000 Pacific Lines cars, I hope that they will do other detail versions for future releases.  Currently, I have ordered one model and will see how it looks.  If other versions are done later, I may pick up a couple more to fill out my post-war fleet.


Built 8-10/1951 by SP Equipment Co. "SPE" (Sacramento Shops?) *
    SP 103600-104099, 500 cars

* 2000 cars of B-50-28/29 leased to T&NO in 1956-1957 and renumbered.  Returned Pacific Lines in the early 1960s. - Note from Anthony Thompson about these two classes.

B-50-30 (50ft-6in cars)

Built 9/1952-2/1953 by SPE (Sac Shops?)
    SP 109100-110099, 1000 cars


Built 1-9/1952 by SPE
    SP 105600-107099, 1500 cars


Built 2-4/1953 & 1953 by P-S
    SP 107100-107699, 600 cars
    T&NO 61250-62249, 1000 cars

Totaling 1600 cars combined

Tangent Scale Models has now (2023-08) released SP B-50-28 and -32 (T&NO) models.  Currently, I have ordered one SP model and will see how it looks.  If other versions are done later, I may pick up a couple more to fill out my post-war fleet.  The T&NO offering of the -32 puts this model right towards the end of my current modeling era.  So while I generally highly support main-line modelers to pick up the often forgotten and under represent T&NO cars, I'm going to skip getting a T&NO car at this point.  (Yes, my wallet is still licking the wounds from getting multiple Rapido B-50-15/16s last month!)


Built 2-9/1953 by SPE
    SP 107700-109099, 1400 cars

More Modeling Info

Again, I've not really pushed into acquiring the models to replicate these classes, so I'll put several links to Anthony Thompson's great blog articles on modeling these classes, both kitbashing and resin models.

Choosing a Model Car Fleet-SP Box Cars - this post includes pre-war and post-war SP box car classes.

Choosing a Model Car Fleet-Some Numbers - More info on fleet proportions. 

One Last Paul Lyon's Model - B-50-28 resin model as T&NO 59723

Conversion Parts for B-50-25 & -26 - Trainline Column & Decals

I hope you've enjoyed a this post, which is more of a quick reference guide to the SP Post-war boxcar fleet.  Right now more of my 'modeling' time is going into the design and construction of the new Jawbone Branch layout, but I figure the boxcar modeling will resurface.  Eventually, I'll probably be modeling them. In the meantime, I'll be on the occasional lookout for the IMRC 6-panel 10ft 0in boxcars as a starting point. The Accurail steel boxcars could almost work as a stand-in, but the 6ft door really starts to bug me after looking at the photos of the real thing.

As for this lighter than normal post, I'll probably come back and either revise this list, make a blog page for easier access, and-or post an update to this when I start modeling this series of cars.

Jason Hill

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