Wednesday, July 20, 2016

NS 85-foot excess-height boxcars

A unique series of Norfolk Southern 85-foot excess-height boxcars was unusual not only for their length and excess height, but also for their two plug doors and ribbed sides. This is not your grandpa's hi-cube auto-parts boxcar:
  • Built by Pullman-Standard in 1965 for Southern Railway
  • Ex-SR 9640-9739
  • 10,000 cu ft capacity
  • 12'6" internal height
Nominally built to carry tobacco, by the 1980s most of the cars were in tire service!
There is an article on modelling these cars in the February 2003 Model Railroading magazine.

(Southern also rostered higher-numbered 'hog's head' boxcars, originally for tobacco but also later used to ship furniture and tires. This series was also re-purposed to haul high-cube out, low-tare out commodities like tires and boogie-board blanks!)

My sightings of these unique cars at Kingston, ON on CN's Kingston Sub with date, car number, CN train on and remarks
Nov 11/93 NS 484091
Mar 27/97 NS 484076
May 16/97 NS 484080 - 484075
May 25/97 NS 484089 - 484094
Jun 23/97 NS 484091 loaded, Dest Drummondville QC
Jul 6/97 NS 484091 on No 391 Dest Buffalo NS  for interchange
Oct 18/97 NS 484083 on No 380 Dest Drummondville QC loaded on No 380
Oct 26/97 NS 484079 at Belleville car shop dest Frontier Yard, Buffalo
Aug 5/98 NS 484093 on No 367
Aug 11/98 NS 484086 on No 367
Aug 19/98 NS 484082 on No 367
Sep 4/98 NS 484092 on No 368 at Belleville, ON (top photo)
Feb 20/99 NS 484076
Mar 27/99 NS 484073 on No 301
May 22/99 NS 484078 on No 301
Dec 12/99 NS 484091 - 484092 on No 318

Pierre Fournier kindly shared this photo of CN No 311 east of Montreal in May 1995. Note those NS excess-height boxcars second and third deep:
Running extra...

Check out Steve Lucas' expert analysis of one my Dad's slides. Steve knows a thing or two about right-or-way and track structure. And it shows. And I'm sure my Dad would be proud to have one of his slides so meaningfully interpreted!

And then there's Bernard Kempinski's completed Port of Los Angeles (PoLA - that is not the German HO scale structure manufacturer!) layout hosting a Pacific Harbor Line transfer. I mean, who else builds his own HO scale ship from the keel up? Bernard harbours much talent, as far as I can sea.

Another interesting video - behind the scenes at Rapido Trains Inc.! I highly recommend Jason's soliloquy at the 8:50 mark of the video. Since Steve Boyko has already claimed the term 'Train Geek' it seems train 'nerd' is now T-shirt worthy!

That Eighties show: Julien Boily has a trip down memory lane for you - five videos of CN/CP in Quebec in the 1980's filmed by M. Robert Groleau. Great viewing, especially for those of us who are rolling stock fans! Born in the wrong decade? You'll enjoy the whole series!

This is the first post in the new sidebar item - Classic American Freight Cars, a companion list to Classic Canadian Freight Cars, already in the sidebar. Because Canada can't have ALL the cool freight cars in North America.


Unknown said...

I think the strangest thing about these cars is how close the trucks are to the ends. Normally cars of this length have trucks mounted closer together.

Eric said...

Indeed, Jeremy, and that unusual design adds to their unique appearance. They surely stood out in a freight train!

Thanks to Trackside Treasure's readership for pardoning this rolling stock swerve south of the border, but of course these cars operated on CN and to me, were very much a part of the CN Kingston Sub scene during their years of service here.

Thanks for your comment,

Unknown said...

there used to be one in ft Lauderdale marked 100ft used for hay

Eric said...

Another novel cargo!
Thanks for your comment, U.