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Re: Outside Brace Box Cars?

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  • dennisivison
    Greg thank you for the photos, Jim I ll take your advise and trim the height. I just received a notice from Montage that the Gazette issue is enroute. I m
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 26, 2010
      Greg thank you for the photos, Jim I'll take your advise and trim the height. I just received a notice from Montage that the Gazette issue is enroute.

      I'm relativly new to the fan base of the NCNG, having just discovered the RR about 3 years ago, so I really appreciate all of your help. I've posted several questions to this group and have always received very helpful information. Being a fan of prototype vs. freelance railroading, your help is invaluable.


      --- In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, "Greg Maxwell" <EANDPNG@...> wrote:
      > I have uploaded two new photos to the Group Photos file. The new file is labeled " OB Box car 32?". The first photo is the enlargement of the outside brace car from the Bear River bridge view. Take a look at the platform portion of the car. Note the location of the body-bolster truss rod washers, mounted on the side sills as they would be on a Carter / NCNG 8 ton flat car. Also note the frame construction in regards to the end beams, how they sit in notches at the ends of the side sills. This is also characteristic of a Carter / NCNG flat car. Box car #32 would have been the first box car built following the 15 Carter kits. According to Bruce MacGregor in his "The Birth of California Narrow Gauge" Box car #32 was most likely built with Carter kit material. It would not be too crazy of an assumption to say that #32 would have been a copy of one of the first 15 kits. If you compare the car in the photo to the Carter 8 ton box car plan on pages 186-7 of "The Birth of California Narrow Gauge" you will see that the Carter 8 ton box car has only eight upright posts and the car in the photo has ten. You will also notice that the end of the car is constructed very differently than the car in the plan.
      > The second photo uploaded is a broadside view of #32. The body bolsters extend below the side sills as they should on a Carter / NCNG 8 ton box car with the bolster truss rod washer mounted to the lower end of the bolster. My guess would be that the outside brace car in the two early photos is not box car #32 but actually an 8 ton flat car with a box superstructure mounted on top. Judging from the difference in the trucks with the adjacent 8 ton flat cars this is probably one of the NCNG built flats (odd #31-49).
      > Best regards,
      > Greg Maxwell
      > --- In NCNGRR@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Brandon <andrew.brandon@> wrote:
      > >
      > > The car you're referring to is Boxcar 32, it was one of a kind. From what I
      > > recall, the car was built with outside bracing originally but later received
      > > sheething like the rest of the boxcar fleet. The how when and why I do not
      > > have in front of me. In any case it is one of the first, if not the first,
      > > boxcar built by the Grass Valley shops and according to Herman should be 26'
      > > long. There was an article by Jim Vail wherein he built a model of this car
      > > which contained a little information about it.
      > >
      > >
      > > Vail, Jim, "Two HOn3 Nevada County Narrow Gauge Boxcars," Narrow Gauge and
      > > Short Line Gazette, November/December 1999, 76-79. A sctratchbuilding
      > > article on constructing a 26' outside framed NCNG box car in HOn3. Includes
      > > a drawing of car #32 as an outside framed car and a reprint of Herman Darr's
      > > drawing of the 1930's version of the NCNG's 26' box cars (NCNG-6, 1982
      > > version).
      > >
      > > -=Andrew Brandon=-
      > > http://www.pacificng.com
      > >
    • Andrew Brandon
      Greg, It is suspected that the boxcar started life as simply that, an experimental boxcar. The NCNG begin constructing freight cars far earlier than
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 26, 2010

        It is suspected that the boxcar started life as simply that, an experimental boxcar. The NCNG begin constructing freight cars far earlier than traditionally understood. I did a quick check through state reports to the railroad commissioner and found the following freight car totals.

        1876 - 15 8 wheel platform (flat) cars, 15 boxcars
        1877 - 20 8 wheel platform cars, 15 boxcars
        1880 - 20 8 wheel platform cars, 18 boxcars

        One of the reasons the car looks like a flatcar with a body is likely because such a process was not uncommon, this would make the car a boxcar regardless of being a flatcar with a box frame. As we can see from the car totals, the need arose for more flats, however the total doesn't change. Is it possible that the shops were building flats and converted one to a rudamentary boxcar? Indeed. It is important to note that between the end of 1877 and the end of 1880 the shops built 3 boxcars. Since these cars are NCNG knock-offs of Carter designs they're 26' long rather than 24' foot. There is debate of course as to the flats being 25' 4" initially, or if the 5 cars built between 76 - 77 were of this length. So lets assume boxcar 32 is constructed from some sort of flatcar frame, the frame design would match the other flat cars the NCNG had been constructing, which we can assume were 25' 4". By taking this basic frame layout with a home brewed body on the car, then applying siding, you get a car that is roughly 26'. It is a documented fact that car 32 was 26' long by the end of its life. There are differences between what you're seeing in that photo and the Carter cars themselves. The frame on that boxcar is wider that the flats following it, there is also a lack of stake pockets on the car, or indications of there being stake pockets. This would indicate the car was constructed for this purpose, if it is 32, we're looking at the foundation of the cars the GV shops would continue to build for many years following. A common flaw with boxcars of similar design is the exposed bracing and simple wall design. The V&T had issues with their outside braced cars and later rebuilt them with exterior siding. The NCNG would have endured the same experiences leading them to convert any boxcars of this design to a more traditional design, this of course would be the 26' GV shop built cars we all know and love.

        For the record, the extent of the "Kit" form for the first cars is under debate. I have documentation that one of the Carters WAS in Colfax and Grass Valley and was in charge of several pieces of equipment. Among those is the Grass Valley turntable. In coming months after I sort out my notes and research, I will be re-writing the earliest history of the NCNG. I had been keeping a lot of this under my hat until I was ready to announce it, stay tuned.

        -=Andrew Brandon=-

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