30 ribbed single trlr proto1

Trailer Numbering

Early Trailer Numbering

The trailer number was broken into three parts. The first two digits indicated the trailer length. These two digits were followed by an alphabet letter (C, E, or W). The significance of the letter is unknown. The letter was followed by numbers indicating the trailer number. Thus trailer 32E250 is a 32’ trailer numbered 250.

 

Late Trailer Numbering

Sometime around the latter part of 1959, the PRR decided to develop a uniform trailer numbering system. With this system, the first number indicated the type of trailer, the second digit the length, and the remaining digits the trailer number. First digit 1 - dry van 4 - not used 2 - not used 5 - refrigerated 3 - insulated 6 - flat bed.

For example, PRR55302 would be a refrigerated van, 35' in length; PRR 10120 would be a dry van, 40' in length.

The large disk logo on the trailers came about circa late 1959-1960.

AAR Trailer Numbering

During the early 1960's, the Association of American Railroads issued specifications for trailers and a set of interchange rules' for railroads to follow. They also standardized trailer reporting marks and issued a nationwide uniform identification for piggyback trailers. The new scheme consisted of a three-letter alphabet code of the user railroad, followed by the letter "Z." The first digit following this code would indicate the type of trailer, the second digit would indicate the size of the trailer and the remaining digits, the trailer number (See Figure 4).

AAR Numbering 

The Pennsy immediately adopted this new system and began applying it to all its newer trailers. For example, PRRZ202642 would be a dry van, 40' long, with trailer number 2642. All photographs from the period 1963 to 1968 that I've seen show trailers with this type of numbering system.

 24' Trailers

PRR 24' Open Top Trailer

24 open trailer proto

24W600

Trailer Description
Length 24'
Width No Wider Than 8'
Nose Rounded
Sides Smooth with Tarp TIe Off Rails
Side Door None
Rear Doors Swing Type with Extra-Long Strap Hinges
Roof Partial Tarp Top
Landing Gear Narrow with Wheels
Quantity Unknown
Appeared Unknown

 24 open trailer

 Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 86.

PRR 24' Single Axle Van Trailer

28 Walker trailer

Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 85.
The author corrects himself that this should be a 24' trailer.

26' Trailers

PRR 25'8" Single-Axle Smooth-Side Van Trailer

Trailer 26 Smooth

Trailer Description
Length 25' 8"
Width 8'
Nose Rounded Corners
Sides Smooth with 47" Wide Panels
Side Door None
Rear Doors Swing Type with Extra-Long Strap Hinges
Roof Full Length
Landing Gear Retractable with Wheels
Rear Axles Single
Quantity Unknown
Appeared Unknown

 258 trailer

Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 86.

PRR 26' Single-Axle Rib-Side Van Trailer - Fruehauf

sylvan trailer

Trailer Description
Length 26'
Width 8'
Nose Round
Sides Ribbed
Side Door Right Hand
Rear Doors Swing Type
Roof Full Length
Landing Gear Retractable with Wheels
Rear Axles Single
Wheels Cast Spoke
Quantity Unknown
Appeared Unknown

 

SylvanScaleModelsPRRtrailer

Sylvan Scale Models kit #T-002 is a resin kit representing this trailer.

 

28' Trailers

PRR 28' Single-Axle Van Trailer

Trailer Description
Length Unknown
Width 8'
Nose Round
Sides Smooth with Seam Lines
Side Door Most Likely on Curb Side
Rear Doors Swing Type
Roof Full Length
Landing Gear Retractable with Wheels
Rear Axles Single
Quantity Unknown
Appeared Unknown

 

30' Trailers

Scott Brothers 30' Steel LCL Van Trailer

Scott Brothers was a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

30 Scott trlr proto

#397

Trailer Description
Length 30'
Width 8'
Nose Rectangular
Sides Corrugated Steel
Side Door 43" Curb Side
Rear Doors Swing Type
Roof Full Length
Rear Axles Single
Wheels Cast Spoke
Quantity Unknown
Appeared Unknown

 30 Scott trlr

Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 87.

PRR 30' Single Axle Van Trailer - Fruehauf

30 ribbed single trlr proto

Trailer Description
Length 30'
Width 8'
Nose Square
Sides Ribs 8" on Center
Side Door Curb Side
Rear Doors Swing Type
Roof Full Length
Landing Gear Retractable with Wheels
Rear Axles Single
Wheels Cast Spoke
Quantity 150
Appeared 1954

 30 ribbed single trlr

Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 87.
Sunshine Models, out of business, offered a resin kit depicting this trailer.

 

32' Trailers

PRR 32E250-32R257 Series - 32' Tandem Axle Trailer

Trailer 32E250

33 Flatbed

Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 99.

PRR 32C465-32C473 Series - 32' Tandem Axle Trailer

PRR 32E854-32W861 Series - 32' Tandem Axle Trailer

PRR 32W862-32W869 Series - 32' Insulated Tandem Axle Trailer

32 insul tandem trlr proto

32W868

Trailer Description
Length 32'
Landing Gear Retractable with Wheels
Rear Axles Dual
Appeared March 1955

32 insul tandem trlr BCW 868

Kitbash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 91.

PRR 32E94-32E102 Series - 32' Insulated Tandem Axle Trailer

May be identical to 32W862-32W869.

PRR 32C453-32C460 Series - 32' Insulated Tandem Axle Trailer

May be identical to 32W862-32W869.

PRR 32' Tandem Axle Trailer - Trailmobile

Trailer Description
Length 32'
Landing Gear Retractable with Wheels
Rear Axles Dual
Appeared March 1955

Walthers 2405Walthers offers this trailer, #2405, which Curt LaRue, the PRRT&HS'
resident trailer expert, believes is a "foobie". Nice stand-in, none-the-less.

32 trailer 2 pack assembled 949 2363 bigWalthers offers a generic 32' tandem axle trailer -- # 949-2363.

221 31116Classic Metal Works released a 32' single-axle trailer that can serve as a stand-in.

33' Trailers

PRR 33W800-33W804 Series - Tandem Axle Flatbed Trailer

33 Flatbed

Kit bash instructions available in The Keystone Modeler, No. 106.

35' Trailers

PRR 35C522-35C549 Series - 35' Tandem Axle Trailer - Fruehauf

Trailer 35C525 1958

PRRZ 35C525 in 1958. 
PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two

Trailer Description
Length 35'
Appeared Mid 1956

PRRZ 250219-250227 Series - 35' Tandem Axle Trailer

Trailer 250222

PRRZ 250222 in 1965. 
PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two

PRRZ 250304-250338 Series - 35' Tandem Axle Trailer

Trailer

PRRZ 201700 (left) and 250341 (right) in 1965. 
PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two

40' Trailers

PRRZ 40' Tandem Axle Trailer

TrucTrain Trailer 200578 1962

PRRZ 200578

Trailer Description
Length 40'
Quantity 255
Appeared Mid 1956

  

sparrows
Sparrows Point offers a plastic kit representing this trailer.
Walthers offers a representation of this trailer -- 949-2312.

PRRZ 201644-201743 Series - 40' Tandem Axle Trailer

Trailer

PRRZ 201700 (left) and 250341 (right) in 1965. 
PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two

PRRZ 201844-202843 Series - 40' Tandem Axle Trailer

Trailer 202743

PRRZ 201902 and 201904 in 1965. 
PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two

athearnAthearn offers this trailer -- #ATH72526.

PRRZ 202674-202928 Series - 40' Tandem Axle Trailer

Trailer 202743

PRRZ 202743 in 1967. 
PRR Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Volume Two

ATH15650 450Athearn offers this trailer -- #ATH15648.

 

TrucTrain Trailer Fleet
1959 “PRR Directory of Pennsy TrucTrain Service”
Manufacturer Trailer Numbers Length Side Door Axle S/T Qty Year Appeared
Closed Van

Fruehauf

32E51-32E60 

32'0"

No

T

9

 

Fruehauf

32E61-32E70

32'0"

Yes

T

10

 

Fruehauf

32E89-32E84

32'0"

Yes

T

5

 

Fruehauf

32E85-32E89

32'0"

Yes

T

5

 

Fruehauf

32E250-32E257

32'0"

Yes

T

8

 

Fruehauf

32C465-32C473

32'0"

Yes

T

9

 

Fruehauf

32W783-32W794

32'4"

No

T

9

 

Fruehauf

32W854-32W861

32'0"

Yes

T

8

 

Fruehauf

32W900-32W914

32'4"

No

T

7

 

Fruehauf

35C522-35C549

34'6"

Yes

T

28

 

Highway

35C575-35C586

32'0"

Yes

T

12

 

Fruehauf

PRR1500-PRR1599

32'0"

Yes

T

100

 

Fruehauf

PRR15100-PRR15234

32'0"

Yes

T

135

 

Closed Van - Refrigerated
Fruehauf 35CR500-35CR511 35'0" Yes T 12  
Trailmobile 35CR512 35'0" Yes T 1  
Closed Van - Insulated
 Fruehauf 32E90-32E93 32'10"  No  T   
 Fruehauf 32E94-32E102 32'0" Yes  T   
 Fruehauf 32C450-32C452  32'10" No  T   
 Fruehauf 32C453-32C460 32'0" Yes  T  8  
 Fruehauf 32W850-32W852  32'10" No  T   
 Fruehauf 32W862-32W869 32'0"  Yes  T   
Open Top Van (High Side)
 Fruehauf 32E125-32E128 32'4"  T   
 Fruehauf 32E130-32E149 32'4"    T  20   
 Fruehauf 32E156-32E167 32'4"    T  12   
 Fruehauf 32E168-32E172 35'0"    T   
 Fruehauf 32C413-32C449 32'4"    T  37  
 Fruehauf 32C461-32C464 32'4"    T   
 Fruehauf 32X750-32X769 32'4"    T  20   
 Fruehauf 32X770-32X782 32'4"    T  13   
 Fruehauf 32W784-32W916 32'4"    T  11   
Open Top Van (Low Side)
 Fruehauf 32E206-32E212 32'0"  -  T   
 Fruehauf 32E213-32E214 32'0"  -  T  
 Kentucky 34W853 34'8"  -  T   
Flat Bed
 Trailmobile 31E76-31E79 31'7"   -  T  
 Fruehauf 32E190-32E205 32'0"   -  T  16   
 Fruehauf 32C550-32C574 32'0"   -  T  25   
 Fruehauf 32W825-32W827 32'0"   -  T   
 Fruehauf 32W829-32W849 32'0"   -  T  21   
 Fruehauf 33W800-33W804 33'0"   -  T   
 Fruehauf 33W806-33W814 33'0"    -  T   
 Fruehauf 33W816-33W820 33'0"    -  T   
 Fruehauf PRR6500-PRR6515 35'0"    -  T  16   
 Trailmobile PRR6516-PRR6528 35'0"     -  T  13   

 

Plan 3 Shipping Partners

1956

Under plan three shipping, the Pennsy loaded shippers trailers onto PRR cars. A number of these shippers' trailers have been produced...

Cooper JarrettCooper-Jarrett from Classic Metal Works

Spector

Spector Freight from Classic Metal Works

Mid States

Mid States from Classic Metal Works

 

Chicago Express from Classic Metal Works

 

References/Suggested Reading

"TrucTrain Studies", The Keystone, Spring 2012, Vol.45, No. 1.

Nesladek, Mike, "Pennsy's TrucTrain Service", The Keystone, Autumn 1992, Vol. 25, No. 2.

"Gus Minardi’s Fabulous TrucTrain Flats", The Keystone Modeler, December 2008, No. 65.

LaRue, Curt, "Pennsy Merchandise and TrucTrain Trailers -- Part 1A -- Short Merchandise Trailers", The Keystone Modeler, Summer 2013, No. 85.

LaRue, Curt, "Pennsy Merchandise and TrucTrain Trailers -- Part 1B -- Short Merchandise Trailers", The Keystone Modeler, Autumn 2013, No. 86.

LaRue, Curt, "Pennsy Merchandise and TrucTrain Trailers -- Part 2 -- 30' Scott Brothers and TrucTrain Trailers", The Keystone Modeler, Winter 2014, No. 87.

LaRue, Curt, "TrucTrain Trailers – Part 3", The Keystone Modeler, Winter 2015, No. 91.

LaRue, Curt, "PRR 32’ TrucTrain Tandem Axle Closed Van Trailers", The Keystone Modeler, Winter 2017, No. 99.

LaRue, Curt, "33' PRR TrucTrain Flatbed Trailer in HO", The Keystone Modeler, Autumn 2018, No. 106.