PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

X31a E9736 Side BillLane

In the middle of the depression in 1934, the Pennsylvania began a massive car building program in it’s Altoona, PA shops. The round roof design was adopted to achieve the maximum cubic foot capacity loading and still clear tunnel restrictions, and the X31 series became their new and distinctive standard box car. Two basic roofs were adopted - one flush to the sides and the other with a 2” setback at the top of the roof. Cars were both 40‘ in length and came with either single or double doors with 6' and 12’-1-1/2” or 14‘-6” openings respectivly. During one period between March and April 1936, many of these cars were contracted out between builders AC&F, BSC, GATC, GSC and PSC. In 1939 and through 1940, the PRR modied the roofs of 690, 40’ double-door cars with a distinctive extended roof to accommodate jeep shipments. These were designated as X31F and classifed XAR.

 

Cars on the PRR roster (as listed in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER)):

Class Car Number AAR Class PRR Oct 44 PRR Oct 48 PRR Apr 52 PRR Oct 53 PRR Oct 58 PRR Oct 63 PRR Apr 68
X31 59862 60111 XA XM XMR 35 35 35 35 35 34 -
X31 60222 60721 XA XAR XM XMR 212 212 210 210 208 208 2
X31 69504 69997 XA XAR XM XMR 203 202 202 202 199 197 4
X31a 67400 68999 XA XAP XM XMP XP LC 1595 1588 1580 1578 1559 1524 176
X31a 69999 70399 XM XMP XP 399 395 393 393 389 378 43
X31a 76400 81099 XM XMP XP 4678 4661 4645 4635 4593 4496 775
X31a DBL DR 69000 69499 XA XAP XM XMP XMR 500 498 496 496 491 483 9
X31a DBL DR 81100 81199 XA XM XMP 100 100 100 99 98 95 1
X31a DBL DR 120003 120011 XA XM 9 9 9 9 9 9 1
X31b 61100 62799 XAP XM XML XMP XMR 1186 1184 1182 1181 1173 1132 11
X31c 60800 61099 XA XM XAR XMR 300 300 299 297 294 280 -
X31c 62800 63309 XM XMR XR 509 506 503 503 501 480 11
X31f 81200 81889 XM XAR XMR XR 690 690 688 688 686 680 12
X31g 77742 - LC - - - - 1 1 1
Roster data compiled by Rich Orr; courtesy of prr.railfan.net.

 

Overview of Sub-Classes

  X31 X31A X31B X31C X31F X31G
Builder          X31A Rebuild X31A Rebuild
First Built 1934 1934-36 1936  1936 Early 1940s   
Quantity Built         690 1
Roof Round Inset Round Inset Round Flush Round Flush  Turtleback Round Round 
Doors  Double, Youngstown Single and Double versions Double, Youngstown      
Notes  Built as an automobile car with Evans racks, floor tubes, and rack fixtures on the outside at the top of the end of the car.  Built as a general service box car with no racks.  Built as a general service boxcar Built as an automobile car, with racks and all the associated hardware.

Center section of roof raised for carrying jeeps.

Roof hatches. 

 


X31

  • 250 cars ordered Oct 1932 (likely with KD brakes) (59862-60111)
  • 500 cars ordered Jan 1934 (60222-60721)
  • 500 cars originally to be X31A added to 1934 order (69500-69999)
  • Late 1930s- early 1940s
    • 109 cars converted to class X31A
    • 690 cars converted to class X31F

The X31 has been offered in brass by Railworks; in plastic by Bowser; and by Sunshine as a resin kit (out of business).


X31A

X31a E9736 Side BillLaneX31A with Single Door

  • 2500 cars ordered Feb 1934 (delivered by August 1934) (67400-69499, 70000- 70399)
    • 500 cars equipped with double doors (69000-69499)
    • Remaining 2000 cars were built with single doors
  • 4700 (single door) cars announced Dec 1935 (76400-81099)
    • First cars not built exclusively by PRR
      • 700 built by PRR
      • 1000 built by Pressed Steel Car Co.
      • 800 built by AC&F
      • 700 built by Pullman Standard
      • 600 built by Bethlehem Steel Co.
      • 400 built by General American
      • 250 built by Greenville
      • 250 built by Ralston
  • 100 cars converted from X31 (double doors) (81100-81199)
  • 9 cars converted from X31 (double doors) (120003-120011)

  • November 1, 1935 - change from transverse to longitudinal reservoir
    • X31A numbers below 76777 should have a transverse reservoir.
    • X31A numbers over 77061 should have a longitudinal reservoir.

The X31A has been offered in brass by Railworks; in plastic by Rapido and Bowser; and as a resin kit by Sunshine (out of business)

X31a E9736 Side BillLaneBowser X31A


X31B

X31a E9736 Side BillLaneX31B with Double Doors

  • 1190 cars announced Dec 1935 (61100- 62799)
    • Introduces a new “flush” roof eave.
    • No automobile loaders
  • Circa 1959, many were converted to K11 stock cars

X31C

  • 810 cars announced Dec 1935 (60800- 61099, 62800-63309)
    • Autoloader equipped
  • Circa 1959, many were converted to K11 stock cars

The X31C has been offered in plastic by Bowser.


X31D

  • 6 cars converted from X31A briefly, circa 1937 (57703, 57704)
  • 3 large roof hatches installed
  • Assigned to Armstrong Cork Co., Lancaster, Pa. for top loading of linoleum, etc…
  • Appear to have been converted back within about a year

The X31D has been offered in plastic by Bowser.


X31F

X31a E9736 Side BillLane

DSCN8184 DSCN8187

 

  • 690 cars converted from X31 circa 1940 (81200-81889)
  • “Turtle roof” – roof height increased except end panels
  • NOT Designed to haul “Jeeps” – predate the Jeep
  • Autoloader equipped
  • Some may have been converted from KD equipped cars

The X31F has been offered in plastic by Bowser.


X31G

  • 1 car converted from X31A, #77742, circa 1958
  • Roof hatches installed
  • Coal tar loading