The F30 were 50' flat cars and the predominant flat car class on the Pennsy roster during the 1950s.
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|
|F30d||475300||475549||FC FM FMS||-||-||250||250||164||164||164|
|Roster data compiled by Rich Orr, provided by prr.railfan.net.|
Lettering is White. The lettering diagram for flat cars was revised as of January 24, 1955. The following are relative excerpts from the "as built" and "revised" lettering diagrams:
"As Built" Lettering Diagram:
"Revised" Lettering Diagram:
Examples of F30 Sub-Class Lettering Variations
as observed in builder's photos
F30A (1950's) F30D (Std) F30D (TOFC)
P57 6 54
NEW 5 51
P57 6 54
BLT 5 34
BLT 5 51
BLT 6 51
Microscale produced a decal set for PRR F30A and F30D flat cars (#1262) with the assistance of Jerry Britton. For the road numbers, included are a prefix of 474 (for F30A's) and 475 (for F30D's) and ten different suffix numbers which may be used (as valid road numbers) for either F30A or F30D cars. This will minimize splicing to create a variety of road numbers.
For those wishing to model the F30D in TTX service, Microscale decal sets #552 or #578 appear to have the requisite parts (unconfirmed).
The Altoona Car Shops turned out 100 examples of the F30, constructed of formed and pressed steel shapes and rivited together. The cars were built with 2E-F4 or 2E-F4A trucks and had a capacity of 140,000 pounds.
In 1942 the trucks were replaced with 2F-F4 which increased their capacity to 190,000 pounds.
Spotting features: rivited edges, prominent pressed steel poling pockets on the ends.
The Pennsy's Pitcairn Shops built 1,500 F30A cast steel frame flat cars in 1933-34. The cast frames were provided by General Steel Castings Corporation (GSC). The cars were numbered 473765-475264.
F30A cars had 2E-F10 double-truss trucks, with the exception of #475265 that had 2E-F13 double-truss trucks.
Spotting features: No rivited or welded edges, deck height of 3'5-1/8" (4-1/2" lower than the F30), and raised "half moon" poling pockets. Later production units featured quarter-spherical concave depressions in the corners of the end sills in lieu of poling pockets.
During the 1940s, 11 F30A were equipped with side rails and another 11 with double flooring to handle hot steel coils. Three received special fittings for plate glass shipments.
Bowser offers plastic kit and assembled versions of the F30A in multiple paint schemes. Sunshine Models had offered a resin kit.
Bowser makes a 2D-F8 truck (#33145) which is very close to the 2E-F13 -- the springs are slightly different and the 2E-F10 wheel base is 2" longer). American Model Builders offers a laser cut wood deck for the Bowser model.
The F30B was designed but never built.
There was only one F30C, built by Bethlehem Steel. It was the same in appearance as the F30A, but had an all-welded frame. It had 2E-F10 trucks.
Spotting feature: The F30C looked like early F30As without the poling pockets.
The F30D were built in 1951 and were of a cast steel underframe design. There were 250 cars in the class, of which 115 were converted for TOFC service, later known as TrucTrain, in 1954. The TOFC cars featured perforated side rails (reportedly created from worn rail), four side retaining stakes, and hinged sprung bridge plates on opposite corners of the car. The decks also featured tie down hooks and a center-deck hatch for storage of tie-down chains.
In December the first F39 75' flats began arriving. The F30D held one trailer while the F39 held two. Most of both classes of cars were transferred to TTX when it was created (early 1956).
Of the 86 F30D's that went to TTX, a check of the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) shows that they remained in quantity for some time: still 86 in Jan. 1965, 83 in Jul. 1976, 81 in Oct. 1981, 70 in May 1983, 2 in 1989, and they were all gone by Apr. 1994.
A TTX employee once told me that some F30d's, once removed from rail service, became bridges. Think about it... 50 feet long with side rails... nice! And think of the modeling opportunity that provides!
F30D cars were numbered 475300-475549.
F30D Flat Cars Converted for TrucTrain Use
The F30D's that were converted to TOFC service had Pennsy class 2E-F25B trucks. In 2005 Atlas announced a Hart Ballast Car with "new 70 ton trucks". These are, in fact, National C-1 70-ton friction bearing trucks -- a very close match for the 2E-F25b! Atlas offers the truck as a parts item.
F30D before TOFC conversion (click for larger image):
F30D after TOFC conversion (click for larger image):
For some time, Stan Rydarowicz had offered a conversion kit for Bowser F30A flat cars. Unfortunately, Stan has passed.
As of the outset of TOFC service, existing LCL service 24' to 26' trailers were used. These trailers have smooth or ribbed sides, a rounded front end, and a curb side door. The trailers feature the text "PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD" running diagonally from lower left to upper right. At each end of the text is a keystone logo with the text "KEYSTONE MERCHANDISE SERVICE" inside. Elsewhere on the trailer sides is the text "DOOR TO DOOR SERVICE" and "PICKUP AND DELIVERY". By the early 1950's, over 8,600 tractors and trailers are in service.
Sylvan Scale Models offers Pennsy 26' trailers. They are resin kits with decals included.
Sunshine Models had offered a 30' Fruehauf side-door, rib-side trailer.
Also in 1954, the Pennsy leased 150 new 30' Fruehauf trailers for the TOFC service. Lettering was the same, but the text inside the keystone logo is replaced by "PRR". Like earlier trailers, they had one axle.
In July 2005, Classic Metal Works released Pennsy 32' trailers. It is a single axle trailer and, lacking photographs of the 30' trailer, may be a good stand-in.
In 1955, trailers owned by common carriers began being transported on TrucTrain trains. Some of the participating companies were Cooper-Jarrett, Inc., Iowa-Nebraska Transportation Co., Schreiber Trucking Co., Eastern Motor Express, Spector Freight, and Mid States.
In 2004, Classic Metal Works released reasonably accurate 32' trailers in many of these carrier's names.
In July 2005, Classic Metal Works released Eastern Motor Express tractor/trailer sets.
In 1955, the Pennsy ordered 32' dual-axle trailers from Freuhauf and Trailmobile.
In July 2005, Classic Metal Works released single-axle 32' trailers. With a decent paint job, they are a respectable stand-in. They also released IH tractors in PRR livery.
At one time Bethlehem Car Works' Sparrows Point line offered 40' trailers. Status unknown.
There were 200 examples of these all-welded cars built at Altoona in 1951 and numbered 475-550-475749.
These cars were built for special load handling and often were special equiped to do so. For instance, 20 had racks for hauling compressors; 1 had racks for carrying plate glass.
In 1966, about 30 of this class were transferred to work service to become a third Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) train. Racks were installed to carry four tiers of rail. At some point an additional 30 were transferred to become a fourth CWR train.
Between 1954 and 1958, hree F30A cars were converted to F30F with the addition of low bulkheads for hauling wall board.
They were 200 F30A's rebuilt for trailer service in 1958 and later transferred to Trailer Train Corporation.
These were 19 F30A's rebuilt in 1962-63 with high bulkheads for pulpwood service.
This car featured a steel superstructure with fabricated bulkheads for transport of railroad ties.