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.
Rapido offers an exquisite die cast F30A. 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.
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.
Rapido now makes an excellent die cast F30D.
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.