The Pennsy Modeler

In order to portray Pennsylvania Railroad and interchange partners as accurately as possible, this blog contains articles which are essentially notes to myself, but are shared should the community desire the same information.

RR 37066wlRed Caboose (InterMountain) X29 - Available in numerous configurations and schemes

Between 1924 and 1934, the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased or built over 30,000 of the X29 class of box cars and an additional 5,000 of the auto car variant, the X28. The X29 -- a 40' 50-ton all-steel car -- became the most ubiquitous freight car of the late steam/transition era. These cars appeared in every corner of the US and Canada. 

 X26 518824

The X26 series were 40' World War I composite box cars based on an AAR design.

Due to a variety of door and ladder combinations within subclasses, photographs should be referenced for accurate road numbers. Photos of models cannot be trusted for legitimate road numbers, but photos of completed models are included for illustration purposes.

Railworks X30

The PRR built one X30 class 70' 6" box car in Sept. 1931 for the express purpose of shipping fire equipment from the American LaFrance plant in Elmira, N.Y. It was designed to haul their longest, at the time, ladder truck from the plant to any destination on the continent. It featured double 6' Youngstown doors, an end door. As built, the lettering read "EXPERIMENTAL" but was shortly thereafter changed to "AUTOMOBILES".

This car has been produced in brass by Railworks.

The Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad was a Class I Railroad connecting Lewistown, Pennsylvania with Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Completed in December 1871, the line was placed under an immediate lease by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), upon its completion. Although retaining its own board of directors and track maintenance, all locomotive traffic was owned by the PRR. For over eighty years, the line operated between Sunbury and Lewistown, serving as a relief line for both the Pennsylvania Main Line and Bald Eagle Valley Railroad through Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The line was noteworthy as a proving ground for new railroad technology in the United States, such as the "X"-shaped railroad crossing signs in 1917 (now nearly ubiquitous in the United States) and Pulse Code Cab Signaling technology in 1925. It is now a fallen flag railway, the name "Sunbury and Lewistown" having been phased out in 1901 when the line became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Sunbury Division.

 Bowser X32

In 1932 the PRR designed boxcars that would be specifically used for the automobile industry. To maximize capacity they used a new unique roof design, where it curved at the edge, termed a “round roof” or “wagontop”. The X32 and X33 classes were both 50 '6" cars with staggered doors. The X33 differed from the X32 in that it also had end doors. Both X32 and X33 cars were built in 1933. Then, in 1936 after some design improvements, the X32a and X33a classes were constructed. While the X33 class was specifically designed for carrying finished automobiles, the X32 boxcar classes, while designed to haul finished automobiles also hauled auto parts around the country as well. The resulting need for specific service X32’s resulted in different batches and classes being built, which introduced the X32b class. In 1940 auto loading racks were applied to some X32b, which created the X32c class. Finally, starting in 1953 through to 1956, X32a/b/c boxcars were rebuilt with a single door into the X32d class.

Although considered large capacity when first built in 1933, line side clearance improvements made the cars obsolete, so in 1959 the PRR stripped the superstructure of 1,000 X32 and X33 subclasses cars to build their X51 class of boxcars. By April of 1968, the PRR only had less than a dozen X32/X33 cars in revenue service. (Source: www.mountvernonshops.com)

7001LargeFunaro & Camerlengo X28A - Available with multiple brake and door configurations.

The PRR’s X28 boxcar was developed from a combination of the evolution of lessons learned with the X25 fleet and the ARA mandate for standardized single-sheathed 50 ton boxcars. The X28 was an automobile version of the ARA boxcar, although based on a PRR design. The first 1,000 cars of the 5,000 car fleet were equipped with corrugated Youngstown doors, with the remaining 4,000 equipped with three-panel car builder doors. The X28 fleet was built during 1924 and 1926. Following development of the X31 “wagontop” boxcar in 1933 by the PRR, the X28 Automobile version was deemed obsolete and a rebuild program from 7/1933 to 7/1935 removed the double door configuration to only a single door creating the X28a. Nearly the entire X28 fleet was converted to the X28a class. By 1955, 3,500 X28a remained and by 1968, only 8 were still on the roster. (Source: www.mountvernonshops.com)

X31a E9736 Side BillLaneBowser X31A

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.

8260LargeFunaro & Camerlengo X42

The X42 was created following WW2 when head-end mail and express traffic took off across the nation. For the PRR it was cheaper to build a boxcar with door spacing and dimensions similar to a B60 baggage car for bulk mail shipments. This unique boxcar was classed as an X42, and 10 of the 60' cars were built between August and September of 1950, series 2540-2549. Equipped with steam and signal lines like an express car, it was initially painted in the Circle Keystone Scheme used for freight. However, in a May 1951 paint & lettering diagram, the scheme was made obsolete when all X42 were repainted into a unique Tuscan Red Passenger scheme. The car sides and ends were painted Tuscan Red. The roof, underbody, and trucks were painted black. The side lettering was Gold Leaf and the end lettering was white. All 10 X42’s were later painted into the Shadow Keystone Scheme with some later receiving the Plain Keystone monogram as well. The entire fleet of 10 cars lasted into Penn Central. (Source: Mount Vernon Shops)

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Tangent Scale Models G31B

The G31 series were the first post-war gondolas, introduced in November 1948. The class featured a 52'-6" interior length and a fishbelly design. These cars lasted well past the Penn Central merger. Sub-classes ran from A through N and included multiple builders and spotting features.

 55462Bowser X33

In 1932 the PRR designed boxcars that would be specifically used for the automobile industry. To maximize capacity they used a new unique roof design, where it curved at the edge, termed a “round roof” or “wagontop”. The X32 and X33 classes were both 50 '6" cars with staggered doors. The X33 differed from the X32 in that it also had end doors. Both X32 and X33 cars were built in 1933. Then, in 1936 after some design improvements, the X32a and X33a classes were constructed. The X33 class was specifically designed for carrying finished automobiles.

Although considered large capacity when first built in 1933, line side clearance improvements made the cars obsolete, so in 1959 the PRR stripped the superstructure of 1,000 X32 and X33 subclasses cars to build their X51 class of boxcars. By April of 1968, the PRR only had less than a dozen X32/X33 cars in revenue service. (Source: www.mountvernonshops.com)

enola

The information presented following was cumulated from the January 1955 edition of the ORER (Official Railroad Equipment Register). The data pages for the Pennsylvania Railroad indicate that the data is current as of October 1, 1954.

Subclasses are tallied separately, with the exception of H21a, H21b, and H21e hopper cars which which were listed in different combinations, but combined here as "H21a & variants".

The list only takes into account equipment available for interchange, so does not include miscellaneous and maintenance of way equipment. 

The referenced HO scale models are listed based on how the cars are lettered... not what they best represent. Some cars show comments as to their appropriateness, while cars that have not been evaluated are followed by a "(?)". "(OOB)" indicates that the manufacturer is out of business.

My compilation shows a total fleet of 183,689 cars available for interchange, broken out by Box, Gondola, Stock, Coke, Hopper, and Flat car types.