Magazines » Railmodel Journal - January 2005 » Page 14

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January 2005 - Page 14


By Anthony Thom pson

The Red Caboose model is an accurate recreation of these common SP flat cars. These are examples of the loads that were common on these cars. There's an index of all previous articles on Freight Cars of the Fifties on our website at

!1;;;::ATh:s hit e:tnoteeb:stu: a:ee:s,r itmhageaofss new Classtl iF-70-6 cart ACOcF's Madison' h: t e cl was bui n a number Indiana plant. -American Car Foundry photo
& 1948

8 0339.


s late as 1 940, Southern Paci fi c favored design with flat car straight

numbered SP 80255-80654 and T&NO 24550-24649. These cars were immediately found to be successful, and in the summer 01' 1 949 a much l arger order was placed. These were to be C l ass F-70-7, v irtually identical to F-70-6, but this time 2,050 cars were ordered. They were constructed from October until April 1 949 1 950. Together, these two

Steel (second 500 cars), and Symington Gould ( l ast 550 cars). Starting in 1 956, Southern Pacific renumbered its freight cars into a new six-digit system. Flat cars such as classes F-70-6 and -7 were placed i n the 560000 series with other 70-ton cars of simjlar l ength. Class F-70-6 was assigned to 560424-5608 2 3 ( Pacifi c L i nes cars). When the T&NO was absorbed into SP in 1961, nearly all its cars of Class F-706 had been converted to other uses, but the five surviving ones in general service became 563860-563864. C l ass F-70-7 received numbers 560824-562854. In addition to their use in general ser v ice, many of these cars were converted for various special uses. These included the addition of bulkheads for p lasterboard, and l ater, lumber servi ce; cradles for coil steel; trailer tie-downs for piggyback service; and several kinds of specialized containers. Detai l s on those conversions are presented in the book, forthcoming S O U THERN

sides i l l s and a fishbel ly centersil l (or pair of si l ls).

But in the spring of 1 94 1 , SP began to acquire new flat cars with a deeper

sidesi l l and matching centersil ls. Only a few hundred had been del ivered until production controls during World War I I terminated production. After World War
U, the considerable SP fleet of flat cars

classes of more than 2,500 cars were by themselves larger than the flat car fleets of many railroads. The F-70-6 cars received Universal hand brakes, whi l e the F-70-7 cars were equipped with Superior vertical-shaft hand brakes, which could be depressed with the brake wheel flush with the deck. Trucks for F-70-6 cars were of AAR double-truss design with spring p lanks and 1-5/8-inch spring travel; sideframes were supp l ied by American S teel Foundries. For F-70-7 cars they were stab i l ized S2-A-0 spring B arber pl ankless trucks having 2-112-inch spri ng travel, with sideframes from Scullin Steel (first I ,000 cars), B uckeye

needed more cars because lumber shipments for the postwar housing boom continued to set new records. In 1 948, SP worked with American Car & Foundry to design a new riveted 53-foot, 6-inch-long flat car with 70 tons capacity, similar to pre-war cars but modernized in many details. Some of the SP drawings for the new F-70-6 c lass are simply AC&F drawings with SP title blocks. In October, November and December 1 948, AC&F delivered 400 cars to SP's Pacific Lines and 100 to the Texas & N ew Orleans that were


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