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August 1977 - Page 63

P ROTOTYPE MODE L E R - August 1 977


Photos by Tom Cobb

I recently saw a 40 foot Southern Pacific tuscan-red box car with a diagonal yellow stripe on the door. What is the significance of this stripe?
John Nardi

Southern Pacific employees refer to these 40' box cars as "yellow stripers." These box cars were rebuilt in the Sacra mento Shops in the early 1960s. Ten foot, three inch wide doors were installed re placing the original six foot wide doors to enable fork lift trucks to load and unload

e ight foot studs and other forest products with relative ease. The yellow stripe paint ed on the door allows easy identification of these wide door cars without looking at the numbers. Originally, it was thought that these cars would enjoy a seven year life span, but many have given many more years of service. Large numbers of these box cars can be seen west of San Antonio, Texas, on the "MUG," a west bound freight made up entirely of lumber empties bound for Eugene, Oregon. Many "yellow stripers" are stenciled : "When empty return to SP Agent, Eugene, Oregon.

Southern Pacific Freight Car Specifica tion Sheet No. 4 , dated June, 1964, lists the following 55 ton, wide door yellow stripers:
1 730001 73434 (433 cars) 1 74000-1 74 1 23 ( 1 22 cars) 1 75000-1 75386 (385 cars) 1 7600 1 - 1 76325 (27 1 cars)

S ubsequently, additional cars were re built and added to the yellow striper fleet. Espee series 176000-176325 was expanded to 178999, with 348 cars as of July, 1973,

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