Boxcars in Bradford PA
A Jem in Ohio
Altoona Railroaders Museum
Pennsylvania Trolley Museum
East Broad Top Railroad
Waynesburg & Washington Railroad
Oddities and Miscellany

Boxcars in Bradford, PA

It was a wet and cold day in late March 2005 when I stumbled upon some interesting boxcars in Bradford, Penna. These boxcars are adjacent to US 219 near the downtown exit. The cars are on the rails of the Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad and a local office is nearly beside a couple of these box cars. If you go searching for these cars, I recommend you stop and check with the office personel for permission to photograph as they sit on company property. The railroad personel I met are quite friendly, and without their suggestions I would not have found the B&O M-26a car noted below.





BAR 5403 in Bradford, Penna.
This is the car that first caught my eye. I didn't realize what it was until I was leaving and I saw it from this angle. This is a 1932 ARA Standard Steel Box Car delivered to the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR) in 1938. It was built by the Magor Car Corporation and was in the initial BAR order of 500 cars numbered 65000 to 65499. In January 1951, these cars were renumbered into the 5000 to 5549 series by dropping the first digit. More details can be found in "The American Railway Association Standard Box Car of 1932" by Theodore J. Culotta, published by Speedwitch Media. An image of this car in the original paint and lettering can be found on page 55 of this fine book. I originally thought this was a later standard box car, but then I noticed the ends in this view and realized what it was. Both details clicked as I had just read the BAR chapter in the above mentioned book.
BAR 5403 left end of left car side. Note sping arrangement on trucks. BAR 5403 brakewheel end.
This is the left end of the left car side. The trucks are a spring plankless, self-aligning style, with a combination of coil and elliptic springs. - info from Culotta. An old troop car prohibited a decent end shot, but this should help anyone needing details to enhance a model.

B&O M-26a

I was really surprised with the next box car I found in Bradford. This is a Baltimore & Ohio Railroad M-26a box car constructed in the 1920's from the 1923 ARA Standard Steel Box Car specifications. The class designation is barely visible to the right of the door track in this image. There were several classes of these cars - M-26a, M-26b, M-26c, M-26d, and M-26e. Under magnification, I was able to see the remnants of a small 'A' beside the class designation on the car above. I didn't notice this until someone asked me to check. This car has it's original doors, roof, running board, and other details, it was quite a find. The opposite side was in a similar state. B&O lettering was barely legible, but the number and car class details were a jumble.

Here's a pretty clear end view of the same B&O M-26a class boxcar. The Wheeling & Lake Erie and the Lehigh & New England also rostered cars built to the same specifications. Several other railroads had similar cars, but used a different roof, side rivet pattern, underframe, and/or ends. These railroads include:
Chesapeake & Ohio, Erie, Maine Central, Central Railroad of New Jersey, and the Chicago Great Western.

B&O M-26a box car end.

Many thousands more were built to a slighty different version by the Pennsylvania Railroad designated as the X29 boxcar. At one time, more than 28,000 X29 boxcars were in service.

Oddly, I had an HO scale model partially completed because of questions on the brake placement. Finding this car helped answer those questions.

Brake lever that is attached to the cylinder and the brake wheel mechanism.
Brake cylinder
In building models, I now try to replicate the brake arrangement and rods that control the brakes. The above two photos helped me realize how to install an AB brake system for these cars. The cylinder was attached to two brake levers. One was at the end of the cylinder clevis as shown above. This worked the rods and levers that applied the brakes. Another brake lever was attached to the cylinder with a chain, and also attached to a rod that connected to the brake wheel mechanism - upper left image.
End view of brake mechanism and cut lever.
Air hose attachment.
These other two images show the brake staff support and mechanism, the coupler cut levers, and the air hose attachment.
B&O M-26 door.

The lower door track has been modified, as the original had six evenly spaced rollers below the door. Note the two tack boards. The smaller board off the lower left side of the door was for posting special routing instructions.

The stack is a part of this car, but obviously not an original detail.