I spent some time at the CSRM Library over the last couple weeks looking at box car photos. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard the refrain that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all. Well I’m here to tell you Joe, it just ain’t so. Case in point Santa Fe Fe-24 13077 photographed at the Topeka Shops on 26 November 1954. True, it’s past my era of 44, but the file was there and it is Santa Fe . . . The car was an example of the rail industry going the extra mile to meet the needs of it’s customers in the Auto industry. Modified at Topeka for Fisher station wagon bodies from former Chrysler-Desoto body cars, this was given a raised roof, not unlike the aircraft parts cars during the war. Several other photos are in their collection of raised roof Fe-24s and they look like Fe-24s with a side extension stacked above the side walls. The roof on 13077 looks the same as the others in the class with the extensions. But here is where it gets curious, the sides look different. I looked at a dozen other Fe-24s and they all had the same panel configuration of 4 to the left and 7 to the right of the double door opening. This is the same pattern produced by Charlie Slater as masters for the Sunshine Fe-6-20 kits. The side sills differ, but the two door 50’ steel cars of Fe-6-25 all share the same 4-7 riveted side panel configuration, EXCEPT 13077. This car has 4 1/2 panels to the left of the doors and 6 approximately equal panels to the right. Counting the roof panels reveals that the doors are moved to the right compared to a standard Fe-24. Details of the large reinforcing tab running below the doors also show it moved to the right, with its far right end slightly overlapping the sill tab just inboard of the bolster. On other cars, there is a foot or two gap between the under door tab and the small cross bearer tab.
A Very Unique Car.
I will have to get permission to post a copy of the photo.
Cameron Park, CA
11 May 2014