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History: The first all-steel box car adopted as standard by the American Railway Association or ARA was a sound design, but unfortunately adopted near the depth of the Depression. Accordingly, not many railroads had the funds to buy this design, and orders only totaled 14,500 cars. But some of the railroads which did buy the 1932 car bought substantial numbers of them, and they are significant railroads: the Missouri Pacific (with subsidiaries, purchasing over 3000 cars) and the Seaboard (2000 cars). I had long wanted to roster one of the 1932 cars from each of those roads. The Seaboard cars are especially interesting because the railroad chose to use the flat steel roof and ends reminiscent of the ARA’s proposed all-steel box car of 1923 (not adopted as standard), and widely used on the Pennsylvania X29 and Baltimore & Ohio M-26 classes.
In the early 1920's the Pennsylvania Railroad developed plans for a steel-sheathed box car and designated the design X-29. Production of this design began in 1924 and lasted into 1934. During this time period almost 30,000 Pennsylvania X-29 cars were built. Not all X-29's were the same. Their parts components varied from the original cars almost immediately. Variations included: frame components, brake systems, side sheathing, ends and doors just to mention the major changes. The 1924 X-29 was produced with the split K-brake or AB brake (added later), flat ends and side sheathing lapping away from the door. The ARA's version differed as it was produced with the split K-brake or AB brake, flat ends and side sheathing that has the 2nd to last panel from each end of the car overlapping its adjacent panels.
There are many photographs showing X-29's lasting into Penn Central maintenance of way service.
On October 12, 1934, the ARA ceased to exist, having joined with several other railroad industry trade groups to merge into the Association of American Railroads.
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Item Links: We found: 1 different collections associated with Rail - Rolling Stock (Freight) - Boxcar - 40 Foot Steel ARA/X-29
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Item created by: gdm on 2018-03-03 07:58:44. Last edited by gdm on 2018-03-03 22:51:50
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