CPRR Early Flatcars

Discussion of the Central Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads.
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Andrew Brandon
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CPRR Early Flatcars

Post by Andrew Brandon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:50 pm

Early Central Pacific and Southern Pacific flatcars utilized a standard design: a 30' captured end sill car.
Cars of this type were also used by the Union Pacific Railroad.* The CP also built cars of this type for the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Similar cars were also used on the Canadian Pacific Railway during construction.

Central Pacific / Southern Pacific Roster:
Central Pacific ( 1 - 3809 odd numbers only.
Renumbered 41060- 42565 (15 ton cars) and 43610 - 43737 (20 ton cars) in 1885)
Southern Pacific (183 - 455 odd numbers only)

Central Pacific examples:
CP-flats-119-95-111-in-Auburn.jpg
21. Trains at station, Auburn.
A.A. Hart Photograph
California State Library
CP-Flat-101-Humboldt.jpg
287. Entering Lower Canyon of Truckee River. (Sparks)
A.A. Hart Photograph
California State Library
CP-flats-sacramento-wharf.jpg
213. Railroad wharves at Sacramento.
A.A. Hart Photograph
California State Library

For additional information on these cars, please see: Early UPRR Flatcars.
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Andrew Brandon
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Re: Early CPRR Flatcars

Post by Andrew Brandon » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:26 am

Additional Central Pacific cars:
CP-Flat-2033-Siskyous-SMU.jpg
#2033, crpped from a 1870s view of a freight train in the Siskyous.
DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.
San-Pedro-Lumber-CP-Flats-Huntington-Lib.jpg
CP and SP flats at the San Pedro Lumber Company.
Huntington Library.
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Re: CPRR Early Flatcars

Post by Andrew Brandon » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:28 pm

Here are some additional photographs for reference:
CP-1181-Flat-Car-C&C-Mill-Virginia-City,-ca-1878-Watkins-photo,-Calif-State-Lib-coll,-Dockery-Crop.jpg
Flat #1181 in Virginia City, Nevada ca 1878. Carleton Watkins.
CP-923-Flanger-Sacramento-ca-1876-CSRM-CROP.jpg
Detail of flanger #923. as far as I can tell special cars retained their original number, this car was likely flatcar #923 converted to sport the new flanger design.
Flatcar-Loads-Bloomer-Cut-Hart-CSL.jpg
Various loads on flats in Bloomer Cut near Auburn. A. A. Hart stereoview.
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Re: CPRR Early Flatcars

Post by Andrew Brandon » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:21 pm

All of this research inspired collaboration with Randy to devise these illustrations.
This should help set model railroaders and others researching these cars in the right direction:
CP-Flat-95-1866.png
Central Pacific flat #95. We aren't certain what color CP used for these cars initially. In 1868 the color was switched to "brown" based correspondence among the CP management.
UP-Flat-369-ca-1868.png
Union Pacific had similar cars, thought hey had different trucks and bolsters. Here is one of those cars from 1868.
LASP-Flat-23-1873.png
Los Angeles & San Pedro flat. Like the LA&I car, I do not have enough information on hand to verify this number is 100% correct.
LAI-Flat-44-1873.png
Los Angeles & Independence Railroad flat car. I am uncertain what numbers these cars wore exactly. I would love to find a high resolution view of a LA&I flat car.
CP-Flat-1181-1878.png
In the 1870s the cars were revised with a few additional tension rods.
VT-flat-CP-shops-1872.png
In 1870 the Virginia & Truckee Railroad purchased two orders of cars from the CP shops. The first cars may have been painted "Slate" to set them apart from the CP's cars.
VT-flat-CP-shops-1886.png
V&T flat #248 in 1886. This is the only CP built car to appear in a photograph of a V&T train. This car can be seen in the Crockwell view of the freight train crossing the Gold Hill Trestle.
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Curtis Reid
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Re: CPRR Early Flatcars

Post by Curtis Reid » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:19 am

One thing that Andrew and I noticed is that some of the CP flats appear to use a flat strap instead of a tie rod. You can see that clearly in this crop from a Hart photograph (#350; Railroad Camp near Victory):
flat_strap.jpg
(Provided by the Stanford University Libraries; https://purl.stanford.edu/nj339gb1246 )

It appears these straps were fastened to the side sills near the truck bolsters instead of going all the way to the end bolsters. This shows up clearly on the flanger photo several posts above.

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Re: CPRR Early Flatcars

Post by Curtis Reid » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:56 pm

Platform car model:
flatcar_1.jpg

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