"Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).
Jeff Livingston
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"Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Jeff Livingston » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:17 am

Gentlemen,

Need some help here. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the surrounding areas on December 7, 1941 the military scoured the mainland for usable narrow gauge equipment to supplement the woefully inadequate amount of equipment then in Hawaii. We know that the Navy Supply Depot received some cars from the F&CC and the Naval Shipyard received some from the D&RGW and others. Based on these photos, do any of you have any idea of the pedegree of these boxcars?
BB - Navy Yard 210.jpg
BB - Navy Yard 249.jpg
All photos are by Bill Blewett from the Hawaiian Railway Society Collection. Bill was a young Marine stationed at Ewa Airfield and took these photos in the OR&L yard in Honolulu.
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BB - Navy Yard 227.jpg

Jeff Livingston
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Jeff Livingston » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:21 am

And two more for good measure.
BB - Ex-D&RG Boxcar 3163 in Hawaii.jpg
BB - Navy Yard 227.jpg

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Andrew Brandon
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Andrew Brandon » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:54 am

Jeff,

210 = ex NCNG/NCO/F&CC
249 = 26' NCNG Box, Built at the Grass Valley Shops most likely.
3163 = D&RGW 3000 series box
The other box is a C&S boxcar

Quite a collection of transplants! The NCNG shots are wonderful, I'd not seen a 26' box after it'd gone to the Navy until today. Thank you for sharing them!

Andrew
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Andrew Brandon
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Andrew Brandon » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:20 am

Oops, I hadn't had my coffee when I checked out these photos, that first boxcar #210 is also a D&RGW 3000 series. At first glance it looked like an F&CC car as the 3000 series were originally very similar. #210 is what I believe is called an "Economy Door" boxcar, meaning when it was rebuilt it did not receive the metal framing and other upgrades #3163 has.

I think Mr. Coker would have more info on the matter, I believe he's probably the most knowledgeable about the D&RGW around here. ;)
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Jeff Livingston
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Jeff Livingston » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:24 pm

Thanks Andrew,

The photo of boxcar No. 210 is being used by AMS as a guide to produce a four car Navy Yard Pearl Harbor set using their D&RGW 3000 series molds. We've been working with them and are still trying to nail down the markings on the far end of the car. The AMS Navy Supply Depot cars sold out and we're really glad here in Hawaii to have some more "Hawaiian" stuff to buy without having to modify the heck out of it. Accucraft also plans a narrow gauge "Hawaii" USN diesel that should be out this year too. Any idea of when No. 210 was built? Somehow I posted the same photo twice so here's the missing one.
BB - Navy Yard 237.jpg
This car appears to be a bit higher than 210 and is of greater capacity.

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Andrew Brandon
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Andrew Brandon » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:54 pm

#237 appears to be a C&S car as well, you make out the steel underframe in that shot.

I've not got my books handy to look up the build date on the D&RGW cars, I will dig that up when I get home.

Good to hear AMS is doing Pearl Harbor cars, there is a lot of variety there. The Colfax newspaper noted that the repainted NCNG cars waiting to be shipped to Pearl Harbor were dark green. I've been trying to track that color down myself as it should be a military color. Herman Darr recalls seeing a handful of military boxcar bodies around Hawthorne, NV. during the 60s or 70s that were painted in a dark, non olive drab green. Earlier this year I stumbled upon a photo of a motorcycle and a few other vehicles in what I suspected was a similar shade, if I can find it again I'll post it.

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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Andrew Brandon » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:12 am

Jerry Day shared this on a different forum, it should help fill in some information.

D&RGW Authority for Expenditure No. 9286

DESCRIPTION:
Retire 31 narrow gauge freight cars
3 refrigerator
10 box
18 flat

PURPOSE AND NECESSITY:
Account sold to the United States of America (Navy Department) for consideration of $18,000 f.o.b. Alamaos, Colorado and will be written out of the equipment in February 1942. Covered by US Contract No. 96862

Record of Retirement as of February 28, 1942
Refrigerator 3 units series 32-78
Box car 10 units series 4000-4999
Flat car 16 cars series 6000-6098
Flat car 2 units 6101 and 6110
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Randy Hees
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Randy Hees » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:09 pm

I just had a conversion with Don Marenzi... He caught something in the photo of D&RGW 3163 that suggests that the car is not in Hawaii... it is coupled to what appears to be a idler flatcar built from a stock car... note the rail under the side sill to strengthen the car, and the block bolted to the side sill to move the sill step away from the car body...

According to Sloan, the first stock car to idler car conversion was 1953. The photo was most likely taken in Colorado or New Mexico....
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by John Coker » Thu May 10, 2012 6:39 am

I don't know how I missed this old thread but the photos are fascinating. I was not aware D&RG cars went to Pearl. I agree with Randy- the photo of 3163 was taken in Antonito, Colorado around 1978-'82.(I recognize a storage building we called "Fort Knox"). The 4000 series box cars were obsolete, and were culled from mainline service by the early 1930s. They had a continuous drawbar, and as these cars got older and trains got longer, the drawbars broke frequently. They were probably ok for short hauls. The 6000 series flat cars were rebuilt in the early 1920s, but were made obsolete by more modern flat cars built in the 1930s and 40s. Most of these cars went to the NdeM, though a few survive today in MOW service.. I was able to find out that the three 30" reefers were #32, 33 and 41. They probably transported perishables around the huge base at Pearl, and maybe up to Hickam Field and Scofield Barracks, some 20 miles from Pearl . It is interesting that a few of the C&S cars that were stored in Denver in 1942 went to Hawaii. Most, as you know, went to the WP&Y. The cars show are Type 3, which were steel-framed and constructed in 1907.
Last edited by John Coker on Sun May 13, 2012 11:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

Jeff Livingston
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Re: "Foreign" Boxcars in Hawaii

Post by Jeff Livingston » Sun May 13, 2012 8:56 am

Thanks for the additional information John. We don't know if any D&RGW flat cars or reefers made it to Hawaii or not as these photographs by Bill Blewett are all we have. Bill was stationed at Marine Corps Air Base Ewa and had no reason to go to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard or Naval Station. Photography was not allowed there anyway. It was just luck that he was at the OR&L yards with his camera when these cars were there. The shipyard and Naval Station rail operations were run by civilian government employees ans not well documented. At least as far as we've been able to see to date.

Jeff Livingston

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