Waynesburg & Washington

North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).
Jeff Livingston
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Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Jeff Livingston » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:09 pm

OK, it's not a western narrow gauge but there is recent evidence some equipment may have made its way to the Navy in Hawaii ca. 1942. We have a photo, which I am not at liberty to share right now, of a narrow gauge boxcar, actually a string of them, in the Oahu Railway and Land Company yard ca. 1942. One boxcar is marked P.r.r.343908. Due to the angle of the photo the P.r.r. could also be P.Y.Y (the Y's upper case but smaller). The Waynesburg & Washington was a subsidiary of the PRR which is the only clue to the origin of these boxcars. Does anyone have a copy of “Three Feet on the Panhandle: A History of the Waynesburg and Washington Railroad “ or "Narrow Gauge in Southwestern Pennsylvania - The Waynesburg & Washington Railroad" and willing to check if any mention is made of what happened to the W&W equipment when the road was standard gauged?

Thanks,

Jeff Livingston

Brian Norden
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Brian Norden » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:12 am

Service on the former W&W by the PRR was discontinued in 1933. Traffic had begun a downturn in the 1920s. The PRR kept track on the r-o-w to help hold possession of it and only motorcar (speeder) trips were made over the line.

The authors of Three Feet on the Panhandle write:
By the end of the 1920s most of the fleet was sitting unused on the company's sidings and spurs due to the dramatic loss of freight business in the mid-1902s. In the late '20's 24 gons were sent to the O. R. & W. for gravel service and, in 1930, along with several passenger cars, a gondola was sent to the Arrapulgus Class Company, Attanulgus, Georgia. The remainder of the W. & W.'s fleet of freight cars was eventually scrapped and reportedly burned, in the Waynesburg yard area during 1933.
Brian Norden

Jeff Livingston
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Jeff Livingston » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:14 am

Thank you Brian,

The plot thickens. The OR&W was also controlled by the PRR and there is a gravel gondola in another photo with the boxcars in question. The gondola has been tentatively identified as ex-PCR, but? The OR&L purchased used NG equipment from the scrapper Aaron Ferer & Son and the Navy, with more resources, scoured the country for equipment right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The cars in question could very well have come from a scrapper or was saved by whoever owned them for use as storage containers. In any case the condition of the equipment is rather dismal indicating the urgent need. Later equipment purchased used from the mainland was refurbished prior to shipment and received Navy markings.

Jeff Livingston

Daniel Maxwell
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Daniel Maxwell » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:45 pm

Hey Jeff,

I own Three Feet on the Panhandle and was a personal friend of the recently deceased co-author Morgan Gayvert, of Washington, PA. I am a fan of the OR&W, the W&W's sister road, but I have some knowledge of the W&W.

None of the boxcars on the W&W were numbered that high. Even after the narrow gauge locomotives were numbered according to the Pennsy system, the highest numbered boxcar was the 557-563 series, listed as scrapped circa 1933. Other than 2-6-0 2nd #4, the only surviving piece of W&W equipment I am aware of is coach 6 in CT.

As Brian states, speeder runs were made to maintain trackage rights until 1963, when it was discontinued and the line scrapped.

Jeff Livingston
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Jeff Livingston » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:21 pm

Thanks Daniel,

I'm going through Hilton for clues based on longevity of where these cars may have originated. It's a long slog. We know the Hawaii military establishment went high order after the attack which resulted in a number of oddities reaching Hawaii. These particular cars are new to us. The photo shows a string of six boxcars, one clearly shows the referenced number and another further down the string appears to have similar markings. the remaining cars are darker in color and show load and size data. The nearest one has a five word name painted out. So, besides looking for the P.r.r. car I'm searching for a NG road with a five word name.

Jeff Livingston

dsp&p_fan
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by dsp&p_fan » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:06 pm

Five word NG roads that I can think of:

Eastern Tennessee & Western North Carolina - I believe their 34' boxcars were all lettered with just the initials. But two of their 4-6-0s ended up on the White Pass during the war. They had the only purpose built 0-8-0 switch engine on a US NG and the most modern passenger train of any US NG. There's a few photos of their boxcars on this page: http://www.johnsonsdepot.com/crumley/tour3a.htm

Chicago and North Western Ry. It didn't last long enough to be a likely candidate...but they spelled their name out. Mid-Continent has a couple of their cars: http://www.midcontinent.org/collectn/woodfrt/cnw10.html

There are others, not many, but you can look at the photos to decide if they could match.

Can you read the capacities and possibly the (internal) lengths of the cars?

Brian Norden
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Brian Norden » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:29 pm

Might the numbers have been applied in Hawaii?

On the Jerry Best book Nevada County Narrow Gauge there is a picture of a couple of box cars ready to be moved to Colfax for outbound shipment to the Navy at Pearl Harbor.
The cars are lettered but not numbered.

NAVY SUPPLY | (door) | PEARL HARBOR
DEPOT
(centered)

and end lettering appears to be "NSD PL HR"

Likewise the SP ng tank cars were lettered but not numbered for shipment.
Brian Norden

Jeff Livingston
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Jeff Livingston » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:07 pm

Michael, Brian, thank you both.

I know it's a pain since I've agreed not to post the photos but I'm going to ask if it's OK to crop then and post only the parts in question. The string of six boxcars show two distinctive types. No data is legible but all the cars appear to be between 30 and 34 feet. The cars still have the protective corner pieces on the roofs where they were tied down for shipment. They must have come right off the boat to the OR&L yard. The car marked P.r.r. 343908 on the door was marked by hand with a 1 or 2 inch paintbrush. Slopes up left to right. Maybe it's the number of the PRR flat car that brought it to the west coast (assuming it came from the east). Both the first boxcar and the gondola in front of it have arch bar trucks with what looks like a large square bolster. The gondola has the number "37" stenciled on the bolster and "37" on the side sill. No other markings. The first boxcar has the number "15" stenciled on the bolster. This could possibly indicate the same origin. I'll continue looking for additional information from the photographs as in my excitement I missed these number clues previously. Hopefully stenciled numbers on the bolsters will ring a bell with someone.

Jeff Livingston

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Curtis_F
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Curtis_F » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:10 am

Jeff,

Sorry for this barrage of questions rather than answers;

About how big is the Box Car?
Inside or outside frame?
Have you dated the photo?
Do the cars in the photos look like new arrivals?

The way you mention the gondola body and trucks being marked "15" makes me think of shipping labels to make sure all the parts stay together. If that's right then the "37" would have been the 37th car in the load.

I'm rather sure it's not a car number as I recall the #37 was a passenger car.

As to the "343908" number, I'm sure I've seen a Norton photograph of a flat car or two with a 6 digit number in the background. Perhaps those flats had the same point on origin as this box car?

Could "343908" be the "tracking number" of the shipment of cars?


Cheers,

Curtis F.
Curtis S. Ferrington
Train Nut

Jeff Livingston
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Re: Waynesburg & Washington

Post by Jeff Livingston » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:40 pm

Curtis,

Questions are good. Answers breed more questions. The photograph is not clear enough to read any reporting data so I'm guessing on size. These cars likely just came off the boat since there is still protective dunnage attached to the roofs of the boxcars. The P.r.r. number is likely the car which carried the boxcar to the port of embarkation. The number cooresponds to a PRR gondola and we have reports of freight cars headed to Hawaii arriving in CA in PRR gondolas. The photographer, Bill Blewett, arrived in Hawaii in December 1942 so the photo was taken sometime after that. Because of the condition of the cars I suspect they were purchased and shipped "as is, where is" without refurbishment since there was a critical need. Later shipments were refurbished and lettered but not numbered. The numbers on the trucks likely coorespond to the particular car so the trucks got put back in the original location or at least on the original car.

Jeff Livingston

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