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Carson & Colorado Boxcar / Reefer #344

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:09 pm
by Andrew Brandon
Last Friday Randy and I took a day off to explore the mountains around Hawthorne, NV. Our goal was to locate the partial body of Carson & Colorado boxcar / reefer #344. The car is safely hidden away in a remote part of the mountains and was previously seen by Dale Darney and Paul Martineau back in 1999. Last week, our mission to find and document the car was successful.

Boxcar #344 lead an interesting life. Constructed in 1882-1883 by the V&T shops in Carson City as part of an order for 30 ventilated boxcars. In 1888 Henry Yerington asked D. O. Mills to approve the purchase of a refrigerator car from an eastern builder. Mills did not approve and boxcar 344 was converted into a refrigerator car. At this time the car was repainted and relettered, retaining the number 344 the car was also lettered "REFRIGERATOR" on the sides. For 20 years the car served as the sole refrigerator car (apparently) on the line until it was converted back to a boxcar by the SP in 1908. On April 4, 1911 the car was converted to MW Boarding Car #344 and served in this capacity until 1915 when it was removed from the roster as "worn out". The body of the car apparently went on to serve as a bunk house in Mina, receiving a coat of B&B "Colonial Yellow" paint at some point in its life. Later, the carbody wound up at a sheep camp east of Walker Lake. At some point in the remaining half of the body was moved to it's current location.

Thankfully the remains are elevated off the ground and fairly stable. On Dale and Paul's visit to the site they noted the roof was beginning to collapse. On our visit Randy and I noted several carlines had broken and the roof is slowly collapsing in on itself. Despite the failure of the roof, the car had many details to document. Despite conversion to a reefer, the car retains a lot of seemingly original boxcar features. The side ventilators have been partially filled in as windows (by the SP for MW service most likely) but the original openings are still visible, including the holes for the rods. Two styles of lettering were located on the protected side and remains of the reefer ventilators can be found in the ends. Randy and I spent considerable time taking photographs and measurements from the remains before leaving the site.

More of that data will be coming to the site in the future (stay tuned), in the meantime enjoy these photos.

Re: Carson & Colorado Boxcar / Reefer #344

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:55 pm
by Solomani
An exciting adventure!

Re: Carson & Colorado Boxcar / Reefer #344

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:26 am
by Andrew Brandon
Thanks to the paint layers found on #344, we have two Pantone matches for C&C freight colors. There were two distinct shades of red applied to the car, the first being around the time the car was built. I do not yet have an illustration for these cars, but I have been working on the C&TL&F 22' Detroit flats, 10 of which wound up on the C&C early on. I have not yet posted this (as a PDF) on the site yet, but here is a teaser for the early C&C freight car color.

The PDF version is scheduled to be posted on the site this weekend, along with a smattering of other illustrations and color cards (which is why we've been so quiet lately).