This is the first Volume in a planned series on Southern Pacific freight cars. It covers gondolas and stock cars, and the era is approximately 1900-1960, though with some coverage before and after those years. The book contains an extensive array of rosters, photographs and, where possible, drawings of the major car classes, along with other material as available, such as construction photographs, publicity photographs, lettering drawings, and so forth. Survival of the cars over the years is presented, as are numerous photographs of the cars in service. Included are not only work (ballast) gondolas, but such signature cars of the SP as the 1920s GS gondolas from Enterprise (often called Ulrich cars), the 1940s GS gondolas, including a chapter on side extensions for wood chip, sugar beet, and other services, 1950s solid-bottom cars, and ore cars. Stock cars, from the CS-11 cars of the 1890s, through the standard Harriman cars, to the various late conversions of other cars to stock cars, are also given a full treatment.
Freight car history has a number of dimensions. Built dates, car numbers, car characteristics are only the bare bones. A complete history would also include reasons for construction of a particular car class and exploration of its design heritage;
indications of the service to shippers to which a car class was assigned;
and indications of the longevity of the class, culminating in rebuilding or scrapping. Though it is not possible to provide all this detail on every car class, this book does offer much of this type of history. The large number of photographs, particularly in-service images showing the cars at various times in their lives, make this a truly comprehensive Volume. Complete roster information, including car specialties such as trucks and hand brakes, are presented in a nod to the railroad modeling community. A few Color photographs are included among the 537 total tally of photographs, to show the appearance of these car types, though SP freight cars such as gondolas and stock cars were overwhelmingly painted boxcar red throughout the period covered. Noted rail artist John Signor has created for the book the painting shown here, depicting a Southern Pacific yard scene containing the subjects of this series of books.
Table of Contents:
Preface and Acknowledgments:
2. Freight Car Basics;
3. Work or Ballast Gondolas:
4. Inherited and New Cars to 1924;
5. General Service Gondolas of the 1920s:
6. Solid-bottom Gondolas, 1928-1940;
7. General Service Gondolas after 1940;
8. Gondola Side Extensions;
9. Distinctive T&NO Gondolas;
10. Solid-bottom Gondolas after 1950;
11. Ore Cars;
12. Early Stock Cars;
13. The Standard Stock Car;
14. Other Stock Cars;
Signature Press, hardcover with color dust jacket, 320 pages, standard portrait book 10 x 8 in., 537 photographs (8 in color), 30 drawings, bibliography, index.
Publisher: Signature Press