Southern Pacific, one of the West's largest and most historic railroads, operated a major fleet of freight cars. The history of those cars is extensive, and this book series is aimed at describing all types of SP freight cars and their histories. The first Volume included gondolas and stock cars, while the second covered cabooses, the third addressed automobile cars and flat cars, and the fourth presented box cars. This fifth Volume treats hoppers, covered hoppers, and tank cars, and it's primary time period is 1865-1965, with some coverage after those years.
Freight car history has a number of dimensions. Built dates, car numbers, car characteristics are only the bare bones. Also of importance are reasons for construction of a particular car class and exploration of its design heritage, and indications of the longevity and service use of the class, culminating in rebuilding or scrapping. All those factors are addressed here.
The book opens with an introductory section of background information, then the hopper section begins with the early coal cars, followed by open-top steel hopper cars through 1965. The hopper section then turns to covered hoppers (SP regarded them as H classes too), from the first cars of 1946, through new designs, and into cars for special lading, such as Airslide and related cars.
The section on tank cars begins with the early cars, including the Huntington era of the 1890s, then addresses the time of design advances in the early 1900s, followed by Harriman and post-Harriman cars. Then come the several car classes of the period 1920 to 1942. A concluding chapter presents tank cars of the 1960s.
Throughout the book, roster information and builder photographs, as well as in-service photographs at various points in the life of car classes, document the history. Drawings and lettering diagrams of selected cars are also included. Four appendices (one on standard colors), a detailed bibliography and an index round out the book.
The book's 578 photographs (77 in color) of SP hoppers, covered hoppers, and tank cars, most from company and museum archives and never before published, together with 109 drawings, extensive rosters, and bibliography, make it unusually complete and authoritative.
Table of Contents:
Prologue and acknowledgments, pp. 5-8;
Ch. 1: Introduction, pp. 9-14;
Ch. 2: Freight Car Basics, pp. 15-30;
Ch. 3: Early Coal Cars and Hoppers, pp. 31-42;
Ch. 4: Steel Hopper Cars, 1905-1942, pp. 43-64;
Ch. 5: Postwar Open-Top Hopper Cars, pp. 65-92;
Ch. 6: Early Covered Hopper Cars, pp. 93-128;
Ch. 7: New Designs of Covered Hoppers, pp. 129-152;
Ch. 8: Covered Hoppers for Special Lading, pp. 153-182;
Ch. 9: Early Tank Cars, pp. 183-210;
Ch. 10: Advances in Tank Car Design, pp. 211-232;
Ch. 11: The Harriman Era, pp. 233-268;
Ch. 12: Post-Harriman Tank Cars, pp. 269-296;
Ch. 13: Tank Cars of the Mid-1920s, pp. 297-318;
Ch. 14: Tank Cars, 1928-1942, pp. 319-344;
Ch. 15: Tank Cars after 1960, pp. 345-354;
Appendix 1: Additions to Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4, pp. 355-392;
Appendix 2: Diagrams pp. 393-406;
Appendix 3: Complete Specification, Class O-50-2, pp. 407-422;
Appendix 4: Color Drift Panels, pp. 423-424;
Bibliography, pp. 425-436;
Index pp. 437-448.
Signature Press, hardcover with jacket, 448 pages, 8.5 x 11 x 1.5 in., 578 photographs, 109 drawings, rosters, bibliography, index.