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In the book "The Southern Railway in Color" page 78, top photograph shows two southern box cars behind the engine. They are in coach green with yellow writing. What type of box cars are these? What were they used for? What were their numbers? When and how long did they use them? Were they only used in passenger service. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to give.
-- Janet R. Rock (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 20, 1999
The cars you saw were 50 ton express box cars from number series 3275-3299. They were converted from boxcars 40000-40174 (Mt.Vernon-1938) in 1951 at Hayne Shop in Spartanburg SC. These 52-foot cars were equipped with steam and signal lines for use in passenger service hauling express and for storage mail. They were sometimes used for baggage service on light rail branchlines too. I never saw one used in freight service, but it might have happened. UP did use some of their express boxes in freight service on SR freights. Also some SR baggage cars showed up on freight trains. I do not know when they were retired. I think I last saw one in 1966.
-- Ben Lee (Bengineer7@aol.com), September 22, 1999.