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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Baggage Car or Freight Car

Date: 03/21/20 20:39
Baggage Car or Freight Car
Author: Cabhop

=10.0pt On Facebook I posted a comment about Southern Pacific’s modern “Economy” baggage cars.  I thought I would repost the piece here.
Even though SP was trying its best to get out of the passenger business by the late 1950s it found it was short of baggage cars.  Never big on modern baggage cars, their old heavyweights were just worn out.  So in 1959-60 SP took delivery of a 100 of modern baggage cars classifying them as 66-B-1 numbering them as the 6600 series.  The 6600s had a traditional passenger roof contour. Right on the heals of the first order SP put in an order for another 100 cars with the last of this batch arriving in 1962.  These were classed 66-B-2 and numbered them as 6701-6800.  But these cars featured a less rounded roof profile, closer to the profile of freight car roof.  Some have suggested these were ordered with the plan that when the SP would eventually get out of the passenger business the cars could be placed right into freight service. =10.0ptWhich brings up a bit of SP passenger history; when the 6700s showed up the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen tried to make a case that they were just box cars in passenger paint.  The Union's position was the cars were closer to a box car than a more typical rounded roof passenger car shape. What was the big deal?  Well if there was even a single Freight Car in the consist, a passenger train crew got Freight rate for the trip vs Passenger rate. Freight rate was based on 100 miles = a 'basic day'' pay. Passenger was 150mi for the basic day. A freight car meant a 1/3 pay increase for the same trip. Since most passenger runs were 250 miles or more,  [The Ogden – Reno run was over 500mi!] the 1/3 difference was a sizable pay difference. As an old head told me always check for a "square cornered" car up front.=10.0ptBy-the-way, the Union lost the case so no extra pay for the 6700s.

Date: 03/22/20 03:42
Re: Baggage Car or Freight Car
Author: wharfrat

What I was always told if it had a diaphragm on the end for a entrance door it was a passenger car. Not sure if this was true. 

Date: 03/22/20 08:13
Re: Baggage Car or Freight Car
Author: engineerinvirginia

wharfrat Wrote:
> What I was always told if it had a diaphragm on
> the end for a entrance door it was a passenger
> car. Not sure if this was true. 

That would seal the deal for me.....

Date: 03/22/20 12:11
Re: Baggage Car or Freight Car
Author: tehachcond

   I remember those "baggage" cars.  Lightly loaded, as they generally were, they were rough riding SOB's!

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO

Date: 04/02/20 17:27
Re: Baggage Car or Freight Car
Author: SilverPeakRail

Adding interest to the boxcar story is that the 6700 Class cars were equipped with AC-1B brakes.  I had to do some research into this because at one time my partner and I owned 6727, and parts were unavailable for that valve.  The AC valve was an evolutionary dead-end that was intended to replace the brass-piston AB valves with a rubber diaphragm based unit, akin to the 26C passenger valve.  The Pipe bracket (Mounting) was even designed to bolt up  to the AB Pattern of mounting holes on the car, and the pipe arrangement on the back, sort of "plug and play" .  The railroads didn't like it because it had a unique pipe bracket and you couldn't just put it on and existing AB bracket.  The "1B" variation, like the AB-1B, was a filling piece with an emergency limiting pop valve on it and a diaphragm valve inside that looked for air in the signal line, thus changing the emergency limiting pressure for Passenger Train speed and brake rate.  If there was no signal line air pressure it behaved just like any AB valve.  Passenger valves have both graduated and direct release functions, freight valves (including the AC) only have direct release, so  several of these cars in a train would cause handling problems unless all of the passenger valves were reset to direct release.  This all makes a case that the 6700's were intended to run mostly in freight trains.

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