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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?

Date: 05/10/01 08:37
Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?
Author: skunk

When I lived in Kokomo, Indiana back in the early 80's, I saw something that I kick myself now for not documenting. I don't recall where they were, but they were old wood box cars with ROUNDED roofs. I beleieve there were two, side by side, on the ground. They were 40' or less in length, maybe 36'. I think someone had painted them gray.

I have seen pictures of cars like this used on the Indiana Railroad for LCL service. Steel boxcars with rounded roofs are not uncommon but these were wood, single sheeth I think. The ROUNDED ROOFS made them look very foreign! I seem to recall they were in town somewhere. I know that Indiana Raiload and the ISC didn't run here, but there were some older interurban lines in Kokomo. Historically, some salvaged railroad cars and cabooses have traveled long distances to their final resting place. Indianapolis is south of Kokomo, and some Indiana interurban lines ran north and east of Kokomo.

Anyone have a clue? I have asked some friends who still live there, but they have never seen them. If these cars still exist, and they are what I think they are, they must be rarer than interurban motors themselves!

Date: 05/10/01 12:42
RE: Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?
Author: HoosierVirg

Interesting, all the times I have been in Kokomo I never saw any of these boxcars, that would be a great find. My 1928 interurban map over the computer shows the line from Frankfort through Kokomo to Marion being labeled as the Northern Indiana Power Co., and the line from Kokomo to Logansport and from Peru through Kokomo to Indianapols as being Union Tr. Co. of Ind. I played in the lot of the old interburban barn in Peru when I was "growing up", in quotes because most people say I have never grown up. There was part of the old interurban bridge in Peru still over the Wabash River but I think they finally removed the last of it. Have a good and safe day.

Date: 05/10/01 16:22
RE: Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?
Author: atsf616

Can't recall ever seeing anything quite like this around Kokomo, but I do remember a short (probably 40-ft or smaller), de-trucked wooden outside-brace boxcar body used as a storage shed just east of Kokomo High School downtown campus. It disappeared fairly recently, probably within the last three or four years.

If I remember correctly, it was painted gray and had evidence of old reporting marks for Crane Naval Ammunition Depot.

There also used to be an old interurban passenger coach converted into a neighborhood diner in the area of Main and Jefferson streets, but it was demolished at least 25 years ago.

And there is currently a retired Amtrak coach used as a private residence in the middle of a large field near Markland and Dixon Road.

Date: 05/10/01 17:26
RE: Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?
Author: LCar6001

That really sounds interesting. I was in Peru a few years ago and couldn't find any traces of the interurbans. I had thought the Union Traction and the Northern Indiana became a part of the Indiana Railroad but I might be wrong. I was thinking they ran two Indianapolis/Ft. Wayne routes--one via Peru and one via Bluffton. I vaguely recall hearing something about some old interurban boxcars, or express motors, sitting on a siding somewhere. If I recall correctly there was an article about it in trains about five or six years ago. Can't remember much more though.

Date: 05/10/01 17:30
RE: Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?
Author: LCar6001

ETCETERA: I just finished reading a book on the Lake Shore Electric, which was abandoned in the late 30's. The authors state that quite a few of the steel interurban car bodies, rather than being scrapped, were converted to cottages, diners, etc. They say many of them survive around the country today, so maybe one of them found its way to Kokomo. Then again, maybe not!

Date: 05/10/01 22:18
RE: Rare Interurban Boxcars in Kokomo?
Author: lumpy72

Could these cars have been French? After the War the French goverment sent boxcars to the U.S. filled with gifts for each of the states. How many cars per state I do not know? The cars have been spotted over the years in various places. The cars spotted in Kokomo could well have been some of these. The last set I have seen were at the Cass shops in WV and were without the underframes as these were said to have been. The cars also had U.S. military markings.

Date: 05/11/01 06:23
Author: skunk

I am familiar with the french cars you are refering to. I beleive we have one here in Fort Wayne at one of the War memorial societies. I rememeber serves me correctly, the french car is much smaller than the cars I saw in Kokomo. Thanks for your input.

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