Rail Flatcar, U.S. Army

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On May 29, 2008, Roots of Motive Power received three United States Army 40-foot flat cars. They were surplus equipment which had been donated by the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. The cars arrived in relatively good condition, and were ready for immediate service. The three cars, numbered 33359, 33360, and 33361 were built in December of 1941, but the manufacturer is not known. Each car is 43 feet, 8 inches over the coupler knuckles, has a steel frame with wood deck, and weighs in at 34,200 pounds. Their capacity is 88,000 pounds, for a total load limit weight of 107,800 pounds The history of the cars is a little sketchy. Backtracking, we know that CSRM received the cars from the Sacramento Army Depot in September of 1994. Prior to that, we do not know where they spent their time. Searches of Railway Age magazine do not indicate any construction information from the period, and they do not appear in The Official Railway Equipment Register. We therefore suspect that they were held in captive service by the U. S. Army and served only on military bases, never straying onto the national railroad system. Photograph ┬ęBruce Evans