Charles Wales Photo, William Hopkins Collection, early 1948, Washington, DC
From 1901 through 1917, the Great Northern received over 15,000 forty foot truss rod box cars from Haskell & Barker. These cars initially had wood center sills, but were retrofitted with steel center sills. However, the truss rods were retained. The cars also received Murphy XLA roofs during shopping. All cars had lumber doors on the 'A' end. Cars 8000-8999 were fitted with hopper doors in the late 1920's (during the center sill rebuilding program.) The hopper doors were progressively removed throughout the 1930's and 1940's. Staffan Ehnbom added the following clarification/correction to the preceding information: "I doubt that they were fitted with hopper doors in the 1920's. Rather the GN had several thousand hopper bottom box cars by the twenties. Apparently about a hundred of these received steel underframes in the late twenties and were renumbered 8900-8999. I would be surprised, if the effort was spent to remove the hopper doors. There were still 34 cars specified as hopper bottom cars in the Oct '53 ORER in the 8900 series." Our thanks to Staffan for this information.
In 1947, there were 7,274 cars, almost 31% of the GN's box cars! They were assigned to the following groups:
3000-7999, 1,758 cars
8900-8999, 90, hopper bottoms
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