Hagley Museum & Library, Negative No. 12014, Dec. 30, 1939
Joe Collias Photo
Information about the X37 family, courtesy of Ben Hom:
- Class X37: PRR 65400-66399, 1000 cars, IH 10 ft 4 in, 7 ft Youngstown Door
- Class X37A: PRR 66400-66899, 500 cars, IH 10 ft 6 in, 7 ft main door, 6 ft auxiliary door, Youngstown Doors
- Class X37B: PRR 66900-67399, 500 cars, IH 10 ft 8 in, 7 ft main door, 6 ft auxiliary door, Youngstown Doors on cars ordered in September 1939, 7 panel Superior Doors on cars ordered in January 1941.
These cars look like an easy kitbash from a 5/5 Modified 1937 AAR Boxcar Kit, but there are differences beyond the roof that will send you running to a resin kit:
- The roof on all three subclasses are a lap seam design similar to that found on Class X29; however, the Class X37 roofs have six evenly spaced ribs with a closely spaced double row of rivets in between each set of ribs. Additionally, the end panels are depressed to accommodate the roof end walks. This isn't immediately apparent in builder's photos of PRR 65400, but it's obvious in an overhead shot and makes the cars easy to spot in yard photos. The two Railmodel Journal kit conversions (September 1990, November 1992) have incorrect roofs - the modeler chose to simulate the roof seams with strip styrene, creating something that looks more like a Murphy roof. Additionally, he used a .010" overlay to simulate the higher center section of the roof, which doesn't really capture the appearance of the roof. To be fair, if you're working from the builder's photos, the roof details do not jump out at you. All cars (except for Class X37B 64400-65399 equipped with Alan Wood steel running boards) had wooden running boards when new.
- The sides have 10 panels, but they have what is best described as an "alternating rivet pattern" (not ACRs). The rivets joining the panels alternate between wider and more narrowly spaced rows. The side ladders were similar to those on Class X29, with 6 rung ladders and a grab iron above two rung sill steps. This design feature was common to Class X23, X25, X29, and X37 families of cars.
- All cars started out as general service cars, Class X37A and X37B Automobile cars were equipped with racks for auto parts service (AAR Car Classification XAP). A 1940 lettering diagram (updated to September 1951) records the following service assignments:
- 7/12/40: Class X37B (226 cars), Ford Motor Co., Roofs, 1941 Model, RWE (Return When Empty) PRR Detroit
- 4/30/41: Class X37B (34 cars), Ford Motor Co., Body Parts, RWE DT&I Detroit
- 8/13/45: Class X37B (18 cars), American Viscose Corp., Rayon, RWE PRR Lewistown PA
- 8/13/45: Class X37B (400 cars), Ford Motor Co., Ford Side Panels, RWE PRR Midvale, Philadelphia
Nothing recording RWE South Buffalo Rwy. Buffalo, NY, but auto parts loading from the Ford Motor Woodlawn stamping plant is certainly plausible given the above assignments.
None of cars ever received Evans Auto Loaders; however, the lettering diagram refers to another tracing detailing symbols for cars so equipped, so the Mechanical Department was obviously aware of the possibility of equipping these cars with Evans racks.
So, coming back to Bud's model which kicked off this thread:
- PRR 67368, Class X37B: Number correct for class. Car in general service as of July 1950.
- Built 7-40: Car ordered in September 1939, but not out of the realm of possibilities.
- IH 10' 6": Incorrect - should be 10' 8"
- Evans Auto Loader stripe: Incorrect.
- "The Pennsylvania Box Car of World War II," Ian Fischer, The Keystone, Vol. 14 No 4, p 22. Covers Class X37 and X38 subclasses.
- "The Test Plant - Class X37, X37A and X37B Steel Box Cars Manufactured by Sunshine Models," The Keystone, Vol 31 No3, p 6. Lots of prototype info in this kit review, including a lettering arrangement and a listing of cars assigned to auto parts service.
Sources having useful information:
- "Pennsy X37 40 ft Box Car," Railmodel Journal, September 1990, p 16.
- "Pennsylvania Railroad X37B Box Car," Railmodel Journal, November 1992, p 6.
Both articles have builder's photos; see above notes on models.
- "Modeling Pennsy Boxcars: Part 1 (X37B)," Model Railroading, May 1990, p 58. No prototype photos, and model is based on Front Range kit.
Photo of Sunshine Models HO Scale X37
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