Oakland Antioch & Eastern flat car #2002
Photo from David Johnston, click for enlargement

Oakland Antioch and Eastern 2002 is a 36-foot thirty-ton capacity wooden flatcar with wrought iron bolsters, wooden center sill and four wrought iron truss rods. Center sill and intermediate sill connection to the end sills is accomplished with cast iron pockets rather that mortise and tenon construction. The couplers are Janney freight car couplers. The car is equipped with coupler safety chains, which are an unusual feature on a freight car.

The W. L. Holman Car Company of San Francisco built Oakland Antioch and Eastern 2002 in January 1911 for the Oakland and Antioch Railway. It is part of a 2-car series, 2001 to 2002. These are probably the first two revenue freight cars ever built for the O&A or OA&E. The car was built with K type air brakes, a K-1 triple valve, and an 8 by 12 inch brake cylinder. The car was converted to AB1012 air brakes on March 10, 1955
In January 1920, the OA&E was reorganized as the San Francisco-Sacramento Railroad. It is not known if 2002 ever had its reporting marks changed to SFS, but it is unlikely. The car number was not changed. Car 2002 was damaged in a wreck on the Sacramento Northern on November 2, 1927. It was rebuilt into non-revenue tool car SNMW 32 and released for service on December 27, 1927. In 1928 the Sacramento Northern Railroad and the San Francisco-Sacramento merged to form the Sacramento Northern Railway. SNMW 32 may have been SFSMW 32 for the short time between it’s becoming a tool car and the merger.

SNMW 32 was a tool car with a tool shed on one end of the car and it had an open storage bin on the other end. The tool shed was about seven feet wide and off set to one side, which permitted full-length rails to be transported on the other side. The eight stake pockets the car was originally built with on each side were located down the side of the car on about five foot centers. These were repositioned; four near each end of the car, when it was modified as a tool car.
The car has arch bar trucks which were probably built by the Southern Pacific of the H. J. Small type. These trucks have wooden bolsters and are more typical of a truck built in the 1890s. The castings in the trucks have pattern numbers with the “W” prefix typical of parts cast by the Southern Pacific at Sacramento.

In 1971 control of the Western Pacific, owner of the Sacramento Northern, changed to a team from the East lead by Mr. Al Perlman. The new management wanted to clean up old equipment still sitting on the Western Pacific and its subsidiaries. When John Miller, the new Locomotive Superintendent, ran across tool car SNMW 32 and flatcar 01449 in Port Chicago, he realized that they could not be moved over the Santa Fe from this isolated portion of the Sacramento Northern to Sacramento for scraping. Burning the cars where they sat and discarding the steel into a gondola, to be sold as scrap, was no longer an option. Mr. Miller, appreciating the antiquity of these cars, arranged for their donation to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society. The car was retired in March 1972. In June 1978 the RLHS chapter give the cars to the California State Railway Museum. During the 1999 Rail Fare held by CSRM in Sacramento, SNMW 32 was rebuilt as a demonstration restoration project by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources and the Samuel Knight Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology.

At this time the car was so deteriorated that all the wood was replaced. The draft timbers, which had been hard wood, were replaced with Douglas fir. The trucks also require extensive rebuilding including new wooden bolsters. . The tool shed, storage box, and other details added to make this into maintenance of way car were removed and not reinstalled. The jib crane had been removed previously. The car has been kept indoors since the 1999 restoration. The California State Railroad Museum no longer had any room to store this car at the Southern Pacific shops in Sacramento and gave it to the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association. The car was moved to the Western Railway Museum arriving on a highway truck on March 20, 2008.

In 2009 the Western Railway Museum shop relocated the stake pockets to their original locations, repainted the car and stenciled it in the OA&E paint scheme. This paint scheme was identified from a photo from the Tom Bold collection. There are no known photos of the car in the Oakland Antioch paint scheme.

From David Johnston
Western Railway Museum

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