Boxcar 30036

Southern Pacific Lines

Wood-sided Boxcar

Built by:

Standard Steel Car Co. – 1924

S.P. Co. Designation:


Length Inside:

40 Feet

Donated by:

Southern Pacific Lines – 1955


Unloading boxcars at Warren, New Hampshire on the Boston & Maine R.R. Photo by station agent Stanley McKenzie, courtesy of Ed Tobin.

Probably the most versatile of any type of railroad freight car, boxcars have been in use on America’s rail lines since well before the U. S. Civil War.   Tens of thousands of boxcars crisscrossed America daily, loaded with nearly every kind commodity imaginable – from sacks of grain and crates of apples to automobiles and washing machines!    In 1924 alone, Southern Pacific Lines received 3,375 new boxcars; our No. 30036 was among them!

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More Interesting Information:

The earliest railroad boxcars were built almost entirely of wood.  This car, built in 1924, comes from a transitional time-period when the ends, roof and underframe were made of steel while the sides and doors were still made of wood.  After World War 2, all-steel boxcars become the modern standard and the older wooden styles were gradually replaced.  

Alan Weeks shot this photo of a famous Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotive hauling a long train of boxcars into Cheyenne, Wyoming in August 1956.

By the 1980s, the use of traditional boxcars was rapidly declining as the global transportation industry turned more towards the use of intermodal containers.  These versatile containers can be loaded and then moved from truck to ship to train and back to truck again – transported from origin to destination without the need for multiple unloading and reloading.   This efficient form of containerized freight saves time as well as labor and fuel costs.

George Lenington of Mainline Modeler magazine created this detailed drawing of a Southern Pacific Lines B-50-14 boxcar for use by model railroaders.

Boxcars could carry almost anything…
from Chevy’s to raw cement!

TIDBIT:  An earlier example of an all-wood railroad boxcar may be seen here at Travel Town as well.  Take a look inside the large exhibit building for the Southern Pacific Lines narrow-gauge boxcar… “FF” on the Whistle Stop Tour.