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It looks to me as if it is a car used to transport panel track accompanying a derrick. Panel track consisted of pre-fab sections of track, 39’ rail spiked to new ties, that was used to put the railroad back in service quickly at a derailment site. The 39’ rail sections conveniently nested in an open car with bulkheads 40’ or so apart. I vaguely remember the early panel track cars having low sides to hold a stack of panels (a.k.a. “snap track”) in place. That is, if my mind is not playing tricks on me!
The only thing I can gleaned from that photo is that it is/was cut down from a boxcar at some point. This is based on the end, which appears to be that of a boxcar. It also appears to me, to have possible been converted to a pulpwood rack, then reconfigured to a gondola. I just can't recall off the top of my head, if the Southern did any "re-rebuilding" (so to speak) back then. <Sou 262054 40' box car Augusta, GA 5-21-73.jpeg>
On Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 6:42 PM, Dan Sparks
Could it be a pulpwood flat with a gon behind it? Looks like the ribs cut off at the same level as the deck of a pulpwood car.
In looking for a photo of a HO model produced by Kadee (the model has black paint on the ends, we have talked about them here) for a question on the steam era freight car group, I sent the attached photo of Southern 262064 as “evidence” it is likely only the one car produced by Kadee, Southern 262063, had black ends.
Looking more closely at the Oscar Kimsey photo taken of 262064 at Augusta, GA 5-21-73, I see a real “mystery” gondola with high ends (usually for loading pipe). I may be reading the road number 60608 wrong, or there is a missing digit, but I cannot find any similar cars in the Southern freight car diagram books or the RER.
Does anyone have any ideas what it is? The Southern did not use the “SOU” reporting mark in 1973 and it is in a completely wrong place on the car.
<Sou 262054 40' box car Augusta, GA 5-21-73.jpeg>