locked Re: Silversides lettering color

George Eichelberger

Before the New Car Program (NCP) system, the Southern issued “Specifications” for new rolling stock. The Southern Freight Car Diagram book (published by SRHA) shows “100-Ton 47’-8” Aluminum Gondola Series 1000-1749” incorrectly as “Program F-145”. That is an easy error to make because both the Specifications AND the drawing card list (index) used an “F-“ prefix. (Only a few copies are still available in the Grab.)

The “Silversides” were built under Specification F-188 (issued April 8, 1959) with Card List F-145. That is correct except that at some point in discussions with the carbuilders, P-S was eventually selected, the basic design of the cars changed from all-steel to aluminum body cars. With that change, the “Painting” section of the spec. became obsolete. (As issued, Specification F-188, pages 4 and 7 are attached.) (Spec 125 paint was Southern Freight Car Brown, never used on a Silversides.)

Changes between specs and as-delivered was not uncommon. The Southern spec documentation almost always included the invitation for carbuilders to propose alternate materials, designs or specialties. The format of F-188 is slightly different from the standard Southern form. That suggests the published spec was written, probably by P-S, and submitted to the railroad in response to an “RFI” or as an unsolicited proposal. At some point in the process, Alcoa Aluminum Co. entered the picture and the design changed. (Silversides were covered in a TIES article long ago. Maybe someone can tell us which issue.)

As was typical after the wood and steel underframe era, Southern stencil drawings did not specify paint or stencil colors. SF-21023 for the Silversides is attached.

Most of the Southern freight and passenger car “F” and “P" specifications beginning with the wood and steel underframe cars are in the SRHA archives and have been scanned. Freight car drawing lists have been scanned, passenger car drawing indexes are in progress. New Car Program files are being organized and scanned as time permits. If there is any interest, they could be published individually or as sets.


On Jul 2, 2020, at 10:37 PM, Dick Fisher <Gladhand1@...> wrote:

They were all built on one order in 1960 before the NCP file system.


On 7/1/2020 9:34 PM, mike turner wrote:
Given that the car vendors built (painted) exactly what SOU specified,
I would suggest a quick scan through the NCP folder for an order of
Silversides that had varying colors.

While it's not certain there will be a justification or reason in the
file, there is a pretty good chance some letter or note will give a
clue since something like that would normally pass through purchasing.

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