locked moloco Southern FGE = "The Beer Car"

George Eichelberger


I trust it will be OK with NIck Molo if I forward his “Master Class” discussion to the group. I’ve posted it on the Southern Railway (not only “modeling”) group because of its business and operating information.

Nick always does the research needed to produce excellent models and background information to go along with them. His Southern leased FGE cars are superb models. As I have mentioned before, modelers need to support high quality manufacturers by purchasing their kits and RTR offerings while they are available.

I have always been interested in the large number of insulated box cars Fruit Growers built for the Southern. They include:

Southern 70-ton 52 ft. 6 in. Insulated Box Cars Built by Fruit Growers Express Co.
Southern 70-ton 52 ft. 6 in. SCUF Insulated Box Cars 650-899, NCP-177
SCUF Insulated Box Cars 201-299 and 585000-585199, NCP-188
CUF Insulated Box Cars 585200-585699, NCP-201
SCUF Insulated Box Cars 100-299 and 585000-585199, NCP-201-A
CUF Insulated Box Cars 584824-584999, NCP-211 and NCP-212
CUF Insulated Box Cars 585700-585923, NCP-211-A

I’ve suggested that Moloco might offer these but, unfortunately, they are unique to the Southern. As Nick pointed out, FGE was really in the car assembly business. They bought parts; roofs, ends, side and specialties fro multiple vendors and did final assembly at their plant in Alexandria, VA. The combination of parts used on the Southern’s orders were not used on other roads’ cars.

As Nick mentions, many of the Southern and CofG leases were for beer service from various breweries. The cars in the “New Car Programs” (NCPs) listed were almost all for cars to be used for a new Miller brewery under construction at Eden, NC. They have their own section in Book 2 of the upcoming SRHA 50’ box car book. (Photos or information about any Southern rolling stock are certainly welcome.)

A project at archives work sessions needs to be to review the NCP files to make sure the chapter includes all of the data we have. We’ll be at the archives at least twice in November and another two or three times in Dec. If you are interested in attending, send an email to archives@....


Begin forwarded message:

From: moloco <molocotrains.yahoo.com@...>
Subject: moloco Southern FGE = "The Beer Car"
Date: November 3, 2018 at 8:41:41 PM EDT
To: <geichelberger@...>
Reply-To: <molocotrains@...>

moloco Southern FGE master class
= "The" Beer Car
the numbers
Southern had 1179 insulated boxcars leased from FGE, that includes it's subsidiary lines, like Central Of Georgia or Norfolk Southern. Of those, 461 were of the 10-foot centered design with single rivet pattern like Moloco currently offers. Part of which there is a solid block of Southern cars that were assigned as BEER CARS. The beer companies serviced were Miller, Pabst and Falstaff.

the locations
During the era of these cars in service, Miller had several plant locations, firstly Milwaukee, then later Fort Worth in 1969, Albany, GA in 1979, Irwindale, CA in 1980, Elkton, VA in 1987. Pabst had a few plants itself, again in Milwaukee, Peoria, IL in 1934, Perry, GA in 1968 (railroad location was Pabst, GA). Falstaff was from St. Louis and other plants through acquisitions Omaha, NE (Krug, 1936), New Orleans, LA (National 1937), Fort Wayne, IN (Berghoff 1954), Galveston, TX (Galveston-Houston 1956), El Paso, TX (Mitchell 1956), Rhode Island (Narragansett 1965).

With the recent releases of FGE RBLs I wanted to continued the series of master classes and specifically it's relationship with Beer traffic. Southern was involved with many national car pools and therefore no stranger when soliciting beer loadings understanding the lucrative nature and year round revenues. These pools would involve multiple railroads that would serve these listed plants and then many distributors across the nation.

For this instalment of master class the focus will be for the two pairs of Southern FGE cars produced by Moloco. Two for Miller and two for Pabst. The Southern return route rectangle so common on FGE boxcars had return locations of Milwaukee, WISC on the Milwaukee Road for Miller Brewing and Pabst, GA on the Southern for the Pabst Brewing cars. The other cars produced by Moloco in the past that were in beer service were Rock Island General American RBLs for Pabst Brewing in Peoria, IL, which may also translate to the ROCK cars as well at later dates. Moloco RI #6508 was a specific car number of many that we know were in Pabst service. The EL GA RBLs assigned car numbers #68301, #68305, #68319 and #68351 to Miller Brewing, even though we didn't make those specific numbers in that run. The hometown road of Milwaukee Road most likely served one or all of the brewers in town, see the available Moloco examples below. We also believe but could not confirm Wabash, MODX, MP and WADX RBLs being in Anheuser-Busch service. We also believe the SOO General American RBLs we produce a few years back also were in beer service, but not sure out of which of the many upper Midwest brewers that they could have served.

We can speculate from the above information that these national brands were being delivered by these Southern cars to all parts of the country before more localized beer plants were set-up. Meaning that even the west coast and mountain time zones received Miller High Life and Pabst Blue Ribbon!

SKU #33054 SOUTHERN repaint AX 4-65 (2 car numbers) - re-weighed/repainted at the FGE Alexandria, VA shop in 1965. It has the brown end double stripe scheme typical of that era. Note how the rivet strip on the ends is prototypically painted yellow. It has it's typical application of Morton tread roofwalk, Moloco is the only manufacturer to produce this a roofwalk accurately with up and over roof rib profile. FGE cars of this era had their full roof painted silver as well, presumably for heat protection/reflection from the sun. Being a 1965 repaint it still has it's full height ladders.

SKU #33024 SOUTHERN repaint AX 1-75 (2 car numbers) - re-weighed/repainted at the FGE Alexandria, VA shop in 1975. Note at this period of FGE practice the cars were painted all yellow and the A end ladders were cut down and roofwalk removed. However, roofwalk brackets remained on the roofs, accurately produced. Note the diagonally stacked For Greatest Efficiency logo starts directly under the FRUIT for the all yellow scheme. It also has an ACI label and COTS.

SOUTHERN 791508 - Represents the 1965 cars in this case. SOUTHERN 791500 - Represents the 1975 cars. This close-up shows the return route railroad CMSTP&P RR for the earlier cars whereas the later car has SOU RWY instead. Look at the differences in the rectangular return route boxes; 791508 has a 5 line return route, whereas 791500 has a 4 line one typical found on later era cars. The Lading Band Anchor symbol on the door is present on the older car and has been removed on the all yellow car. This also highlights changing stenciling practices on the door data and positions. Even though the reporting marks and numbers seem to be in the same position on the car sides, the CAPY block and Insulated -Cushioned lettering have moved around slightly which is to be expected with a ten year gap. Ironically, the 1975 repainted cars has floor loading (25K) and L and R stenciling applied to the left side of the door opening. Paint data in the top left also matches the repaint date and type of paint used, a common FGE practice.

Surely some one drinks beer on your model railroad...Cheers!

POOL CARS - Above 4 examples of 3 schemes that we have produced that were to our knowledge were in beer service. Specific Rock Island General American RBLs were in the Pabst nationwide pool. Four specific car numbers mentioned above were in Miller Brewing service, our example shows how they looked. The other 2 cars represent most likely beer service cars in the Milwaukee area. These cars represent 1979 repaints of the distinctive yellow doored cars. Note the differences between these almost identical schemes. They still have the LRD lettering on the doors, albeit a lot smaller. See our previous master class on Milwaukee cars for the specifics.

I hope you've learnt something about Southern FGE boxcars and the partnership with beer service. We are glad to give an insight of what we go through to bring you the best products in the industry. We hope to produce additional runs of the RI and EL cars in the future, so one can fill out their beer fleet if they missed out the first time - Nick Molo, owner moloco
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