1926 B&O freight car fleet – 3

B&O class N-12e 322841 is a 1921 product of the Pressed Steel Car Company.

Do you recognize this coal hopper? I know you recognize the railroad name, but do you recognize the car design? It looks similar to many hoppers used in the first four decades of the 20th Century. The B&O had more than 1400 of these N-12e class cars listed in the October 1926 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). There were 14,364 overall N-12 class cars. Are you surprised?

My railroad modeling is focused on 1926. Through many years of photo reviews, I’ve found the freight car fleets of many railroads looked starkly different from their post-WW2 fleets. Summaries of B&O boxcars and gondolas have been published here that illustrate the different car designs on the 1926 roster.

The full B&O fleet summary won’t fit nicely into a blog page so PDF files have been created to share the fleet information. A resource page is available to access individual PDF summaries as manageable file downloads.

The hopper summary is now available for your review and enjoyment. Flat cars, stock cars, and cabooses will be featured in the final installment.

Several people have assisted with this project. I thank James Mischke, Bob Witt, Ed Kirstatter, and Ray Breyer for sharing details, photos, and proofreading as this summary has progressed.

It’s been over a year since the last installment of the 1926 B&O freight car fleet review. Things got busy, then the old computer tanked, and I actually forgot about it for awhile. Thanks for your patience and enjoy the hopper review.


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3 thoughts on “1926 B&O freight car fleet – 3”

  1. Eric,

    I look forward to digging through this information. I know George’s Creek, I live a couple miles or so from it. My modeling is in the area from about the 1880’s to the 1950’s, and largely Cumberland and Pennsylvania at the moment. B&O is a big part of the area too, around Cumberland and Frostburg, Maryland.

    Thanks for all your research, and making it available for the rest of us!

    All the best,
    Charles W. Sloane

  2. A few comments and quibbles:

    The N-12 is a 6-inch-taller iteration of the 1905 Common Design hopper developed by Standard Steel Car at the end of 1905 and widely ordered from many builders in the 1905-1920 period.

    My take on the N-10 is that it was a successor to the Pressed Steel Car N-9 design, with plate girder sides and liberal use of standardized rolled sections in the underframe.

    The chart is missing N-10e 325000-325999, 1000 cars built new in 1922. (The B&O Equipment Summaries show the wrong data before 1935.)

    N-17a 426000-426999 were built in 1923.

    N-14 were off-the-shelf Standard Steel Car channel-side hoppers.
    N-15 were copies of the PPR Gla.

    N-16 27000-27999 were built new for B&O in 1917-18 with three pairs of clamshell hoppers. Why the reversion to a composite design? Many railroads bought cars of “older” designs in the mid-late Teens (composite hoppers, truss-rod box cars, etc.), and I believe this was an effort to reduce the use of steel which had become scarce and expensive.

    And for the sake of completion, N-19 were ex-M&K hoppers which I have just about no details on.

    1. Thanks for your notes, David. I appreciate the extra details and will update the PDF accordingly. In some cases, the Summary of Equipment small print was misread. A few of those smaller hopper classes were on their way off the roster in late 1926. ORER data shows 191 N-14 cars in 1925 and 29 in 1926. The N-15 car quantities went from 147 to 42 in 1926. The N-19 cars from the M&K dropped all 14 in 1925 to zero in 1926. – Eric

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