The passing of the 40 ft. boxcar
SP Pages

Sometimes historical significance clobbers you over the head. When Wx4 Staff spied this memo hanging on the wall at San Jose Telegraph in 1981, we realized that it recorded the passing of the forty foot boxcar, THE standard freight conveyance for most of the century.

Many still were around a few years before, but a double whammy of recession and transportation deregulation made a shambles of the boxcar freight business, obviating the need for most of these old freighters.

By the mid-1980's the forty footers were so rare that a lumber mill in need of them on the SP 's Lakeview Branch was forced to lease cars from an east coast short line, the North Stratford Railroad, as seen at right.

click on image for Mark Beebe photo