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40th Birthday Facelift

June 21, 2011

In driving by the east end of Englewood yard recently, I came across a rare sight: a 40 year-old boxcar that didn’t have graffiti on it. Granted, it’s just been repainted, but it still counts!

The last time I was through Palestine, Texas, I noticed that the UP car shops there was rehabbing  SP 86′  boxcars, so I’d surmise that that’s where this car received its fresh coat of paint. Note that the car has retained its SP reporting marks.

SP 616561 B-70-55 boxcar

SP 616561 B-70-55 class boxcar in Houston, April 28, 2011. (Click image to see more detail)

SP 616561, a B-70-55 class boxcar, was built March, 1971 for auto part service, primarily from mid-west U.S. suppliers to west coast Ford and GM assembly plants. This was high priority traffic, so it’s safe to say that this car made numerous trips on the SP’s hottest freight trains, the APLAA and the Blue Streaks (BSMFF, MBSMF, etc.).

Here’s a view of what these cars looked like originally:

Here’s a shot of one of these cars in service:

Extra 7667 West, the MBSMF, blows by an eastbound manifest at Theba, AZ on 12/17/85. Note the 86' auto parts boxcar directly behind the power.

The above shot is from John Carr’s indispensable website,  It’s a great resource for learning more about SP operations.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Ryan M. Martin aka "espeeboy" permalink
    July 10, 2011 2:07 pm

    Loving me some big 85’/86′ SP boxcars… even if one of them sports the largest UP Shield you can find on a piece of rolling stock today.

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