|Robert Grandt Collection.|
Doug Heitkamp - Details, it's all about the details! How often have we heard that phrase? As fans of the C&S, we often have to rely upon old photos for information. Analyzing old railroad pictures is almost a hobby within a hobby. It's amazing what people can "see" in these old black and white prints. I've always been interested in freight car construction practices from the turn of the century. Since virtually none of these cars still exist, I have to rely upon pictures for a lot of my research.
I recently purchased a print of this photo from Robert Grandt. It was taken in Idaho Springs shortly after the turn of the century. Based on my reference material, the cars in the picture are:
On the right -
C&S 7681 - 30', 20 ton, Built by Peninsular 1884
C&S 7591 - 27', 14 ton, Built by Union Pacific 1883/4
3rd car back - I believe this is another 27' car based on the details.
In the rear center:
C&S 7306 - 26', 12 ton, Built by Litchfield 1879/80
On the left:
C&S 7529 - 27', 14 ton, Built by Union Pacific 1883/4
While the upper brake staff supports are certainly unique, that's not the reason I've asked Darel to post the picture to his blog.
My question is - Where are the outer truss rods on the 27' cars?
You can clearly see them on C&S 7681, yet they are not visible on C&S 7591 or the car behind it. There are also no truss rod end bolts visible on the corners of the end of car C&S 7529. Every drawing (and model) I have seen for the 27' cars depicts the usual 4 truss rods with needle beams and queen posts. While the 27' cars in the picture have the needle beams, they appear to be lacking the traditional outside truss rods.
Derrell Poole pointed out to me that if you go back into the blog to "Roper's Snapshot Saturday No. 9 from July 2014, there is another picture worth looking at. C&S Boxcar 7408 is also a 27' car. Again, needle beams but no visible outside truss rods. Derrell is not only a good friend, but he is also a great resource. His eye for detail and knowledge of the C&S is amazing. Any of us that model the C&S owe Derrell a big Thanks!
In my conversations with Derrell, we both agreed that there were truss rods - thus the needle beams, but that there were probably only two, just outside the center sills. We have no way to prove this, but based on the clues presented in these old photos, it's our conclusion. If anybody has any ideas or info on how these cars were built, feel free to comment (even if it's just a guess)!