Freight Car Type Designations PS-1, PS-2, PS-3, PS-4, PS-5 - Pullman Standard Car Company - Inquiry

Discussion in 'General' started by FRISCO4503, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. FRISCO4503

    FRISCO4503 FRISCO4503 Supporter

    I have always wondered and never thought to ask, but can someone please explain to me what PS1, PS2 etc. means when talking about railcars?

    I have racked my brain knowing that the P stands for something and the S stands for something.

    Anyway it would be a big help and also, explain the significant behind the PS.

    Thanks guys.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  2. mark

    mark Staff Member Staff Member

    Pullman-Standard (PS) or more formally the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company was at one time the largest passenger and freight car manufacturer in North America.

    Their modern freight car series designations included PS-1 boxcars, PS-2 covered hoppers, PS-3 open top hoppers, PS-4 flat cars and PS-5 gondolas. Pullman Standard was an early pioneer of using welded construction and assembly line mass production for freight cars.

    The original Pullman Company began in the 19th century (1862) and produced first passenger and then freight cars. Major merger acquisitions occurred with other major car builders including the Haskell and Barker Car Company (1921) and The Standard Steel Car Company (1930). This merger resulted in the name change to Pullman-Standard.

    Pullman-Standard operated plants in Bessemer, AL (on the Frisco), Butler, PA, Chicago, IL, Hammond and Michigan City, IN and Worchester, MA.

    They were a significant contributor to many railroad's rolling stock equipment fleets, including the Frisco.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2009
  3. FRISCO4503

    FRISCO4503 FRISCO4503 Supporter

    Thanks Mark!

    I appreciate the information, now I will not feel so dumb when I see these on e-bay.

    It also helps in my search for prototypical cars to add to my collection to fit into the era I am modeling.

    You are certainly a big help.

    Will :) :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    For your information, there is a good book available on "P-S" if anyone is interested in becoming a freight car junkie.

    The book is Pullman-Standard Freight Cars, 1900-1960, by Edward S. Kaminski, 2007, Signature Press, ISBN 978-1-930013-17-9

    There are some good photographs of new P-S Frisco cars in it.

    Ed has also done equally good books on American Car and Foundry (ACF), in fact two, and on Magor Car Company.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  5. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    I appreciate the information as well.

    I too have wondered about the designations! :)

    Rather than start a new post, I will tack this on to this one and see if someone can answer.

    I have these two box car ends in O-scale from Walthers. I wanted to use them in scratch building an outside braced 40' boxcar lettered for the Frisco. I wanted to stay as fairly close to prototypical as I could.

    Were these type ends ever used on any Frisco outside braced house cars? :confused:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Your car ends look to be equivalent to the USRA 5-5-5 riveted box car end.

    This is the end used on the Frisco's USRA double-sheathed box cars, SLSF 127000-130499, from various builders. In fact, the Frisco had more of these USRA cars than any other railroad, and they ran them for a long time.

    Over time, the wood side sheathing was replaced with steel, but they kept their original ends. This would be a good car for you to build. It is classic Frisco!

    There is a lot of information around on what these SLSF cars looked like and how to letter them. For example, I am looking at the Westerfield HO-scale kit 3810 instruction sheets for reference.

    I do not know if this end will work for a Frisco single-sheathed outside braced box car. I have not found a photograph of one that has this end, though I do not have many pictures of the older SLSF box car fleet.

    This same 5-5-5 riveted car end was used on the standard USRA single-sheathed box car.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  7. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Thanks Ken.

    I have been searching all over.

    There are several photographs of Frisco boxcars with this end, but none that I have found have outside bracing.

    Darn, I really wanted an outside braced car, but maybe I will go with the single sheathed car.

    Can I still use "single board" construction?

    Now, to find the dimensions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I think you mean go with the double-sheathed.

    With this type car there is wood sheathing on both the inside and the outside of the car framing, hence "double" sheathed. The car sides are smooth, with no braces showing.

    The single-sheathed car only has sheathing on the interior, or inside of the framing, hence you see the bracing on the outside of the car.

    The double sheathed car was a bit tougher given its double layer of side sheathing providing more protection for the goods in the car. They were also more rigid as the siding braced the framing from both sides like a sandwich.

    That is probably why the Frisco liked the DS car, and also why they lasted so long given the Frisco's high standards of maintenance.

    Do a Google search of USRA boxcars. I will bet there is information readily available as there were a bunch of both single and double sheathed types of USRA cars built for many roads.

    There is a neat USRA single-sheathed car preserved at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, WI.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024
  9. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Yeah, I meant double sheathed.

    Had a senior moment there. :confused:

    I still want an outside braced car. Guess I will have to wait until I get the correct ends.

    Right, I will jump in my truck and run right up to Green Bay to see it. In your dreams. :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2024

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