Steam Generator car 51

Discussion in 'General' started by geep07, May 9, 2018.

  1. geep07

    geep07 Member

    What was this type of car used for? Providing steam to passenger cars or other MOW equipment? Anyone has an action photo of it on a train?

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  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Yes to both. There is a Condren photo, which shows one of the steam generator cars providing steam to a 1964 era troop train at Fayetteville. Until all the steam wreckers and derricks were converted to diesel, the steam generator cars were used as a steam source.

    See FR 379 Catalog/ALCo-FAs.htm
    Last edited: May 24, 2021
  3. geep07

    geep07 Member

    Was this a Frisco made in their shop car or was it made from other railroad manufacturer?
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  4. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Frisco built from baggage cars. I have a diagram in my stack of stuff. There is an article either in one of the FMIG issues or in the Museum’s All Aboard
  5. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

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  6. Providing steam to passenger cars or other MOW equipment?
    or is it for doing something else?

    This pic was labeled as Frisco generator car, Aug. 18, 1973, parked at Aurora.



  7. mark

    mark Member


    This is not a steam generator car.

    The Frisco owned only 2 steam generator cars, SLSF 51 and SLSF 52. They both were clearly lettered "Steam Generator Car". Both were painted black with yellow stripes and lettering to match carbody diesel locomotives at the time.

    The photographs you posted are of a maintenance of way (MOW) generator car. After being retired from passenger service a number of cars formerly in passenger service or freight service were repurposed for MOW service. Cars in this service were painted silver with black lettering. Most were lettered for the type of service thay provided, in this case "Generator Car" service.

    This former Railway Post Office and baggage car was repurposed for MOW service in work trains. The generator car provided an electric generator for lighting, cooking and other electrical needs at remote locations. In addition the car was used for material, supply and tool storage. This car originally had a 30' postal compartment for receiving, sorting and distributing mail in route along passenger train routes.

    Please see the following links.

    Steam generator car SLSF 51:

    Generator car SLSF 105658:

    Water, fuel, tool and generator car SLSF 105724:

    Hope this help.


    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  8. Yep ! It looked short. Did something else, "making electric". I guess that Frisco gave cars for these services one thin coat of aluminum paint. May be they did not even wash the car clean before the paint jobs. Did not take very long, they soon looked pretty shabby. The old rail post office cars likely had some internals useful to MOW also.
    This car and it's style looks is to old for railway post offices built 10/47.
    Here is one of Mike Condren's pics that looks similar.
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
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