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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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CCC & StL: 1938

CCC & StL: 1938

Washington, D.C. "U.S. News. Freight car, side view, 3/7/38." Property of the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Note the brake wheel on this car

It is in the horizontal position as they were on all freight cars, originally.

Freight cars also had walkways across the tops.

Brakemen rode the tops of these cars during switching operations; a rather scary part of their occupation.

Eventually, this dangerous practice was outlawed and the brake wheels were moved to the ends of the cars, but in a vertical position. This can be seen in the B&O "wagon top" boxcar next to it.

A brakeman's job still has its hazards particularly in cold snowy climates.
One major improvement is the introduction of continuous voice-to-voice contact with the engineer now available through technology.

It also meant that cabooses were dropped from the consist and freight train crews were reduced to two-person operations.

So that's a boxcar!

I've always wondered what they looked like without the graffiti.

A Proud Member of the Big Four

The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway was also known as New York Central's Big Four Route. It along with the New York Central was folded into the Penn Central in 1968. That railroad shortly thereafter experienced the largest ever US bankruptcy to date. (Search for the video "Penn Central 1974" to get an idea of the conditions.) The remainder of Penn Central and several other railroads was folded into Conrail in 1976. After a shaky start that railroad prospered to the point it was purchased at great cost and segmented by Norfolk Southern and CSX.


Nice long second look, tie all elements of photo together and...voila, beautiful composition out of nothing.
No offence to railroad buffs.

CCC & StL also known as

The "Big Four". Although affiliated with NYC System for many years, they even lettered their equipment Big Four for many years.

Visible to the car's right is a B&O "wagon top" boxcar. B&O built many boxcars and some covered hoppers to this unique design, with some in revenue service into the 1970's.

Known as The Big Four Route

This large subsidiary of the New York Central formed its network of lines in the Midwest. An excellent map is here.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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