Other than the 900 BC&G hoppers described on the ROLLING STOCK - Freight page, all of what would otherwise be considered freight cars on the BC&G were in Maintenance-of-Way (MOW) service. Much of the information presented here is from the Official Railway Equipment Register. As more editions of this document become available, the information will be added to this page, particularly the table below. Suffice it to say that there was probably a continuous flow of MOW cars over the years as equipment was acquired, handed down and retired. Based on this fact, it would be nearly impossible to create an "all-time" roster of BC&G equipment.
The photographs of cars are presented by the types in which they are grouped in the Official Railway Equipment Registry. Most of the photographs are of cars taken in the final years of the railroad but are no doubt representative of the classes they represent.
CLARK SIDE DUMP GONDOLAS - #201, 202 and 203
David Marquis photo circa 1963
Howard Ameling photo circa 1963
Flat cars were on the roster for all the years for which Registries were obtained. As shown in the two photos below, at least in the later years these were conventional steel flatcars. I have no information about the origin or disposition of #107.
For the modeler it can be noted that the lettering, at least when the photo above was taken, appears to be yellow. In the photo at right it can be seen that the car number was stenciled on the end as well as the side.
1924 1940 1945 1953 1957
FLAT CARS 101,120 (14) 115-119 (5) 115-119 (5) 103-107,112, 119 (7) 103-110, 112 (9)
GONDOLA (Wood) (4) 111-114, 120 (5) 111-114, 120 (5) 114, 116, 117 (3) 116, 117 (2)
GONDOLA (Steel) 501 (1) 501 (1) 502, 503 (2) 502-503 (2)
AIR DUMP (Clark) 801-807 (7) 801-807 (7) 801-808 (8) 801-816 (16) None - Note D
STEEL HOPPER 1001-1900 (900) 1001-1900 (900) Note A X40-X46 (6) Note B X41-X46 (6)
PASSENGER CARS (2) (3) Note E (3) Note E None - Note C (3)
TOTAL CARS REPORTED 929 921 22 34 22
The information in the table below was taken from issues of the "OFFICIAL RAILWAY EQUIPMENT REGISTER" for the respective years. To the best of my ability, the car numbers for each year are indicated with the total number of that category in ( ). Notice that some car numbers changed categories over the years. For example, between 1945 and 1953 flat cars #116 and #117 turned into wood gondolas, and wood gondola #112 turned into a flat. As far as I can tell, the Register listed only BC&G cars, not cars of the ERC&L logging or gob operations. Also, the STEEL HOPPERS before 1945 are the interchange hoppers, not MOW cars.
Note A - All the BC&G hoppers in the Registry for 1945 are listed under B&O (see ROLLING STOCK, Freight Cars)
Note B - This must be a typographical error in the Registry. It apparently should have read X41-X46
Note C - It is unclear why the three passenger cars were were not listed in the 1953 Registry
Note D - #201, #202 and 203 came into MOW service in 1958. See CLARK SIDE DUMP GONDOLAS below
Note E - As Coaches #16 and #17 did arrive until 1949, there must have been other coaches on the roster in these years
(See also FLAT #108 below with Crane X-5)
According to the Equipment Registry, the BC&G had three all-steel gondolas during the 1945 to 1957 period. My search, however, has not uncovered any confirmed photos of these cars. A steel gondolas is just visible in the color photo of wood gondola #116 above as well as in the black and white Ameling photo of flat #107 above. The steel gondola in the 1963 color photo by Marquis of flat #107 above appears to be lettered for the Chesapeake & Ohio, although this might be one of the cars listed in the registry.
According to the 1950 BC&G Financial Statement in my collection, gondolas #502 and #503 were acquired in 1950. This is consistent with data from the Registry.
Three color photos - David Marquis photo circa 1963
David Marquis photo circa 1963
The ERC&L had about 30 Clark air-dump hoppers for use in gob service. A few of this type of car were lettered for the BC&G and used in MOW service. According to the Registry, as many as 16 were used by the BC&G in 1953.
I've seen only one photo showing Clark air-dump cars actually in use in MOW service on the BC&G (see below). All other photos show them in storage at Dundon. For images of the Clark cars in gob service, click here.
These excellent photographs show cars #202 (top left) and #203. Interestingly, these specific numbers do not appear in the 1957 Registry. It was around 1958 that diesel trucks took over gob duties and so these cars might have found there way down to the BC&G at that time. Perhaps a later edition of the Registry will show just when.
The Official Railway Equipment Registry lists the BC&G wood gondolas under a two different descriptions... "Fixed End, Solid Bottom, Wood Floor" and "Fixed Wood Ends, Solid Bottom, Wood Sides & Floor". For purposes here, including the roster table above, I've grouped them together. The photo to the left shows wooden gondola #116. It looks to be a flat car with wood sides and ends added. I have seen only one photo of this gondola on the BC&G other than in the Dundon yard.
This model of BC&G X41 was built from the photo on the left. I've included it here as it shows a little more clearly the lettering scheme on the car.
Howard Ameling photo circa 1963
Richard Manning collection
In the 20's and 30's and at least through 1940, the BC&G had 900 steel 50-ton hoppers in revenue service. By the end of operations in the early 1960's only 6 remained in MOW service. These cars were numbered X41 through X46. The photo above left is the only one I've seen of one of these cars. Whether all 6 cars had this paint scheme is not known. In the upper left corner it reads "Not for Revenue Servide". See CAR ROSTER chart above and ROLLING STOCK - Freight page for additional information about these hoppers.
The photo of X41 was taken a Bower Coal Company, a very small coal retailer located on the siding behind the Dundon Station. According to Patsy Baughman, Bower provided coal to residents of Dundon.
The most impressive piece of hardware on the BC&G roster of MOW equipment was Industrial Works ex-Seaboard Airline's 60-ton wreck crane X-5 built by Industrial Work (Bay City, MI) in 1907 (c/n #1847). Note: the capacity has generally been reported as 150-tons.) It was painted black with yellow lettering and steps in the late 1950's. I have found no information about when the BC&G acquired the crane although I have a boiler inspection for it dated 1952.
There was a tender flatcar #108 that was fitted with a tank for water for the steam powered crane. Flatcar #108 does not appear in the 1945 Railway Registry but does appear in the 1953 issue. Perhaps the crane was acquired in that period, but this is only speculation.
While the BC&G rostered 3 "passenger cars", #X-6, #16 and #17 after 1949, I've only included X-6 here. Cars #16 and #17 were used primarily as cabooses, doubling as passenger cars. They are documented on the ROLLING STOCK - Passenger and ROLLING STOCK - Caboose pages. In the later years the ex-Reading combine X-6 wore "Dining Car" lettering on its side and was fitted with a kitchen in the baggage area and a long table down the passenger section. It was used primarily in MOW service and on fan trips.
The photo on the right was reportedly taken while the car was in use as a crew dining car during the rebuilding of the Sand Fork bridge after the dynamiting in 1952. I wonder what was for lunch?
Photographer unknown both photos
Two photos - Howard Ameling May 29, 1961
Below are two photos of the X-6 at work. The left photo was taken on or near the gob pile. The right photo is at Dundon yard. That's Clark side-dump hopper #807 being worked on in the photo below. The photo is dated April 3, 1958 and so the fact that this car is not in the 1957 Registry listing is curious.
Richard Manning collection - August 1956
John Killoran photo - April 3, 1958
Every time I go through my photo collection I find something new, especially if I go looking for some one thing in particular. I've had this photo in my collection for quite some time but while I was scouring photos for images of BC&G hoppers and Clark side-dump cars in MOW service, I noticed this one. Low and behold, this looks like a photo of a BC&G work train! Click on the image to enlarge it and you can see that that's a BC&G hopper and BC&G Clark #805. Unfortunately, the number of the BC&G hopper is not discernable so we can't be sure it's one of the MOW cars (see below), but given that all the revenue hoppers were apparently on the B&O books by 1945, it's a good bet it is. Clark dumper #805 would be consistent with the Railway Registry data. And #17 as caboose is consistent with the practice in 1951 as the ex-B&O caboose didn't arrive until 1959.
One thing that is very curious about this image, however, is that the train is at the B&O interchange seemingly heading out on the B&O main (track in foreground). The two hoppers appear to be loaded with the same material...coal from the mine for interchange? But the Clark cars weren't used in interchange. Maybe ballast? Why would the train be headed onto the B&O?
John Armstrong September 19, 1951
Cody Burdette uncovered some interesting information about the gondolas in a conversation with Mr. Artie Barkley, an employee at Cass Scenic RR. Artie reports that he and some other men went to Dundon with Cody's dad, Theodore, in the late 1960's to get some of the BC&G equipment and that there were 2 gondolas in the cars they brought back. It can be assumed these were #502 and #503. Artie further reports that Cass later cut the sides off and made tourist riding cars out of them! According to Artie, these cars are still in service! These may be the only ex-BC&G cars still in service anywhere! I will try to get a photo to include on this site.
Tony Reagle has indicated that in THE LOG TRAIN (Issue 53) entitled "Cass Scenic Railroad All-Time Roster" by Phil Bagdon there is reference to a steel gondola acquired from the BC&G. The only gondola listed was ex-C&O No. 29264 (originally Hocking Valley) that "operated as a work train car on the BC&G in its C&O lettering". It was donated by Pittston Coal Co. in 1970 and scrapped in 1973. This gondola may be the one visible on the right side of the David Marquis photo of flat car #107 above.
Clark Side-Dump Gondola Reference Information
Detailed information on the Clark side-dump gondola is a bit hard to come by. In order to build the models I wanted for my layout, I did some research, and with help from Don Thompson, President of S HELPER SERVICE, I was able to obtain a 1:12 engineering general arrangement drawing of a Clark car identical to the ones owned by the ERC&L. The drawing is too large to reproduce here. The illustration above is from a booklet on NYC's roster from the mid-1940s. What is not obvious from this drawing is the complexity of the linkages attached to the bottom of each of the vertical ribs on the side doors.
These cars were manufactured by the Clark Car Company of Pittsburg, PA. Cars of this design were apparently also manufactured by other companies as a NYC roster shows Clark gondolas built by Bethlehem Steel of Johnstown, PA as well as GSC Company of Greenville, PA. The engineering GA drawing I obtained showed a "Clark car" built by Cambria Steel Company of Johnstown, PA.
The exact date of the production runs is not known, although the Clark company is believed to have been in business from 1908-1929. The general arrangement drawing I obtained is dated 1917. The NYC roster shows a total of 203 Clark cars of various sizes built between 1923 and 1927.
According to the 1928 Car Builders Cyclopedia as reproduced in Volume 26 of the TRAIN SHED CYCLOPEDIA "Railway Service Cars 1928-1943" (thanks to Dave Katona for leading me to this book!), the Clark Company cars were based on the principle of balancing the load with the moving parts of the car as to require minimum power to open and close. The company claimed it took on 23% as much air to dump and close these cars compared to other side-dump designs of the time. Dumping was actuated by air cylinders mounted on the ends of the car, as opposed to the more common under-car position. The cylinders, pinned to the center of each end of the gondola body, pushed the body laterally. The body tipped as a result of a circular surface fixed to the underside of the body that rolled on a flat surface on the chassis. A complex set of linkages under the body (4 links each 12" to 18" long in 6 places along each side) restrained the body, controlled its motion and opened the side.
There were two series of Clark cars...G and H series. The G-series cars, the type owned by the ERC&L, could dump to either side but required manual intervention to switch the direction of dumping. The air cylinders had to be disconnected from the bulkheads, pivoted horizontally around the center pin and then reattached to the bulkhead to permit pushing the body the opposite way. The H-series cars, on the other hand, had two cylinders at each end and could dump to either side at any time. The G-series were far more common. Both series came in capacities ranging from 20 to 50 cubic feet level full and weight capacities up to 140,000 pounds.
Drawing courtesy of Jim Dennis
These photos of a BC&G Fairmont speeder were provided by Doug Andre. They was taken sometime in the 1980's. This is the only color photo I know of that shows a BC&G speeder in this much detail. The young man in the right hand photo is Brent Legg.
John Brown, who visited the BC&G several times in the later years and is an owner/operator/expert in speeders has the following observations about Doug's photos:
"From looking at the pictures I would say it was a M9 as it looks like it has a short wheelbase. Also looks like from the plate on the front that the motor has been removed and I would say from the height of the patch it was an ROC single-plug hand-crank motor with the usual water hopper over the engine to condense the steam and return it as water for the motor. I doubt the BC&G would have spent more money on an electric-start chain driven 2 cylinder speeder. M9's were popular because they were the lightest and cheapest of the speeders from Fairmont."
I found this photo by Paul Larson in my collection although I don't recall where it came from. This speeder looks to be of the same type as the Andre photos. This picture was taken in front of the Cressmont dairy in the later years. It's the only one I'm aware of showing a speeder in service.
This photo above right is interesting because it shows all three Clark gondolas along with X-5 and flat 108, confirming that in the end there were at least that many in MOW service. For some reason, photos of #202 and #203 show up more frequently, but the photo of #201 (above right) recently appeared on the internet, confirming that the three cars were numbered #201, 202 and 203.
Bob Slavy photo circa 1970s
Bob Slavy took these two photos of the crane and flat #108. These two views will be of great help to anyone trying to model these two cars. The pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them. The detail of the machinery in X-5 is clearly visible as is the interesting rivet pattern on the end of the water tank on #108. These color photos also make it clear the lettering was yellow on all the MOW cars during this period.
This is a wonderful detail photo by David Marquis of one of the Clark cars. Besides the details of the construction, this photo is particularly interesting because the ERC&L lettering is fainlty visible under the BC&G letters. This confirms that this car, anyway, was at one time in gob service. This would be a very interesting detail to model.
Here are three of the most unusual BC&G photos that one might ever find! First of all, it takes a real railfan to even realize the significance of event. Taken by John Phillips in October 1958, they show the BC&G shop crews rebuilding Clark gons, presumably to go into MOW service on the BC&G. Based on how far disassembled the cars are, the rebuilds were very complete.
The pin on the end of the gon body that the air cylinder pushes on is clearly visible in the photo above. On the right two workman are sitting on the end of one of the frames.
Richard Manning can be seen strolling the work site.
John Phillips 3 photos 10-58
This photo was taken by Bob Amon in May of 1963. It is a relatively rare color photo of X-5. Obviously, the crane has a fresh coat of paint, no doubt in preparation for a railfan weekend. The passenger car in the background also appears freshly painted as does the tender flat coupled to the crane.
Bob Amon photo - May 1963
Richard Bradley captured these two images of crane X-5 during a visit to the BC&G in July of 1969. The crane looks in pretty good shape considering that the railroad had been closed for four years by this time.
Notice that the safety rail along the machinery is painted red (below).
Two photos - Richard Bradley July 1969
The photo above was offered for sale on Ebay. The date and photographer are unknown, but there is a steel gondola clearly visible. While the lettering is not readable, there seems to be lettering high along the sides, not unlike the location of the C&O lettering on gon in the Marquis photo above although the car is much more heavily weathered here. This car also appears to be similar to one in the photo on page 42 of the Warden book showing the Shay pulling a gon in MOW service. The loco has a diamond logo so the date is probably 1962 or later.
Photographer unknown 9-58
Lurking behind this handsome portrait of Shay #19 is gondola #117. This is the only photo I've ever seen of this particular car. The appearance of this car is consistent with the data in the roster listed at the top of the page. It appears to be of the same construction as #116 above. In this photo it is spotted at Swandale.
Cody Burdette, former ERC&L hostler and son of ERC&L engineer Theodore Burdette, observed that this photo is a bit unusual in that the #19 has the 3-chime Crosby whistle mounted that was normally on one of the BC&G engines! Cody is an expert on steam whistles and has a large collection of these unique pieces of history. Cody further indicates that the gondola #117 is filled with coal that is probably scheduled to head out on Lilly Fork the next morning. Coal was used in stoves at Starcher, required for Climax #3 and was also distributed to residents who lived along the logging branch.