A while ago, I commented on an image sent to me by my friend Ray that was a drawing of a car from a very old railroad publication. Of course, it was of the Nickel Plate Line so I was immediately interested. (See Milepost 812 published on March 17)
Well, I asked Ray for a little more info about the images since it came with no captions or anything else. I told him that I was curious if this was an actual car or simply a rendering of some fantasy paint scheme. Unfortunately, it turns out that the drawing was just that, a fantasy paint scheme that existed only in the pages of various railroad publications from the era. As far as he knew, it wasn’t even a “proposed” lettering scheme that never made it off of the drawing board.
You may remember that a long time ago, I had mentioned how the various railroads came to realize that cooperation was more profitable than confrontation and they started to work together to minimize costs when it came to shipments off of their own lines. At first, freight had to be unloaded and then reloaded at each transfer point along the route. But when the various “lines” came into being, the loaded car was simply handed off to the next railroad and sent along its way. Of course, the reduced expenses were pocketed by the railroads and seldom ever made it back to the shippers themselves. These various lines flourished until the government finally intervened and decided that such collusion wasn’t in the best interest of the shippers and made that kind of cooperation illegal.
When Ray answered my initial inquiry, he sent me some other images of similar cars and for the heck of it, I have decided to share some of them here with you. All I can say is that they would have made for some very interesting pieces of rolling stock along the right of way.