Author Topic: Pennsy Battery Service Boxcar?  (Read 364 times)

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Sharky_McSharknose

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Pennsy Battery Service Boxcar?
« on: February 17, 2021, 06:49:15 PM »
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I recently purchased an HO scale Red Caboose X29 boxcar in a Pennsy gray scheme. The box label says it was a battery service car. Battery service is printed on the boxcar doors. There is also an extra stirrup under each door. I can't find any pictures whatsoever online of either the prototype or the model, not even Intermountain's website. I will post pictures of the model later.

What did battery service entail on the Pennsylvania (or other roads)? Did this mean batteries for locomotives, passenger cars, automobiles, something else? And was the car intended for MOW, or could it have been seen on other railroads? The decoration looks like the kind worn just before the PC merger, which I guess would rule out the latter, but stranger things have happened.

prr7161

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Re: Pennsy Battery Service Boxcar?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2021, 07:23:15 PM »
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If memory serves these cars were used for locomotive battery transfers between major shops.  It's a company service scheme, captive to the PRR.  A lot of these were converted from express service X29s, with extra grabs, steps, and marker light brackets.  Here's a pic of one from the Hagley:



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Sharky_McSharknose

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Re: Pennsy Battery Service Boxcar?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2021, 03:04:25 PM »
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Thank you! I was thinking this car was for loco shop service, but I wanted confirmation. I also thought there was a possibility this boxcar could have been used for auto battery service because of the door stirrups (and loco batteries being too heavy for human handling!) but the fact that the battery service cars were ex-express cars makes more sense.

Anywho, pictures!



nkalanaga

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Re: Pennsy Battery Service Boxcar?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2021, 02:17:35 AM »
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Many signal systems also ran in batteries, so could it have been used for them?
N Kalanaga
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dougnelson

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Re: Pennsy Battery Service Boxcar?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2021, 04:12:09 PM »
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There were batteries in passenger cars and cabin cars to power lights and other things when the cars were not in motion.  The generators charged the batteries while cars were in motion.  Batteries were distributed to maintenance points around the PRR system.