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A CIRCULAR OF THE TIMES, I
The passing of the 40 ft. boxcar
SP Pages

Sometimes historical significance clobbers you over the head. When Wx4 Staff spied this memo hanging on the wall at San Jose Telegraph in 1981, we realized that it recorded the passing of the forty foot boxcar, THE standard freight conveyance for most of the century.

A couple of years prior, many still were around, but the double whammy of recession and transportation deregulation turned a boxcar shortage into a surplus, obviating the need for most of these old freighters.

By the mid-1980's the forty footers were so rare that a lumber mill in need of them on the SP 's Lakeview Branch was forced to lease cars from an east coast short line, the North Stratford Railroad.