Moloco - HO Scale - St. Cloud Built 50 ft XM 15-0 Double-Slider Offset Door Boxcar - Great Northern (GN) #GN 35097 (F. 1-57) - Delivery 1957 Vermillion Red (Circular Reflectors), Black, White With White Lettering (SKU 504-70501-03)
Available On: December 1, 2023
After many years of successful 40-foot boxcar design and manufacturing at the Great Northern (St. Cloud) Shops in St. Cloud, MN, times were changing and that meant cars needed to get longer. In late 1956 the St. Cloud Shops started to build one of their most successful group of 50-foot general service boxcar designs. The offset double-slider arrangement had pre-manufactured Youngstown sides along with off the shelf items to make up the bulk of the car design. This was a direct response to current and future on-line shippers from the forestry, metals and minerals industries. Eventually St. Cloud made 1000 cars for the GN and an additional 500 cars for sibling Spokane, Portland and Seattle (SP&S). So, basically these were the main workhorses on the GN and SP&S for a couple of decades.
Even though the finance was secured, raw materials and parts purchased and parts made in 1956, it wasn't until January 1957 for the first ones to roll out the door. They all had distinctive diagonal panel gussets on either side of the door opening which was to strengthen the fifteen-foot door opening for mechanized loading. The door opening was becoming the new standard to forklift loading methods more common in the industries served. Being of Plate B clearance standard translated to unlimited service to all rail lines in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
These cars came in multiple paint schemes, but the initial orders came in Vermillion Red with "super" large Slanted GREAT NORTHERN lettering on the right side of the car body. GN was not shy about advertising! Later on they received variations of that scheme, as well as the Empire scheme in Vermillion and Glacier Green with GN finishing up post 1966 with the Big Sky Blue. Of course, the paint kept on rolling into the BN era, with several subtle variations in the railroad green scheme. Some were straight repaints while after 1973 most were taken through a few Capital Rebuild Programs (CRP) at a number of shops.