Anthony Thompson 512 pages hardcover
This is the fourth volume in a series on Southern Pacific freight cars. It covers box cars, the most numerous type in the SP fleet. The era is roughly from 1865 to 1965. The book contains an extensive array of rosters, photos and, where possible, drawings of the major car classes, along with other material as available, such as construction photos, publicity photos, lettering drawings, and so forth. Survival of the cars over the years is presented, as are numerous photos of the cars in service. The first section of the book contains an introductory section of background information, then covers the early box and combination cars, along with fruit, ventilated and refrigerator cars, and presents the important Huntington-era standard cars. The coverage then turns to the Harriman and post-Harriman designs, and to the World War I era, with several design differences, including USRA cars. The very numerous cars of the 1920s, followed by the all-steel standard designs built before and after World War II are presented in additional chapters. Separate chapters describe modifications to the various classes, the first of the specially-equipped cars, the last of the 50-ton box cars, and finally the box cars of the 1960s. Box cars, of course, make up an essential part of the history of any railroad. The book's 846 photos (36 in color), most from company and museum archives and never before published, together with 92 drawings, extensive rosters, and bibliography, make it unusually complete and authoritative. This book provides a coverage that every railroad enthusiast, and of course Southern Pacific fans in particular, will enjoy. Volume 4 is now newly revised, and is 8 pages longer.