WHAT'S IN A NAME OR A NUMBER?
By Jeff Livingston, HRS Historian
Originally published in the Akahele I Ke Ka'aahi Sep/Oct. 2010 Vol.40 No. 5
For many years we've known that the 10-ton capacity, 30-foot long wooden OR&L boxcar in the yard bearing the number 829 was incorrectly identified and, shouldn't carry any type of logo. The question always was "What is the real number?"
Through conversations with Henry Bonnell the last Superintendent of the OR&L, our esteemed Historian Emeritus, Bob Paoa determined that the original number was 325. He always had a problem with the corrugated iron roof though.
Through our research at Bishop, we have found the number 325 to be incorrect for this boxcar as it was assigned to a 30-ton wooden boxcar.
Here is a portion transcribed from the 1947 inspection documents we found in the "Sale of Equipment" boxes at Bishop:
305 -307-317- 320 - 321 - 322 - 324 -328 - 610 - 615- 622 - 625
319 - 323 - 602 - 603 - 604 - 604 - 605 -606 - 607 - 608 -609-611 - 616 -617-618 - 619 - 620- 621 -623- 624 - 626 -627 - 630 - 631 -633 - 635 - 636
These cars all have arch bar trucks, 24" wheels with 3"x 51A" journals. There are a few exceptions where the end sills and side sills show deterioration. The wood under frames and bodies in general are in serviceable condition. Cars #320, 321, 322, 328, 610, 615, 622 & 625 have corrugated iron roofs.
This tells us that our boxcar has to be one of the 12 30-foot cars and the note regarding the corrugated iron roof further limits the choice to eight.
Between 1948 and 1972, the OR&L apparently re-numbered their rolling stock at least twice to keep the system simple. None of the wooden boxcars were to be retained for use so they were not affected by any renumbering.
Taking nothing away from Mr. Bonnell, it is likely that he simply didn't remember the exact number of each car. We do believe that it is a 300 series car and with the agreement of the Board of Directors have re-designated this boxcar as No. 322.
(Photo Credit: The photo on page 2 of Boxcar 829 is from the Frinzel Collection.)