Box Car Door Stencilling : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

Can anyone tell me the meaning/purpose of the small white circle with a vertical line through the center which is stencilled on virtually every Southern boxcar I've seen/photographed?

While we're at it, maybe someone can explain to me the meaning of the stencil which looks like three white horizontal lines with the center line being thicker and having a dot superimposed over it in it's center.

I wish I could draw these for you for clarity's sake, but hopefully you all will recall the marks I'm talking about (if not, look at a photo of a 1970-1980 era Southern boxcar).

Maybe I've been looking at boxcars too long; maybe I'm a rivet counter; but I'm really curious as this information can help me create more accurate models.

Thanks very much.

-- John M. Painter (, December 09, 2002


If I remeber correctly, the first denotes lading strap anchors on the side walls. The second denotes movable bulkheads.

-- Brian Clark (, December 09, 2002.

The circle with the vertical line did mean the car was equipped with lading strap anchors. The horizontal lines above and below the thick line with the circle in it meant the car had removable crossbars. If the lines were vertical, that meant movable bulkheads.

-- Chris Williams (, December 10, 2002.

Brian and Chris,

I want to thank both of you for helping to answer my question concerning box car door markings. I’ve seen these markings for years, and, now that you have explained them, their purpose makes perfect sense! Chris, the additional marking (“removable crossbars”) you described I had interpreted to be a careless application of the first marking (“moveable bulkheads”).

I’ve noticed there’s also a mark for nailable steel floors, but it often has “nailable steel floor” written under it, so that one was easy!

Would either of you (or anyone out there)happen to know when theses stencils are applied (by the carbuilder or the railroad)? Also, are there other markings besides the ones we’ve discussed that you might know about?

I’m looking forward to SRHA completing the stencil diagram book. Maybe that resource will include additional information about these markings.

Thanks again.

-- John Painter (, December 11, 2002.

My company does repair work on both freight and passenger cars and I was referring back to the AAR MSRP books to answer your question. It's impossible to remember all of this so if there is any thing else you want to know, let me know and I'll consult the book.


-- Chris Williams (, December 12, 2002.

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