ACL Class O-25 boxcars : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

Aside from the Class O-25 boxcar body documented as a storage shed in Albany, GA (see the surviving equipment list), does anyone know of other Class O-25s that have been preserved at museums or privately, or may be in work train service? Were any of these rebuilt by SCL as were some of the Class O-27s?

Also, was it common for the interior ceiling to be lined with wood, or might this have been an alteration when it was made into a storage shed?

These were originally built in 1942 by Pullman Standard. They were in the ACL series 20800 to 21629.

I am trying to build a case for acquiring and preserving the boxcar body in Albany, and need as much information as possible regarding the possible significance of this car. I can get the car, but moving it is the problem right now.

Thanks for your help.

-- Stephen Syfrett (, February 20, 2003


This is an update to my post last year. It has been in the works for over a year, but this past Tuesday, June 29, 2004, this Class O-25 boxcar was returned to live rail, being lifted from cribbing onto trucks from a Class O-27 boxcar. The carbody was donated and moved to Thronateeska Heritage Center in March 2003. The O-27 trucks fit perfectly...even the side bearings were perfect. The number of the car is still unknown, but I'll keep looking. Best possibility at this time is somewhere on the center sill under the half-inch of dirt and grime. A good pressure washing may uncover its true identity.

As of Friday afternoon, the brake rigging had been almost completely transplanted from the O-27 donor car to the O-25. The brake diagram was finally found on the center sill, so modification of the O-27 rigging to fit the O-25 mounting locations for valve, cylinder and reservoir was made a little easier. Although the couplers fit nicely, we discovered the pocket exterior width is about 2 inches wider on the O-25 than on the O-27, and as a consequence we need to find longer keys to hold the couplers in place. It is starting to look like a real functioning boxcar.

Most sheet metal repairs were completed on the ground. All grabs, ladders and stirup steps are yet to be added, but the mechanical work should be done in another week or so. The running boards will be rebuilt as original using wood planks, which will probably not be ready by then.

The car's interior was stripped in order to make all the necessary metal repairs without risk of starting a fire. Only the floor was not removed. It appears that the wood sheathing on the interior of the roof was original to the car. The roof panels had built-in hangars for the bolts that held the center runner in place, and the panels had lips on which the sheathing rested. We salvaged about half of the roof sheathing, and may reinstall it on one half of the car to demonstrate appearance and construction with/without sheathing. None of the side sheathing was salvageable.

As far as I know, this is still the only preserved Class O-25 boxcar. If anyone has discovered another one I would very much like to know its location and general condition.

Stephen Syfrett Albany, GA

-- Stephen Syfrett (, July 02, 2004.

On Tuesday, March 4, 2003, with the assistance of Dougherty County Public Works Department, the Class O-25 (P-S, 1942) car body was loaded and trucked from its former location at the old ACL yard (now Georgia & Florida RailNet) to the grounds of Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany, Georgia for preservation and restoration. The unidentified car is to be restored to its as-built appearance, which it probably retained at least into the mid-1950s. The identity of the car will hopefully be determined during preparation for painting, and if so, the original number will be applied.

Depending on whether parts might be available from other sources, the worst of the ACL Class O-27s (ACF, 1951) at Thronateeska will be used as a donor for the necessary trucks, brake valves and rigging, to the extent possible.

If any technical information concerning the brake rigging on these cars is available, please contact me as soon as possible. The brake rigging diagram plate is missing from the center sill, and this information is crucial for determining how much of the Class O-27 rigging will actually work on the earlier Pullman-Standard car.

Donations to help offset the cost of this effort can be sent to:

Thronateeska Heritage Center 100 West Roosevelt Avenue Albany, GA 31701

Please note your contribution as for "ACL Class O-25 Restoration". Thronateeska is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization, and your contribution to this or any other restoration project is tax deductable. Please check with your tax advisor.

Any assistance in restoring what is possibly the last surviving example of the class would be greatly appreciated.

-- Stephen Syfrett (, March 05, 2003.

I am not aware of any other survivors of this class. A good many were rebuilt in the mid-60s almost in-kind to roadway tool and equipment cars, with the main alteration being a small window added to the side. Some of these lasted 20 years or so but I am fairly sure I haven't seen any in a long time. Others were rebuilt into camp cars with additional windows plus small side and end doors. Several hundred were rebuilt into M-5 cabooses.

-- Larry Goolsby (, February 20, 2003.

It was most common for car builders not to line the roof or ceiling of freight cars. The exception, of course, would be reefers and insulated boxes.

-- Ron Dettmer (, February 20, 2003.

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