If you are looking for an interesting modeling project, the WP sugar cars might be just the ticket.  Refined sugar is commodity once handled by rail almost exclusively.  Typically sugar was shipped in bags inside boxcars or in covered hoppers.  Some railroads modified existing cars to meet the shipper’s requirements.  One such case was the Western Pacific’s sugar cars converted from AAR boxcars.

The above photo and diagram is from the collection of Tom Lawler.  The engineering drawings shown below are also from Tom Lawler.  I initially saw the picture on the Western Pacific Modeler group on FaceBook.

The railroad built two cars from a lot of 10’6″ interior height boxcars built in 1945 by Mt. Vernon Car Company.   The WP participated in a joint tariff with the Southern Pacific for hauling bulk sugar and needed equipment to support the arrangement.   It appears that the rebuild date of these cars was 12/5/1950.

Here is an example of a car from the Mt’ Vernon build lot.  The cars were equipped with Apex running boards, Ajax hand brakes, ASF A-3 Ride Control trucks and slack adjusters.


I would speculate the original wood floor was removed to facilitate installation and subsequent maintenance.  This might produce an interesting model if done this way.

I think the most interesting thing is that the car was painted silver with the “feather” enameled steel hearld attached to the car like on locomtive tenders.

Here is a shot that I found on eBay showing a SP sugar car and the end of the WP car.

A fellow named Bill Kennedy has produced decal sets for the car in HO and O scale.  The O scale sets are $10 including postage.  Contact Bill at kenfam2 at gmail dot com.

The hearld has a white layer that needs to be applied first.  The decals look good from my perspective.


Thats all for now,


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