CONX 50001 – Santa Fe 7176 – Boxcar

The ORM has three “auto boxcars”: Class FE-22s CONX 50001 and CONX 50014, and Class FE-23 CONEX 50020. They were originally built in 1928 by the General American Transportation Corporation, Class FE-S, double-door boxcars with wood bodies, and steel underframes and end cars.

Length: 50 ft.
Weight: 60,180 lbs.

CONX 50001 and 50014 were rebuilt in 1940 at Topeka, KS, as FE-22s with road numbers ATSF 7176 and ATSF 7020. Two hundred FE-22 boxcars were constructed with numbers 7000 – 7199. These auto boxcars were equipped with double doors on one of the ends which opened to provide full width access to the inside of the car for easy loading of vehicles. Auto boxcars were operated by the AT&SF (Santa Fe) RR to transport autos, trucks, farm equipment, and heavy machinery. They were equipped with tie-down chains in floor-mounted storage tubes and other interior components for securing their vehicle loads. Auto boxcars continued in service on the Santa Fe until the 1960’s when they began to sell or scrap the aging cars. The last car of this class was finally retired in 1973.

The Oklahoma Railway Museum’s auto boxcars were used by the Santa Fe to transport Crossly automobiles. No. 7176 was sold in 1964 to the Continental Oil Company (CONOCO) which used the end-loading capabilities for grease drums, etc. It was donated to the ORM by the Continental Oil Company.

When constructed in 1941 the car was delivered with Mineral Brown body and ends, black roof and underbody, and white lettering. It featured the “map scheme” which consisted of a large straight-line map of the Santa Fe system on one side of the center double doors and the slogan of one of the Santa Fe’s crack passenger trains on the other. In the case of this car, the slogan was “The Scout for Economy Travel West.”

CONX 50001/ATSF 7176 is being restored into its ATSF condition. Surprisingly, the car was in very good condition. It is still riding on its original 1920s Dalman two-level trucks and has most of the original wood lining intact in the interior from its rebuild in 1940. It is currently in storage with paintwork mostly completed.

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