National Geographic : 1944 Oct
GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAY BETWEEN GREAT LAKES AND PACIFIC It RCas B iw" pwA i BflIA SASKCHEWMN| ONTRI S" " MONTANA ORRE W/SC. , *LIGHTER, FASTER FREIGHT CARS OF PLYWOOD, STEEL AND LUMBER High-speed trucks, equipped with non-harmonic springs and steel wheels, areplaced under framework. Carends are steel. Sheathings of Ys-inch Douglas fir plywood are placed outside and in side steel and lumber superstructure. Combination of Materials Results inSturdiness, Less Weight Construction of the Ameri can railroad industry's first plywood-steel freight cars is under way by Great Northern Railway in its own shops. Another symbol of progres- Interiors are sprayed with varnish. The plywood first is treated with a "sealer" to prevent warping. siveness--one of the many things which make GreatNortherngreat - 1,000 of these new, bright orange-painted freight cars will be in wartime transportation service before winter. Developed by company tech nicians, the modern, 50-ton capacity cars are a combination of steel, Douglas fir plywood and lumber. Lighter-than-conventional steel was utilized for under frames, while lumber and steel form the superstructures. Out side and inside sheathings, in cluding ceilings, are of %-inch plywood. To prevent warping, the plywood is treated with a "sealer." Two tons lighter than the conventional boxcar, the ply wood-steel units roll faster because of high-speed trucks, non-harmonic springs and wrought steel wheels. Steel ends and metal roofs add to sturdiness. Plywood panels are bolted and nailed to superstructureof steel and lumber. Powered by G. N.'s newest 5,400-horsepower diesel locomotives, a 100-car train of plywood-steel cars approachesGlacier National Park en route to the Pacific Northwest.