Sunday, December 11, 2016

Streetcar Snowplow

(Click on image to enlarge)

When I found this photo for sale, I emailed Dan Kleine to ask if he knew anything about it, and what I got back from him was its whole biography:
When the photo was taken it was Gary Railways car, not Gary & Hobart, before that it was a Gary & Southern car.

This is car 8, bought new by the Gary & Southern, 45th to Lottaville, in 1912. Cars 6 & 8 were converted to snow plows for Gary Railways in 1929; car 8 was renumbered P4. Before 1929 the individual lines had merged and were know just as Gary Railways, although the car may have been used on the Hobart tracks. P4 was scrapped in 1939. Car 6, renumbered P3, had the plow at the opposite end of the car and was scrapped in 1941.

Railroads would take old cars and convert them for maintenance service in their own shop, so many of them were one-of-a-kind. They often looked strange and jerry-rigged; that's why photographers and modelers like them.

This is probably a rare photo, there are very few Gary & Southern photos. It has a Merrillville connection. Gary & Southern had 4 cars, 2 coaches numbered 2 & 4, and 2 combines numbered 6 & 8 (a combine has baggage door & compartment). Coach 2 ended up as the KAY-BEE-EATER (photo upstairs in the [Merrillville History] Museum). These cars had steel frames with wooden bodies made by Niles in Cleveland.
So this car ran on the line that eventually connected Gary and Crown Point, and this photo must date between 1929 and 1939.

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