Southern Pacific Boxcar #6

When the SP narrow gauge had run its last mile in April 1960, some of the ancient rolling stock was being donated to museums or sold complete to private interests, most of the cars were burned or had their metal hardware scrapped and the bodies offered to Owens Valley residents for $100 to $140 delivered, for use as sheds. Even a few cattle cars and a tank car were saved in this manner. Many of the car bodies are still littered around the Valley if one knows where to look, boxcar No. 6. was one of these cars until 2002.

Its story starts sometime in the 1880s when it was built by the Carter Brothers Car builders. No. 6 began its service on the Oregonian Railway. It came to the Nevada & California RR (SP’s name for its narrow gauge) around the time of the Tonopah gold rush in 1904 and was numbered 407. It was renumbered to its current No. 6 in 1945 and remained in service until 1960 when it was detrucked and sold to the Owens Valley Recreation Club. Our No. 6 was placed at Diaz Lake south of Lone Pine as a shed until 2002 when it was donated to the CCRW.

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The late Russel Flemming welding the new truss rods in 2005.

Shortly after it was moved to the Eastern Sierra Museum for restoration. After some initial roof and carpentry work the body was moved over the display track and jacked up to allow a pair of trucks to be placed under. These trucks came from a Dupont factory in Washington state and had to have new bolster center plates cast to match with the originals under the car. New truss rods, a brake cylinder, and couplers were then installed, as well as a brake wheel and proper lettering.

Today No.6 serves as storage for the CCRW, as well as a reminder of the days before shipping containers and interstate highway.

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