|At the risk of this
sounding somewhat anal. I like Railbox boxcars. Always have done. Right
from when I saw my first one nearly 25 years ago on my first visit to
the USA. The bright yellow paint scheme made them stand out. It wasn't
long before I bought one to run on my model railroad. That model still
runs on my layouts today. A brief word about the history of the Railbox
would not be out of place to preface this album.
The RailBox Company was founded in 1974. It was an effort to address a perceived boxcar shortage in the United States in the 1970s. Under rules in effect at the time, cars owned by operating companies were supposed to be routed back to their owning road as soon as possible or the host road would have to pay charges (called demurrage). This was believed to cause a shortage of available cars as empty cars would be routed back instead of being loaded with a load that took them farther afield.
The main idea behind RailBox was that since they were owned by many of the railroads as a co-operative, their boxcars were not subject to load/empty rules and could be used for loads going anywhere in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The arrow logo and slogan "next load, any road" symbolised this. RailBox cars are all boxcars, (though of many different styles) and are painted yellow with black doors and carry the reporting marks ABOX, FBOX, RBOX and TBOX.
As of 2008, some 13,000 RailBox cars are still in service but with the decline in general boxcar useage, RailBox (and the similar Railgon Company) fortunes took a turn for the worse and they have now become a subsidiary of TTX Corporation.
| TBOX 505026
seen in St Cloud. Note how the graffiti has been cleared
away from the wagons number
|TBOX 601110 looks
quite clean seen here heading East out of Staples