PRR Class X23 - 40' Single Door, Single sheathed boxcars

General information:

     The class X23 box car was adopted by the Pennsylvania Railroad as a standard boxcar in 1912. It was their first 40-foot standard box car (nominal length), and was also their first built with a steel underframe, steel body framing and wood sheathing. Technically it was known as a composite single-sheathed house car. It was also the first PRR box car to be built using a combined alpha-numeric designation as all previous PRR box car classes had been identified using only alphabetical characters (XA through XL). The class X23, as built, had a light weight of about 48,000-pounds, a nominal capacity of 100,000 pounds and a cubic capacity of 2,682-cubic feet. The first car (PRR 40001) was built by the railroad’s Altoona Car Shops and was placed in service during November 1912. Between November 1912, and December 1915, when the last car was completed, 6,911 class X23 box cars had been built by five different organizations. The railroad had built 1,011 cars at its Altoona Car Shops, the Pressed Steel Car Company had built 3,000 cars at its McKees Rocks plant, the Western Steel Car & Foundry Company had built 1,700 at its Hegewisch plant, the American Car & Foundry Company had built 600 at its Berwick plant and the Standard Steel Car Company had built 600 cars at its Butler plant.
The basic configuration of the X23 boxcar was also the basis for the class R7 refrigerator car, of which the PRR had 3,304, the class class K7 stockcar of which the PRR had 25, and the class class X24 automobile car, of which the PRR had 2,000.
     In 1943, during World War II, the PRR was experiencing a shortage of cabin cars (cabin car is a PRR term for caboose ) so 75 class X-23 box cars were converted to cabin cars and designated as class NX23.
     As the class X23’s began to fall out of favor for revenue uses because of age, having been replaced by more modern all steel cars with greater load carrying capacities, they began being removed from revenue service. Many of these now out of service cars were transferred to work equipment service. When the shortage of cabin cars was relieved, also by the delivery of newer cars, many class NX23 cabins were also reassigned to work equipment service over a period of time. Interestingly, two class NX23 cabins actually remained on the freight car roster into the Penn Central era.
     Most of the class X23 box cars converted to work equipment service were designated as "Tool and Supply", "Tool and Material" or "Supply" cars. The conversion from revenue to work equipment service included the installation of end doors and four rectangular windows on each side of the car. This was the most typical configuration. However, the class NX23 cabins that were converted to work equipment retained the porthole style windows. These tool, material and supply cars were a general-purpose car designed to be used for a variety of maintenance related tasks. Many of these cars lasted well into the 1960s and 1970s in their work equipment status.
                    Prepared for the Northern Ohio Railway Museum by Alan B. Buchan and Robert L. Johnson - PRRT&HS, used here with permission.

Details of 1913 ACF Berwick order for 600 X23 box cars.

 X23X23a coke carX23b round roof
Capacity (lbs)100,000100,000100,000
Weight (lbs)40,000 46,900
Cubic Capy (cu ft)286228623067
Distance between truck centers32'6"32'6"32'6"
Length over strikers42'6"42'6"42'6"
Outside width over side sill9'0.5"9'0.5"9'0.5"
Inside width8'10"8'10"8'9.5"
Door width6'6'6'

Types of trucks used

ClassCarNumbersTruck ClassTruck NameQty cars:
X23  2D-F1Arch Bar  
X23  2D-F2Crown  
X23  2D-F4   
X23  2D-F4a   
X23  2D-F8P.R.R.  
X23a  2D-F8P.R.R.  
X23b  2D-F8P.R.R.  
Truck data is from PRR documents circa 1940's. Other truck classes may also have been used.

Cars on the PRR roster (as listed in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER)):

ClassCarNumberAAR ClassPRR Oct 44PRR Oct 48PRR Apr 52PRR Oct 53PRR Oct 58PRR Oct 63PRR Apr 68
Roster data compiled by Rich Orr

Modeling Information:

X23HOH-1640' PRR X23 wood outside braced boxcarWoodenno rivet detail
X23OO-1640' PRR X23 wood outside braced boxcarWoodenno rivet detail
Cannonball Car Shops
X23HO438640' X23 Boxcarplastic kitwrong roof & underframe, see June '86 MR
X23HOOMI 3068X23 Box Carbrass - rtr-
Rail Classics
X23HO-40' PRR X23 boxcarBrass - Rtr-
Red Ball
X23HO438640' X23 Boxcarwood/metal kitwrong roof & underframe, see June '86 MR
X23HO10001X23 ORIGINAL, PRR/PLresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10002X23 ORIGINAL, PL UNION LINEresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10003X23 ORIGINAL, CVRR/VRRresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10051X23 ORIGINAL, NEW ROOFresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10052X23 REBUILT, OLD DOOR, NEW ROOFresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10053X23 REBUILT, NEW DOOR, NEW ROOFresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10054X23 REBUILT, OLD DOOR, OLD ROOFresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO10055X23 REBUILT, NEW DOOR, OLD ROOFresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23-MOWHO10058X23 CAMP CAR, CRECO DOORresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23-MOWHO10059X23 CAMP CAR, YOUNGSTOWN DOORresin kit w/ 1 piece body & decals-
X23HO-40' X23 BoxcarResin Kit w/ decalsReleased. Need to add details!

Photos online:

Report MarkClassDescriptionLocationDatePhotographer
PRR ??????X23small photounknown-PRR photo (B&W), from Rail Classics's site)
PRR ??????X23acoke car small photounknown-PRR photo (B&W), from Rail Classics's site)
PRR 499277X23in MOW serviceMingo Jct., OH5/15/74Ed Martin (Kodachrome 64)
PRR 499656X23at NYC MuseumElkhart, IN9/99Rob Schoenberg

Photos in print:

ClassPublicationPageCar NoSchemeLocationDateComments
X23Keystone Vol 3, #36PRR 40001NK3---
X23Keystone Vol 3, #37PRR 562630NK4---
X23PRR Color Guide Vol 2109PRR 499323----
X23bCars of the Pennsy43PRR 501822CK-9/39-
X23-mowCars of the Pennsy61PRR 499376--7/44-
X23-mowPRR Color Guide Vol 1117PRR 499255CK-mow-8/66-
X23-mowPRR Color Guide Vol 1117PRR 499271mow-grey-4/74-
X23-mowPRR Color Guide Vol 3112PRR 499373mow-yellow---

Equipment Diagrams online:

Class(es)tracing #View

Plans and diagrams in print:

Applicable ClassesTypePublicationPageDescriptionTracing Number
X23PlanModel Railroader-4/7136
X23PlanModel Railroader-7/7114(correction)
X23PlanRail Model Craftsman-1/4717

X23PlanRail Model Craftsman-10/6033

X23PlanRail Model Craftsman-7/5540

X23aClass DiagramPennsy Car Plans87coke car
X23aClass DiagramPRR Pass. & Frt. Car Diagrams69Coke Car
X23bClass DiagramPRR Pass. & Frt. Car Diagrams70

Detail photos:

Detail photos of X23 #499656, located at the New York Central Museum in Elkhart, IN.


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