Unfortunately, there's precious little available information or photos of the Baltimore & Ohio class P-11 flatcar (106002-106699 series). I know Google is my friend, but sometimes friends let you down. Thankfully, Google isn't my only friend - I put the question out on the internet (through my blog and the Steam Era Freight Car yahoo group - a.k.a. "STMFC") and got some great information back.
I always thought the mighty B&O was all nice and profitable until the Dark Ages of the 1960s when Merger Mania happened. But apparently, it had its share of hard times and bankruptcies just like most other railroads. And in 1901, just as it was coming out of bankruptcy, the Mighty Pennsylvania Railroad gained control. It was during this period, specifically in 1902, that the B&O's class P-11 flatcars were built - duplicates of the PRR's FM class cars.
|Great image from here|
By contrast, there were only 485 P-11s left in service as of the October, 1948 ORER - this out of a total flat car roster that year of 829 cars, all but 19 of which were of 50 ton capacity.
|Ogden, UT - September 3, 1947|
It certainly wouldn't be much of a stretch to have Welin ship a boat or two along the Shore Line through Saybrook - at least that's what I'm counting on!
And if I wanted at some point to follow a prototype conversion, I have Tim O'Connor to thank for a photo of one of the P-11s used for pulpwood service:
I don't have much use for a pulpwood car on my railroad, but if you do, this F&C kit could provide an appropriate starting point.
Anybody that's read this blog for a while has probably guessed that one of the reasons I'm a prototype modeler is that I really love the research involved. I mentioned to someone recently that it's not as if there's some sort of "freight car kit transubstantiation" that occurs when you're at the workbench, but when I'm building one of these car kits - especially if I've learned anything about the prototype, how it was built, what it was used for, etc. - it's as if I'm working on the real thing. At the very least I hope, through engaging with the kit this way - and sharing my experience here - that I'm able to help keep the memory of these lowly freight haulers alive, at least a little.
* * *Thanks again to Gary Laakso for the boat photo, to Ed Bommer for the additional information on those shipments, and Tim O'Connor for additional photos. And a very special thanks to Eric Hansmann for the PRR prototype info and other great tidbits about these cars. Click here for photos of one he built from this same kit.