Tuesday 20 March 2012

B&M Milk Cars #1900-1934

Builder's Photo

B&M 50' Milk Cars
The last milk cars built for the Boston and Maine Ry.

The Boston and Maine took delivery in late 1957 and early 1958 of 35 all steel replacement milk cars as older cars where being retired. These turned out to be the last milk cars ever built. They fell into two groups. 15 cars numbered 1900-1914 are mechanically refrigerated cars and are the four door version. These milk cars assignment was the Bellows Falls to Boston run for the Bellows Falls Creamery and First National Stores which sent processed milk  in glass containers. The second group, 20 cars numbering 1915-1934 are two door ice cooled models. These milk cars held 300 to 500 cans and would be used in general milk service. The milk cars came painted completely black wearing the McGinnis blue and white herald. Over the years they weathered to a dark green tone.

I was following the WRJ Glory Days train ,which was running to South Royalton. I came across an ex-B&M single door milk car while chasing the train at Sharon, Vermont Sept 12, 1998. This is were the CV transfer yard once was...George Dutka photo
Restored B&M #1920, Sept 30, 1994 at Essex, Ct.
B&M milk car #1920 truck, Sept. 1994.

The cars features included steam heat lines, air signal lines and marker brackets which I find interesting since cabooses, coaches and combines would have been still in use at the tail end of the milk carrying trains. Also during that era passenger trains were disappearing at a fast rate with may becoming Budd car only trains. By the mid 1960's many of these milk cars became storage units along the railroad as milk was being moved by trucks. Seems a shame such a new car became useless.

Two milk cars were purchased in 1989 and are preserved at The Railroad Museum of New England. They are 1910 a four door  and 1920 a two door version. B&M 1920 condition was the best of the two and became fully restored in 1992.

In my next post I will cover the simple construction of a two door version of the B&M 50' milk car...George

Unknown photographer, George Dutka collection

At Mechanicsville, NY April 22, 1990 George Dutka photo
North Walpole, NH May 15, 1996 George Dutka photo
Mechanicsville, NY May 19 1992 Warren Dodgson photo

Mechanicsville, NY May 19, 1992 Warren Dodgson photo


  1. Hi;
    The 4 door version are intriguing. Looks like the louver work is a good place for using, Archer louvers. Would you know what style roof these cars used? Did both cars use the same style roof?

    Jeff Sankus

  2. These pictures are excellent. I am building a scratchbuilt model of the car, and this post will be very useful! Thanks.

  3. Hi Ben:
    I am glad you found something of interest in the post...George