Pick a number...

Santa Fe's horse express cars with their full width end doors are odd enough, but this car is especially peculiar. It was converted to maintenance of way service as a tool car and renumbered with two different numbers! The blown up views show the number on the side (199860) and the number on the end (190860).

So which number is "right?" Well... a Santa Fe live list from 1985 shows a car numbered 199860, but it is all by itself and not part any general number series for tool cars. On the other hand, 190860 IS in the middle of a large series of numbers devoted to tool cars, though a quick check of available photographs doesn't reveal any cars numbered close to 190860. Several other 1990-series all-steel Santa Fe horse express cars wound up in maintenance of way service, but they are no help as they were all numbered in the 205990-series.

The answer apparently is that 199860 is "right" so far as the company is concerned, though one wonders if it was "made right" after an error in the paint shop.

By the way, this car still exists on a spur next to the Barstow, CA depot. It is part of the collection of the Western America Railroad Museum, which also owns FP45 #95 and several cabooses.

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