McCloud River Railroad
Centerbeam Flat Cars
Lumber has traditionally moved over the McCloud River Railroad in boxcars or on flatcars. By the early 1980s, bulkhead flats handled almost all lumber movements. However, lumber producers came to prefer centerbeam flat cars over all other types of lumber hauling cars, mostly because of their ease of loading and unloading and the amount of lumber that could be loaded onto each car.
Itel Rail first leased centerbeam flatcars to the McCloud River Railroad in 1988; however, Itel used the cars elsewhere. The centerbeams did not start to become common on McCloud rails until a few years after the McCloud Railway started operations, specifically when Sierra Pacific Industries transitioned from loading bulkhead flatcars to centerbeams. Per diem payments on centerbeams usually ran about $1 per hour, but the railroad did not have to pay per diem on these cars- now owned by GE Capital- for time spent in McCloud. These cars became the most common type of car used by McCloud through the last years of freight operations. In addition to handling freight, the McCloud Railway would also use wreck damaged cars as tie flats and other maintenance-of-way work.
9000-9099: FBS-class, 73-foot centerbeam flatcars, all owned by Itel and leased to lumber companyies, mostly Longtree Lumber. 100 cars reported in 1988-1989, 97 cars 1991-1994, 94 cars in 1996, 93 cars 1997-1998, 49 cars in 1999, 17 cars in 2000, 1 car 2001-2011.
9100-9299: FBC-class 73-foot centerbeam flatcars. Leased 10/12/89 from Itel and assigned 9/25/89 to Southern Railway of British Columbia. Cars in this series numbered 200 in 1988, 155 cars in 1989, 180 cars 1991-1994, 93 cars in 1996, 88 cars 1997-2001, 87 cars in 2002, 127 cars 2003-2004, 125 cars in 2005, and 123-124 cars 2006-2011. Approximately 50 of these cars remained stored in McCloud between 2006-2011, with those cars sent to the City of Prineville Railway for continued storage there. Nine or ten wreck damaged cars from this series, including the single car from the 9000-9099 series, remained in McCloud until scrapped in the fall of 2013.
30000-30174: FBC-class 73-foot centerbeam flatcars. Leased 10/12/89 from Itel and assigned 9/25/89 to Southern Railway of British Columbia. Cars in this series numbered 149 in 1991, 148 cars 1992-1994, 147 cars in 1996, 146 cars 1997-1998, 145 cars 1998-1999, 144 cars 2000-2002, 143 cars in 2004, 142 cars 2005-2006, 138 cars in 2007, 139 cars in 2008, and 138 cars 2009-2011. Most of these cars scrapped early 2011 after a lengthy period of storage in Montana.
MR 9000 in Toledo, Ohio, on 10 June 1988. Jeff Moore.
MR 9112 at Berry in June 2006. Jeff Moore.
MR 9118 at Berry in June 2006. Jeff Moore.
MR 9126 near Milepost B-38 in June 2006. Jeff Moore.
Someone had some fun with the safety warnings on a MR car. Jeff Moore.
Loaded centerbeams at Berry in June 2006. Jeff Moore
Newly idled centerbeams in the Mt. Shasta yard in August 2006. The cars would shortly be brought into McCloud for storage. Jeff Moore.
Stored centerbeams in the McCloud yard in August 2010. Jeff Moore.