John's Cookie car in Andrews

Murphy P
 

Greetings! I am ever so slowly making a list of all John's cars and was intrigued by a Rio Grande Cookie Box. I believe the last number is a 2 as it is slender, and the other number next to it could be a 3 or an 8, so if numbers ran from 60000-60076, then it would have to be a 3, thus my projection is 60032 for John's car, unless we can find a better photo through our group. I can see why John would pick 60032 as it was in the first batch of Rio Grande box cars placed into specialized cookie service.

 

This cookie car is shocking to me as it was a mid to late 1950's car and I thought John's window of history was the 1940's based on the locomotive, truss-rod freight cars and other items that date the layout to post 1918 to the 1940's. The Vista Domes and other short domes first came to North American railroads from 1947-1949 with advertisements announcing the first dome cars in 1945, so even John's streamlined passenger train dates to the 1940's.

 

Even the VW bus on the layout according to Whit Towers was a joke that stuck, like the snake put into the scenery overlooking the tracks near Helengon Gap. John had remarked one night to some of the Gorre and Daphetid Railroad operators that he was looking for a Ford COE delivery truck (cab over engine, "COE") for the Gorre Live Steamers, when some young operator at a later date gave John or placed on the layout a VW buss. Whit said John thought the bus was funny next to the Ruptured Duck as both types were completely different than what came before them on the rails or over the road with the bus. Because of John's dwindling health at this time, he might have just ignored the issue and never got to swapping out the VW buss for a Ford COE delivery truck. So the VW bus was a fun loving accident and not truly planned, which keeps the layout in the 1940's predominantly. John's triple load of new looking yellow bulldozers are models manufactured in the 1940's.

 

Looking through the Rio Grande Color Guide book.  There is a photo of a 40' Cookie Box Rio Grande box car with the caption as follows:

 

D&RGW 60028 XI Series 60000-60076, The Rio Grande's famous "Cookie Box" cars were used in Keebler baked goods service out of their Denver plant to regional distribution centers throughout the West.  The cars were converted from random 67500-69899 series Pressed Steel box cars, with the 60000-60036 being rebuilt in 1954-1955, the 60037-60046 in 1959, and the 60047-60076 in 1961.  An eye-catching all-silver paint job with black lettering was applied to most cars, with the distinctive "Cooke Box" logo in red as worn by the 60028, photographed in Denver in November, 1966.  A few cars may have had black ends and some were painted all-white with the same lettering.


The D&RGW had hundreds of the 40' Pressed Steel box cars so it would be great if a model company would offer them for sale.  From what I can tell silver Cookie box car was common, but in looking at several forum post, some old timer say they witnessed white box cars for cookie service, but I have viewed no such photo. Some other forum posts say wood reefer cars has been used before 1954 and painted white for cookie service, but again I have yet to find such a photo. So if someone can find when the Keebler factory was built in Denver, it would better demonstrate the need before 1954 for such a special built fleet to serve just the factory as with the 60000-60076 silver box cars.  60000-60076 cookie service cars had two different doors, Youngstown and Superior doors.

 

"Keebler took its name from Godfrey Keebler, who in 1853 opened a small bakery in Philadelphia. Godfrey's bakery earned the distinction of becoming the first member of a network of local bakeries that later was amalgamated under the Keebler corporate umbrella. The other constituent bakeries opened up in subsequent generations, neighborhood bakeries that operated under the names Streitmann, Hekman, Supreme, and Bowman. The affiliated bakeries came under the control of a single corporate entity when the United Biscuit Company of America was formed in 1927. By the time of United Biscuit's formation, the value of geographically separate bakeries operating under a single organization had proven its worth with the advent of the automobile. A fleet of trucks enabled the locally oriented bakeries to develop into regional bakeries, providing the locomotion for a territory-widening distribution system. By 1944, the network of affiliates comprised 16 bakeries whose geographic scope included markets stretching from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Godfrey Keebler's home city of Philadelphia."

 

Information taken from: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/keebler-foods-company-history/

 

With this large network of North American bakeries, Rio Grande could have used wood reefers lettered for cookie service, but most likely just used generic Rio Grande wood ice reefers from its pool of freight cars.

 

The 60000-60076 box cars according to Jim Eagers Rio Grande Color Guide book were originally built by Pressed Steel company (1940's IIRC). Some of those 40' Pressed steel box cars were converted to "Cookie Boxes" to service Keebler Cookies. They were replaced in the 1960's with 50' plug door box cars. With a quick look through the Walthers online catalog, there is no plastic HO model that is correct for these Pressed Steel box cars, it would be a kit bash; most/all of the models are at best, stand-in's.

 

A 1937 AAR cars are similar, but a Rio Grande cookie service car is a bit taller.


"I was lucky enough to catch a couple of these cars after they were placed in MofW service, including this on (DRGW 60024AX) at Glenwood Springs CO on September 7, 1988."

 

Rio Grande photos taken from trainorders:

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?11,3169435

 

Thank you again for everyone who makes this community happen, be it a member who reads the online posts to enjoy the GD as a rewarding outlet to relax or those who regularly post, everyone in their own way helps keep the GD alive and make this a great community, Murphy

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