54′ Flat Car – USAX 38358

Builder: Magor Car Corporation
Built: 1953
Original Owner: US Army Transportation Corp.
Capacity: 100 Tons
Class: AAR Class FM (general service flat car)
Acquired: 2011

As the Cold War escalated in the 1950’s, the numerous branches of the United States Armed Forces invested in new railroad freight cars to move supplies and equipment across the country. The US Navy bought new boxcars to better protect ammunition, while the Army purchased flatcars better suited for transporting new M48 Patton tanks. Flatcar 38358 and over 600 identical cars were built with six axels and twelve wheels to carry the load of two tanks.

When 38358 and its sister cars were retired, the US Government donated many of them to tourist railroads and museums around the country. In 2011, Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum acquired 38358 and smaller, four axle flatcar 39502 from another museum. Both cars have been restored in their original 1953 US Army Appearance.

Carrying a cargo of historic military vehicles as part of Age of Steam’s first “Steam to Victory” event, 38358 was unveiled publicly in July of 2019. The car has also been put to use around the shop occasionally; both the Roundhouse’s sand tower and locomotive wheel lathe have taken rides on the car as part of their installation at the facility.