An ancient scale test car

Ask Trains from the May 2014 issue
TRNAT0514_01
Scale test cars are used to calibrate in-track scales that weigh freight cars. The car shown above was built in 1891 and served until the 1980s.
Jim Battle
Q The car in this picture was in the New York, Susquehanna & Western’s Little Ferry, N.J., yard in September 1978. Do you know if it is still in use? Also, the build date appears wrong. Can you confirm? – Jim Battle, Macedon, N.Y.

A Conrail donated this four-wheel scale test car to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, Pa., in 1989. The build date is correct, as the car was originally built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in its Altoona, Pa., shops in June 1891, according to Larry DeYoung in “Conrail Color Guide to Freight Equipment, Volume 1.” Though functional in 1978, the car was likely pulled from service because of its outdated friction bearings. – Steve Sweeney
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