MIn 1931 the effects of the Great Depression took its toll on the Manistee and Northeastern Railroad as it was having serious financial problems. Prominent Manistee industrialist, Philip P. Schnorbach, successfully helped reorganize the Manistee and Northeastern Railway. The Pere Marquette Railroad gained control of the Manistee and Northeastern Railway and Philip P. Schnorbach was elected president of the M&NE.
In the late 1920’s, the Pere Marquette Railroad begin modernizing its fleet of automobile boxcars to all steel construction. As they started to replace cars, they also began rebuilding their 85000 and 86000 series 40’ double sheathed, double door automobile boxcars into single door general freight boxcars. The Manistee and Northeastern 4000 series boxcars were then rebuilt as Pere Marquette cars. The M&NE acquired twelve of
these boxcars to update it fleet of freight cars.
The original Pere Marquette 85000 series boxcars were built in 1922 by Western Steel Car and Foundry. They had a steel underframe and roof, double sheathed sides, steel vertical rib ends and wooden doors. The original Pere Marquette 86000 series boxcars were built in 1923 by Pressed Steel Car Company. These cars had a steel underframe and roof, double sheathed sides, steel horizontal rib ends and corrugated steel doors.
The prototype pictures show what the original Pere Marquette 85000 sand 86000 series boxcars looked like before the rebuild. The picture of the actual M&NE 4011 boxcar is a rebuilt 85000 series boxcar.
For our 2011 Club Car, the Northern Michigan RailRoad Club’s membership wanted to model a railroad that was part of Traverse City’s extensive railroad history. Therefore, we chose to represent the Manistee and Northeastern Railroad. Although not 100% prototypically accurate, we have chosen to continue our relationship with Weaver Models and have decided to use the Crown Weaver 1932 ARA 40’ boxcar. This model has steel
sides and was also used for our prototype photo. Although there are 40’ double sheathed boxcars available from other manufactures, we chose to stick with Weaver because we wanted to maintain our tradition of offering a very small run (100 units), to offer three road numbers instead of only one as well as keep our costs to a minimum. Additionally, being made in the USA helps ensure accurate delivery timeframes.