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Six Companies Side Dump Car

This car is a Western Wheeled Scraper Company built 8  wheeled dump car, used by the “Six Companies” on their construction railroad used to build Hoover Dam.

The car was built in 1927 (which predates the formation of Six Companies) After the dam was completed, and the construction railroad removed, 40 cars were sold to the Western Pacific Railroad.

This car was sold by the railroad to the Purdy Company scrap yard in Richmond California.  The Pacific Locomotive Association acquired the car from Purdy for use on their historic railroad.

In 2017, they determined the car was surplus to their needs and donated it to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City.

Built by Western Wheeled Scraper Co. of Aurora Ill in June of 1927

The Six Companies Railroad had a total of 66 Western Wheeled Scraper dump cars, 34 purchased new, and 32 purchased used, some of the used cars probably coming from McDonald and Kahn, possibly via United Commercial Co.   

There were several styles of dump cars on the Six Companies railroad.

In photos we see side dump cars with skirts, without skirts, as well as 2 bay hopper cars.  It is not clear if the skirted cars were built with skirts or if they were added later.

Known Numbers (from photos)

110 – without skirts

111 – without skirts

113? – with skirts

115 – without skirts

116 – with skirts?

126 – without skirts

127 – without skirts

134 – without skirts

626 – Hopper

In general, the cars without skirts are lettered “Six Companies Inc” in roughly 12” letters.  These cars appear to be new in several photos.  In general, (with two exceptions) the cars with skirts seem to only carry numbers and capacity information without the large Six Companies lettering.  The skirted dump cars seem to be more weathered and used.  All cars appear to be dark (black or mineral red) with white lettering in all photos

A Bechtel Corporation photo of a train crossing the  Colorado River bridge is noted as being 10 cars in length. (UNLV collection)

It is believed that the side dump cars were primarily used between the quarries in Arizona and the gravel plant, while hoppers were used between the gravel plant and the cement plants.

Six Companies also was awarded the contract to build the Parker Dam, and some railroad equipment was transferred from Boulder Dam to that project.  

40 of the Western Wheeled Scraper Co. cars were later sold to the Western Pacific where the cars were numbered 11001 – 11040.   note: It is not known when the cars were sold to the WP

Davenport locomotive with the side dump car