The Atlas HO Master 1932 ARA Box Car Western Maryland 27001 models the 1932 ARA box car. The American Railroad Association (ARA), the agency that managed the US railroads during World War I on behalf of the US Government, sought in the 1920s to design a new all steel box car that could serve as a standard for the industry. First introduced in 1923, it was not until the 1932 all steel box car was introduced did the railroads accept a standardized design. Although later designs, such as the 1937 AAR design would prove more popular, the 1932 car was truly revolutionary. For the first time, railroads bought a box car "off the shelf" with all railroads using basically the same design. Previously Mechanical Department's had specified individual designs per railroad.
Road Name and History:
Western Maryland Railway: The Maryland General Assembly chartered the Western Maryland Railway's predecessor line in 1852. A small railroad whose growth was stopped by the Civil War, the WM expanded in western Maryland during the 1870s-1880s. The railroad's major shareholder was the City of Baltimore, which in 1902 sold the railroad to the Gould interests. While closely associated with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Western Maryland remained independent but seeing all the consolidation in the railroad industry joined C&O/B&O in 1967. Western Maryland lost its identity and much of its route structure in 1973 when the small railroad was merged into Chessie System.