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Rare wooden boxcars from early last century will probably turn up as historic displays.

On June 19 a crane hoisted the second of two boxcars that were salvaged from the wreckage of a building near the railroad tracks in downtown Santa Fe.

One of a half-dozen structures slated for demolition to make way for redevelopment of the city-owned Railyard, most of the building across the tracks from the Santa Fe Southern Depot came down earlier this month. Inside were four boxcars that went out of use around 1930 had been used to construct the bottom level of a two-story building. The Patton Building has served as a warehouse and home with a rooftop garden for roughly the last 75 years.

On the side of each car is the train's "reporting marks," which record the date it was built, its most recent paint job and when its bearings were replaced. On one car, in faint white chalk, the word "condemned" appears in distinct handwriting. Over a layer of weathered yellow paint that was likely the car's original hue, and under a newer layer of orange, are numbers that follow the letters "S.F.R.D."

The cars, built in 1901 and 1913, transported frozen or cold products across the country in ice bunkers, or special compartments, at the end of each car. At stations along the way, crews dumped blocks of ice into the cars through hatches on the car roofs. Much of the produce headed east from the fruit and vegetable fields in California.

The boxcars will be stored in a fenced lot near the railroad tracks until a permanent plan emerges.

[United Transportation Union, 6-20-06, from New Mexican report]