Navy railway cars up for auction

By GORDON JACKSON | The Brunswick News, Ga. | Published: September 20, 2012

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Submarines at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay have a life span of about 40 years.

But the rail cars that deliver diesel fuel for the boats last even longer.

Now, five of the post-World War II rail cars specially built by Bethlehem Steel Co. for the Navy in 1949 to deliver fuel have reached the end of their life spans.

The five rail cars, all at Kings Bay, will be on the auction block at the bargain starting bid of $150 each.

Each rail car weighs 25 tons and is capable of holding 10,000 gallons of fuel.

Melissa Gieringer, public relations manager for Government Liquidation, said her company sells anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 government surplus items a week.

While rail cars are among the more unusual items sold by her company, Gieringer said her company's customers are accustomed to selling unique government surplus property.

Her company recently sold the guided missile carrier USS Long Beach at an auction. She could not reveal the selling price because the bids were sealed.

But she did say an 747 jet was sold for the bargain price of $20,000, and a fully operational tugboat was recently purchased for $200,000.

"We also sell lots of military vehicles," she said.

Gieringer said she expects there will be interest in the rail cars. Bidders must register before they can make offers to buy the rail cars or any of the other items sold on the site. Gieringer said it doesn't cost anything to register, and it's easy to do.

The rail cars at Kings Bay cannot be transported off base via the train tracks, so they will have to be removed by truck.

Gieringer said the rail cars can definitely be rehabbed and used for their intended purpose or transformed for small business use to haul anything from vegetable oil and corn syrup to asphalt or water.

"We also love the idea of someone purchasing one for historical display," she said.

Online bidding for each rail car begins at midnight Wednesday and ends at 5 p.m. on Sept. 28.

Because of security restrictions, no on-site visits will be permitted.

Want to bid?

Go to www.govliquidation.com/auction/search for information or to bid on the cars when the auction begins.