On Facebook I learned from Ian Clasper that they did renumber their well cars. He also mentioned that it was rare for a covered hopper to be renumbered. I have never seen a grain car (3-bays) renumbered. But I saw a posting of a video that indicates that at least some sand cars (2-bays) did get renumbered.
|1:56 in Video|
Update: this posting is just a few hours old and I've already come across an update. In a Michael Matalis picture of a DPU for a oil unit train, we can see part of the buffer car. I noticed that they have switched from covered hoppers to boxcars. This is probably because the bumper corn harvests the past two years has made covered hoppers too valuable to use as buffer cars. This makes old boxcars valuable enough to renumber. I wonder if they fill the boxcars with the sand barrels like you see in front of bridge piers along interstate highways.
Update: Keon McGarvey has caught a Frisco 3-bay covered hopper that was renumbered and patched for BNSF. (Update of the update: I have learned that BNSF has done a series of "heritage" hopper cars. So this is probably a Frixco heritage car.)
|Photo by Keon McGarvey|
Update: a Jan 15, 2014 train had three 2-bay covered hopper cars, none of which were renumbered.
Update: there are photos of quite a few BN cars in Flickr. None of them have been renumbered, including the handful of 2-bay cars. I believe they are all post merger because the oldest picture was 2010.
Doug Stark provided the following info in a Facebook comment:
I wouldn't say it's common, but in addition to the intermodal cars and other examples cited BNSF patched the BN pole car fleet to BNSF early on, and quite a few ex-ATSF boxcars.