Re: Coal Hoppers circa 1907

Ted Schnepf <railsunl@...>

Hi Eric,

I thought Tim's posting was for all USA coal production. The RR's in Appalachia were leaders in the development of steel hoppers. In all other parts of the USA in 1907 much coal was moving in gons or hoppers of much older styles.

Your post made me dig out my 1909 ORER. Unfortunately the railroads at that time did not provide summaries of their equipment. In paging through the ORER there are cars in coal service from 20 to 50 ton. As you mentioned the Appalachian railroads were rapidly going toward 50 ton cars, but all still had some cars in the smaller capacities in coal service. In other regions some 50 ton cars are starting to appear, but the predominate cars are still in the 25, 30 and 40 ton size. An average size coal car would probably be 35-40 tons.

Thanks for your thought provoking post.


At 07:10 PM 7/28/2002 -0400, you wrote:
Ted wrote:

in 1907 the average car was only about 25 to 30 ton capacity. Only a very
few first steel hoppers had been built and wood frames predominated.


Hmmmm...the average 1907 coal hopper? Steel hoppers came into production
in 1897-98 with the PRR GL type of car. The N&W had quite a few hoppers
and gondolas in coal service with wood sides, but steel underframes, and
many were 40 or 50 ton capacity. I think the per car average was above
30 ton capacity. Here are a few figures that I found pretty quickly:

PRR had over 20000 GL class hoppers built between 1898 and 1904. GLa
hopper construction began in 1905, so there were probably a few thousand
of those in use by 1907.

NYC subsidiaries had 2600 GL copies.

N&W had 11800 hoppers of 40+ ton capacity, with 4605 gondolas of similar
capacity in 1907.

Western Maryland Railway had 2000 hoppers of 50 ton capacity. They also
had a slew of 40 ton gons, but most seemed to be in coke service in 1907.

Lehigh Valley had 1100 GL copies.

Erie had 4000 Standard Steel channel hoppers in 1907.

Granted, what I don't have (or can't find easily) are figures for coal
service cars of less than 40 ton capacity. I only found data for the
N&W, which had 6543 hoppers and 3089 gondolas in 1907 with a capacity of
less than 40 tons.

Eric Hansmann
Morgantown, W. Va.
Rails Unlimited
Ted Schnepf
126 Will Scarlet
Elgin, Ill 60120
847-697-5353 or 847-697-5366
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