Re: KCS Covered Hoppers series 29600-29649 and 29650-29749

Ed Hawkins

On Apr 26, 2012, at 4:15 PM, keyserlloyd wrote:

These four bay 40'-2" cars, built in 1946, were slab side all riveted construction. Possibly pre PS2 all welded cars? Originally delivered in black with white lettering. They had a "Load Limit cement-4'-4" below top of hatches". Can some one please tell me where these cars were loaded? Were they only loaded in cement? Were they on line cars only? I have a 1962 picture of a repaint that does not contain the cement load level line. I assure that by then they were in grain service.
I cannot answer your questions about how and where these cars were used but will share some information about them.

I have 3 photos of these four-bay covered hopper cars. One is a Pullman builder's photo of 29621 from KCS 29600-29649, built 3-46, lot 5818 (photo also published in the 1949/51 CBC). The Pullman-Standard bill of materials for lot 5818 specified the cars were originally painted black with aluminum stencils. A 1" line about 3/4 the way up the car side has stencils above it stating "LOAD LIMIT FOR CEMENT 4' - 1 1/2" BELOW TOP OF HATCH".

The other two photos are KCS company photos of KCS 29671 and 29720. Both photos show a build date of 9-49. KCS 29650-29749 were built by GATC, builder's order no. 3013. They were shopped, repainted, and reweighed PG. (Pittsburg, Kansas) 3-53 and 6-54, respectively. The 29671 is painted black with aluminum (or possibly white) stencils while 29720 is painted gray with black stencils.

Interestingly, the lines on these two cars were drawn at different heights. The line on 29671 is lower, roughly 60% of the way up the side, but the stencils specify identical dimensions as the builder's photo. Perhaps the line was drawn in error (too low) since the stencils didn't change. The line on 29720 is at the same level as the Pullman builder's photo of 29621 with the same stencils.

The cubic capacity on the cars is 3190 cu. ft. In addition to hauling cement, it seems logical to me that the cars must have also been used for hauling lighter commodities in which the cubic capacity could be more fully utilized. For cement loading the cars were probably somewhere close to the purpose-built two-bay 1958 cu. ft. covered hoppers used extensively for hauling cement. The center of gravity would have been much lower on these cars when loaded to the line with cement. WIth 12 hatches and 8 outlets loading & unloading should have been faster than with conventional two-bay cars.
Ed Hawkins

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