Re: covered Hoppers

Bill Daniels <billinsf@...>

Sorry, John, but while what you are talking about was true for covered hoppers from the mid 60's and later, Bill's question refers to cars that had a date of 1949 and in particular they are Kato two-bay ACF 70 ton hoppers. Four and five bay covered hoppers (with a few exceptions like PRR's H31 and 32 classes) were relatively unknown. Grain was universally carried in 40' boxcars (and would continue to be carried in boxcars until the late 1960's). Likewise, trough hatches, pneumatic outlet gates and other modern features (such as (gasp!) roller bearing trucks) were decades in the future. My comments refer to cars of that long-gone era. 

Bill Daniels
San Francisco, CA

From: John Sykes <John.Sykes@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2013 2:20 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: covered Hoppers

Au contraire.

First of all the size of the car. Two or three bay covered hoppers carry high density products such as cement, kaolin or lime (or in the good old days, carbon black). Four and five bay covered hoppers carry lighter materials such as plastic pellets, grain or flour. The cars carrying powdery or plastic products usually have circular loading hatches and either pneumatic or gravity outlet gates (more often, pneumatic). Grain cars have long loading hatches and have gravity outlets. Rule of thumb if you are modeling - substance that are powdery or blown into the car = circular hatches, grain(which doesn't flow that well) = long trouths. By the same token - substances that are unloaded pneumatically (again, powdery or light weight materials) = obviously, pneumatic outlets. Things that flow into underground hoppers when unloading(wheat, corn) = sliding outlet gates.

Now, what is in what car? If you buy a decorated car, usually RR owned cars (e.g., UPRR)or cars labeled for some agricultural owner (e.g., Wagner Mills, ADM, Cargill) are grain (some exceptions), if labeled for something like Dow, or duPont, probably plastic (although duPont also made titanium dioxide for paint & paper making - which is a high density powder material). I think most GATX, UTLX and other leased cars are used for plastic pellets, but some may be used for grain. If it is labeled Lone Star or CEMEX it is for cement.

-- John

--- In STMFC@..., Bill Daniels <billinsf@...> wrote:


Dring that era, covered hoppers were not used for grain... In fact that didn't happen until the "Big John" covered hoppers of the Southern in the early 60's. lading like flour wasn't shipped in covered hoppers until the advent of Airslide technology about 10 years after the date of your cars. It was most likely that these cars carried cement.

As for specific hardware, I don't know that any specific hardware could be viewed that would allow you to determine what lading was carried.

Bill Daniels

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 16, 2013, at 1:21 PM, "BillM" <fecbill@...> wrote:

How do you tell (or can you tell) if a covered hopper is used for cement, or grain, or other loading. I am asking concerning physical/mechanical devices on the car such as top hatches and hopper unloading equipment as opposed to lettering, stencils or weathering.

Specifically I have three Kato HO scale 2 bay covered hoppers lettered for Milwaukee Road. The lettering indicates blt date of 1949.

Thank you
Bill Michael

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