In a message dated 3/16/2013 9:52:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
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.
Please, not so fast on the "au contraire" ... as with most topics discussed
here, there are certain variables which include "What year is it?"
I recall two-bay covered hoppers placed for unloading feed at a couple of
small distributors in the early/mid-1960s and even as late as the early
1970s; which certainly fits the time period of this group and even extends
The discussion of four- and five-bay covered hoppers and plastic pellets
generally fits in another group (MFCL) as only (I know, never say only and
never say never) the Southern "Big John" covered hoppers fit the four-bay
grain-carrying cars in the mid-1960s.
I recall being s-s-s-o-o-o impressed when I first saw the L&N three-bay
ACF 4650 49 ft 97.5 ton covered hoppers in their blue paint and yellow