Re: Englehard tank car question

D. Scott Chatfield

Jim Mischke asked:

My off-layout paper mill in Johnsonburg, Pa. in 1964 may need some kaolin clay from time to time, so a northbound Englehard tank car would be a welcome occasional load.

Are there any accurate Englehard tank car models in HO scale? The Walthers 16,000 gallon tank car decorated for Englehard looks a little clunky, larger than necessary and off period.

I would prefer a slightly smaller, older car from the 1950's.

When I researched the kailon business 25 years ago I found an circa-1960 textbook that contained exactly one paragraph on kaolin slurry. Translation: for a 1964 layout slurry was not shipped to your paper mill. Indeed, it was around 1975 that slurry started to be hauled by rail, and then they used insulated ICC-103s (or ICC-104s, which were all insulated) and ICC-105s converted to non-pressure DOT-111s. The latter were former propane tanks like the Atlas and Kadee cars. But these are well after the 1960 cutoff of this list.

Coated paper was increasing in popularity in the '60s which drove up the demand for kaolin clay and other coatings. It was shipped dry in regular boxcars for the most part, and in 1964 that would mean CofG, Southern, and SAL cars for the most part, since the biggest shippers of paper-grade kaolin were on those lines in middle Georgia. Georgia Kaolin's original plant was at Dry Branch on the SAL's former Macon Dublin & Savannah. The large plant in Gordon, Georgia on the CofG was originally Southeastern Clay (if memory serves) and was taken over by Freeport Kaolin at some point. Engelhard bought this plant around 1980 and built a new one down the road in Mcintyre. Theile Kaolin and Georgia Kaolin's new (1957) plant are both on the Sandersville Railroad, but remember that shortlines didn't have to supply cars in that time frame, their Class One connections did.

And in 1964 there were no roof-hatch boxcars listed for kaolin service. The Southern converted some 40-footers a few years later, but I think more of those were used for raw phosphate service than kaolin, at least back then. Certainly that was true of the ACL's and NS's built-new roof-hatch boxcars of the late '60s. Again, too late for this list or a 1964 layout.

Southern did buy new convered hoppers from Magor and Pullman in the mid-60s, some of which hauled refined kaolin powder, but my impression is at least for the first few years those stayed on-line, leaving boxcars for interchange traffic.

Scott Chatfield

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