Re: gons containing coal


It was "gondolas to the Lakes AND hopper cars to Tidewater for the C&O and N&W railroads up to WW One.  Their Tidewater ports had high high-piers with side bunkers to dump coal in to load the coal boats.  The upstart Virginian Railroad had a Lake-level dumper installed in 1907 and used 50-ton gondola cars on the Chesapeake Bay.

By 1922 or so they had figured out the relationship between steel quality and rivet holes, Bessemer versus Open-Hearth steel purity, and were looking at more expensive copper-bearing steel.

Al Kresse

From: "george eichelberger geichelberger@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 9:56:23 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: gons containing coal


I expect coal shipments in gons were quite common into at least the 1920s. Although the term sounds a bit “toy train” to us nowadays, multiple railroads listed coal carrying (usually drop-bottom cars?) gondolas as “coal cars”. A quick look at the March, 1924 RER list cars by that description as CofG 14500-14600, then cars in series 15250-16049 and 17001-17200 as “coal gondolas”. The A&WP lists cars as “coal, solid or drop bottom” in seven or eight car series with a few “self clearing” coal (sic hoppers?) at the end of the RER entry. Examples of “coal cars” continue through the RER.

As most freight cars were more or less free running, Could we assume that gons loaded with coal would be common in interchange service?

On the Southern, early steel cars used for coal did not have particularly long service lives. Part of the reason may have been the first groups (incl the USRA examples) were about 20 years old during the depression and were simply not needed. Was steel produced in the teens and early twenties less able to deal with the corrosive effects of coal loads than more modern steel?

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