Southeeastern Hopper Questions

Dave Nelson

I know very little about hoppers in general and less about railroads in the southeast but  that said I’m looking at building a simulator route (for Open Rails) centered on the Southern railway in Asheville NC, .ca 1950 plus or minus a few years.  Knoxville is to the west, Asheville in the center and the Southern’s S-line that runs east to Spencer Yard at Salisbury. The S-Line is crossed (and interchanged with) the Clinchfield.  The focus is the Southern  mainline between those points so other than handling connecting mains as “staging” all other routes are not in scope..

AFAIK the flow of coal would be:
Anything going east from Knoxville.

Any southeastern movement off the Southern’s Bristol line, just east of Knoxville.

Anything handed off by the Clinchfield where it crosses the S-Line.



What I’m trying to figure out is the nature of the hopper fleets common to this area.   I pulled up an old relational data base – the same one I used to verify the Nelson-Gilbert distribution of boxcars, which is largely based on S-Line wheel reports and instead of searching for boxcars used hoppers instead.  The sample size is 523 cars.


The distribution of hopper ownership as recorded in these wheel reports (ca 46-52) was:

SOU 41%

L&N 20%

C&O 11%

INT 10%

CRR  9%

DLW 1%


The remaining 5% are from all over, including unexpected initials like MILW, MP, BM, MSL, CNW, and even the Alton.



I have a good start on understanding the 50 ton twin roster around 1950, plus or minus a couple:


Pullman PS-3
PS-3 CRR 52000-52499, built 3-53, 500 cars

PS-3 L&N 34000-35999, built 4-49, 2000 cars

PS-3 L&N 82200-85199, built 4-52, 3000 cars


USRA allocated cars

USRA CRR 43750-45499

USRA L&N 85650-87999


War Emergency

WE ACL 6300-6421, built  nn-43, 122 cars, reblt 52-53

WE ACL 7500-7999, built  nn-43, 500 cars, reblt 50-53

WE ACL 82000-82549, built  5-43, 550 cars, reblt 9-51

WE ACL 82550-82699, built  6-43, 150 cars, reblt 9-51

WE CCR 48000-48499, built 01-44, 500 cars

WE L&N 31000-31999, built 10-43, 1000 cars

WE L&N 71150-71391, built 10-43, 242 cars

WE SOU 104500-105949, built 9-43, 1450 cars, reblt 52-53


AAR 50 ton twins

AAR Std Twin L&N many, many series, > 16,000 cars

AAR Std Twin SOU 106500-107499, built 10-48, 1000 cars

AAR Std Twin SOU 112500-113249, built 01-41M 750 cars

AAR Std Twin SOU 285500-285999, built 11-37, 500 cars

AAR Std Twin SOU 320100-320699, built nn-37, 600 cars


AMC 50 ton twins

AMC Std Twin C&O many, many series, thousands of cars

AMC Std Twin CRR 47000-47599, built 7-37, 500 cars

AMC Std Twin CRR 49000-49999, built 4-46, 1000 cars

AMC Std Twin CRR 50000-50999, built 5-46, 1000 cars

AMC Std Twin CRR 51000-51999, built 3-49, 1000 cars


------- Begin Questions ---------

I’m assuming the AMC Std was often called the AAR Alternate.  Is that correct?


By virtue of being able to join the wheel report to my ORER database I am able to see that almost all hoppers that passed on the S-route were 50 ton twins… but not all;  The occasional 100 ton car shows up, something from each of the “high percentage” roads I’ve listed.  I know nothing of 100 ton hoppers.  Any design standards I can follow for these, given the road names I’ve cited?


I know nothing of the Interstate… not even which states it was inter to.  Any help?




Any comments, help, etc., are  most welcome.


Dave Nelson

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