RF&F Sand Hopper

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford


I would like to offer two photos of a most unusual RF&P covered hopper for your approval and commentary. The car is RF&P 14, apparently used in company sand service. While numbered in the RF&P maintenance fleet, it still was obviously sent off line.

This car is an apparent conversion of a standard open hopper. In 1954 the RF&P had 96 hoppers from three groups in revenue service. While I can't be sure, it is probably a conversion of one of these cars. Note the most unusual trucks, that appear to have outside brake hangers. AFAIK from the photo, the hangers are not used, but they may point to the origins of this car if it was bought used by the RF&P. Can any of you comment upon the origin of the car, and its possible conversion date? Were there any more of these cars? What are these trucks called?

I shot the car around 1987 on the Dixon Sand Co. loading track in Dillwyn, Virginia. Dixon Sand was a Kyanite Corporation subsidiary, the sand being a by-product of their mining operation on near-by Willis Mountain (ore and sand both delivered to the railhead by truck). Apparently Dixon sold sand to the RF&P and the Chessie System for locomotives. Dillwyn was at the end of the former C&O Buckingham Subdivision, now the Buckingham Branch Railroad. The spur and loader are still there, but have not been active for many years.

My apologies for the oblique angle on the car. As I remember it, there was a steep drop off to my left, and I couldn't get a straight view of the whole car side. Except for the truck photo, all shots I took of  the various cars on this spur over the years are from approximately the same spot, a grade crossing.

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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