Thanks for the photos, Garth. Very interesting.
Yes, David is correct. The RF&P’s small fleet of sand hoppers were used for transporting locomotive sand between the Kyanite source mine in Dillwyn, Va. to loco facilities at Acca and Potomac Yards.
The initial donor cars for the RF&P’s fleet of sand hoppers were taken seemingly at random from the line's pool of two bay open hoppers. Initially the series consisted of RFP 7001-7004, formerly cars RFP 3573, and RFP 3576-3578, which were outside post hoppers.
In 1972, as David said, the RF&P bought a series of offset 2 bay hoppers from the B&LE. Originally built in October of 1942, these cars were rehabbed by Ortner before sale to the RF&P. Six of them were taken to be rebuilt into covered hoppers. The ex-BLE cars were numbered 7001-7070* and sand hopper fleet was renumbered RFP 11 to 18.
It’s interesting that this car still rides on solid bearing trucks at this date. The RF&P began converting these cars to roller bearing trucks earlier in the 1970s using ones that came off of scrapped boxcars. Consequently, many of these sand hoppers wound up with the unusual configuration of black bodies with blue trucks.
All the best,
* The series appears to have been numbered up to 7070, although it’s not clear the entire range was ever occupied. Different RF&P internal documents refer to different quantities.