Re: NP Mystery Car

Doug Paasch

I still bemoan the loss of the “good old days” when the sky was blue (even on overcast days) from the tee-pee sawdust burners, and the air burned your nose with its acrid smell.  I also miss the “aroma of Tacoma” and the “smell of it in Everett” from the pulp mills and the ASARCO smelter.  Frankly, I found great beauty in the industrial sprawl and still miss the days when America actually made things instead of importing everything from China.  As for steam era freight car content, I also miss the variety of railroad cars back then versus the boring unit trains of today.  Alas, those days are gone.


  Doug Paasch



From: <> On Behalf Of Andy Carlson
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 11:55 AM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] NP Mystery Car


I am sure that Gregg Martin would have some useful thoughts about hog fuel. Chipping whole logs for paper mills came about strongly in the 1950s. Prior to that time, hog fuel was mostly from sawmill leftovers which could be be diverted from the slash burners (The teepee Hut fire places) leaving mostly saw dust for on site burning, as it seems buyers for waste wood fuel use did not place a high value for saw dust.


Chipping became a big thing for the burgening North West paper mills with their huge demand for wood fiber which the mills found profits from chipping logs into fairly consistent sized chips. The demand for chips reached the point where whole logs were now chipped, no longer was mill waste with the problems of irregular size as valued.


Tim's photos show the type of non-chip loads on early hog fuel cars. Lots of slash which would have  otherwise been sent into the teepee burners. Chip cars and hog fuel cars were serving different markets.


-Andy Carlson

Ojai CA


On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 10:08:23 AM PST, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:



A couple of photos of hog fuel. There could be large pieces of wood - like firewood logs -
but those were usually loaded into specialized cars or gondolas. I've included a shot of this too.

On 2/26/2020 11:18 AM, Tony Thompson wrote:

Andy Carlson wrote:

Going back to the era of this car I would presume the car to be a Hog Fuel car, hog fuel being the mill slabs and other mill detritus. Chips were to come around later. 


     True about the nomenclature, but not about the product. The great majority of hog fuel that you can see in photos was definitely chips.


Tony Thompson


Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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