Re: Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar

Mont Switzer

Clark and all,


The Lehigh Portland Cement plant in Mitchell, IN was on the B&O.  the Monon interchanged with the B&O at Mitchell and both railroads  provided covered hoppers to the plant for bulk loading.  I suspect the same was true for boxcars for bagged cement loading.


The B&O served another cement plant in southern Indiana indirectly.  The plant was at Speed, IN, on the PRR.  The plant owned/operated the Southern Indiana Railroad which switched the plant and  had trackage over a former electric line to Watson, IN so they could interchange with the B&O.  I always saw both B&O, PRR and other boxcars for bagged cement loading and B&O and PRR covered hoppers for bulk loading at the plant in Speed.


Where I’m going with all of this is in the 1950’s I would see B&O sidings in southern Indiana full of M-26 class low interior height boxcars just waiting for warm weather.  They were perfect for cement and gain loading in the area.  Most showed reweigh and repack stencils from the B&O shops in Washington, IN.


I’m sure boxcar loads of  bagged cement were shipped well into the 1960’s.  Most lumber years carried bagged cement back then, like the big box stores with lumber yards do now. 


FYI, I still weather my cement hoppers with real cement.  I use the fine cement the big box stores sell for setting lag bolts in foundations. 




Montford L. Switzer


Switzer Tank Lines, Inc.

Fall Creek Leasing, LLC.


(765) 836-2914


From: <> On Behalf Of Clark Propst
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photo: Barrels in A Boxcar


On Tue, Mar 17, 2020 at 07:29 AM, Mont Switzer wrote:

I know early cement loads shipped by truck consisted of bags stacked on flat bed trailers.  I just figured rail shipments were bags stacked in boxcars. 

 What were the barrels made of?


They were before my time Mont. Bet you could Google them? They have to go back a ways. I do have a photo of cloth sacks on a packing machine, don't know if it's dated? I have photos of paper sacks being filled at the packing machine, being 'trucked' into a box car, braced in a box car, or later (60s) coming off a palletizing machine.  Also first experiments with shipping sacks on flat beds. In Iowa trucks were not allowed to haul out of cement plants until 1960. 
There's a Lehigh plant in Mitchel Ind. The Lehigh plant here used Mitchel transport co. to haul their products. Have to think there's a connection.
CW Propst

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