Re: Photo: NP Ballast Car 85020


Dennis Storzek
 

On Fri, May 8, 2020 at 01:14 PM, Riverboy wrote:
So ballast hopper were purpose built for such service? I always thought they were rebuilt by the railroad or someone from standard hoppers.
Just catching up... Someone has finally hung a name on these, they are Hart Selective ballast cars, marketed by the Rodgers Ballast Car Co. In the photo of NP 85020 you can just barely see the cast iron patent plat to the left of the capacity data. The 70 ton cars, and the shorter 50 ton cars that came before them, were essentially the standard railroad ballast car from the thirties through the sixties. The diagram Jim Dick posted shows the advantage of the design; a nice easily controlled flow of ballast placed just where needed without burying the track to the rail heads. These cars were a direct descendant of the Hart Selective gondola, common before WWI.

The rebuilt cars came later. The general move to 100 ton capacity freight cars in the seventies left the railroads with about a gazillion surplus 70 ton cement hoppers. Morrison Knudsen of Boise, Idaho developed and marketed an outlet gate that easily converted these cars to ballast service, and these conversions quickly became the standard ballast car of the late twentieth century, which is, of course, far in the future as far as this list is concerned.

Dennis Storzek

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