Re: Photo: Loading Raw Silk

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>


I didn't know this until recently--the rayon Malcolm mentioned is made from wood pulp. One of the principal producers of rayon was . . . stand by for this . . . Rayonier Incorporated (later ITT Rayonier). While it doesn't quite fit in with our interest in freight cars, Rayonier had extensive logging railroads, and ran one of the last big Pacific Northwest "steam shows" into the 1960s. Of course they had freight cars: log cars of various kinds (mandatory freight car content).

Circa 1969 my father and I were allowed access to one of their operations, IIRC at Railroad Camp. We were able to photograph their remaining steam locomotives including ex-Sierra 38. None were operating then, as the operation was all-diesel. And I turned my nose up at their Baldwins. (Sheesh!).

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Tue, Jun 9, 2020 at 10:12 AM mrvant@... <mrvant@...> wrote:

There is a good description of the silk trains in Canada at the link. CPR dominated with their own steamships. The trade in Canada started in 1887 and petered out in 1930s with the depression and competition from Japanese ships using the Panama Canal to get to New York. Eventually rayon replaces silk. Special lighter weight cars, shorter than box cars, equipped with passenger car trucks were used to transport raw silk on special high speed trains that had the highest priority on the railway. The market for the Canadian railways was also in New York.

The silk cars later showed up in express baggage service. They had distinctive centre doors and were shorter.

Malcolm Vant


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