Re: Hauling Sand before Covered Hoppers Became Popular

Ray Hutchison

not certain how many here would have heard of Tennessee Central Railroad (essentially Nashville east through Cookeville and Monterrey).  Early shipments included sand for construction.  It was shut down for many years until the recent boom in fracking... and there are weekly shipments of sand coming out of the mountains (or at least down from the eastern highland rim of the Cumberland Plateau).  I assume this is the coarse angular sand mentioned in earlier email. 

Interestingly enough, one of the major sand pits is across the street from a fundamentalist church.  I always wondered how people came out of the church and looked at the acres of sand across the street and wondered how it got there,

ray hutchison

On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 12:14 PM O Fenton Wells <srrfan1401@...> wrote:
Cement is not concrete was drummed into my head when I was in the contracting business years ago.  

On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 1:08 PM Schuyler Larrabee via <> wrote:

There are two varieties of sand (and probably further distinctions can be made of each).  There’s beach sand, which is rounded grains (also what’s in the Sahara desert) from the wave (and wind) action.  I would surmise that variety of sand would need to be covered so it doesn’t blow away.

The other variety is angular sand, which comes from (typically) sand pits away from water.  Angular sand is required for use in concrete, as it will lock together with the cement matrix to form a solid durable structure.  I would guess that angular sand >might< be shipped without being covered as it would be less likely to blow away in transit.


And at this point I will point out one of my pet issues with the distinction between concrete and cement.  Cement is an element in making concrete.  Cement is not, directly, concrete.




From: <> On Behalf Of reporterllc via
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2020 10:17 PM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Coverd Hoppers Became Popular


What kind of car was used? I am referring to bulk sand from a pit that ships out sand and gravel. Perhaps this sand would not be that specialized. Wouldn't it need to be protected from the weather? On a side note, In the early 1970s (long after covered hoppers became popular) I remember a tower operator referring to an ancient gondola in a consist loaded with sand. I did not see it and wondered if it was covered.

Victor A. Baird

Fenton Wells
250 Frye Rd
Pinehurst NC 28374

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