Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Covered Hoppers Became Popular

Schuyler Larrabee

Well, I said . . . “and probably further distinctions can be made of each . . .”


So, a fair question Elden, but Google is your (and my) friend:


Foundry sand is quite interesting:

This page mentions “green sand” which it defines as Green Sand is silica sand.  Googling “green sand” gets you to what is apparently a literally green-colored sand for use in landscaping.  But that’s not what we’re talking about.,


Glass sand

a quite interesting page.  Click o “Industrial Sand” at the top of the page.   There are several basic materials that can be the constituent parts of glass sand, including quartz, lava, and desert sand.  Also click on “Research” for more interesting considerations.


Locomotive sand gets you to this page:

which includes a de facto definition: a mixture of calibrated sand in various grain sizes, which is spread between the train wheels and the tracks.


As to shipment and rail cars used . . . well, my work here is done.






From: <> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Covered Hoppers Became Popular




From my research and experiences, there were some in my area that were important:  foundry sand, glass sand, “green” sand, and locomotive sand.


What were the properties that were important to those uses, and how would this affect shipment and cars used?




Elden Gatwood


From: <> On Behalf Of Schuyler Larrabee via
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 1:08 PM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Covered Hoppers Became Popular


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

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