Re: Hauling Sand before Coverd Hoppers Became Popular

Thomas Birkett <tnbirke@...>


I always appreciate your comments even on commodities as common as sand.

We have ATSF 940 on display her in Bartlesville and I have been surprised at how many references and photos exist of a locomotive built in 1903. It spent the first twenty years of its life running out of Needles (I also didn’t realize that Needles was home terminal for crews running both to Siligman and Barstow.)

We also have a 1914 vintage tank car AOX 930 which carried the Phillips Petroleum number PSPX 813 in 1966 after Phillips purchased the west coast assets of Tidewater Oil including the Avon Refinery. I found the tank of this car in the Texas panhandle with both number visible.

My question: since Avon and Richmond were fairly close is that where locomotive fuel on the west end of the Valley Division sourced? If so via pipeline or tank car? Locomotive fuel for Needles? One of the Bakersfield refineries? Trying to determine if the AOX car ever delivered to the Santa Fe.


Tom Birkett, Bartlesville, Oklahoma


From: [] On Behalf Of John Barry
Sent: Tuesday, June 16, 2020 9:48 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Coverd Hoppers Became Popular




As you've heard, it depends . . .


But I can add two seemingly unusual sand shipments into Richmond California circa 1942.  In one, actually a large steady stream of cars, ATSF received locomotive sand on the Richmond Sand House trestle in SP GS gondolas.  You normally think of company material arriving in home road equipment. But the closest source was in Monterey on the SP. Monterey Sand Sources 



Monterey Sand Sources

Richmond was a long way from the sand pit on the El Segundo Branch that served the LA division. Photographic ev...

A few photos of the SP gons at the ATSF sand house in Richmond:




Locomotive Sand at Richmond

The Richmond Roundhouse was the locomotive servicing facility for the west end of the Valley Division and the Sa...



The other is Foundry Sand from upstate New York.  Coal to Newcastle you ask?  No, WWII had just cut off coastal shipping and a Richmond foundry had been getting a very specific sand for their molds from a source in New York, shipped in bulk.  When they found their transportation line cut, they turned to the railroads, only to object to the comparatively high cost of rail haulage.  They filed a rate case with the ICC and lost. 





John Barry


ATSF North Bay Lines 

Golden Gates & Fast Freights 

Lovettsville, VA




PO Box 44736 

Washington, DC 20026-4736



On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 12:56:28 PM EDT, reporterllc via <reporterllc@...> wrote:



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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