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

Mont Switzer

As long as everyone is weighing in on the transportation of various types of sand here goes.  The Monon had lot of sand on line near Lake Michigan at Michigan City, IN, known as the Indiana Sand Dunes.  Old photos show sand being shoveled into boxcars, destinations unknown.


Particularly interesting is how locomotive sand was handled at Monon, Indiana, up until about 1969.  The Monon  RR had a 3 stall engine house at Monon , IN, and kept 1 to 3 locomotives there at any given time.  The engine house was actually 4 stalls wide, but the second stall from the south did not have a track going into it.  Instead that was where a sand drying furnace was located.


Locomotive sand was hauled in in gondolas from Michigan City.  The gon was spotted inside the engine house on the first track to the south.  The sand was then shoveled into the drier as needed.  Dried sand was carried to the locomotives in buckets and dispensed into them.  


The Monon dieselized in 1946 and 1947, in the steam era for the purposes of this list.  (all railroads dieselized in the steam era I believe)  Most power was EMD and sand filler hatches were located on the sides of the F-3's and BL-2's about the same level as the cab floors.   A full length platform was therefore built on both sides of the northerly most engine house stall track which also had the inspection pit.  This allowed the bucket carrying hostler to walk up a set of steps and onto a platform to add sand to the locomotive being serviced.


Lots of hard work for a lot of years.  This system was only replaced when the engine house was torn down  and locomotive servicing moved closer to the station near downtown Monon.  Overhead sanding towers and hoses were installed at that time, well beyond the steam era.


Mont Switzer

From: [] on behalf of Peter Ness [prness@...]
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 8:07 AM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Covered Hoppers Became Popular

For some time, the New Haven shipped sand in gondolas from Cape Cod in MA.  I think this lasted as long as there was freight service, but I’ve also thought the sand was only for use at NH locomotive terminals. I also don’t know anything about the business side – if there were sand dealers involved or it it was entirely a railroad operation.  From very early years there was demand for sand in the Cape Cod area as there was glass manufacturing and a few local foundries.


Peter Ness


From: [] On Behalf Of Randy Hammill
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 1:03 AM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Hauling Sand before Covered Hoppers Became Popular


The NH cars were 41' drop-bottom gondolas. 

Any idea where the sand was shipped from? I highly doubt it was loaded on the NH. There are no loads of sand shipping from CT in the 1950-1954 1% waybill study, although that doesn't mean that none at all shipped since that was only 1%. I don't have the data for RI or MA, so maybe from there. But that seems like a long trip for something like sand.


Randy Hammill
Prototype Junction

Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954

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