Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Virginian Freight Cars

Gatwood, Elden J SAD



Yes, $, for many.  Cor-Ten was not cheap.  Other steels, ditto.  USS alone produced many different steels to accommodate end user needs.  I saw a financial analysis on this in PRR correspondence, at one time.


Elden Gatwood



From: <> On Behalf Of Matt Goodman via
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 1:35 PM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Virginian Freight Cars


Dennis; re: paint, I see your point. The mid eighties were the period that paint on the roofs and hoods of cars (automobiles) performed very poorly (flaking, fading and otherwise failing). Thanks for pointing that out. 


Eldon, I’d read about “copper bearing steel” used in N&W coal hoppers in the twenties and thirties. The railroad looked into CorTen steel at some point in the STMFC era, but didn’t use it, for reasons I don’t recall (value for $, probably). I didn’t pay much attention to later non-STMFC chapters of Andrew Dow’s excellent book on the topic. Perhaps the Virginian was a different story. 


Thanks for the replies. 

Matt Goodman

Columbus, Ohio


Sent from my mobile

On Jun 25, 2020, at 12:36 PM, Gatwood, Elden J SAD <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:

To add;


Steel performance did vary over time.  The “coal” (and other) RRs were constantly looking for something better to build their hoppers from, particularly for slope and side sheets.  I have read plenty of correspondence in which this exact issue is discussed.  Over time, the steel companies supplied the RRs and builders, with steel whose properties were increasingly resistant to corrosion, “Cor-Ten” being one USS product.  Hoppers rotted more quickly than others, due to their prevalence in hauling coal, which generated sulfuric acid, for one.  Hoppers did get better at not corroding as fast, with new formula steels.


Elden Gatwood


From: <> On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 12:00 PM
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] Virginian Freight Cars


On Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 07:12 PM, Matt Goodman wrote:

I can’t imagine steel and coal reacted much differently then vs 1985. 


But paint did. The National Environmental Protection Act of 1970 was not kind to paint manufacturers, forcing them to stop using a lot of traditional materials, all to the detriment of paint performance.

I think what you are looking at is the original black paint is at the end of its useful life, the entire surface eroded to the point where rust is bleeding through. Note the brown cast, compared to the newer black paint on the patch panels. The pigment washing off the letters is white, but it is mixing with the rust residue to become a light brown. A general wash of brown over the whole car would likely duplicate the effect, but I'm not sure you want to. That general overall haze of rust does not seem to be common in steam era photos, unless it is dust from the environment, such as found on the iron ore roads.

Dennis Storzek

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