Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars
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As noted in the Pennsy gondola book, the GSD cars were out of coke service by 1931.
Several years ago when I was researching the coal fields of north-central West Virginia I stumbled across an interesting nugget. Coke oven operations shut down along the Western Maryland near Belington and in Thomas, WV. Only one remained in Harding, WV, but it would close in 1927 or 28. Coke production had shifted from beehive ovens to the by-product plants and affected these operations far from the mills.
Have you found similar shutdowns in the Connellsville Coal & Coke District that would affect the numbers of cars needed to transport coke?
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars
I was unable to find the correspondence on the GS cars that went into coke service, but it is clear they did so. They were such early cars, they may have pre-dated the H22 sufficiently that it was OBE.
Some customers may not have needed the cubic capacity that an H22 could deliver.
IIRC from a certain published source, GSD gondolas had some modifications for coke, too.
Thanks for sharing that, Bill! Very similar to PRR coke cars of that era.
It appears that most (if not all) coke cars of this type did have the original doors removed as here:
…and that it was then a simple matter of installing the “doors” board-by-board, after which you climbed the ladder, filled the car up, took it to the customer, and bashed the boards out (in) to empty.
I would still like to find the correspondence as to why they didn’t use a dedicated coke hopper like attached H22. It might have been lack of facility to center dump.
Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.
The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest. In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies dropped onto them. Roofs were removed for top loading. Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.
The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars.
As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires. On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.
Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames. Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.