Re: ATSF in California
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The Santa Fe Sk-H, I, K, L, N, and P classes were built with Caswell drop bottoms and roof hatches. There were several thousand of them. As Garth says, they were primarily designed to allow hauling coke, but as long as the beets were bigger than the gaps in the slats, they were perfectly suited for this service. These are not the same as the feeding roof hatches on earlier cars.
On Sunday, October 25, 2020, 02:32:57 PM CDT, Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...> wrote:
I can't speak about 19th century cars, but in the early 20th century there were some large blocks of "convertible" cars that could do double-duty, perhaps to make some money on the back hauls. Stock cars were among these cars, sometimes being used for coal or coke, which could be loaded through roof hatches, and emptied through bottom gates. Two different ATSF classes are shown in the 1919 CBD (reprinted as Gregg Train Shed Cyclopedia #36).
Common boxcars were also sometimes built with floor gates. The GN experimented with hopper-bottom boxcars, and a kit was once offered by F&C (not in their catalog last time I looked). Even California's Northern Electric Railway (later Sacramento Northern) had some 36' wooden boxcars with roof hatches and floor gates for grain. Several such cars which survived as farm sheds finally bought the dust in the 1990s: https://www.wplives.org/sn/nebox.html .
Garth Groff 🦆
Prior to reading this thread and looking at the pictures, I was unaware that stock cars had hatches on their roofs. Other than for loading bulk commodities like shown here, what were these hatches used for? Also, was it common for stock cars to have these later on, or were they a feature of just earlier stock cars?