Re: Cement loads in box cars perhaps like grain and coal loads

Stafford Swain <sswain@...>

Hi to all:

Bulk cement lurking behind "cement doors" in boxcars seems entirely plausible to me.

I understand (and have seen lots of photo evidence to support same) that in western Canada, "rough-service" designated boxcars were used for both company-service (OCS) and industrial/consumer coal (hopper cars were much less prevalent in the west). The boxcar doorway openings were boarded up with "coal boards" (think "grain doors") and bucket/belt-augurs and hand shovels were about the limit of the then load-in/load-out technology.

I don't think I have ever discovered anything to tell me how to classify visually which CNR cars were for "rough freight service" in the 1950s. Nonetheless, many CNR cars were marked "For Clean Loading Only" to the left of the doors near the pin so perhaps it was nothing more than the absence of this marking which makes a given boxcar a rough-service car.

In the early 1960s CN had a system of Yellow dots and black lettesr on the car sides to provide a positive means to identify such use classifications but I don't model that era.

Well, we have seen accounts that indicate bulk cement was carried in
boxcars, and I certainly imagine that they need to be swept out to
remove contaminants before such use. What has not been specifically
mentioned is if a car labeled as "clean lading only" would be
legitimately used for such service, then turned around to carry grain,
packaged food stuffs, paper or whatever other products are normally
shipped in such cars.

It would seem to me that cars fall into basically three classes, those
assigned to a specific service (which could be messy like hides, clean
like newsprint or require special fixtures), those in "general
service" that can haul anything with no real warranty of the condition
of the car, and those for clean lading which are supposed to haul only
certain classes of cargo. IN that case, bulk or bagged cement could be
carried in general service cars but loading it in clean lading car
would probably be a costly error. Is this a reasonable description, or
am I missing something?

Stafford Swain
26 Kenneth Street
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
R3T 0K8
(204) 477-9246

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