Gatwood, Elden J SAD
My friend Al Buchan had a series of stories on the PRR’s offal gons, that he related to me when I built my model.
First, it was the most unpopular load on the RR, for obvious reasons. Management did not want to hear reasons they shouldn’t entertain it. They, of course, would never encounter it.
PRR chose their worst, close-to-retirement gons for loading. They were lined with asphaltum to minimize leakage. Good luck with that.
The load, wherever it originated, consisted of unusable hides, guts, animal parts, and liquids, in a vile, stinking brew of rotting toxicity. See attached from my friend Dave Wilson.
The cars, when unloaded, retained a milky mixture of the above. There was no way to clean out the cars.
No one wanted to have the loaded car around, due to its far-ranging vapor, so tower crew would sometimes “accidentally” switch it into an outbound train just to get it out of town. This apparently happened numerous times, and sometimes ended up in a loaded car being mis-routed over and over until someone put an end to that particular car’s mis-routing.
There were at least a couple instances of junior switching crew “taking a bath” on the brake platform, when an anxious (overwhelmed) engine crew hard coupled the car. There’s the “surprise”.
The worst of all was the story of the junior car repairman who was forced to crawl under one when it sprung a leak in the brake line, stopping the train. He had to work for hours to find (and repair) where the brake line had pulled apart. It leaked all over him. Everyone abandoned him at the siding.
His wife would not let him in the house for a week. His clothes were burned, but it just stunk up the neighborhood. He had to take daily baths of tomato juice, a supposed cure for skunk sprayings at that time. To no avail.
Al was not the only person to confirm these stories…..
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
On Behalf Of akerboomk
Or back in the day where meat processing offal was carried in gondolas.