Re: Photo: Standard Coal Company Box Car Unloader (1914)

Bruce Smith


To further clarify,
No, the cars have roofs and are not top loaded. They are loaded through the doors. There appears to be some wood cooperage, similar to grain doors, present in the door opening. These would likely be removed once the car was situated on the unloader.

No, the car is not unloaded by its end. It is unloaded through the doors. The unloader, in tilting the car up, moves the load from the end to the middle of the car. Many unloaders also tilted side to side, allowing a door to be on the low side and cargo to run out. Then the other end of the car would be lifted, allowing the cargo from that end out. It might require a couple of cycles of tipping to mostly empty a car, which could have the final residue removed by hand, but it sure beat moving it all by hand!

Advantages over open top hoppers:
1. You own a boxcar and it is handy. Western roads did not own a lot of open hoppers
2. The load is protected from the weather (especially important for loads like grain, but also for some loads of coal

Definitely not "experimental". Multiple large scale commercial manufacturers offered such equipment.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

On 6/9/22, 2:50 PM, " on behalf of Bruce Hendrick" < on behalf of brucehendrick@...> wrote:

CAUTION: Email Originated Outside of Auburn.

Does anyone know the specifics of this operation? Were these special boxcars with top loading capabilities? Is the car being unloaded via its end?

I can’t see how anyone would think this would be an improvement over using a standard open top hopper. Perhaps this was an experimental operation?


Bruce Hendrick
Brea, California

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