Re: Coal Cars

tim gilbert <tgilbert@...>

JGG KahnSr wrote:

Dear Tim
I think I conjectured that much of the grain traffic into Buffalo came
lake freighter from the midwest, where it was stored, some going out
regional boxcars as grain, the rest being milled into flour.
There is no evidence that the supply of empty boxcars was restricted to
regional roads only. For instance, there were three feed loadings in
Nov-Dec 1952 for consignees on New Hampshire's Suncook Valley RR: - one
carrying feed in PRR boxcar #90785, another in SAL #4232 and the last in
MP #32665 - PRR #90785 being the only one which I would classify as

From St. Albans VT, there were four grain loadings for the SunVal: - one
each in a CN, CP, NKP & UP boxcar.

From Richford VT, there were 16 grain loadings for the SunVal: - seven
in CP boxcars, two in CN, and one each in a PRR, IC, SAL, GBW, FW&DC, SP
and MP.

The incidence of the American-owned boxcars in these Vermont loadings
indicate that these grain loadings were not restricted to regional

Granted, a mole hill does not make a mountain, but what is the logic
that these boxcars were loaded? The only answer can be would because
they were available. Why were they available? Can the answer of why they
were available be extrapolated into a bigger mole hill?

good portion of the grain arriving in Chicago and Minneapolis also
ended up
being milled before being re-shipped. I'd guess that the grain cars
delivered it to the terminals, but that it was either processed or
for a while, depending on market conditions before needing different
What is a "grain car?" Every general service boxcar which the B&M owned
in 1920 was described in the ORER's as "Box, Grain." John Nehrich in one
of his NEB&W STEAM ERA FREIGHT CAR GUIDES noted this was the only time
the verbage "Box, Grain" was used in the ORER's. The last B&M "Box,
Grain" was retired in 1955 - the January 1953 ORER still described this
series as "Box, Grain." Why the B&M described these boxcars as Box,
Grain" would be speculation - the most predominant commodity they
carried during their lives was Merchandise.

When grain was to be shipped, it would appear that almost any boxcar
that was sound and thoroughly clean without any noxious odors would be
set for loading. In periods of boxcar shortage, shippers had little
leverage in demanding cars from a specific owner.

Tim Gilbert

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