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Alumina is nearly as light as fly ash; a puff of wind and it's all
over the place. Several years ago, ALCOA purchased Eastalco Aluminum.
EA had plants in Canada and Fredrick, Maryland. Their alumina is
still delivered to Hawkins Point Pier south of Balto. (mostly from
Australia in recent years) and hauled by rail to the Fredrick
facilities. Alcoa closed their old pier (Paradise Point, I think)
shortly after their takeover of EA, and now we also ship alumina out
of Hawkins Point for Massena, NY. Before being bought out, EA leased
about 40 100T (that's two 15 car train sets, and 10 extras for
shopped replacements, etc.) covered hoppers for the traffic. Today
there is a mix of leased CSX cars and Alcoa hoppers in use. I would
think Alcoa would have done about the same thing in steam days. (By
the way, the Alcoa hoppers were built in the middle 60's, and are in
pretty rough shape. MikeBuckelew