Re: Fw: loaded hopper interchanges


I have heard repeatedly over the years that the coal mined in the
Monongahela River valley and adjacent areas of SW PA, which was served by
the PRR, P&LE, B&O, and Monongahela Rwy, was considered particularly
desirable for steam locomotive use. Some roads contracted with the PRR
expressly for this purpose.

I also remember occasionally seeing open hoppers from roads like the Santa
Fe, Monon, and others, which tended to catch the eye in a string of
otherwise "usual" roads (in my area, at least). How they got there is
beyond me.

There was also a clear correlation between certain roads and the commodity
they carried that showed up in my area. Twin hoppers from the B&O and RDG
often carried stone (limestone or dolomite), while the endless numbers of
PRR and P&LE open hoppers were usually coal, or in the case of the PRR,
sometimes red ore in pellets. Montour hoppers were always coal off of their
line, but could be backloaded to MTR territory in some cases. Covered
hoppers came from all over, as these often carried additives in powdered
form, of a variety that I can only remember portions of.

Gondolas were much more of a mixed bag in the Pgh area. Many older PRR guys
told me that the PRR was in a state of constant gon shortage, and would grab
gons from wherever they could to meet the constant needs of the mills. I
saw gons from just about every road in North America, it seemed, including
several Canadian roads. The Santa Fe and Burlington were much more
frequently represented than their numbers would seem to indicate, but there
were also gons from totally obscure roads like the McKeesport Connecting,
P&BR, C&BL, Lake Terminal, and others. The gons (like hoppers with holes
stuffed with rags) were often overlooked for "bad ordering", despite pushed
out ends, missing flooring, and busted out boards and side panels, due to
this overwhelming need. I am in the middle of a campaign to represent some
of these cars on my layout, and is it ever fun!

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: raildata@... [mailto:raildata@...]
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 8:51 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Fw: loaded hopper interchanges

I keep trying to kill the "urban myth" that hopper cars never strayed far
from their home roads.

I would not be so rash as to theorize what happened in the Misdwest and far

West but up to and through WW2 "foreign" hoppers were very common on lines
the Northeast. As a kid I contantly watched of trains on the D&H and DL&W
near my home in Scranton PA. I saw lots of loaded on N&W, B&O, and PRR
going north on the D&H, which for all purposes was an extension of the PRR
Canada and New England.

Despite being in the heart of the anthracite mining area, I would estimate
that 40% of the coal on the D&H was bituminous in non-D&H hoppers. It has to
pointed out that all the "anthracite" roads really burned bitumionus or a
of it and anthracite from the 1920s on. The supply of anthracite "culm"
ran out and the good anthracite was too expensive. The large DL&W engine
facility got all it locomtive coal in PRR cars. I think some roads,
the LV, sent thier own hoppers to the soft coal mines to hahul loco coal.
is evidence that the quad and triple hoppers owned by these orads were used
this service because the anthracite retail coal sales always preferred the
smaller twin hoppers. The return to buying twin hoppers in the last years of
anthracite industry on both LV and DL&W bears out the yielding to demands of

the cutomers

I even recall seeing quite a few of the Southern composite hoppers with the
external chains holding the hopper doors on D&H. I'm not enough of a
expert to know the class, etc. but the were genrally similar to the D&H
cars. Statistics on the tonnage of anthracite and bituminous for various
are easily gotten from Moody's, etc and they are tangible evidence for off
line loadings in most cases.

I find it hard to go along with much of the hypotheses and assumed logic
about car distribution that are posted as factual on this board and every so
have to sound off with some observations based on fact.

Chuck Yungkurth
Boulder CO


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