Re: BMX 800-series cylindrical hoppers

Don Valentine

Quoting mksparks2 <>:


According to Chuck Yungkurth, the Barrett Co. "had a fleet of over 90
of these special purpose tank cars". As I mentioned previously, the
July 1950 ORER lists only 30 cars at that time. I would be
interested in learning when the other 60-odd tank-hoppers were put
into service. Unfortunately, I don't have ready access to any ORERs
published after July 1950 or I'd find this answer out for myself -
help anyone? My suspicion is that the conversions were done in a
fairly short period of time (i.e., a year or two), but perhaps not.
If Barretts was doing things on the cheap (which converting 30 year-
old tank cars instead of buying some of the new covered hoppers which
I believe were just coming onto the market might suggest), then it is
possible that the coversions took a bit longer. Purely conjecture on
my part.

Speaking of "special service", I've read several descriptions of the
commodity transported in these cars. This has ranged from granules
utilized with roofing tar to granules used in the manufacture of tar
roofing (which I read as tar shingle roofing material). Perhaps both
are true. Anyone have any idea what type of material these "granules"
were? I recall a posting on one of the RR groups not too long ago
that mentioned that crushed slate was utilized in conjunction with
paint as a non-skid surfacing application. That posting brought to
mind a slate crushing operation featured in the NEB&W Green Dot
Press' reprint of "The D&H 1931 Industry Sampler" (available through
the Rensselear Model Railroad Society). According to the Industry
Sampler, in 1914 the Staso Milling Company built a large plant at
Poultney, VT "for the manufacture of crushed slate, which is used for
prepared roofing and numerous other purposes." In 1931 this plant
was shipping 150,000 tons of crushed slate annually - I assume most
of it by the D&H. I don't have any idea how long Staso was in
operation at this location or whether Barrett's cars were utilized
for this traffic, but this is a thought provoking coincidence.

Hi Mike,

What would you bet they carried granulated slate off the D&H's Slatepicker??
It's a great way to use up the tailings for shipment to Bird & Son in East
Walpole, Mass. for one.

Don Valentine

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