Re: War Emergency Hoppers

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>


Via-a-vis the C&O, the purity of their coal trains varied with different
parts of the system. In Virginia, published photo evidence shows that in
the late steam era the trains were about 99% C&O. The major exception
was for Berwind hoppers. A modest fleet of these was mixed with the
C&O's, and indeed they were maintained at Newport News.

In western West Virginia and Kentucky, the situation was quite
different. The C&O had joint operations with the Virginian and the NYC
(the details of which I no longer have). There are published photos
showing Virginian cars in C&O trains from this area. Cars from these two
roads, at least, would not have been rare, though probably not so common
on the C&O either. More likely they would have been loaded on joint
lines for a specific destination on their home roads, picked up in a
local or sweeper train, and then marshalled into cuts for interchange to
their home roads.

Of course, freight cars themselves were almost never photographed by
fans in those days, unless they just happened to be behind some monster
steam locomotive. This tends to skew the value of photos as evidence. I
agree that conductors' books are better sources, but you would still
need a pile of them from different men, since a conductor with seniority
might always be on the same run with the same car mix (or lack of mix)
for years at a time.

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff

Not based on the C&O photos I've browsed--though I can't claim to be
anything like an expert on C&O.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.