Many mid-western roads
hauled coal in gons, not hoppers. Labor was cheap,Add to Doug's comments: When a gondola was spotted at the coal shed's
trackside door (most elevators had coal sheds) it could have been
unloaded by day labor. I know/knew guys that would do such jobs on
Saturdays. They would first throw chunks of coal into the bin until
they reached the floor of the car then they could scoop shovel the
rest in through the shed door. You got $5 and needed a shower.
Mason City Iowa