Re: Montour Quad Offset-Side Hoppers Circa 1956 and Earlier!

Thomas M. Olsen <tmolsen@...>

Eldon and List,

The history of car Montour 14000 was related by Gene Schaeffer in his
book on the Montour:

"In July 1944, The MoP ordered 25 70-Ton Aluminum Hoppers from AC&F
which were to be numbered MP #s 5000-5024. The car body was built
entirely of Alcoa aluminum alloys. Steel was used for the center sill,
bolsters and trucks. All other specialty parts with the exception of
the Wine door frame (a 356-T6 aluminum alloy casting) and the
Dreadnought pan door ( a heat treated 61S aluminum alloy pressing by
Standard Railway Equipment Manufacturing Co.) were made of steel.

This car was the only sample built before the production run was
started. It had been built for ALCOA at the AC&F plant in Madison
Illinois the week of 1-17-46 and sold to the Montour for $4903.80 and
Montour #14000.

According to the narrative in the book, the Montour took delivery of the
car on 1-29-1946 at the PRR/Montour interchange at McDonald, Pa. On the
11th of February, the Montour delivered the car to the P&LE at Montour
Jct. to be moved to the East Carson Street Yard where it was placed on
display for two days, Feb. 14th and 15th 1946. It was viewed by 300
guests according to the visitor register at the site.

The Montour used the 14000 in shuttle service exclusively on the
Montour between the mines and the Champion Preparation Plant (Pittsburgh
Consolidation Coal Co. after November 1945) west of McDonald, Pa. The
car was sold back to Alco for $7000 in 1975, overhauled and returned to
service hauling coal for Southern Illinois Gas & Electric and at the
time of the book's publication (1997) was still hauling coal from
Kentucky to a power plant in Warrick Indiana."

The Montour 14000 was not the first aluminum coal hopper built. The
Canton Car Co. built a 70-Ton Aluminum, 4-Bay Hopper with clamshell
doors for Alcoa Ore Company in November 1931. Drawings and pictures of
this car appear in the 1937 Car Builders Cyclopedia on pages 290 and
291. The caption under the plan reports the description appeared in the
April 1932 issue of Railway Mechanical Engineer and the March 26, 1932
issue of Railway Age. The drawing of this car appears on Page 266 of
the 1937 Car Builders Cyclopedia.

Another interesting steel offset quad listed in the book is Montour
M3000. This car was built in May 1928 for the Wine Railway Appliance
Company (WRAX #100) as a demonstrator. According to the Montour book,
the Montour swapped a 50-Ton gondola (#MRR X-5) for this car through
Briggs and Turvis (railway equipment brokers) in 1955. The car appears
in the Wine Railway Appliance Co. ads in the 1931 Car Builders
Cyclopedia on page 258 and the plan and elevation drawings on page 262.
The car appeared in the Unicast Company ads in the 1937 Car Builders
Cyclopedia (Page 279); again in 1940 on page 247.

It is interesting that the Montour Book shows this car coming to the
Montour in 1955, but this car appears on Page 257 of the 1943 Car
Builder Cyclopedia and again on page 195 of the 1949-1951 Edition of the
CBC in Montour Paint and lettering. Can anyone throw some light on
this time frame difference? Could it have been that the 1955 date was a
typo of some sort? Was the car leased to the Montour at an earlier date
and repainted for the lease? Were the Wine ads just repetitive and
advertising photo left unchanged?

The M3000 disappeared from the Montour Roster sometime between October
1953 and October 1956 according to the ORER's that I have.
Unfortunately, I have a gap in the registers between these issues.
Perhaps, someone else maybe able to bring us a little closer with a
register between these dates that I am missing.

One question often begets another mystery. Can anyone answer my
questions regarding the M-3000?

Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292

Gatwood, Elden J SAD wrote:

Isn't that the experimental aluminum hopper? Every other MTR hopper I've
seen was black.


-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Ed
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 5:21 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Montour Quad Offset-Side Hoppers Circa 1956

On Sep 12, 2006, at 12:54 PM, al_brown03 wrote:

1902? I didn't realize offset quads were built that early. Anyone know
what Erie series they came from?

The Erie quadruple offset-side hopper cars, series 39000-39799, were
built in 1930 by Standard Steel Car Co. Erie sold a bunch of them in
the mid-late 1950s with some going to Norfolk Southern and Montour.

Regarding the color, I knew that most (if not all) Montour hopper cars
were painted black. However, the photo of Montour 100 (available from
Bob's Photo) appears to be "light" and quite possibly a color other
than black.
Ed Hawkins

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