Numbers of Freight Cars & Types in Pgh Area Yards (UNCLASSIFIED)
Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>
In continuing this line of discussion (and because I was asked), I did a
detailed look at several yard shots taken at Pittsburgh-area yards in the
1950's. The following are interesting:
1) A nice shot of URR's yard under the Rankin Bridge points shows the
9 Box Cars
1 Company Side-Dump Gon
Broken down, one can see:
Two PRR G26 (65') gons, Two 50' URR gons,, and 28 more unidentifiable (they
are packed in there that tight)
One PRR X31 Box, Two PRR X29's with Creco doors, one NYC Box, One P&LE Box,
One T&NO Box, One Southern Box, and two unidentifiable boxes
One B&LE hopper, One PRR GLA hopper, and 15 unidentifiable hoppers.
Note the absence of foreign gons and hoppers, albeit from this very small
sample, and the very foreign box cars. The presence of Southern box cars in
Pgh-area yards seems to be common, for some reason (furniture? Lumber?).
2) A longer-distance yard shot of the PRR's 30th St Yard on Pgh's
SouthSide, taken between 1952 and '58 (probably between '55 and '58), nicely
illustrates this smaller but still substantial yard that served as both an
interchange point and classification yard for freight traffic coming out of
Jones & Laughlin's SouthSide Works, and as a class yard for other local
industries. This shot shows the following breakdown of car types, and broken
down into the PRR and J&L sides of the yard:
PRR: 14 Boxes, 71 Gons, 9 Hoppers, 4 Covered Hoppers, 0 Container Gons, 1
J&L: 14 Boxes, 77 Gons, 36 Hoppers, 10 Covered Hoppers, 6 Container Gons, 1
This is a very typical mix for an integrated mill supplied partly by water
(barge). They got most of their coal by barge, but got many additives by
hopper via rail. Gondolas served both to ship scrap (and smaller amounts of
additive) in, but mostly for shipment of structural steel out. The boxes
were there for small volumes of outward-bound product, inbound parts,
machinery, and other things needed to run the mill. Container gons held
powdered dolomite, other powdered additives. I see these same general ratios
in other yard shots in this area.
3) Finally, we have a shot of the yard (P&LE) serving the Pittsburgh
Coke and Chemical" plant in 1958. This plant took coal and produced coke and
by-products (mostly liquid derivatives for use elsewhere).
Here we have:
Hoppers: PRR H-2A's 10475 and 10961, WM 16347, a PRR triple, a P&LE twin
offset, WM Twins 16316, 15236 and 15318, 4 more PRR triples.
Five tank cars including GATX 62984, and
Three Box Cars, including one P&LE, one NYC, and one Southern (! No furniture
or lumber here!).
The hoppers brought in coal, and left with coke for foundries; the tank cars
were there for coal tar derivatives, xylene, toluene, napthas, creosote, and
etc. The box cars may have been for parts, equipment, or shipment of
ammonium sulfate (fertilizer) in bags.
The dominance of area roads in the hopper fleet is not surprising, nor the
absence of any PRR box cars. Like many of you are surmising, box cars
traveled off-line to a greater extent, hoppers remained closer to home, and
gondolas may have run in between there somewhere.
Food for thought!