Re: car travel (UNCLASSIFIED)

Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
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I spoke to an older gentlemen years ago about this same topic, as he worked
in a water treatment plant locally (Pittsburgh). He had much the same to say
to me. He did not remember all the details about the coal (like the size of
the chunks, etc.), but also stated that it came from anthracite country, and
that he remembered B&O, RDG and others' cars at the plant. he also stated
that the cars with 1-ton tanks on them came from a variety of chlorine
producers, including Diamond Alkali, Mathieson, Stauffer and others, and that
they unloaded the cars onto hand trucks which were wheeled around the plant
to where the cylinders were used. The removable tanks were painted silver to
provide some small measure of relief from the sun heating the tanks too much.
He also told me all the cars he saw were painted black, and each had a "sign"
on the side.

It is too bad that no one makes decals for the HO chlorine car that MTS did
years ago, as it is a nice little model.

In my research, I found dozens of water treatment plants served by rail,
which could have gotten either or both types of car, and they are numerous
enough when one looks at a total list of industries that it appears this is a
highly neglected industry for modeling. I recall that one article was done
some time ago on treatment plants, by Bob Rivard, maybe, but that it was from
the 1970's era when they had gone over to the larger insulated tank cars for
deliveries of chlorine.

BTW, do you also recall any use of cars that had processed charcoal in them,
or was this just this individual's memory of the coal usage that prompted


Elden Gatwood


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 1:59 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: car travel

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. <> com, Tim Gilbert
<tgilbert@...> wrote:

Joseph Binish wrote:

A friend of mine remembers Reading hoppers going through
MN (just west of Mpls)on the GN, in the mid 50s.
The RDG hoppers were probably carrying Anthracite if loaded, or, if
unloaded, returning home after being loaded with Anthracite. Before
II, RDG hoppers were regulars on the UP's Oregon Short Line
Anthracite to some homes in the Portland area.

Anthracite was a specialized coal used mainly for home heating.
Since it
was (& still is) mined commercially only in northeastern PA, it had
special properties which home owners wanted for their furnaces. The
originated more Anthracite than any other road.

Tim Gilbert
Tim -

In addition to home heating, anthracite is used as a final polishing
filter in drinking water treatment plants. The last step in treating
river water before putting it into the pipe to your house is to pass
it through a fixed bed of anthracite - this removes any odor and
unwanted color remaining in the drinking water. It was
called "Anthracine" in the water treatment arena years ago.

I suspect that some of these RDG hoppers were delivering the filter
medium. When it was spent, the anthracite was landfilled locally.
For a treatment plant for a city of 100,000 size, a hopper car of
anthracite every two months or so would probably suffice.

A.T. Kott, who used to teach a water treatment class years ago!

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