SR tobacco car & Big John hopper locations needed

Jim King

We at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer have been
collecting regional, period freight cars for many years. In 2006, we
created a formal restoration program to rebuild our 22 or so cars back into
period schemes (as time and $$ permit). Some of these cars include unique
equipment, like Southern ballast cleaning cars, 1 of 2 all-aluminum,
pre-Silverside "Big Dropper" hoppers and 1 of only 6 remaining N&W H9 55-ton
hoppers (now being restored).

There are several Southern-heritage cars we'd still like to acquire but the
top two are the looooong tobacco hogshead boxcar and a Big John 4-bay
covered hopper. Many of the Big Johns have been repainted and renumbered
into the NS scheme but a lot still carry SR-vintage green or black
lettering. Only about 300 still exist of the 1000+ built in the mid-60s.

The last known use for the tobacco cars was out of Danville VA hauling tires
off the stubbed NF&D branch. Cars were stored across from the Danville
station and maintained at Dundee. With the demise of that service, it's
likely all have been cut up . but we don't for sure.

If anyone has recently sighted locations for either car type on NS property
(to ease transportation), regardless of condition, please contact me off
list. I need location, car's apparent condition (still on trucks, missing
door(s), etc.) and car number in order to contact NS for possible donation.

Any help is appreciated.

Jim King

Smoky Mountain Model Works, Inc.

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