Re: Mineral Service on your Roads

Norman+Laraine Larkin <lono@...>

This is an interesting topic, Elden. Although what I'm about to say occurred 1968/1969 on the B&M, there's nothing to say something similar didn't occur in the 40s and 50s elsewhere. There were several major construction projects in the Metropolitan Boston area that required large amounts of gravel. One project, the I-95 extension north of Boston, required some 3.5M cubic yards of gravel alone over a nine month period. The B&M provided 300 70-ton hoppers, but required more. They leased 200 B&LE hoppers (5-year lease); 100 Pennsy hoppers (per diem lease) ; 50 BAR hoppers (per diem lease); and 18 Portland Terminal hoppers. Three 60-car trains and one 48-car train were run per day for the I-95 project, two additional trains were run for the Logan Airport expansion. It was a fascinating operation, but the point is the railroad had to lease cars from other carriers, in this case, five different road names in captive, regularly scheduled mineral service. I wonder how many times this occurred in our time frame. The above information was taken from the Winter 1974-1975 issue of the B&M Bulletin from an article by H. Bentley Crouch.
Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: Gatwood, Elden J SAD
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 1:36 PM
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Mineral Service on your Roads


I have been doing a bunch more reading on minerals shipped by the railroads,
and figure you could have an interest. This may create a more interesting
through or set-out operation for you, or even an on-line industrial
interchange with your road, if we can figure out what cars were used by what
roads, in this service.

We have pretty good ideas of what roads shipped coal, and iron ore, but there
is a lot that can be done to ID some of the rest, some of which was shipped
in open hoppers, others in covered hoppers, and even box cars. Mineral
service was a huge amount of the traffic on most roads, even those you
wouldn't think of, so I hope we can figure some of this out.

Here we go:

Aluminum; source area usually overseas (Guinea, Jamaica, Brazil, India);
would have entered U.S. ports, most eastern.

QUESTIONS: What ports, and shipped by what roads, where destined, how
shipped? How much?

Ammonium Sulfate; by-product of coking industry; used as soil amendment,
white to yellow powder, shipped most often bagged, in box cars. Sources:
Coke Industry - Bethlehem Steel, Colorado Fuel & Iron, Crucible Steel,
Detroit Steel, Eastern Gas & Fuel, Ford Motor Co., Granite City Steel, Inland
Steel, Interlake Iron, International Harvester, Jones & Laughlin, Kaiser
Steel, Merritt-Chapman & Scott-Tennessee Products & Chemical, National Steel,
Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical, Pittsburgh Steel, Republic Steel, Sharon Steel,
U.S. Pipe & Foundry, U.S. Steel (numerous locations), Wheeling Steel,
Woodward Iron, Youngstown Sheet & Tube (to start) If you want more details
about any of these facilities' production rates or locations, ask!

Questions: Where did all this bagged product go first, before it went to
local feed & fertilizer distributors?

Calcium Carbide: grayish-white mineral used in de-sulphurization of iron.
Also used in deoxidization at the ladle, in treatment.

QUESTIONS: Sources? Shipped by what roads? Are these the cylindrical tanks
we have seen shipped on the NYC and RI in dedicated service rack flats? How
much of this was shipped?

Chromium: blue-white ore; by 1952, 40% was coming from Turkey, 38% South
Africa, some from s. Egypt & Cuba (i.e., 79% import), with small amounts from
Montana, California, Oregon, and Alabama. Used in ferrochromium production.
Most coming through ports of Philadelphia, Baltimore (others??). Shipped
most often in open twin hoppers not filled to volumetric capacity due to
weight. Most headed to specialty steel-making facilities (and small
industrial chromium coating concerns, but first through where?)

QUESTIONS: What other ports, and shipped by what roads? How much?

More minerals, later! Any input appreciated.

Elden Gatwood

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