Re: Feed Mills

Richard Hendrickson

On Dec 17, 2008, at 1:07 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

There were some few 70 ton covered hoppers built for grain service in
the very late fifties; the Soo line had some. Typical 70T cement cars
had cubic capacities of 1958 or 2003 CU. FT. In 1958 the Soo bought
some Pullman Standard "Jumbo" (yep, jumbo, said so right on the car)
three bay covered hoppers with a capacity of 70T and 2893 Cu.Ft. The
next year they went for more, these being "Super Jumbo" cars with a
capacity of 70T and 3219 Cu.Ft.

The use of covered hoppers for grain must not have been a foregone
conclusion at that time, because the railroad also began a program of
building new 50' boxcars with 10' plug doors that had grain loading
doors in the upper portion of the door. This arrangement overcame the
problem of fitting grain doors to wide door openings; the main plug
door became the "grain door", while the grain was blown in through the
small upper door. These cars were also 70t capy., and over 5000
cu.ft., so they would never fill above the bottom of the loading
doors. The cars with grain loading doors were built in 1963 and '64,
so are beyond the scope of this list, but it's interesting to note
that when the first 100T covered hoppers arrived, no additional
boxcars were built with grain loading doors, and those that had them
eventually lost them over the years.

It would appear that on the Soo at least, 1964 - 1965 was when the
decision was made to go with 100T covered hoppers exclusively for
grain service. Small customers who couldn't deal with the larger cars
were serviced for maybe the next decade or so with the existing 40'
boxcar fleet.

Dennis, the history you summarize here was largely duplicated, though
on a larger scale, by the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe's first three bay
covered hoppers, 100 cars of the Ga-90 class, arrived from Pullman-
Standard in mid-1954, somewhat earlier than on the SOO. The 2893 cu.
ft. Ga-90s were specifically intended for grain service and must have
been successful, as 315 identical Ga-94s came in 1955, still more in
the late 1950s, and then a growing flood of grain covered hoppers in
the 1960s, with the first 100 ton cars in 1963. Like the SOO, the
ATSF covered their bets in the early 1960s by converting a sizable
number of 40' box cars with grain loading doors. And, of course,
they still had thousands of conventional 40' single door box cars
that could be fitted with temporary grain doors during the grain
shipping season, but the last such cars that were built new came in
1953. After that the Santa Fe bought only 50' box cars. By the late
1960s, new 100 ton covered hoppers were rapidly taking over the bulk
grain traffic.

Richard Hendrickson

Join to automatically receive all group messages.