Re: Why so little discussion on coal car models?


Mike Brock <brockm@...>
 

Tony Thompson reacts:

I knew the instant I read this that the coal-road modelers
would be screaming.
Well...it IS a rather hot day in summer. IOW, what else is there to do?

But statistically, Andy is precisely correct. The
great majority of coal hoppers traveled on their home roads.
Unbelievably invulnrable statement. Totally unassailable. The stuff of genius. First...statistically? Heck...that wins the day no matter what really happened. Second..."the great majority of coal hoppers traveled on their home roads". I'd go further and say ALL of them did. I'd even say that every UP box car traveled on their home road. Did either type of car go OFF their home road? Yep. Now...to be sure, I'd argue that every UP box car managed to find its way off UP tracks at some time but I would doubt that N&W hoppers engaged in carrying coal between the mines in West Va to Norfolk probably got mixed into similar traffic to the west, south and north. OTOH, as I have reporterd several times before, in 1948 N&W sent 22 million tons west, 10 million tons north to Great Lake ships, 10 million tons east through Norfolk, 2.5 million tons south. and 7.5 million northeast into Maryland, Wash DC and VA. So...consider the map. N&W rails stopped at Columbus, OH and did not reach west of Cincinnati. In addition, N&W tracks did not reach north of Hagerstown and, in fact, served little of VA. In order to reach the large cities of Maryland and even VA...they had to leave the friendly rails of N&W. So...of the 52 million tons of coal moved by N&W, I'll speculate that no more than the amount going into Maryland and VA stayed in the Cincinnati area...leaving 27.8% of the total going off N&W tracks to the west. The amount going north from Columbus is 19.2% of the total. The amount going south is 4.8% of the total. Add in, say, 6 million going into DC and Maryland...11.5% and you get the fact that about 63.3% of the coal shipped by N&W went off N&W tracks. Now...one can argue...how far but that doesn't really matter. The question is...what RR is being modeled and is it in the area served by coal moved by N&W to its "handoff" points? Certainly we know that solid trains of N&W hoppers moved on the NYC, B&O and Pennsy north to the lake ports. We also know N&W hoppers flooded onto the smaller midwestern RRs. It was the only way to get to the industrial areas of the midwest.

Now, what about the C&O? This is not nearly so simple. C&O served Chicago and the upper midwest and also the DC area in addition to going off shore at Newport News. I would guess that smaller RRs would still have received C&O hoppers in the midwest off the C&O mainlines.

Mike Brock

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