Date   

Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Jim and Barbara van Gaasbeek
 

Dave,

 

Useful data.  What year do the data represent?

 

Jim van Gaasbeek

Irvine, CA


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Dave Nelson
 

I can tell you loads about Utah coal, right down to monthly carloadings.  But instead I refer you to what I said: “…wasn’t much coal west of the Mississippi as compared to the east, hardly any relatively”.   Below is the ICC origin  (red) and destination states (Blue) for rail shipped Bit Coal in tons, lifted from a spreadsheet of mine that does pivots.  Be sure to use a magnifying class to guestimate production numbers from west of the Mississippi.

 

 

Dave Nelson

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2022 1:33 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

 

Dave

??? Perhaps you have not heard of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, or even Arizona, or Washington ? :-D

On 12/6/2022 3:31 PM, Dave Nelson wrote:

In the steam era there wasn’t much coal west of the  Mississippi as compared to the east, hardly any relatively. More on the east bank but still not as much as back east.   So why have a fleet of hoppers large enough for the fall rush of heating coal sit around for most of the year?  GS gons could carry everything.

 

Dave Nelson

 


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Re: How common were multiple boxcar bulk shipments

Mark Vinski
 

The B&O used to handle multi-car shipments of newsprint in CN, CV, and DWP 50' boxcars to Pittsburgh, Pa. The cars were unloaded at three different locations at different times and rolls of paper trucked to the printing plant.
Paper also went to a cardboard plant near Eighty-Four, Pa. in multi-car shipments.
Recycled paper is shipped out of Glenwood, near Pittsburgh, in multi-car blocks but I'm not sure if it all goes to one destination.
Mark


NATIONAL SCALE CAR MINI KITS

WILLIAM PARDIE
 


National Scale Car has scored a hit with their recent mini kit releases.  The Grest Northern 12 panel.car is listed as "Out Of Stock" and I can't find a listing for the Santa Fe Fe-22.

Does anyone know if these will be rerun?

Bill Pardie



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


East and West? was: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Jerry Michels
 

Growing up in Missouri I always considered the Mississippi River as the east-west separation line, with one or two states to the west side of it the midwest.. 

Gateway Arch? 

How come there is no mideast? 

Wyoming, where I lived for 10 years, does not exist (let's keep it that way!). 

According to the residents, Texas is midwest, west, and southwest depending on where you live in the state. We consider Houstonians southerners and Houstonians consider us the wild west. Die-hard Texans consider Missourians as Yankees and haven't heard of Wyoming! 😊

Jerry Michels from Amarillo


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Ken Adams
 

From the early 20th century on oil was the primary energy source for California. Instead of coal hoppers it was tank cars until pipelines replaced them. In the first decade of the 20th century the Southern Pacific converted its steam locomotives to burn oil on the Pacific Lines. Other lines were forced to burn oil by state legislation to satisfy the newly minted oil barons. Coastal California homes didn't have coal burning furnaces as they only required modest heating in winter. Gas (originally used for home lighting) was used for heating and cooking. Hydro-electric generation provided most of the electricity until the demand outstripped hydroelectric capacity in the last half of the 20th century. 

Oddly enough I understand the SP continued to use coal for heating stoves and furnaces in 19th century built company buildings until the 1960's.  The coal was moved about in open company gondolas GS series and other gondolas.  The classic 1956 photo below of Port Costa shows a pair of SP gondolas in front of  the freight house loaded with coal. I would guess these were moved as company freight and spotted on similar house tracks and the coal bagged or wheelbarrowed to distribute to the SP company buildings.

I have no accurate  knowledge of the source of the SP's company coal but there coal mines in the eastern slope Coastal Range just west of Tracy active into the 20th century and served by a CP/SP railroad branch.  Then there was the Tesla Mine and the Alameda & San Joaquin Railroad (later a WP branch) in the same area. (see https://wikimapia.org/1787312/Tesla-Coal-Mine-Corral-Hollow). But these mines closed in 1911. 


--
Ken Adams
Covid Variants may come and go but I choose to still live mostly in splendid Shelter In Place solitude
Location: About half way up Walnut Creek
Owner PlasticFreightCarBuilders@groups.io


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Tim O'Connor
 


And here's something to ponder for Southern Pacific modelers -- Because most SP gondolas tended to stay on the
railroad most of the time (probably 90% or more of the time), and because box cars were more randomly distributed
in general -- and this meant that SP box cars were OFFLINE more than 50% of the time (I don't have exact numbers
for SP but I do for GN and NP) -- the result is that on a MODEL railroad of the SP, about 25% or more of the
company cars (SP/T&NO/et al) should be gondolas! :-) Of course the concentration of the cars depends on local
factors, since rock & sand tend to travel short distances.

The SP postwar started to acquire side-dump steel hopper cars, and 2 bay and 3 bay hoppers, and eventually
bought no more GS gondolas after the final orders of 70 ton, welded GS gondolas in the 1950's (including cars
designed specifically for wood chips).



On 12/6/2022 4:16 PM, Tony Thompson wrote:

Ray Carson wrote:

Western railroads had a preference for gondolas than hoppers which were more common in the east. Was it due to mineral traffic or just gondolas being more universal than hoppers?

Ray asks an interesting question, but states it, in my own opinion, backwards. Western railroads had similar percentages of gondolas in their fleets as did most railroads, often near the average of at the national fleet (20 percent). So they didn’t “prefer” gondolas. They just didn’t own many hoppers. One example is SP, whose hoppers in the transition era were mostly ballast cars.
This did change with era. By the 1960s, roads that had moved coal in gondolas previously (like D&RGW) changed to hoppers. So this is an era-dependent question, too.

Tony Thompson

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Re: Seeking Atlas HO Scale Freight Car - UPDATE

Allan Smith
 

The photo that I have of RSP # 31 Shows an 8 panel side and a viking roof.  Car # 32 looks a lot like an ex ATSF Bx-33-36..

Al Smith

On Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 11:12:34 AM PST, Mark Rossiter <mrossiter327@...> wrote:


Tim, yes, I am referring to the steel rebuilt double-sheathed cars.  Let it be known that I am always ready and willing to be educated - and corrected as necessary.  

It looks like I misread the table in the back of RPC #24, which specifically addresses rebuilt USRA double-sheathed cars.  In taking a closer look at the table, it indicates that RS&P obtained one car (but doesn't indicate what the car number was) with 8 side panels, a Chicago Hutchins Viking roof and Youngstown doors from the C&NW in the 1960's.  

So far, I have not found any other references to the origin of the RS&P cars, but if you think they may have come from AT&SF, I am willing to see where that trail leads.  Thanks for your response!

Mark Rossiter


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

akerboomk
 

Note also that in the ORERs, early on (thru the USRA gons) many gondolas were listed as "Coal Cars", at least for the B&M
The B&M USRA gons were listed as "Coal cars" thru their demise in 1954

--
Ken Akerboom
http://bmfreightcars.com/


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Tim O'Connor
 

Dave

??? Perhaps you have not heard of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, or even Arizona, or Washington ? :-D

On 12/6/2022 3:31 PM, Dave Nelson wrote:

In the steam era there wasn’t much coal west of the  Mississippi as compared to the east, hardly any relatively. More on the east bank but still not as much as back east.   So why have a fleet of hoppers large enough for the fall rush of heating coal sit around for most of the year?  GS gons could carry everything.

 

Dave Nelson



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Tony Thompson
 

Ray Carson wrote:

Western railroads had a preference for gondolas than hoppers which were more common in the east. Was it due to mineral traffic or just gondolas being more universal than hoppers?
Ray asks an interesting question, but states it, in my own opinion, backwards. Western railroads had similar percentages of gondolas in their fleets as did most railroads, often near the average of at the national fleet (20 percent). So they didn’t “prefer” gondolas. They just didn’t own many hoppers. One example is SP, whose hoppers in the transition era were mostly ballast cars.
This did change with era. By the 1960s, roads that had moved coal in gondolas previously (like D&RGW) changed to hoppers. So this is an era-dependent question, too.

Tony Thompson
tony@...


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Josh
 

An unused car is a liability. Not only does it make no profit, it costs money merely to store.

Coal, like livestock and sugarbeets, is a seasonal commodity. Yes, there was a year-round demand for industrial coal, but demand from consumers and production at the mines skyrocketed in the fall and disappeared in the early spring.

Ores and gravels are heavy. Coal and coke are light. Hoppers built for coal must carry a smaller cubic capacity of ores or gravel; the shippers didn't care about this and tended to overfill coal hoppers, thus damaging the cars.

Gondolas are not limited to bulk loading. A gondola is merely a flatcar with sides. A railroad can ship anything that will fit inside of a gondola - machinery, large castings, lumber, etc. They can't do the same with a hopper car.

It made more economic sense, and prevented car idling, for most railroads to merely use a general-purpose drop bottom gondola that could be used for a variety of loads. That way there are not massive numbers of expensive coal hoppers lying around in the summer, idle because they cannot be used for any other loads. The D&RGW's fleet of Pressed Steel Car Company drop bottom gondolas was built and maintained specifically because of these factors - they could be used to haul coal, beets, and mineral products as equally reliably, and in between shipped mining equipment, agricultural machinery, scrap metal, poles, finished lumber, or anything else that fit within the approximately 40-foot interior length. Before the arrival of the Bethlehem steel hoppers, the D&RGW *did* own some steel two-bay coal hoppers inherited from the Rio Grande Western, but they were not well liked because the copper/lead/silver mines at Bingham Canyon kept overfilling them, in spite of the white line painted across the side to indicate upper loading limits, which resulted in the sides bulging out and bursting. The older Bethlehem hoppers assigned to limestone flux traffic to Geneva Steel had the same problem, hence why only the oldest, most clapped-out cars wound up in that dedicated assignment.

-Josh B.


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Ray Breyer
 

Lol. Good luck locking down an "actual" definition of "the Midwest". Ohio is technically part of the Midwest, but REAL Midwesterners think of Ohio as "the East Coast". Likewise, we think of anywhere west of Nebraska or Kansas as "the West".  Usually, we refer to anywhere west of Iowa and on to the Rockies as the Great Plains, separate from the Midwest.

Then there's the idea that Kentucky and Missouri could EITHER be part of the Midwest or "the South". And is Texas south or west? Or "Southwest"?

And nobody wants Michigan.  :-)

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL



On Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 01:21:54 PM CST, Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...> wrote:


Ray, We need to include the Missouri Pacific which hauled a lot of coal from Southern Illinois to St. Louis and for its own use system-wide.  I think the assumption that 'western roads' used more gondolas than hoppers needs to be looked at more closely.  Where is the distinction drawn between mid-western and western, the Rockies?

Jerry Michels


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Chuck Soule
 

Another factor is the density of the mineral.  Coal is less dense than metallic minerals, so a gondola that would be loaded full with ore would overflow if you tried to fill it with the same tonnage of coal.  So  -  you get a hopper with higher sides.

Chuck Soule


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Dave Nelson
 

In the steam era there wasn’t much coal west of the  Mississippi as compared to the east, hardly any relatively. More on the east bank but still not as much as back east.   So why have a fleet of hoppers large enough for the fall rush of heating coal sit around for most of the year?  GS gons could carry everything.

 

Dave Nelson


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Jerry Michels
 

Ray, We need to include the Missouri Pacific which hauled a lot of coal from Southern Illinois to St. Louis and for its own use system-wide.  I think the assumption that 'western roads' used more gondolas than hoppers needs to be looked at more closely.  Where is the distinction drawn between mid-western and western, the Rockies?

Jerry Michels


Re: Seeking Atlas HO Scale Freight Car - UPDATE

Mark Rossiter
 

Tim, yes, I am referring to the steel rebuilt double-sheathed cars.  Let it be known that I am always ready and willing to be educated - and corrected as necessary.  

It looks like I misread the table in the back of RPC #24, which specifically addresses rebuilt USRA double-sheathed cars.  In taking a closer look at the table, it indicates that RS&P obtained one car (but doesn't indicate what the car number was) with 8 side panels, a Chicago Hutchins Viking roof and Youngstown doors from the C&NW in the 1960's.  

So far, I have not found any other references to the origin of the RS&P cars, but if you think they may have come from AT&SF, I am willing to see where that trail leads.  Thanks for your response!

Mark Rossiter


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Dennis Storzek
 

On Tue, Dec 6, 2022 at 12:21 PM, Ray Breyer wrote:
All of these roads (and others) mostly hauled coal (people tend to forget that Illinois is the third largest coal producing state, after PA and WV).
And the Soo did a big business in "lake coal", eastern coal shipped as back haul on ore boats to Ashland and Superior, Wisc.

Dennis Storzek


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Ray Breyer
 

And, this completely discounts all of the MIDwestern roads who also had larger fleets of coal-hauling gondolas (instead of hoppers). The IC, C&NW, L&N, CB&Q, M&StL, Soo, Big Four, and other mineral-hauling roads in the midwest all ran huge gondola fleets through the 1950s, when hoppers took over.  All of thesese roads (and others) mostly hauled coal (people tend to forget that Illinois is the third largest coal producing state, after PA and WV).

Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL




On Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 11:06:50 AM CST, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


Doug

People who don't model western railroads often think that. :-)

In 1955 over 20% of the SP's freight cars were gondolas, mostly GS and Hart gondolas (which were classified as hoppers in the ORER)

And almost 20% of the fleet was flat cars !! (Nobody originated more lumber than the SP, I think.)

The SP and T&NO moved a LOT of rock and sand and even sulfur in gondolas (and hoppers too). Sugar beets, and lemons too.

The cars tended to stay online, just as eastern coal cars tended to do the same.


On 12/6/2022 11:52 AM, Douglas Harding wrote:

Western roads did not have as much mineral traffic as some eastern roads. So they preferred drop bottom gons, which were more versatile. Gons could be used for loads other than mineral so they did not sit around like unused hoppers.

 

Doug Harding

https://www.facebook.com/douglas.harding.3156/

Youtube: Douglas Harding Iowa Central Railroad

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Carson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 12:33 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

 

Western railroads had a preference for gondolas than hoppers which were more common in the east. Was it due to mineral traffic or just gondolas being more universal than hoppers?


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Re: Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

Tim O'Connor
 

Doug

People who don't model western railroads often think that. :-)

In 1955 over 20% of the SP's freight cars were gondolas, mostly GS and Hart gondolas (which were classified as hoppers in the ORER)

And almost 20% of the fleet was flat cars !! (Nobody originated more lumber than the SP, I think.)

The SP and T&NO moved a LOT of rock and sand and even sulfur in gondolas (and hoppers too). Sugar beets, and lemons too.

The cars tended to stay online, just as eastern coal cars tended to do the same.


On 12/6/2022 11:52 AM, Douglas Harding wrote:

Western roads did not have as much mineral traffic as some eastern roads. So they preferred drop bottom gons, which were more versatile. Gons could be used for loads other than mineral so they did not sit around like unused hoppers.

 

Doug Harding

https://www.facebook.com/douglas.harding.3156/

Youtube: Douglas Harding Iowa Central Railroad

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Carson via groups.io
Sent: Tuesday, December 6, 2022 12:33 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Why were gondolas more popular in the west for hauling minerals than hoppers?

 

Western railroads had a preference for gondolas than hoppers which were more common in the east. Was it due to mineral traffic or just gondolas being more universal than hoppers?


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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