Re: Coins as car weights

bdg1210 <Bruce_Griffin@...>


For maybe for the first time in the few years I have followed this
list a topic has appeared that I am actually quite knowledgeable
about and that is health and safety. "Lead vapor", fumes, or dusts
are actually the most dangerous route of entry (inhalation) for
lead. It gets into the blood stream quite quickly and completely
through the lungs. Ingestion (eating or through the mouth) is
usually a secondary route of exposure for adults and less of the
product is absorbed into the blood stream. Ingestion is the primary
route of exposure for children whose "safe" exposure levels are about
1/5 that of an adult when using blood lead levels to measure
exposure. Children are much more susceptible to lead exposure as it
can effect brain development (it doesn't take much). Adult's brains
are pretty much developed so on average they can tolerate higher
levels of exposure without negative affect to the brain, but then the
issue becomes other organs. Target organs in adults include: Eyes,
gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, kidneys, blood, and
gingival tissue. is the pocket guide page
from NIOSH and gives general information about exposure levels for
adults. Translating the numbers, I personally might melt lead
outside, keeping my face away from the "pot" most of the time and
staying up wind. And I would only do it on very limited occasions as
over time blood lead levels can reduce without repeated exposures.
When handling lead sheets as I do at the modeling work bench, I make
it a habit to wash my hands just after handling leada to reduce the
chance of ingestion. I agree a certain amount of "care is needed" but
that includes vapors and dusts.

Bruce D. Griffin, MSOS, CSP

--- In, Anthony Thompson <thompson@...> wrote:

Garth G. Groff wrote:
I know we've disagreed about this before, and I certainly respect
scientific knowledge. However, my father used to melt lead tire
weights just as described. He was later diagnosed with lead

Handling lead with bare hands gets the oxide onto your skin,
may get it into your mouth or nose. I'd worry about that part, not
about the lead vapor.
Please do not think I was saying lead is harmless or that you
treat it cavalierly. Care is needed.
And by the way, Garth, if your father is 91 the lead must
have been TOO bad for him <meant in jest, of course>.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

Re: hopper loads

Norman+Laraine Larkin <lono@...>

Coke was a byproduct of the manufactured gas process,and as this process evolved, the coke was, in-turn, burned to create additional forms of manufactured gas. Beginning in the early 20th century, large volumes of coke were produced in specialized by-product coking ovens close by (or a part of) integrated steel mills.

Coke was used as the basic fuel in blast furnaces, along with iron ore and limestone, in the manufacture of molten iron. Coke ovens essentially baked bituminous coal in an oxygen free environment at high temps (~1800- 2200 degrees F.) depending on it's end use, for a period of 16-22 hours. While baking, coal released large amounts of impure gas which was routed to a by-products plant where it was refined into useable chemicals (benzene, ammonium sulfate, etc.), ammonia liquor and coal tar was separated out. The clean gas was rerouted to heat the coke ovens and blast furnaces, or to private manufactured gas companies for sale to consumers. Once cooked, the white-hot coke was pushed from the oven into a "hot car" was quenched under a water spray, then dumped into a coal wharf where it continued to cool. A conveyer would move the coke up into a screening plant where it was separated by size, or to a crusher for additional sizing. From the oven, coke ranged in size from 3- inch pieces to 8-10 -inch chunks. .

The coke plant (where I worked one summer back in the mid 50s) produced up to 2.5 M tons of coke/year in the 40s and early 50s. Some went to a nearby blast furnace, some to Boston Gas Co. for gas manufacturing, some home heating fuel, and after WWII, coke was exported to Europe. Two solid coke trains per day shipped out over both the Boston and Albany (~50 cars) and Boston and Maine (~25 cars). Coke weighs considerably less than coal, so a coke loaded standard hopper car carried no where near its maximum weight. In general, specialized high-sided hopper cars were used in dedicated coke service between coke plants and the user mills. One of the most familiar is the Pennsy H22 made by Bowser. I believe the so-called rust belt saw much coke traffic, probably in any open topped car available when the mills were in full operation.

Norm Larkin

----- Original Message -----
From: ed_mines
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 12:21 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: hopper loads

--- In, "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@...> wrote:
> Coke is flat black to dark gray in color.

How about particle size?

Was there much coke being shipped? I recall it was a byproduct of
illuminating gas and some utilities burned coke in special plants.


Re: hopper loads

CJ Riley

--- Bob Karig <> wrote:

I know one is shiny. Which one? Both?

I don't know about anthracite, but many hopper loads of bituminous that I saw
were shiny. Coke was pretty dull.

CJ Riley

Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

Re: Freight Car Music

Paul Hillman

A few years ago Merle Haggard released a great railroad album, "My Love Affair with Trains", all original songs and from the steam era.

Included are songs;

"I won't Give Up My Train", about an engineer,
"My Love Affair with Trains", written by Dolly Parton,
"Where have all the Hobos gone",
"The Miners Silver Ghost",

and many others.

Great STMFC era music.

Anyone heard it besides me?

Paul Hillman

N&W G4 vs. CNJ rebuilt WE gondola

Pieter Roos

Hi all;

I'm planning on acquiring the Cryer Gray Foundry N&W G4 model as a
re-built CNJ war emergency gondola.

Does anyone see major differences between the N&W model and the CNJ
version? Or, for that matter, anything different from any other
railroad's rebuilding, except the Rock Island's corrugated panels?

If there are things that need changing I may get the unpainted instead
of painted black but unlettered model. BTW, it's S scale, so options
like Tichy or F&C versions don't work! :~{

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Pieter Roos

Re: Tim Gilbert

Tom Madden <tgmadden@...>

Mike Brock wrote:

I, too, was startled to read about Tim Gilbert's passing. I had
noticed that he had not commented in some time and was curious
about that.
A quick search shows that Tim's last STMFC post was #63014 on 5/26/07.
Twenty five days later, he's gone - and at only 66. A blunt reminder of
the impermanence of human life, especially to those of us already well
past that age.

Thanks, Tim, for sharing.

Tom Madden

Re: Stick on weights. Was Coins as car weights.

Peter J. McClosky <pmcclosky@...>

Hello Philip,

There are 624 1/4 oz weights in the 1/4 oz box, and 360 in the 1/2 oz box.

I paid about $94.00 (total) for the box of 1/4 oz weights and the other
box of 1/2 oz weights.

The 1/4 oz weights come in at about $0.08 apiece (or $0.32 per ounce)
and the 1/2 oz weights cost about $0.15 apiece (or $0.30 per ounce).

I know this is more than pennies cost, but they are much denser, and are
easier to work with.

I have also use lead shot from a metal store. These are about 1/8 inch
in diameter. When used on a car, they are not nearly as dense (a lot of
empty space between pellets) as the solid lead. I like the "denseness"
of the solid lead, as it lowers the center of gravity of the car.

Peter J. McClosky

Philip Dove wrote:
How many weights are there in a box, and how much did they cost? I got
a bag of old wheel weights from a Tyre fitting shop for nothing from
when they rebalanced wheels, but most were curved weights with steel
clips and whatever type they were they were really filthy. I have some
lead, it was a feed pipe to a toilet cistern, but a bit of cutting and
hammering converted it into sheets of metal. The virtue of coins is
you know the weight of them before you start, and you probably have
some in stock. I also got a load of used air gun pellets from a
showman at a Midway It took a surprising amount of effort to get the
bits of paper target separated out. As someone else said off cuts of
roof flashing are probably easiest if you can get it. I've seen
Athearn cars (steel axles and steel weights) move slightly if they are
spotted over a coupling magnet.
Regards Philip Dove
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter J. McClosky
To: <>
Sent: 14 August 2007 18:08
Subject: [STMFC] Stick on weights. Was Coins as car weights.

None of the Hobby shops up here carry "Stick on Weights".

I went to every auto parts store I could find (before giving up) and
could not fine any. Most of the clerks in these stores had no idea what
I was talking about. When I explained that they were used to balance
alloy wheels they "got it"

Then I went to a tire store, and while the would not sell me any they
had in stock ("I would not have any to use"), they did pre order me 1
box each of 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz stick on weights.

I think I got a life time supply, without paying for shipping (and lead
is heavy!!!).


Jon Miller wrote:

...Lead is good but hard to get these days. Wheel
weights are not bad (lead) but you need to mail-order in CA.
Peter J. McClosky

Re: FEC's "Car Ferry Company" reefers purchased by FGE


The Florida East Coast Car Ferry Company (FECCFC), was an FEC sister
company and the predecessor to the West India Fruit & Steamship
Company, ran a railroad car ferry service from Key West to Havana,
Cuba from 1914 through the demise of the Key West Extension in the
Labor Day, 1935 hurricane. Except for a brief surge of construction
materials transhipped from Key West during the mid-1920's Florida
land boom, Key West Extension freight traffic was principally due to
the railroad car ferry.

The FECCFC had three nearly identical car ferry boats, all built by
the William Cramp shipyards in Philadelphia: the Henry M. Flagler
(built 1914), the Joseph R. Parrott (built 1916), and the Estrada
Palma (built 1920.) Plans for the boats may be obtained from:

From 1921 through 1936 the FECCFC owned a 500 car lot of USRA design
double sheathed ventilated boxcars. These were leased throughout the
entire period to the Florida East Coast Railway Company, FEC car
numbers 17001-17500. This is the Westerfield Car

At the demise of the Extension, the car ferry service was transferred
to Port Everglades, just south of Ft. Lauderdale. The FECCFC ferry
service continued there until interrupted in 1942 by World War II.
During 1942 all three boats became USN mine layers, the Keokuk,
Shawmut and Weehawken respectively.

In 1948, ferry service resumed from the Port of Palm Beach under the
successor West India Fruit & Steamship Company. The Henry M. Flagler
and the Joseph R. Parrott began the service. ( The Estrada Palma was
sunk in the Caribbean during the war.) Additional boats (City of
Havanna, City of New Orleans, Grand Haven, New Grand Haven, Sea
Level) were subsequently added.


Re: hopper loads


--- In, "ed_mines" <ed_mines@...> wrote:

--- In, "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@> wrote:
Coke is flat black to dark gray in color.
How about particle size?

Was there much coke being shipped? I recall it was a byproduct of
illuminating gas and some utilities burned coke in special plants.

In the vicinity of steel mills, unless produced on site, there would
be a lot inbound, as it (is/was) heavily used in steel production as
fuel and source of carbon in the blast furnaces themselves.

Tim Barney

Re: hopper loads

gn3397 <heninger@...>

--- In, timboconnor@... wrote:

Hey, don't get greedy! Accurail's already given you two unique-to-GN
freight cars (and acquired a third one from McKean) so give some other
railroads a chance! Seems to me that Accurail SORELY lacks a 3-dome
tank car...

Tim O'Connor
Yes, Mr. O'Connor, but the stockcar and boxcar don't exist yet in my era. <g>.

Robert D. Heninger
Stanley, ND

Re: Tim Gilbert

Rufus Cone <cone@...>

Tim Gilbert's many helpful and important contributions certainly earned
him the thoughtful acknowledgements sent by Ian, Wilson, Richard
Hendrickson, Mike Brock, and a number of others. Their earlier posts have
covered many aspects of Tim Gilbert's special contributions to STMFC and
to his response to many individuals' request for analysis or data.

His injection of concrete data from Moody's into the discussions along
with his analysis of conductors' car lists and other data were notable.

As Tom Baker said, "We will all, I am sure, miss his expertise and his
willingness to clarify or offer an insight."

Rufus Cone
Bozeman, MT

Richard Hendrickson wrote:

The news of Tim Gilbert's death gets my day off to a very bad start.
Tim's knowlege, resourcefulness, and willingness to share were a major
asset to the STMFC list and to prototype modeling in general. Like
Pierre Oliver, I'll miss seeing Tim at Naperville. Another good guy
gone to the great freight yard in the sky.

Richard Hendrickson

Re: hopper loads

Philip Dove <philip.dove@...>

The coke I knew for burning in a domestic stove (hand fired) was about an inch in size and more irregular in shape than a lump of coal because it was porous because all the gas had been baked out (basically coke is coal that has been heated to red heat in an absence of air so it can't burn) Sometimes coke was a by product of making town gas, and tar products, sometimes the coke was what you wanted and the rest was a waste product. Coke is a lot harder to ignite but burns hot and with no smoke. Some coke that I saw was the size of an adults fist. The coke was porous IE honeycombed with very fine pin holes. At a quick glance a heap of coke was black but it was a very dark silvery grey. If I needed to make a model of a coke load I would get some of that very dark grey dense foam used for packing, such as in a Bachmann spectrum box and mince it up small. real coke would just be dust by the time you'd finished trying to crush it to HO scale. Loads of coke straight from the coke oven had to be damped down with water and trucks would be literally steaming. Sometimes you wondered whether the load was smouldering or steaming. In the UK up to the late 1950s one of the main brands of "gasoline" was made with a significant percentage of benzole derived from coal during the coking process. Coke could also be used in filter beds for Sewage farms. Some Kind of bacteria was added to the coke and then dilute sewage was sprayed onto the colonized coke and the fluid that filtered through the beds became treated sewage rather than very noxious raw sewage. Sewage farms would only require loads of coke when they first built the treatment beds, so don't direct carloads of coke to the sewage farm.

----- Original Message -----
From: ed_mines
Sent: 15 August 2007 17:21
Subject: [STMFC] Re: hopper loads

--- In, "Dennis Storzek" <destorzek@...> wrote:
> Coke is flat black to dark gray in color.

How about particle size?

Was there much coke being shipped? I recall it was a byproduct of
illuminating gas and some utilities burned coke in special plants.


Tim Gilbert

John Hitzeman

My wife Nancy, and I, met Tim the very first year we attended the Amherst Show in
West Springfield, Mass. (1994 or 5?)
As those of you who knew Tim can verify, he was never at a loss for words, most
of which were "nuggets" of knowledge, etc. He could talk for hours, and did.

Somewhere along the line, Tim and Nancy got to talking about where their
families came from. Nancy's mom was raised in Connecticut and it turned
out that Tim and my mother-in-law were distant cousins!!!

So, he was not only part of the train family, but one of the in-laws,
I guess.? <<VBG>>

He had a couple of projects that he wanted me to pursue, so?I guess
I'd better do one before he looses some lightning bolts at me, or something.

He was a walking encyclopedia of train knowledge, and?he will be sorely missed.

Sweating Lake, Missouri

John Hitzeman
American Model Builders, Inc.
LASERkit (tm)

AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at

Re: Freight Car Music

Philip Dove <philip.dove@...>

In France and some European countries they counted axles not wheels 231 is the correct notation for a pacific if your French. To digress even further off freight cars Night mail must be the best poem in a train tempo. The poem was written in the thirties as the sound track for a General post office publicity film showing a mail train running through the night London to Glasgow.
What is a boxcar? (Mandatory freight car content.)
Regards Philip Dove

----- Original Message -----
From: Miller, Andrew S.
Sent: 15 August 2007 13:59
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Freight Car Music


Have you ever wondered if 231 was the number of the loco or if Arthur
Honegger merely misunderstood the European wheel designation of the


Andy Miller

-----Original Message-----
On Behalf Of Denny Anspach

. . .
Arthur Honegger's
"Pacific 231" probably gets as close as any to true "railroad music"

Re: Coins as car weights

Peter Weiglin

Lawrence Rast wrote:

Another option are lead ingots from Bass Pro Shops. Come to about $1.80 per
pound. Easily cut to 1/4, 1/2, 1 oz. sizes and attached with epoxy. Just
be careful when handling. As BPS's site says, "Do not place product in your
= = =

And then I asked, "Why not just use the pennies? That designer lead sold in hobby shops is expensive.

So -- Nine pennies is just under one ounce. .984 of an ounce.
Ten pennies is 1.093 ounces.

Apply adhesive, and weights cost nine or ten cents per ounce.

But wait! Subsequent measurements showed that eleven pennies .0970 ounce.
Ten pennies is 1.058 ounces.

How come? Research followed. Turns out there two different weights for pennies, depending on when they were minted. Sometime in 1982, the metallic composition of the penny was changed, and the newer pennies are lighter. Pennies minted before 1982 gave the first set of numbers above, pennies minted after 1982 gave the second set.

No, I didn't have any 1982 pennies to check; I don't know if they changed at the end of a year or during 1982.

So, although it against the law to use pennies for other than their intended purpose, one could glue the requisite number of pennies inside a house car to weight it. Might even tack-solder groups of pennies together.

Peter Weiglin
Amelia, OH

Re: Tim Gilbert

Mike Brock <brockm@...>

I, too, was startled to read about Tim Gilbert's passing. I had noticed that he had not commented in some time and was curious about that.

As many know, Tim, along with Dave Nelson, was a key figure in the accumulation of data about frt car populations and their distribution and he did a great deal of analysis on such. There are quite a few messages in the STMFC archives from Tim containing various aspects of his studies. He and I carried on more than one discussion about such distributions...always pleasurable and interesting. He added the data from my 1949 UP freight conductor's book to his and passed the results to the STMFC.
I was pleased to meet him when he attended Prototype Rails in Cocoa Beach in 2006. He will be missed.

Mike Brock

Re: Question regarding NC&StL / Monon steel gons

Ray Breyer wrote:
>>A good picture of one would be helpful :-)

Good point. I just created a new album for the NC&StL 44000-series gons. Once the moderators approve the images, you'll find photos of NC&StL 44275, Monon 6001, and the diagram page for these cars from the NC&StL's 1955 freight car diagram book.

Let me know offlist if you want larger images.

Ray Breyer

Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.

Re: hopper loads

Ray Meyer

Bituminous - As I recall that's short for by two minutes it's gone....

Atty Raymond G. Meyer
110 E. Main St
Port Washington, WI 53074

Re: Trying to determine ownership of stock cars found in Warsaw, IN

Richard Hendrickson

On Aug 15, 2007, at 12:22 PM, Mark Plank wrote:

I am trying to identify the the owning railroad and class of stock
cars appearing in Warsaw, IN in this M. D. McCarter photo at
Mark, those are New York Central System stock cars as modeled in HO
scale by Al Westerfield.

Richard Hendrickson

Re: Freight Car Music

Peter Weiglin

...and when/if, I wonder, will our moderator chime in on this topic with the theme song from the old American Airlines "Music 'Til Dawn" program?

You remember the tune? "That's All."

Peter Weiglin
Amelia, OH

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