Date   

Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., CYRIL DURRENBERGER <durrecj@...> wrote:

The first part of the post about the change to tripple hopper was
not by me, but by the person who wrote the original post.

Cyril,

My apologies for misattributing the quote to you.

It is true that long ago there was coal that moved from the east
to Duluth and Superior, but not today. It moves the other way.

What's long ago? The time frame covered by this list ends in 1960, the
coal traffic to the head of the lakes was still strong in the fifties.

Some of the coal that was shipped to Duluth was moved to the iron
range to power the mines and was used for locomotive fuel and
residential space heating... The D&IR also had some drop door gondolas
that likely were used to haul coal, but in later years they were used
mainly to haul pulpwood.

Nowhere near the volume of ore shipped out.


There was a steel mill in Duluth that used coal. DM&N has some
hoppers that were used to move the coal from the docks to the mill and
other locations...

Which supports my position that the roads in the Iron Range didn't
feel the need to have ore cars of sufficient capacity to haul coal.


From about 1888 to the 1960 or so the D&IR had a large coal dock at
Two Harbors to receive coal by boat. All of that coal was used on the
iron range.

The D&IR and DM&N used ore cars (sometimes ones retired from
hauling iron ore) to ship coal for their locomotives. There are
several photos of this use in Frank King's books. Also the Duluth and
Northern Minnesota, a large logging railroad, had their own dock at
Knife River where coal was unloaded and moved in old wood ore cars.

I'd say company service loads don't count for purposes of this
discussion. The railroad companies didn't care if they could only load
half loads in the existing equipment, since they weren't paying a
tariff rate to move the coal. It was the need to provide a car that
could haul the load specified in the COAL tariff that drove the use of
coal hoppers to haul ore on the lower lakes, and my point is this same
reason does (or did) not exist in the upper lakes region.

Many of the winter all rail trains in the recent times have used
standard hoppers to haul taconite pelets.

For the exact same reason that coal hoppers were always used on the
lower lakes; so the cars are also useful for other commodities.

Dennis


b&le offset triples

Bill Navari
 

There were some roads acquiring triple offset hoppers as early as
1931 (DL&W and Boston & Albany immediately come to mind) but not the
B&LE.
The B&LE did, in fact, receive 1050 offset triple hoppers in 1931, as
follows:

60001-60300 from Standard Steel Car
60301-60600 from Pressed Steel Car
60601-60950 from AC&F
60951-61050 from Greenville Steel Car

The cars were all rated at 100 ton capacity.

Photos of the 1952 and 1964 cars done by Bessemer Hobbies
(_www.bessemerhobby.com_ (http://www.bessemerhobby.com) ) on a Stewart car is below. A crappy
scan of the 1931 car is at the bottom.

Bessemer Hobbies (_www.bessemerhobby.com_ (http://www.bessemerhobby.com) )
will be doing the 1931 cars on their next runs of the triple offsets.

Keep in mind, when modeling... the 60000 series hoppers are a close enough
match for the Stewart. The 75000 (1936) & 76000 series (1937) are close
enough to an MDC car.

Happy Modeling!
Bill Navari


1952

1952

1964 repaint of the 1952 car

1931






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NYC conductor's book on eBay

David Smith
 

Ohio trains in 1955, eBay item #120243044497

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-YORK-CENTRAL-SYSTEM-Conductor-Train-Books_W0QQitemZ120243044497QQihZ002QQcategoryZ1445QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Dave Smith

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Allentown, PA
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Please consider the environment before printing this email.


Re: Getting back in HO market

Rob & Bev Manley
 

Jim,
If memory serves me,you had a line of commercial vehicles. I have a short 1 1/2 ton GMC or Ford?? delivery truck that I did in CB&Q livery. It has been one of my favorites and I always regretted not having more. Please continue that line if possible. I enjoyed the open back of the box and had planned to make a chain matrix for the gate. Let me know and I could take a digital photo for you.

Thank You,
Rob Manley

----- Original Message -----
From: Jim King
To: RPM-forum@... ; Southern Modeler ; STMFC@...
Sent: Saturday, April 05, 2008 5:50 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Getting back in HO market


After several months of weighing the pros/cons and listening to, sometimes,
not-so-gentile nudging from previous customers, I've decided to re-enter the
HO resin kit market. Since moving to S scale nearly 3 years ago, the only
HO items I've produced have been for the SRHA and CGHS. However, there are
some items I want to produce in HO and S that are not SR or CG prototypes or
have a lower demand than required to make such a project profitable for
either organization. Some examples are HO and S decals, Southern slugs or
brake units, the SR/CG 40' chip hopper converted from boxcars and the more
obscure cars.

The decision to start the HO kit line up will have no affect on S scale, in
fact, the reverse is true. Many future HO kits will be "upscaled" to S,
thus benefiting both markets. The first multi-scale car will be the 1951 SR
wood rack converted from 1930 DD DS boxcars at Spencer Shops. These ran
well into the late 70s and would be ideal models for steam, transition or
diesel modelers. The 2nd HO kit will be the retooled (CAD and SLA patterns)
SR 8-window wood caboose I offered many years ago. The new version will be
a 1-pc body with separate underframe and details, along with photo-etched
end railings to speed assembly.

I look forward to working with my long-time . and very patient . HO buyers.
Bring on the ideas!

Jim King

Smoky Mountain Model Works, Inc.

www.smokymountainmodelworks.com


Getting back in HO market

Jim King
 

After several months of weighing the pros/cons and listening to, sometimes,
not-so-gentile nudging from previous customers, I've decided to re-enter the
HO resin kit market. Since moving to S scale nearly 3 years ago, the only
HO items I've produced have been for the SRHA and CGHS. However, there are
some items I want to produce in HO and S that are not SR or CG prototypes or
have a lower demand than required to make such a project profitable for
either organization. Some examples are HO and S decals, Southern slugs or
brake units, the SR/CG 40' chip hopper converted from boxcars and the more
obscure cars.



The decision to start the HO kit line up will have no affect on S scale, in
fact, the reverse is true. Many future HO kits will be "upscaled" to S,
thus benefiting both markets. The first multi-scale car will be the 1951 SR
wood rack converted from 1930 DD DS boxcars at Spencer Shops. These ran
well into the late 70s and would be ideal models for steam, transition or
diesel modelers. The 2nd HO kit will be the retooled (CAD and SLA patterns)
SR 8-window wood caboose I offered many years ago. The new version will be
a 1-pc body with separate underframe and details, along with photo-etched
end railings to speed assembly.



I look forward to working with my long-time . and very patient . HO buyers.
Bring on the ideas!



Jim King

Smoky Mountain Model Works, Inc.

www.smokymountainmodelworks.com


Re: The Strange Case of the MP Hoppers on the Santa Fe

olin4812
 

It's very possible that MP hoppers may have run over Sherman Hill on
the UP in the early 50's because Geneva Steel also used 20% Arkansas
Coal between 1956 and 1966. It's possible that it may have started
earlier.

Low-volatile Bituminous Coal such as found primarily in NW Arkansas,
parts of Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of West Virginia when mixed
with Utah high volatile met coal produced a mix with better coking
characteristics.

See posts from Bruce Collins on the DRGW list and Utahrails for further
info:
http://utahrails.net/utahcoal/utahcoal-other.php

Olin Dirks
Omaha, NE


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Dean Payne wrote:
"Three of my five photos are of B&LE triples with 10 side posts, but
an off-list email informed me the 1931-built series doesn't match the
AAR standard represented by the Accurail kit. (A later-built series
does.)"

If you're thinking of the B&LE 62001-62500 series cars built 1952 by
Pullman-Standard, that is not true. These cars have side post
structural members similar to that of the AAR alternate standard
offset twin, and are NOT A MATCH TO THE ACCURAIL OR STEWART OFFSET
TRIPLE.

"Would have these hauled ore off-line?"

Yes. As I stated in my last post, the Pennsy regularly saw trains of
these cars along the Main Line in Philadelphia ore service.

"If so, that would make a different load! I've heard of stone being
loaded slope-sheet-only, would ore be like that, or just fill the
whole thing part-way? Would the center hopper be empty, to keep the
weight over the trucks?"

The ore would be loaded slope sheet only, though some would work its
way down into the car over the course of travel. See Clarence
Weaver's film "The Ore Train", which documents Pennsy's Shamokin
Branch ore trains:
http://www.pennvalleypictures.com/pennsy.html


Ben Hom


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Dean Payne
 

Wow! What a motherlode of information! (My citing Wikipedia was a
much of a caveat as anything...)
I had no idea there was an article on modeling these! I'll have to
track down a copy of that article. I was afraid the the old Ulrich
kit might be too crude to be salvaged, but I'll have to read to find out!
I have 5 photos of these cars, but none in color, thanks for the link!
Three of my five photos are of B&LE triples with 10 side posts, but an
off-list email informed me the 1931-built series doesn't match the AAR
standard represented by the Accurail kit. (A later-built series does.)
Would have these hauled ore off-line? If so, that would make a
different load! I've heard of stone being loaded slope-sheet-only,
would ore be like that, or just fill the whole thing part-way? Would
the center hopper be empty, to keep the weight over the trucks?
Again, thanks to everyone for all the input on these, and hoppers in
ore service in general.

Dean Payne

--- In STMFC@..., "benjaminfrank_hom" <b.hom@...> wrote:

Dean Payne wrote:
"I've been thinking about putting a B&LE car on my layout, and
remember reading that the old Ulrich triple hopper kit was based on
the B&LE prototype. However, the new Accurail kit is nicer, from
what I hear. It isn't available lettered for the B&LE (but neither
was the Ulrich, AFAIK)."

The Accurail triple is a nicer kit, but it isn't a model of the B&LE
triple hoppers in question, either. The B&LE cars had 13 side posts
vs. the 10 of the AAR Offset triple represented by the Accurail kit.
The Ulrich model is indeed a model of these unique cars, and yes,
they were offered lettered for B&LE when they were in production.


"A little research on Wikipedia shows that the B&LE hoppers
were "rust-colored", to hide any obvious stains from the ore that
they carried, since the Bessemer was an iron ore road. I'm not
positive this refered to the triples, but maybe to later ore hoppers."

You have move beyond Wikipedia for your research, my friend.
http://rr-fallenflags.org/ble/ble69268.jpg


"Since I model the late 30's, the B&LE hoppers were some of the only
triples that I can justify. I've heard of build dates of 1936-37 for
some, and I saw a 1931 build date (unless I mistook the 7 as a 1,
which is possible)."

B&LE 75001-76500, 1500 cars, 1936 (70-ton cars)
B&LE 65001-69900, 4900 cars, 1938 (90-ton cars)

There were some roads acquiring triple offset hoppers as early as
1931 (DL&W and Boston & Albany immediately come to mind) but not the
B&LE.


"These were heavily-built cars. A very odd characteristic of these
cars are the trucks, 90-ton versions with "wings" on the outside that
appear to be for outside-hung brake shoes! These have not been
offered anywhere in HO that I am aware of, and would be hard to do,
because most decent trucks are engineering plastic, notoriously hard
to glue to."

But not impossible, and Richard Hendrickson did so as far back as
1984. See his article in the March 1984 issue of Prototype Modeler
for information on upgrading the Ulrich kit including kitbashing
these trucks.


"Were these EXTRA brake shoes, or were the heavy-duty trucks so
massive that the brakes had to be moved outside? I can't think of
any other cars in the timeframe of this list that had outside-hung
brakes!"

These were NOT extra brake shoes, but an outside clasp design. While
uncommon, outside clasp brakes were used as early as the 1850s and
were used in other applications, including some express cars during
our era of interest.


"The MOST puzzling thing is that they had offset triples in the first
place, if these indeed hauled iron ore. I've heard that standard
offset triples would be about half-full of iron ore before reaching
capacity, and I don't think that even the B&LE's stout triples could
be loaded enough to justify a triple, and if so, why the offset sides
instead of the simpler ribbed sides? Most ore hoppers I've seen are
shorties, not even standard-size twins. I wondered if they somehow
found a way (post-WWII) to process the ore at the mine in such a way
that made it purer and denser. That would be the one explanation I
can think of for a switch from triples to shorties, but that is pure
speculation."

There's one simple reason why the B&LE would use these cars in ore
service: flexibility between ore and coal service. The B&LE
certainly had a need for coal hoppers, and though you can't fully use
the cubic capacity of these cars in ore service, you can use them to
haul both ore and coal instead of investing in a bunch of single
commodity ore cars. Note that the PRR used Class H21A/H21E quads to
handle ore traffic and did not invest in specialized ore cars until
the 1960s.

As for the offset design, this was for greater cubic capacity while
hauling coal.

The Ulrich cars are a project that I've been considering for TKM.
The Pennsy regularly saw trains of these cars along the Main Line in
Philadelphia ore service, and a large cut of these models would give
Bruce's stable of motors a run for their money!


Ben Hom


Wandering hoppers

George Courtney
 

Probably mentioned before, but on page 46 of "The Clinchfield in
Color" is a photo of a Burlington triple offset at Dante, Va. on the
1st Mine Run. Photo is undated but defintely post 1965. The CB&Q
hopper appears to have a streak of white weathering on the left side.
Odds favor the Burlington having arrived in s.w. Virginia via the C&O
though the L&N is possible.
I'd love to hear of any evidence of a hopper carrying sand or gravel
going being over 200 miles off-line. (Ah, maybe better not to know:-)
George Courtney


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

water.kresse@...
 

I've a picture, somewhere, of a Glen Jean & whatever high-sided gondola filled with coal making it way into upper Minnesota. Hard to tell the season.

Al Kresse

-------------- Original message --------------
From: CYRIL DURRENBERGER <durrecj@...>
The first part of the post about the change to tripple hopper was not by me, but by the person who wrote the original post.

It is true that long ago there was coal that moved from the east to Duluth and Superior, but not today. It moves the other way.

Some of the coal that was shipped to Duluth was moved to the iron range to power the mines and was used for locomotive fuel and residential space heating. There was a steel mill in Duluth that used coal. DM&N has some hoppers that were used to move the coal from the docks to the mill and other locations. The D&IR also had some drop door gondolas that likely were used to haul coal, but in later years they were used mainly to haul pulpwood. From about 1888 to the 1960 or so the D&IR had a large coal dock at Two Harbors to receive coal by boat. All of that coal was used on the iron range.

The D&IR and DM&N used ore cars (sometimes ones retired from hauling iron ore) to ship coal for their locomotives. There are several photos of this use in Frank King's books. Also the Duluth and Northern Minnesota, a large logging railroad, had their own dock at Knife River where coal was unloaded and moved in old wood ore cars.

Many of the winter all rail trains in the recent times have used standard hoppers to haul taconite pelets.

Cyril Durrenberger

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:
--- In STMFC@..., Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@...> wrote:

CYRIL DURRENBERGER wrote:
In some cases the mining companies would send the ore to a washing
plant to remove sand and other impurities from the iron ore and in
some cases it went to a sintering plant prior to being taken to the
docks. But natural ore, as it was called, was not normally
chemically treated prior to shipment from the docks. In the late
1960's the taconite process replaced the natural iron ore when the
stocks of natural ore were exhausted (or in some cases in shaft
mines
it became to expensive to remove).
Everything Cyril says is correct...
That part is correct, but his first paragraph isn't, the switch to
Taconite didn't lead to a switch from triples to shorter cars, and
taconite is actually less dense than the natural ores, which is why
roads like the DM&IR were adding "Taconite extensions" to their cars.

The roads in the upper lakes region always used short cars. The
original wooden cars were only 24' or 26' long; this lead to the
pockets on the massive ore docks being this width, and this lead to
the hatches on the later steel lake freighters being in the same
modules. At this point, it was a little late to buck the trend.
Anyway, the ore roads had no need for larger cars for other
commodities; the iron ore was their reason for being… there was no
other traffic.

The lower lakes was a different story. Every road that hauled ore
south from the lake ports tried to haul as much coal back north to the
ports as they could; the goal being a perfect score of 100%
utilization of the car fleet. To do this, they had to size their cars
for coal, not ore. It's only after the collapse of the market for
eastern coal that they started buying short ore gons.

Where did all that coal go? Back to the upper lakes as backhauls on
the lake freighters; the boat owners liked the idea of 100%
utilization, too. Every ore loading point I can think of also had a C.
Riess & Co. coal dock, and most the coal in the upper lakes region
came by boat, not rail. Seeing an N&W coal hopper on the DM&IR back in
the day was probably as rare as seeing one on Sherman Hill :-) Once at
the upper lakes, however, this coal didn't go back to the iron ranges,
but elsewhere, so there was no chance of backhauls in the same car
fleet, and the ore cars were always a dedicated fleet that spent its
life running empty half the time.

Dennis

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: wandering coal cars (was B&LE triple offset hoppers)

Tim O'Connor
 

Chuck Yungkurth wrote

I still maintain my theory that hopper cars wandered all over because
the per diem was very low and yardmasters near the coal mines held
them until needed.
That jives perfectly with photos I've seen too Chuck. I think there
were a few special orders in place for certain eastern roads' coal
cars, but I've never heard of an order that applied to western hopper
cars so it makes a lot of sense that they'd get 'hijacked' now and then
and end up at an eastern coal tipple. GN in its 1956 annual report
complained that it had to own more cars than it had on line, because
once its cars went off line it took a long time to get them back!
And of course low per diem was a big reason for the slow conversion
to roller bearings -- no one wanted to return those cars to their
owners!

Tim O'Connor


Re: hopper question for Chuck Yungkurth

Schuyler Larrabee
 

I'll pile on with a question for you, Chuck: You mention that in the 70s the hopper supply was a
variegated mix of on- and off-road hoppers. How far back does that phenomenon extend? What it
similar in the 50s?

SGL

Chuck, glad to see that you're still following this list.

Were trains of off road hoppers seasonal? You've said that the
Lackawanna stored their own hoppers during the summer. At the beginning
of the anthracite season when there were enough home road hoppers I'd
expect all off road hoppers to be returned empty. As the home heating
season finished up and there were more hoppers than necessary wouldn't
it make sense to send all off road hoppers back to their owners and
only load company hoppers?

What were the loads in those western stock cars you mentioned?

Ed


hopper question for Chuck Yungkurth

ed_mines
 

Chuck, glad to see that you're still following this list.

Were trains of off road hoppers seasonal? You've said that the
Lackawanna stored their own hoppers during the summer. At the beginning
of the anthracite season when there were enough home road hoppers I'd
expect all off road hoppers to be returned empty. As the home heating
season finished up and there were more hoppers than necessary wouldn't
it make sense to send all off road hoppers back to their owners and
only load company hoppers?

What were the loads in those western stock cars you mentioned?

Ed


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

drgwrail
 

The B&LE hoppers with clasp brake truacks showed up regularly loaded
with coal on the EL well into the 1970's. The coal came from mines
in Northwestern Pennsylvania and was bound for the New York State Gas
& Electic's power plant in Johnson City NY.

Many of the cars no longer had the double brake shoes and often the
lugs for hanging the outside shoes had been burned off. They
certainly were a distinctive almost orange color.

I still maintain my theory that hopper cars wandered all over because
the per diem was very low and yardmasters near the coal mines held
them until needed. But this may well be just an anthracite phenomona,
since shots of breakers (preperation plants)often show an almost
random mix of road names. While I no longer have my collection of b&w
negs there were shots of MP, UP, ATSF, and even GN hopper cars
randomly scattered in coal trains passing through Binghamton. These
were taken in the 1960's. Also shots of RI, UP, CB&Q, etc. stock cars.
One yardmaster told me they loaded empty car for anywhere when needed
and the per deim rules were something for upper management to worry
about.

You are welcome to draw your own conclusions as to how and why they
got there. But such cars were common all through my years of train
watching as a teenager in WW2.

Chuck Yungkurth
Boulder CO






--- In STMFC@..., CYRIL DURRENBERGER <durrecj@...> wrote:





tI wondered if they somehow
found a way (post-WWII) to process the ore at the mine in such a
way
that made it purer and denser. That would be the one explanation
I
can think of for a switch from triples to shorties, but that is
pure
speculation.

It is interesting that in most cases the railroads in Michigan and
Minnesota carried iron ore in specially built ore cars, while the
eastern railroads on the other end of the chain usually used
standard hopper cars. In some cases the Minnesota railroads would
use ore cars to ship coal to local users.

In some cases the mining companies would send the ore to a washing
plant to remove sand and other impurities from the iron ore and in
some cases it went to a sintering plant prior to being taken to the
docks. But natural ore, as it was called, was not normally
chemically treated prior to shipment from the docks. In the late
1960's the taconite process replaced the natural iron ore when the
stocks of natural ore were exhausted (or in some cases in shaft
mines it became to expensive to remove). More information on this is
probably beyond the scope of the list. There are other sites where
you can locate more information if you desire it.
Cyril Durrenberger






[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Mark
 

Years ago some of these cars came through Ohio on the
B&O!

We lived in a valley and you could hear them coming!
Those trucks made a lot of noise.

Sincerely, Mark Morgan



http://rr-fallenflags.org/ble/ble69268.jpg




____________________________________________________________________________________
You rock. That's why Blockbuster's offering you one month of Blockbuster Total Access, No Cost.
http://tc.deals.yahoo.com/tc/blockbuster/text5.com


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Doug Brown <g.brown1@...>
 

The big power on the DM&IR was needed to pull the empties up hill to the
mines. Loads needed brakes going back down the hill.



Doug Brown

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Dennis Storzek
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 3:01 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers



--- In HYPERLINK "mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com"STMFC@...,
Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@-...> wrote:

CYRIL DURRENBERGER wrote:
In some cases the mining companies would send the ore to a washing
plant to remove sand and other impurities from the iron ore and in
some cases it went to a sintering plant prior to being taken to the
docks. But natural ore, as it was called, was not normally
chemically treated prior to shipment from the docks. In the late
1960's the taconite process replaced the natural iron ore when the
stocks of natural ore were exhausted (or in some cases in shaft
mines
it became to expensive to remove).
Everything Cyril says is correct...
That part is correct, but his first paragraph isn't, the switch to
Taconite didn't lead to a switch from triples to shorter cars, and
taconite is actually less dense than the natural ores, which is why
roads like the DM&IR were adding "Taconite extensions" to their cars.

The roads in the upper lakes region always used short cars. The
original wooden cars were only 24' or 26' long; this lead to the
pockets on the massive ore docks being this width, and this lead to
the hatches on the later steel lake freighters being in the same
modules. At this point, it was a little late to buck the trend.
Anyway, the ore roads had no need for larger cars for other
commodities; the iron ore was their reason for being… there was no
other traffic.

The lower lakes was a different story. Every road that hauled ore
south from the lake ports tried to haul as much coal back north to the
ports as they could; the goal being a perfect score of 100%
utilization of the car fleet. To do this, they had to size their cars
for coal, not ore. It's only after the collapse of the market for
eastern coal that they started buying short ore gons.

Where did all that coal go? Back to the upper lakes as backhauls on
the lake freighters; the boat owners liked the idea of 100%
utilization, too. Every ore loading point I can think of also had a C.
Riess & Co. coal dock, and most the coal in the upper lakes region
came by boat, not rail. Seeing an N&W coal hopper on the DM&IR back in
the day was probably as rare as seeing one on Sherman Hill :-) Once at
the upper lakes, however, this coal didn't go back to the iron ranges,
but elsewhere, so there was no chance of backhauls in the same car
fleet, and the ore cars were always a dedicated fleet that spent its
life running empty half the time.

Dennis




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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Re: alternative uses for ore hoppers

Tony Thompson
 

Robert D. Heninger wrote:
. . . the shipping (no pun intended) season for ore ran from approximately April to Oct/Nov during much of the steam era.

Let's see, it moved in ships when the lakes were ice-free, so I'd say it's no pun, it's a statement of fact <g>.

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


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Cyril Durrenberger
 

The first part of the post about the change to tripple hopper was not by me, but by the person who wrote the original post.

It is true that long ago there was coal that moved from the east to Duluth and Superior, but not today. It moves the other way.

Some of the coal that was shipped to Duluth was moved to the iron range to power the mines and was used for locomotive fuel and residential space heating. There was a steel mill in Duluth that used coal. DM&N has some hoppers that were used to move the coal from the docks to the mill and other locations. The D&IR also had some drop door gondolas that likely were used to haul coal, but in later years they were used mainly to haul pulpwood. From about 1888 to the 1960 or so the D&IR had a large coal dock at Two Harbors to receive coal by boat. All of that coal was used on the iron range.

The D&IR and DM&N used ore cars (sometimes ones retired from hauling iron ore) to ship coal for their locomotives. There are several photos of this use in Frank King's books. Also the Duluth and Northern Minnesota, a large logging railroad, had their own dock at Knife River where coal was unloaded and moved in old wood ore cars.

Many of the winter all rail trains in the recent times have used standard hoppers to haul taconite pelets.

Cyril Durrenberger

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:
--- In STMFC@..., Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@...> wrote:

CYRIL DURRENBERGER wrote:
In some cases the mining companies would send the ore to a washing
plant to remove sand and other impurities from the iron ore and in
some cases it went to a sintering plant prior to being taken to the
docks. But natural ore, as it was called, was not normally
chemically treated prior to shipment from the docks. In the late
1960's the taconite process replaced the natural iron ore when the
stocks of natural ore were exhausted (or in some cases in shaft
mines
it became to expensive to remove).
Everything Cyril says is correct...
That part is correct, but his first paragraph isn't, the switch to
Taconite didn't lead to a switch from triples to shorter cars, and
taconite is actually less dense than the natural ores, which is why
roads like the DM&IR were adding "Taconite extensions" to their cars.

The roads in the upper lakes region always used short cars. The
original wooden cars were only 24' or 26' long; this lead to the
pockets on the massive ore docks being this width, and this lead to
the hatches on the later steel lake freighters being in the same
modules. At this point, it was a little late to buck the trend.
Anyway, the ore roads had no need for larger cars for other
commodities; the iron ore was their reason for being… there was no
other traffic.

The lower lakes was a different story. Every road that hauled ore
south from the lake ports tried to haul as much coal back north to the
ports as they could; the goal being a perfect score of 100%
utilization of the car fleet. To do this, they had to size their cars
for coal, not ore. It's only after the collapse of the market for
eastern coal that they started buying short ore gons.

Where did all that coal go? Back to the upper lakes as backhauls on
the lake freighters; the boat owners liked the idea of 100%
utilization, too. Every ore loading point I can think of also had a C.
Riess & Co. coal dock, and most the coal in the upper lakes region
came by boat, not rail. Seeing an N&W coal hopper on the DM&IR back in
the day was probably as rare as seeing one on Sherman Hill :-) Once at
the upper lakes, however, this coal didn't go back to the iron ranges,
but elsewhere, so there was no chance of backhauls in the same car
fleet, and the ore cars were always a dedicated fleet that spent its
life running empty half the time.

Dennis


alternative uses for ore hoppers

gn3397 <heninger@...>
 

Group,
Just to add a couple of comments on ore cars as used on the GN:
Not only did the ore cars spend half their active life running empty,
they spent half the year sitting idle, as the shipping (no pun
intended) season for ore ran from approximately April to Oct/Nov during
much of the steam era.

On the GN, the ore "jennies", as they were called, were also pressed
into service for the sugar beet rush during the late fall/early winter
timeframe. Of course, they were inefficient, but when GN was short of
GS gons or hoppers, they were used. I haven't been able to find photos
from the steam era, but I have personally witnessed this on BN (ex-GN)
trackage around Grand Forks, ND in the early eighties timeframe.

Sincerely,
Robert D. Heninger
Stanley, ND


Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tony Thompson <thompsonmarytony@...> wrote:

CYRIL DURRENBERGER wrote:
In some cases the mining companies would send the ore to a washing
plant to remove sand and other impurities from the iron ore and in
some cases it went to a sintering plant prior to being taken to the
docks. But natural ore, as it was called, was not normally
chemically treated prior to shipment from the docks. In the late
1960's the taconite process replaced the natural iron ore when the
stocks of natural ore were exhausted (or in some cases in shaft
mines
it became to expensive to remove).
Everything Cyril says is correct...
That part is correct, but his first paragraph isn't, the switch to
Taconite didn't lead to a switch from triples to shorter cars, and
taconite is actually less dense than the natural ores, which is why
roads like the DM&IR were adding "Taconite extensions" to their cars.

The roads in the upper lakes region always used short cars. The
original wooden cars were only 24' or 26' long; this lead to the
pockets on the massive ore docks being this width, and this lead to
the hatches on the later steel lake freighters being in the same
modules. At this point, it was a little late to buck the trend.
Anyway, the ore roads had no need for larger cars for other
commodities; the iron ore was their reason for being… there was no
other traffic.

The lower lakes was a different story. Every road that hauled ore
south from the lake ports tried to haul as much coal back north to the
ports as they could; the goal being a perfect score of 100%
utilization of the car fleet. To do this, they had to size their cars
for coal, not ore. It's only after the collapse of the market for
eastern coal that they started buying short ore gons.

Where did all that coal go? Back to the upper lakes as backhauls on
the lake freighters; the boat owners liked the idea of 100%
utilization, too. Every ore loading point I can think of also had a C.
Riess & Co. coal dock, and most the coal in the upper lakes region
came by boat, not rail. Seeing an N&W coal hopper on the DM&IR back in
the day was probably as rare as seeing one on Sherman Hill :-) Once at
the upper lakes, however, this coal didn't go back to the iron ranges,
but elsewhere, so there was no chance of backhauls in the same car
fleet, and the ore cars were always a dedicated fleet that spent its
life running empty half the time.

Dennis

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