Date   

Re: Was: cement travel: Small town cement dealers

Cyril Durrenberger
 

That is usually called a concrete batch plant.  Where they mix the cement and fly ash with sand and gravel, sometimes other things and water to make concrete which is then sent to the construction site.  For large projects they may mix the concrete on site.

Cyril Durrenberger

--- On Sat, 11/20/10, Nathan <obermeyern@...> wrote:

From: Nathan <obermeyern@...>
Subject: [STMFC] Was: cement travel: Small town cement dealers
To: STMFC@...
Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010, 7:42 AM







 









I've really enjoyed the discussion on the cement plants. I just want to confirm that the cement plants being discussed are the ones that produce the actual cement raw material that is then later mixed with sand/etc to make concrete.



My interest lies in the small town cement dealers who would receive that product produced at the cement plants via the railroad and then mix the cement with sand/etc and then sell it to the local community like Petersen's Redi-mix would in Blue Rapids, KS. I will upload a picture of the plant circa 1950s-1960s in the photo section under the album named "Obermeyer photo album" in the photo section.



Petersen's had the Big Blue River and sand pits near by so they wouldn't need to bring sand in by rail, but they would require the cement.



Thanks,

Nate






















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


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jim Murrie1 wrote:
Many moons ago when I was getting my MBA degree the rule of thumb was that you wanted to "long haul" the raw materials (low value goods) and "short haul" the finished product (i.e. high value goods). I don't remember all the reasoning anymore, but I'm sure at least one reason had to do with the way freight tariffs were set back then.
This rule of thumb only works, of course, if there is a big difference in the two values. For cement, and for other building materials like brick and block, the difference isn't big (and the raw materials are found all over). Obviously for, say, washing machines, it's a different story.

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: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

james murrie
 

Jeff;
Many moons ago when I was getting my MBA degree the rule of thumb was that you wanted to "long haul" the raw materials (low value goods) and "short haul" the finished product (i.e. high value goods). I don't remember all the reasoning anymore, but I'm sure at least one reason had to do with the way freight tariffs were set back then.
Jim Murrie

--- In STMFC@..., "Aley, Jeff A" <Jeff.A.Aley@...> wrote:

Mike,

Should a factory be located near the raw materials, near the customers, or near a source of transportation?

In the case of cement, the plant tended to be near the raw materials.
In the case of soda ash, the plant tended to be near the customers.
In the case of beef, the plant tended to be near the transportation (but the "branch houses" were near the customers).

Regards,

-Jeff


Re: Bulk material was: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Clark Propst
 

Rick asked. "Did you think I made that up?"

No, but you had to have heard it somewhere.
I model Mason City and know someone modeling the CGW in SE MN.
If there's any documentation of loads into the MC plants or of loads out of SE MN mines other than to Granite City we would love to see it.
Clark Propst


Re: Frank Brua

Jon Miller <atsf@...>
 

On 11/19/2010 9:07 PM, tmolsen@... wrote:
List,

Just a short note to advise that Frank Brua who owned Park Varieties in Southgate Michigan passed away about two weeks ago.

He will be missed!

Tom Olsen
More like 2 or 3 months ago. And as I'm trying to buy stuff he is already very badly missed. He ran one of the best mail order businesses I've ever done business with.

--
Jon Miller
For me time stopped in 1941
Digitrax--Chief/Zephyr systems, JMRI User
NMRA Life member #2623
Member SFRH&MS


Re: Bulk material was: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

gettheredesigns <rick@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., cepropst@... wrote:

You have proof of this?

Clark Propst

--- In STMFC@..., "gettheredesigns" <rick@> wrote:

Yes, that was the primary destination, but carloads also went to Mason City for use in the cement plants. It was the nearest source for a necessary ingredient.

Cheers, Rick
Not in hand, but if I recall I read it in a CGW forum, posted by somebody with paper documentation. I can probably dig it up if you really need to see it. Did you think I made that up?

Regarding my comments about Florida phosphate, I specifically said "exported", and made no mention of phosphate distribution WITHIN the US. In the Midwest, the cost of rail transportation makes other, closer sources competitive. Deep-water vessels are the cheapest way on earth to transport bulk commodities, so if a customer on the other side of the globe is near a port on their end, Florida phosphate can compete with other sources. It is an example of the effect of transportation costs on the flow of bulk commodities, and therefore relevant to the discussion.

Cheers, Rick Aylsworth


Re: Bulk goods, was Cement ingredients, nee': cement travel

Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

I've been greatly enjoying this discussion on bulk materials and their shipment by rail in the purview of the STMFC list.

Gravel, sand, and crushed rock was used in great quantitites in the Toronto, Ontario area post-WWII. A radius of 100 miles was cited from that city to gravel pits as the maximum distance that profitable aggregate extraction was practical. At lest one producer outside that distance opened a new quarry 90 miles east of Toronto on CN because of this.

Coal seemed to travel far greater distances, CN getting much of its steam loco coal from mines on the IC (and thereby causing me to take much interest in IC hopper cars). The CPR had its Southern Ontario loco coal car floated across Lake Erie from Astabula OH, a lot of it in PRR H21's. Some loco coal used by the GTR and later CN in Eastern Ontario came from the BR&P and later B&O from the Punxsutawney, PA area, being car floated across Lake Ontario from near Rochester, NY.

Many Southern Ontario coal dealers got their coal supplies from the anthracite roads. The nearest source of Canadian coal (and soft coal at that) in Nova Scotia was 1100 miles from Toronto, ON. Consequently a lot of anthracite moved through Southern Ontario. A smaller market was found in Southern Quebec, with B&O and other roads' hoppers being seen in steam-era photos of that part of Canada.

A bulk good shipped from Ontario to the US was and still is nepehline syenite, used in glass-making--

http://www.canadianencyclopedia.ca/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0005685

A gleaming white variety was moved in boxcars from its early extraction in Eastern Ontario in the 1930's. Later, CN and then CPR "slab-side" covered hoppers carried this material to US markets. The CPR still moves this material from a mine about 70 miles north of Rochester, NY. This is an example of a raw material that moves some distance because of its rarity in North America.

As an aside, I believe that iron ore is now supplied to China, Japan, and India almost entirely, if not wholly, by Australia. Some of the world's longest trains carry iron ore from mines in the Broken Hill area of New South Wales and the Pilbara region of Western Australia to Australian ports. Consequently, US iron ore seldom is exported to these countries.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "mike brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

Getting back to cement travel...and actually, the travel of relatively heavy
and cheap non finished materials such as cement, cement ingredients, coal,
sand, ballast etc., I am curious about the transportation of both the
ingredients and the final product. I understand the advantages of locating
near major ingredients. The steel industry, for example, didn't choose Key
West or Kansas as a site for a major plant...although one might, I guess,
argue that both ingredients and final product would travel by water if Key
West were chosen...the cheapest form of transportation if speed was not
essential. Anyhow, back to Big Wyoming [ as the sign says when you cross
from CO to WY ], back in our time UP was moving significant amounts of soda
ash from Westvaco to Council Bluffs and KC. That is 835 miles to Council
Bluffs and one assumes it did not stop there. Note that one of the trains in
the 1956 UP frt conductor's book consists of about 50 cars loaded with
ballast traveling from Buford, WY, to Petersen, UT....439 miles. Moving that
much weight that far seems a bit expensive. So, just how far could stuff
like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the
product?

Incidentally, we are considering a "clinic session" during Prototype Rails
in Cocoa Beach regarding the coal industry to specifically include coal
traffic.

Mike Brock


Re: Was: cement travel: Small town cement dealers

Clark Propst
 

Nate,
"Cement Plants" make cement.
"Readi-Mix" (however you choose to spell it) or so called "Batch plants" mix, sell concrete.

One's a big place with big machinery and the other isn't : )

Around here railroad's covered hoppers were loaded for customers on-line.
I'd be interest to know how this was handled at plants served by only one railroad.

Clark Propst


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Aley, Jeff A
 

Mike,

Should a factory be located near the raw materials, near the customers, or near a source of transportation?

In the case of cement, the plant tended to be near the raw materials.
In the case of soda ash, the plant tended to be near the customers.
In the case of beef, the plant tended to be near the transportation (but the "branch houses" were near the customers).

Regards,

-Jeff


From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of mike brock
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2010 9:00 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel



Getting back to cement travel...and actually, the travel of relatively heavy
and cheap non finished materials such as cement, cement ingredients, coal,
sand, ballast etc., I am curious about the transportation of both the
ingredients and the final product. I understand the advantages of locating
near major ingredients. The steel industry, for example, didn't choose Key
West or Kansas as a site for a major plant...although one might, I guess,
argue that both ingredients and final product would travel by water if Key
West were chosen...the cheapest form of transportation if speed was not
essential. Anyhow, back to Big Wyoming [ as the sign says when you cross
from CO to WY ], back in our time UP was moving significant amounts of soda
ash from Westvaco to Council Bluffs and KC. That is 835 miles to Council
Bluffs and one assumes it did not stop there. Note that one of the trains in
the 1956 UP frt conductor's book consists of about 50 cars loaded with
ballast traveling from Buford, WY, to Petersen, UT....439 miles. Moving that
much weight that far seems a bit expensive. So, just how far could stuff
like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the
product?

Incidentally, we are considering a "clinic session" during Prototype Rails
in Cocoa Beach regarding the coal industry to specifically include coal
traffic.

Mike Brock


Re: Bulk material was: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Clark Propst
 

You have proof of this?

Clark Propst

--- In STMFC@..., "gettheredesigns" <rick@...> wrote:

Yes, that was the primary destination, but carloads also went to Mason City for use in the cement plants. It was the nearest source for a necessary ingredient.

Cheers, Rick


Art Tharp's Website information

Bill <carrera356@...>
 

Can someone please forward me Art Tharp's website information.

Please send to carrera356@...

Thank you,
Bill Chattaway


Was: cement travel: Small town cement dealers

Nathan Obermeyer
 

I've really enjoyed the discussion on the cement plants. I just want to confirm that the cement plants being discussed are the ones that produce the actual cement raw material that is then later mixed with sand/etc to make concrete.

My interest lies in the small town cement dealers who would receive that product produced at the cement plants via the railroad and then mix the cement with sand/etc and then sell it to the local community like Petersen's Redi-mix would in Blue Rapids, KS. I will upload a picture of the plant circa 1950s-1960s in the photo section under the album named "Obermeyer photo album" in the photo section.

Petersen's had the Big Blue River and sand pits near by so they wouldn't need to bring sand in by rail, but they would require the cement.


Thanks,
Nate


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

I think you'd have to consider also that out west a "PRR average" trip of 300 miles (or whatever) would often put the train in the middle of nowhere. Because everything is so spread out transit distances have to be much larger because the "points of interest" (production centers, manufacturing centers, population centers) are themselves that much farther apart.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: mike brock

Getting back to cement travel...and actually, the travel of relatively heavy
and cheap non finished materials such as cement, cement ingredients, coal,
sand, ballast etc., I am curious about the transportation of both the
ingredients and the final product. I understand the advantages of locating
near major ingredients. The steel industry, for example, didn't choose Key
West or Kansas as a site for a major plant...although one might, I guess,
argue that both ingredients and final product would travel by water if Key
West were chosen...the cheapest form of transportation if speed was not
essential. Anyhow, back to Big Wyoming [ as the sign says when you cross
from CO to WY ], back in our time UP was moving significant amounts of soda
ash from Westvaco to Council Bluffs and KC. That is 835 miles to Council
Bluffs and one assumes it did not stop there. Note that one of the trains in
the 1956 UP frt conductor's book consists of about 50 cars loaded with
ballast traveling from Buford, WY, to Petersen, UT....439 miles. Moving that
much weight that far seems a bit expensive. So, just how far could stuff
like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the
product?

Incidentally, we are considering a "clinic session" during Prototype Rails
in Cocoa Beach regarding the coal industry to specifically include coal
traffic.

Mike Brock


Re: Bulk material was: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

gettheredesigns <rick@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., cepropst@... wrote:



Notice I changed the subject line, even though the list owner changed the subject : )

The CGW hauled iron ore out of SE MN for delivery to Granite City IL,
Yes, that was the primary destination, but carloads also went to Mason City for use in the cement plants. It was the nearest source for a necessary ingredient.

Cheers, Rick


Bulk material was: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Clark Propst
 

Notice I changed the subject line, even though the list owner changed the subject : )

The CGW hauled iron ore out of SE MN for delivery to Granite City IL,

Upper Midwestern fertilizer plants received materials from New Mexico, Florida and Canada to name a few.

But, most cement plants were located very near they're raw materials. After the time of this list do to EPA restrictions plants were forced to use different materials that had to be shipped some distance.

Clark Propst


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

gettheredesigns <rick@...>
 

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

It's important to recognize that limestone and clay provide
nearly the entire content of most cement. Iron is essential but
present in relatively small amounts in normal cement. Calcium sulfate
can come from other minerals than gypsum if gypsum is not economically
available locally.
Good point Tony--the cement plants aren't next to the iron mines.

The following data is from the 1949 Minerals Yearbook published by the Bureau of Mines. This is a list of all materials used in cement manufacture in that year, in short tons.

Cement rock (argillaceous limestone) 12,628,494
Limestone and oyster shells 44,968,739
Marl 722,606
Clay and shale 6,698,408
Blast-furnace slag 847,375
Gypsum 1,543,198
Sand and sandstone 724,624
Iron-bearing materials 346,542
Other materials, including diatomite,
flue dust, coal-tar pitch, red mud and rock,
hydrated lime, tufa, cinders, calcium
chloride, sludge, grinding aids, and
air-entraining compounds 140,999

Total 68,620,985

Cheers, Rick


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

gettheredesigns <rick@...>
 

Hi Mike,

I can't speak directly to the soda ash question, but some commodities have no substitute. If, say, certain ore deposits exist at only one place, the commodity will be shipped anywhere on the earth, and the consumer will pay whatever it costs. Phosphate rock from Florida is exported all over the world, because of the low cost of production, vast deposits, and proximity to cheap water transportation. Many countries have no domestic phosphate sources, and it is vital to agriculture.

Iron ore is mined all over the world, and very little is exported from the US. We import quite a bit, mostly to steel mills near the coasts. But a few years ago, Minnesota iron ore was shipped all the way to China. Global demand (and hence the price) was so high, the Chinese couldn't buy enough from mines closer to home. The material was leftover broken pellets and fines of concentrated taconite from the defunct LTV pellet plant at Hoyt Lakes, MN, and it went by rail to British Columbia to be transferred to vessels for the trip across the Pacific. US steel plants with higher production costs prefer whole pellets, because they need no further processing (like sintering), and maximize productivity in the blast furnace.

Most railroads are picky about their ballast rock--the CNW shipped Pink Lady quartzite from Rock Springs, WI to most of their system because it was abundant, efficiently produced because of the high volume, and was premium quality rock for mainline ballast. And CNW served the quarry directly, so they didn't have to pay freight to anybody else.

Western low-sulfur coal replaced a lot of high-sulfur Eastern coal at Midwestern power plants because of the requirement to meet air-pollution regulations. But now in some cases the high cost of diesel fuel (and thus transportation) is making it more economical to retrofit the power plants with scrubbers and burn high-sulfur coal that is mined closer to the plants.

Sorry if I'm roaming toward Off Topic Land, but these examples demonstrate that markets are complex, and at times seem irrational, but in the end, businesses tend to do what is most economical. My take-home point is that there is probably not a simple answer to your question, but there's usually a good reason when commodities are shipped long distances.

Cheers, Rick Aylsworth

--- In STMFC@..., "mike brock" <brockm@...> wrote:

Getting back to cement travel...and actually, the travel of relatively heavy
and cheap non finished materials such as cement, cement ingredients, coal,
sand, ballast etc., I am curious about the transportation of both the
ingredients and the final product. I understand the advantages of locating
near major ingredients. The steel industry, for example, didn't choose Key
West or Kansas as a site for a major plant...although one might, I guess,
argue that both ingredients and final product would travel by water if Key
West were chosen...the cheapest form of transportation if speed was not
essential. Anyhow, back to Big Wyoming [ as the sign says when you cross
from CO to WY ], back in our time UP was moving significant amounts of soda
ash from Westvaco to Council Bluffs and KC. That is 835 miles to Council
Bluffs and one assumes it did not stop there. Note that one of the trains in
the 1956 UP frt conductor's book consists of about 50 cars loaded with
ballast traveling from Buford, WY, to Petersen, UT....439 miles. Moving that
much weight that far seems a bit expensive. So, just how far could stuff
like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the
product?

Incidentally, we are considering a "clinic session" during Prototype Rails
in Cocoa Beach regarding the coal industry to specifically include coal
traffic.

Mike Brock


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Cyril Durrenberger
 

Mike,

In Texas we burn a lot of Powder River Basin coal to generate power.  It is my understanding that the largest part of the cost is transportation, but I do not have any hard figures at hand.  The main reason for using that coal is the low sulfur content so the stacks do not need to have scrubbers to remove the SO2.  That would also require that limestone be shipped into the plant.  Limestone for scrubbers is shipped by rail to some plants that burn locally mined lignite that now have to remove SO2 from their flue gas..

But all of this is way out of the time period for this list and these environmental control all came long after the end date for the list.

Cyril Durrenberger

--- On Fri, 11/19/10, mike brock <brockm@...> wrote:

From: mike brock <brockm@...>
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel
To: STMFC@...
Date: Friday, November 19, 2010, 9:00 PM







 









Getting back to cement travel...and actually, the travel of relatively heavy

and cheap non finished materials such as cement, cement ingredients, coal,

sand, ballast etc., I am curious about the transportation of both the

ingredients and the final product. I understand the advantages of locating

near major ingredients. The steel industry, for example, didn't choose Key

West or Kansas as a site for a major plant...although one might, I guess,

argue that both ingredients and final product would travel by water if Key

West were chosen...the cheapest form of transportation if speed was not

essential. Anyhow, back to Big Wyoming [ as the sign says when you cross

from CO to WY ], back in our time UP was moving significant amounts of soda

ash from Westvaco to Council Bluffs and KC. That is 835 miles to Council

Bluffs and one assumes it did not stop there. Note that one of the trains in

the 1956 UP frt conductor's book consists of about 50 cars loaded with

ballast traveling from Buford, WY, to Petersen, UT....439 miles. Moving that

much weight that far seems a bit expensive. So, just how far could stuff

like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the

product?



Incidentally, we are considering a "clinic session" during Prototype Rails

in Cocoa Beach regarding the coal industry to specifically include coal

traffic.



Mike Brock






















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


Re: Cement ingredients, Was: cement travel

Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

mike brock wrote:
So, just how far could stuff like soda ash move before the cost of travel exceeded the value of the product?
If (and I say IF) it was essential, and available nowhere else, the travel cost could not exceed the value of the product.

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: Frank Brua

tmolsen@...
 

List,

Just a short note to advise that Frank Brua who owned Park Varieties in Southgate Michigan passed away about two weeks ago.

He will be missed!

Tom Olsen
7 Boundary Road, West Branch
Newark, Delaware, 19711-7479
(302) 738-4292
tmolsen@...

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