Coal facts - Average Capacity per Coal Car

tim gilbert <tgilbert@...>

James D Thompson wrote:

in 1907 the average car was only about 25 to 30 ton capacity. Only a
very few first steel hoppers had been built and wood frames
That was true of 1897, but the pace of car purchases by the eastern
roads accelerated rapidly through the mid-1910s. This meant that even
early as 1907 they had many more steel or steel frame 50-ton cars than

40-ton or smaller cars. N&W added around 3000 30-ton hoppers in
but then added just under 10,000 50-ton hoppers from 1899-1907.
The earliest year in which I have car data is 1917. In that year, there
were 916,219 Coal Cars on Class I Railroads in the US. The average
capacity for these 916,219 cars was 48.3 tons.

Furthermore, there is a breakdown of Steel Underframe and all-Steel Coal
Cars as of Dec. 31, 1915 and Dec. 31, 1917 as per the table below:

12/31/1915 12/31/1917
All-Steel 446,312 517,125
Steel Underframe 175,248 207,041
Wooden 251,411 192,251
Total Coal Cars 872,971 916,219

The numbers above include Gondolas.

Tim Gilbert