Cement Hoppers - Far Ranging or Mostly Home Road?


Jim Betz
 

Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service as a
common practice? For instance, if you were the conductor on a job
working a cement plant did you tend to see a lot of mixture of cars
(by RR) or were they mostly from one road? I'm primarily interested
in what happened in the 50's ... but I'd also be interested in knowing
that the practice changed over the decades if that happened.

My experience/logic says that there are cement producing plants
"all over the nation" and the product is fairly heavy ... so it
makes sense that they did not ship cement from some place such as the
Kaiser Permanente in Cupertino, Ca. to a ready-mix supplier or bagging
plant in New Jersey.
I would guess that major projects - such as the pour of a dam -
might receive cement in hoppers rather than after it has been
re-packaged into smaller quantities such as the typical 50# bags
we see all the time. But other than those special situations I
would guess that a loaded cement hopper went to a bagging or
ready-mix plant for unloading. True?

So wouldn't a ready-mix plant in Georgia typically receive its cement
from a 'relatively local' source rather than having it shipped all the way
across the country?

And then there is the question of whether or not the yardmaster/freight
agent in 'some yard somewhere' would just grab any available empty cement
hopper for loading or if they were typically sent back to their home
road relatively quickly (compared to a general purpose car such as a
box car, mill gon, or flat).
- Jim in San Jose

P.S. I've never seen any info on the routing of cement hoppers. If there
is such a thing I'd be interested in knowing about it.


Tim O'Connor
 

-------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Jim Betz <jimbetz@...>
Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service
as a common practice?
No. Portland cement is a heavy, low-value commodity, and travels as
short a distance as practical. It travels farthest to a destination that does
not have a nearby supply. You might see lots of different cement hoppers
in an urban area, and you'd see cement hoppers of connecting roads in
many places, but it would be unusual to see a cement hopper that was
hundreds of miles from its home road*. Of course in the 1950's, most
cement still travelled in box cars.

Tim O'Connor

* Of course this depends where you are. The UP in the 1950's moved an
average carload about 100% farther than the PRR moved a carload. So I
imagine you might see the occasional offline cement load on the UP many
hundreds of miles from its home road, but this would be less common on
the PRR, mainly because of the distances between suppliers and consumers
on those respective railroads.


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Jim Betz wrote:
Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service as a common practice?
In general, no, because cement is widely produced (as you noted) and accordingly shipping charges can't be supported for great distances. But of course overlapping shipping territories of adjacent railroads could result in some "confiscated" cars at a particular plant.

I would guess that major projects - such as the pour of a dam - might receive cement in hoppers rather than after it has been re-packaged into smaller quantities such as the typical 50# bags we see all the time.
Yes (though the 100# bag was standard for a long time). Around World War II is when the cement covered hopper began to make big inroads into previous shipping methods. (SP had some box cars dedicated to bulk cement service; took hand labor to shovel them out.) Certainly by the 1950s any large project would NOT be receiving bagged cement.

And then there is the question of whether or not the yardmaster/freight agent in 'some yard somewhere' would just grab any available empty cement hopper for loading or if they were typically sent back to their home road relatively quickly (compared to a general purpose car such as a box car, mill gon, or flat).
That's what's called "confiscation." For it to happen, of course, the yard in question would have to handle returning empties from some destination, and also supply a shipper. If there was a lot of such confiscation, the road "losing" its supply of hoppers would probably have a sit-down with the confiscating road and work out an equitable arrangement. Such cars CAN be assigned with a "return to agent" placard.

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


reporterllc
 

Jim:

I think your logic for the time period reference cement hoppers
is mostly correct based on information I've read in the hobby press.
I believe Mr. Gene Green in his M&STL book, for example, refers to
the M&STL cement hoppers not venturing too far off line. I have also
come across that in other sources too including the operations group
here at Yahoo. This has been an interest of mine also since I have a
freelanced Wabash branchline to a cement plant (Cement City!) on my
layout in progress. It appears there were sources for raw materials
and cement plants all over the U.S. so that seems to support your
rationale too.

(One of the more interesting sources of material I've come across was
the use of Marl for the cement plant at Stroh, Indiana that was on a
five mile branch.) Don't forgot other kinds of cars to service a
cement plant for coal, coke?, packaging and other forms of raw
material including chemical.

I think the exception to your line of thinking might be bagged cement
shipped in box cars. But I think you were just referring to hoppers.

I defer to those here that are more knowledgeable than me.


rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

The two cement plants in Mason City Iowa were served by four of the
five class I roads in town. The fifth road would make arrangements with
another road to transfer their hoppers and pool box cars. Hoppers were
loaded in the destination road's hoppers. If a ready mix plant on the
RI ordered a hopper car of cement and the plant didn't have a RI hopper
they would wait till one was delivered. Cars rarely traveled 200 miles.
Up through the 50s the bulk of shipments were bagged in box cars. Any
roads box car including Canadian! Bags weighed 94 lbs (4 bags equaled
the weight of a barrel) for most types. 70 lbs for Mason or Mortor Mix.
Cement was still priced by the barrel in the 50s.

I have a series of Soph Marty scanned slides of a NB (Twin Cities) WB
by TT M&StL train picking up a string of EJ&E hoppers in their Mason
City Middle yard. I also have a S Wheeler snapshot of a EJ&E hopper at
Stewartville MN on the CGW. So, never say never!

Clark Propst


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

Jim,

Mostly home road cars. When I went to work on the IC in 1960, the
railroad had 440 covered hoppers assigned to protect the loading out
of four cement plants on the Amboy District located at Dixon and
Lasalle/Oglesby. Each plant was also served by another railroad. If
loading was heavy and the IC was in need of more cars to handle the
traffic, they often borrowed cement hoppers from the C&NW and MILW.
Both railroads benefited from loaning the IC the cars as they often
participated in the road haul through interchange of the cement
traffic. A few times cement hoppers were borrowed from the ATSF.
Most of the business from Medusa Portland Cement at Dixon and from
the Marquette and Lehigh plants in Oglesby were loads moving to
distribution silos in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas. Medusa also
shipped to silos in Manitowoc, Wis. Probably the distance traveled
for most loads was 100 to 300 miles. One summer, past the time frame
of this list, a large number of cars were shipped from the Marquette
plant to a destination in South Dakota. I was told it was for run-
way construction at an airport or air force base. Bagged cement
moving in box cars had declined to about ten cars a month by the time
that I went to work on the IC. When one or more box cars were
ordered for bag loading, the railroad usually grabbed what was handy,
either foreign or home road cars. I recall that Medusa was the last
plant loading box cars.

Chet French
Dixon, IL


--- In STMFC@..., Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:

Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service
as a
common practice? For instance, if you were the conductor on a job
working a cement plant did you tend to see a lot of mixture of cars
(by RR) or were they mostly from one road? I'm primarily interested
in what happened in the 50's ... but I'd also be interested in
knowing
that the practice changed over the decades if that happened.

My experience/logic says that there are cement producing plants
"all over the nation" and the product is fairly heavy ... so it
makes sense that they did not ship cement from some place such as
the
Kaiser Permanente in Cupertino, Ca. to a ready-mix supplier or
bagging
plant in New Jersey.
I would guess that major projects - such as the pour of a dam -
might receive cement in hoppers rather than after it has been
re-packaged into smaller quantities such as the typical 50# bags
we see all the time. But other than those special situations I
would guess that a loaded cement hopper went to a bagging or
ready-mix plant for unloading. True?

So wouldn't a ready-mix plant in Georgia typically receive its
cement
from a 'relatively local' source rather than having it shipped all
the way
across the country?

And then there is the question of whether or not the
yardmaster/freight
agent in 'some yard somewhere' would just grab any available empty
cement
hopper for loading or if they were typically sent back to their home
road relatively quickly (compared to a general purpose car such as a
box car, mill gon, or flat).
- Jim in San Jose

P.S. I've never seen any info on the routing of cement hoppers. If
there
is such a thing I'd be interested in knowing about it.


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

Reading Clark's post reminded me that the IC also borrowed EJ&E
cement hoppers occasionally. This may have been due to the fact that
the "J" sometimes participated in the movement of the cement going to
Manitowoc, Wis. The IC would interchange the cement to the EJ&E at
Munger, IL and they moved it north and delivered it to the C&NW or
MILW.
Looks like most of the "J" will soon become a fallen flag.

Chet French
Dixon, IL

--- In STMFC@..., "rockroll50401" <cepropst@...> wrote:

The two cement plants in Mason City Iowa were served by four of the
five class I roads in town. The fifth road would make arrangements
with
another road to transfer their hoppers and pool box cars. Hoppers
were
loaded in the destination road's hoppers. If a ready mix plant on
the
RI ordered a hopper car of cement and the plant didn't have a RI
hopper
they would wait till one was delivered. Cars rarely traveled 200
miles.
Up through the 50s the bulk of shipments were bagged in box cars.
Any
roads box car including Canadian! Bags weighed 94 lbs (4 bags
equaled
the weight of a barrel) for most types. 70 lbs for Mason or Mortor
Mix.
Cement was still priced by the barrel in the 50s.

I have a series of Soph Marty scanned slides of a NB (Twin Cities)
WB
by TT M&StL train picking up a string of EJ&E hoppers in their
Mason
City Middle yard. I also have a S Wheeler snapshot of a EJ&E hopper
at
Stewartville MN on the CGW. So, never say never!

Clark Propst


Michael Aufderheide
 

All:

Another thing to keep in mind is that 'cement hoppers' carried more than cement. I have 1948 conductor's logs showing sand, soda ash and lime all being carried in 1958 cu ft. LOs. Having said that, how much the traffic for these items varied from cement I don't know. They were to/from off-line industies. All the cement originated on-line. Anyone know about where these other commodities where shipped to/from?

Regards,

Mike Aufderheide

Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote: Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service as a
common practice?





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rwitt_2000 <rmwitt@...>
 

Jim,

This is a good question and I did not know the answer until I obtained
copies of the documents with the assignments for covered hoppers for the
B&O.

From these documents prepared in the 1950's, it shows that essentially
the entire fleet of B&O 2-bay covered hoppers were in assigned service.
The assignments ranged over the entire service area for the B&O and to
sites off-line. In this earlier time frame these types of covered
hoppers were not in any sort of "pool" service, but moved back and forth
between the source and the customer. The commodities were dense bulk
materials: cement, sand, etc. Comparing the two documents we have one
can see slight shifts in traffic patterns, new customers added , older
ones removed, etc., but some hoppers remained in the same assigned
service for 5+ years.

Bob Witt
Indianapolis, Indiana




--- In STMFC@..., Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:

Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service as a
common practice? For instance, if you were the conductor on a job
working a cement plant did you tend to see a lot of mixture of cars
(by RR) or were they mostly from one road? I'm primarily interested
in what happened in the 50's ... but I'd also be interested in knowing
that the practice changed over the decades if that happened.

My experience/logic says that there are cement producing plants
"all over the nation" and the product is fairly heavy ... so it
makes sense that they did not ship cement from some place such as the
Kaiser Permanente in Cupertino, Ca. to a ready-mix supplier or bagging
plant in New Jersey.
I would guess that major projects - such as the pour of a dam -
might receive cement in hoppers rather than after it has been
re-packaged into smaller quantities such as the typical 50# bags
we see all the time. But other than those special situations I
would guess that a loaded cement hopper went to a bagging or
ready-mix plant for unloading. True?

So wouldn't a ready-mix plant in Georgia typically receive its
cement
from a 'relatively local' source rather than having it shipped all the
way
across the country?

And then there is the question of whether or not the
yardmaster/freight
agent in 'some yard somewhere' would just grab any available empty
cement
hopper for loading or if they were typically sent back to their home
road relatively quickly (compared to a general purpose car such as a
box car, mill gon, or flat).
- Jim in San Jose

P.S. I've never seen any info on the routing of cement hoppers. If
there
is such a thing I'd be interested in knowing about it.


rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

Anyone know about where these other commodities where shipped to/from?

Regards,

Mike Aufderheide
Only cement hoppers were asked about, but I know the CGW had 2 bay
covered hoppers assigned to haul other products from faclitities
online. Some of their first cars with roller bearing trucks were hopper
cars. The M&StL thought they would haul grain in their cement hoppers
during the winter months, but I don't think this worked out.
Clark Propst


Greg Martin
 

Clark and Chet's post both touch on car distributuion and how it was and is supposed to work. Assigned cars to assigned receivers. Car supply throuhgout the war and post war years was difficult at best.



In the case of reefers it was nearly the same... a PFE reefer to a PFE origin and hopeflly to a PFE destination, but not as possible as it should have or could have been with so much business beyond the gateways, but PFE destinations came first! Keeping your fleet on home road(s) (UP/SP/SSW/WP) was favorable. The same was true with the ATSF/SFRD fleet. So when a receiver in the Twin Cities on the GN wants a load(s) of Oranges and the load(s) is/are bought out of Sunkist in Escondido, normally... The ATSF car distribution would look for or request an empty?WFEX/BREX/FGEX car to haul the load... This mihgt require "repositioning" of equipment. The shipper might have to wait for the car(s) to load?and the local agent would remind the shipper that they were to ship the Twin Cities loads in WFEX/BREX/FGEX cars and were instructed NOT to use any SFRD equipment for the move(could/would be the same for PFE). This was how it should/would happen (as Clark describes with the covered cement hoppers) as this kept the move(s) on home road cars and the ATSF would not "loose" a car. Now if cars were "long" the ATSF car department might agree to allow an SFRD car to go "off-line" but it was their choice. Otherwise how would you ever truly manage your equipment/asset? This was done to a great extent with the automobile industry in the tail end of our era and more so beyond the scope of this list. Often the?origin road would utilize a foreign road car if it were headed to it's home road (i.e. WFEX to Milwaukee) loaded but only after getting written permission first so as not to violate the car service rules. So it can be said that more PFE cars were unloaded on home roads than on foreign lines in most cases. When car supplies got tight, borrowing cars was common, it depended on the harvest...

Greg Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Mon, 22 Oct 2007 10:44 am
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Cement Hoppers - Far Ranging or Mostly Home Road?







The two cement plants in Mason City Iowa were served by four of the
five class I roads in town. The fifth road would make arrangements with
another road to transfer their hoppers and pool box cars. Hoppers were
loaded in the destination road's hoppers. If a ready mix plant on the
RI ordered a hopper car of cement and the plant didn't have a RI hopper
they would wait till one was delivered. Cars rarely traveled 200 miles.
Up through the 50s the bulk of shipments were bagged in box cars. Any
roads box car including Canadian! Bags weighed 94 lbs (4 bags equaled
the weight of a barrel) for most types. 70 lbs for Mason or Mortor Mix.
Cement was still priced by the barrel in the 50s.

I have a series of Soph Marty scanned slides of a NB (Twin Cities) WB
by TT M&StL train picking up a string of EJ&E hoppers in their Mason
City Middle yard. I also have a S Wheeler snapshot of a EJ&E hopper at
Stewartville MN on the CGW. So, never say never!

Clark Propst





________________________________________________________________________
Email and AIM finally together. You've gotta check out free AOL Mail! - http://mail.aol.com


golden1014
 

Hi Jim,

It was not uncommon to see Seaboard or ACL "cement hoppers" on other
railroads in the East and Midwest. In many cases, these cars would
be carrying phosphates from Florida to fertilizer plants,
warehouses, etc. around the nation. There's plenty of photographic
evidence showing the unique Seaboard and ACL phosphate cars also
traveled far off their home roads as well, presumably delivering wet
and dry phosphates as well.

For the record, Seaboard and ACL--along with most railroads in our
era of interest--moved a lot of bagged cement. Therefore it wouldn't
be unusual to press box cars into service at cement plants,
particulalry older cars. We don't see too many models of box cars in
cement service, do we?

John Golden
Bloomington, IN

-- In STMFC@..., Jim Betz <jimbetz@...> wrote:
Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service
as a
common practice? For instance, if you were the conductor on a job
working a cement plant did you tend to see a lot of mixture of cars
(by RR) or were they mostly from one road? I'm primarily
interested
in what happened in the 50's ... but I'd also be interested in
knowing
that the practice changed over the decades if that happened.

My experience/logic says that there are cement producing plants
"all over the nation" and the product is fairly heavy ... so it
makes sense that they did not ship cement from some place such as
the
Kaiser Permanente in Cupertino, Ca. to a ready-mix supplier or
bagging
plant in New Jersey.
I would guess that major projects - such as the pour of a dam -
might receive cement in hoppers rather than after it has been
re-packaged into smaller quantities such as the typical 50# bags
we see all the time. But other than those special situations I
would guess that a loaded cement hopper went to a bagging or
ready-mix plant for unloading. True?

So wouldn't a ready-mix plant in Georgia typically receive its
cement
from a 'relatively local' source rather than having it shipped all
the way
across the country?

And then there is the question of whether or not the
yardmaster/freight
agent in 'some yard somewhere' would just grab any available empty
cement
hopper for loading or if they were typically sent back to their
home
road relatively quickly (compared to a general purpose car such as
a
box car, mill gon, or flat).
- Jim in San Jose

P.S. I've never seen any info on the routing of cement hoppers.
If there
is such a thing I'd be interested in knowing about it.


xv_corps
 

Chet,

What impact did that generally north- and/or east-ward shipment of
cement have on the southern end of the Amboy? I seem to remember
Bill Dunbar writing that the first section of 372 was usually heavy
with cement traffic through Bloomington. Would that have been
aggregate heading north to the plants? From what you wrote, it seems
that that pool of 440 or so IC cement hoppers were in somewhat captive
service between the plants and the Chicago and Wisconsin
destininations.

Thanks,
Brad Hanner


rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

We don't see too many models of box cars in
cement service, do we?

John Golden
Aerial views of the yards at the cement plants in Mason City in during
our time period are full of box cars. Lots more than covered hoppers.
The bulk market was just getting going good in the 50s.

All bulk cement loads were weighed. during the 50s many cement plants
did not have scales (Because they had been shipping bags) so the RRs
had to weigh them.

Clark Propst


Chet French <cfrench@...>
 

Brad,

I recall very little cement traffic going south from Dixon and
Lasalle/Oglesby. One or two cars to the various interchanges most
days. Modahl & Scott redi-mix at Bloomington also received three or
four loads a week. Each plant had their own quarry so very little
aggregate was moved. One exception was the Medusa plant at Dixon
received gyp rock from the Ft Dodge, IA area. Both the IC aand CNW
handled this traffic. Coal from Sou. Illinois and Kentucky came north
to the cement plants.

Chet French
Dixon, IL

--- In STMFC@..., "xv_corps" <fortyrounds@...> wrote:

Chet,

What impact did that generally north- and/or east-ward shipment of
cement have on the southern end of the Amboy? I seem to remember
Bill Dunbar writing that the first section of 372 was usually heavy
with cement traffic through Bloomington. Would that have been
aggregate heading north to the plants? From what you wrote, it seems
that that pool of 440 or so IC cement hoppers were in somewhat
captive
service between the plants and the Chicago and Wisconsin
destininations.

Thanks,
Brad Hanner


Malcolm Laughlin <mlaughlinnyc@...>
 

A few points that I haven't seen addressed explicitly in this thread.

a) Looking at a 200 mile radius, here are some marks that you would have a good chance of seeing on cement cars in Connecticut - L&NE, CNJ, NYC, B&M, D&H. Those are just the ones I'm sure of.

b) Covered hoppers were not general service cars. They were covered by an AAR special car order that required empty return via reverse route (on a "revenue form of waybill without charges"). They could be assigned or in pools. There were three possibilities (not saying no exceptions to the 3).

1. Customer assignment was the most common. Customers wanted an assured car supply and insisted on assigned cars. This would be likely for an isolated cement plant.

2. Agency pools existed where several users of a particular car type were at the same station. A railroad preferred an agency pool to specific assignments because utilization was often better. You might have found such a pool for DF cars or for covered hoppers, in the days before railroads had the computer capability needed for a system-wide pool. This would happen when one yard served several cement plants.

3. Unassigned controlled by the owning railroad. This required that the railroad have the capability to know where all such cars on its line were so that they could be efficiently distributed. An early example was when the NYC acquired its first 100 ton covered hoppers for grain service carrying only traffic shipped under a specific tariff. Those 100 cars were entered into the computer as a pool. The agricultural industry marketing manager got a daily report on their locations and told the covered hopper distributor in the transportation department which shippers could get them. In the case of the Flexi-Flo cement cars, There were several pools, one for southeastern Ohio, one for Selkirk and another that I forget. These cars were distributed under authority of the district transportation superintendent. It would be a rare occurence that an Ohio car would go as far east as a Selkirk car would go west since most cement moved around 200 to 300 miles. Less than 150
almost certainly went by truck (1960's).

c) The term "confiscated" is not something you would have heard AFAIK in the 50's or 60's. Here is a definition from wiki.

Confiscation, from the Latin confiscatio 'joining to the fiscus, i.e. transfer to the treasury' is a legal seizure without compensation by a government or other public authority. The word is also used, popularly, of spoliation under legal forms, or of any seizure of property without adequate compensation.

Obviously the word does not apply to appropriating a car for a load since it is not a seizure. And there is compensation. That's what per diem rates are about.




Malcolm Laughlin, Editor 617-489-4383
New England Rail Shipper Directories
19 Holden Road, Belmont, MA 02478


Mike Fortney
 

Archibald & Darnall, purveyors of concrete block and precast shapes,
was a likely recipient of carload cement in Bloomington from the
plants up north on the IC's Charter Line from approximately 1910 to 1964.

Mike Fortney

--- In STMFC@..., "Chet French" <cfrench@...> wrote:

Brad,

I recall very little cement traffic going south from Dixon and
Lasalle/Oglesby. One or two cars to the various interchanges most
days. Modahl & Scott redi-mix at Bloomington also received three or
four loads a week. Each plant had their own quarry so very little
aggregate was moved. One exception was the Medusa plant at Dixon
received gyp rock from the Ft Dodge, IA area. Both the IC aand CNW
handled this traffic. Coal from Sou. Illinois and Kentucky came north
to the cement plants.

Chet French
Dixon, IL


Lindsay smith <wlindsays2000@...>
 

The Hoover Dam cement was bulk shipped in modified box cars. At the dam mixing plant, the cement was moved by a vacuum lift to large holding tanks. I do not recall the RR that provided the cars. They had an air vent on the corners that looked like a stove pipe. If I recall, there are pictures in the visitor's tour area.
LIndsay

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Russ Strodtz <railfreightcars@...>
 

During the 50's the CB&Q leased SHPX cars for sand service and
ACL cars for cement service.

The ACL cars were normally loaded by Aplha or Marquette at LaSalle IL.

While cement was usually a short haul load silica sand was often moved
great distances. Used in foundry and oil drilling they were willing to pay
the freight charges to get the right kind of sand.

I am talking bulk here.

Russ

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim O'Connor" <timboconnor@...>
To: <STMFC@...>
Sent: Monday, 22 October, 2007 21:00
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Cement Hoppers - Far Ranging or Mostly Home Road?


That's actually why I wrote "Portland cement". There are specialized
formulations of 'cement' that probably can travel long distances. But
as you say there is a relatively small amount of that.


Jerry Dziedzic
 

Not often I see such a lengthy cement thread, and I almost missed it
because I didn't check the list for several days! Some quick notes
to add on the topic of whose cars were used.

A ready-mix plant receiving bulk cement could see some variety in
cars. It's good purchasing practice to use two or more suppliers,
especially for any large, high-volume use. So, a plant in north
Jersey in the early 50's might buy from Penn Dixie and receive L&NE
cars, and from Hercules and receive Lackawanna cars.

Shipments to this plant would move from the respective mills in
eastern PA. It's also possible that one of the suppliers, say Penn
Dixie, chooses to ship from another of their locations. I have
records of regular movements from Penn Dixie's Chattanooga-area plant
into north Jersey during this time frame, using NC&StL equipment.

Why the long haul? Don't know, but could be any one of a number of
reasons: PA mill production at capacity, PA mill production affected
by maintenance, specialty grade of cement not mfg'd in PA, etc.

Finally, regarding assigned service. Those with whom I've
corresponded will know this is a personal favorite of mine. Jack
Burgess has records of numerous L&NE cars on the YV in the immediate
post-war period. What's even more odd is that the cars were moving
to and from a mill that had ceased production! We can only speculate
about the reasons, but it seems likely that assigned service is one
of them.

So, as so often seems the case, there are strong doses of "probably"
and "depends" in the answers to your questions.

I can provide some routings on cement shipments into north Jersey,
but this will have to wait until next week. Let me know if you're
interested.

Jerry Dziedzic
Pattenburg, NJ


--- In STMFC@..., "rwitt_2000" <rmwitt@...> wrote:

Jim,

This is a good question and I did not know the answer until I
obtained
copies of the documents with the assignments for covered hoppers
for the
B&O.

From these documents prepared in the 1950's, it shows that
essentially
the entire fleet of B&O 2-bay covered hoppers were in assigned
service.
The assignments ranged over the entire service area for the B&O and
to
sites off-line. In this earlier time frame these types of covered
hoppers were not in any sort of "pool" service, but moved back and
forth
between the source and the customer. The commodities were dense
bulk
materials: cement, sand, etc. Comparing the two documents we have
one
can see slight shifts in traffic patterns, new customers added ,
older
ones removed, etc., but some hoppers remained in the same assigned
service for 5+ years.

Bob Witt
Indianapolis, Indiana




--- In STMFC@..., Jim Betz <jimbetz@> wrote:

Did cement hoppers travel long distances in interchange service
as a
common practice? For instance, if you were the conductor on a job
working a cement plant did you tend to see a lot of mixture of
cars
(by RR) or were they mostly from one road? I'm primarily
interested
in what happened in the 50's ... but I'd also be interested in
knowing
that the practice changed over the decades if that happened.

My experience/logic says that there are cement producing plants
"all over the nation" and the product is fairly heavy ... so it
makes sense that they did not ship cement from some place such as
the
Kaiser Permanente in Cupertino, Ca. to a ready-mix supplier or
bagging
plant in New Jersey.
I would guess that major projects - such as the pour of a dam -
might receive cement in hoppers rather than after it has been
re-packaged into smaller quantities such as the typical 50# bags
we see all the time. But other than those special situations I
would guess that a loaded cement hopper went to a bagging or
ready-mix plant for unloading. True?

So wouldn't a ready-mix plant in Georgia typically receive its
cement
from a 'relatively local' source rather than having it shipped
all the
way
across the country?

And then there is the question of whether or not the
yardmaster/freight
agent in 'some yard somewhere' would just grab any available empty
cement
hopper for loading or if they were typically sent back to their
home
road relatively quickly (compared to a general purpose car such
as a
box car, mill gon, or flat).
- Jim in San Jose

P.S. I've never seen any info on the routing of cement hoppers.
If
there
is such a thing I'd be interested in knowing about it.