Coal Hoppers on the M&StL


Douglas Harding <dharding@...>
 

On the MSTL yahoo list <http://www.yahoogroups.com/community/mstl> we have
been discussing the idenity of a coal hopper shown in a photo taken at
Oskaloosa, Iowa. We need some help. What follows is the discussion to date
(edited for content), leading to our need for help. Can anyone help clairify
the "idenity" of the car in question. Clark and I will both be at Cocoa
Beach where we can chew over this in person.

Doug Harding (MSTL list owner)
www.iowacentralrr.org
-----
Included here is the link to a photo posted on Cash Groth's site (great site
for M&StL info www.cashgroth.com); I think it is a Bob McCall photo
originally, posted by Sam Cook. There is a string of M&StL hoppers servicing
the Oskaloosa coal chute. I can't make out the numbers on the nearest car
when I enlarge the photo, but was wondering if anyone (Gene, Clark, anyone?)
can identify for me
the series of these hoppers and if there is a model available that matches
or approximates it.

Here is the photo in question:
<http://www.sjcook.com/trains/mccall/misc/msl0105.jpg>
Chuck Schwartz
-----
Looks to me like the hopper nearest the camera is from either the 63001 or
65001 series. Those were similar to or the same as USRA hoppers. Use either
the Tichy or Accurail USRA hopper.

Clark, jump in here and correct me if I am wrong.

Accurail painted their M&StL hoppers box car red which is WRONG. Jim Singer,
5th Ave Car shops, did the Accurail USRA hopper in the correct black.
Lettering was really accurate, too. Right off the top of my head I don't
recall how to contact Jim Singer. If he has email or a web site, that would
be very recent. We always corresponded via the US Mail.

I've heard that the Tichy USRA hopper is too wide and the Accurail is too
narrow. I have both and have never checked either.

Gene Green
-----
Gene is correct of course, the cars appear to be USRA. The Tichy model has a
couple of too wide of side panels to help with truck swing I believe. The
Accurail car has a lever type hand brake that would need to be changed. I
would argue the color of the 65001 series just because there's no color
photos. Richard Hendrickson stated in a review of the Accurail car in RMJ
some years back that the M&StL cars were among the few painted bcr. My
collection contains the Accurail 65001 series car and an undec I painted
black and decaled with Mark Vaughan's covered hopper set as a 63001. Jim
Singer is computer illiterate, he also drinks Leinie's Red, no telling about
people's taste. His snail mail address is:
5th Ave Car Shops
PO Box 423
LaGrange IL 60525

There now you have something to chew on.
Clark Propst
------
Clark and Gene - Thanks for the reply and info. At first glance, there
appeared to be something different about the discharge hatches on the cars
in the photo.....but upon further review it is probably just a
lighting/shadow effect. Don't recall seeing any good, definitive shots of
these M&StL cars. Looks like the Tichy car has a vertical shaft hand
brake......that's not correct, is it?

Regards, Chuck Schwartz
------
Chuck, I want to shake this up a little. While I normally would agree with
Gene and Clark, this time I am not sure. I question if the car in the photo
you cited is one of the USRA hoppers.

According to Gene's freight car timeline list the 60000 cars are AAR '34 50
ton hoppers purchased new in 1936 (2 bay cars); the 61000 cars are
ex-Clinchfield hoppers bought used in 1937 & 38; the 62000 cars are also
ex-Clinchfield hoppers purchased in 1940; the 63000 cars are ex-CBPX cars
blt in 1920 and purchased by the M&StL in 1941; 64001-64097 are
ex-Clinchfield purchased in 1942; 64501-64601 are ex-NYC cars purchased in
1942; 65000 are ex Westmoreland Coal Co. cars purchased in 1943; 66000 cars
are AAR '34 70 ton cars purchased new in 1947 (these are 3 bay cars). From
Gene's model list the 63000 & 65000 cars are USRA cars and can be modeled in
HO using either the Tichy or Accurail models. 60000 cars are 1934 AAR design
and Athearn or Atlas are close. 61000 & 62000 cars are a "GLa" design, and
Bowser or Westerfield models are very close.

I have added a photo of #63537, a USRA hopper, to my MStL photo album in the
group photos. It is a sharp photo clearly showing the outline of the
previous owner's name. The photo is from Vern Wigfield, I suspect taken soon
after the time 63000 series cars were acquired and repainted. There are also
photos of #61067 and #62017 from Gene Green in the Miscellaneous photo album
in the group photos.

Now for my contention. The photo you cited shows the end of the car, while
the end lettering is fuzzy it looks to be M&StL over a 5 digit number. What
causes me to question is the car appears to have five verticle supports on
the end of the car, including one centered over the coupler. USRA hoppers, I
believe, have four verticle supports, not five. Nor can I see a verticle
brake wheel, which may just be the photo or the car may be equiped with a
ratchet style hand brake. So I throw this back to Gene and Clark for their
opinions.

Doug Harding
------
Thanks for giving the photo a real 'eye'.

I based my first 'guess' on a USRA spotting feature...The side end panel has
a triangular shaped piece of steel in the top corner that follows the slope
sheet (common on most hoppers) The USRA cars have another triangular shaped
piece of steel at the bottom of the side pointing towards the end still.

I can't read the number on the car, but I think it may be a 64xxx series
car. I have no photos of these cars. Does anyone? Notice the car has had the
top edge re-enforced with a piece of channel iron. That's not on any of the
other series cars I have photos of.

I will check out the Clinchfield and NYC hoppers at Bob's photos while in
CCB.
Clark Propst
-------
Even though you didn't ask for MY opinion, here it is :-) The end beam had
me thinking GLa as soon as I saw the picture.

Ken Olson
----
Opps, forgot the 67000 cars, which came from the C&O in 1958 in trade for
RDC's. I have not seen a photo of said cars. We need some photos of M&StL
coal trains, ie South Illnois shots. Anyone got some?

I know Gene's color book has photos of a 66000 series car involved in a
wreck in Grinnell, p 57, which shows those cars as a faded/light BCR. These
cars were purchased new in 1947. If all other cars were black, some acquired
as late as 1943, when did the M&StL switch from black hoppers to red
hoppers? Or could you see both red and black cars at the same time?

Well to answer my own question, p. 86 of Gene's book shows black M&StL
hoppers, with red hoppers. The caption leads me to believe they are M&StL
cars.

Doug Harding
-----
The only "red" hoppers the M&StL had were the three-bay outside-ribbed cars
in "Shroeder circus red". Previous to the Shroeder administration I believe
that coal hoppers were black.

Tom
-----
From all the evidence I have, the M&StL painted, or had painted, all their
hopper cars black with white stencilling until the purchase of the
66501-66999 series of hopper cars from ACF. We all know these were either
bright red (125 cars) or black (125 cars).

Honesty compels me to admit that some of the "evidence" wasn't so solid. I
did interpret some.

The 66501 series came in 1957, a year after Schroder took over. Schroder
changed the M&StL colors from anything to red and white, his alma mater's
colors. That is when the billboard "Mikan" lettering started, too. I have
never seen Mikan lettering on open hoppers acquired before 1956. Apparently
none were repainted but who really knows?

The 32 hopper cars from the C&O were certainly NOT black. Red paint doesn't
hold up well to sunlight so maybe they were bright red and faded or maybe
they were box car red or something similar right from the start. Again, who
knows?

Now, as to whether or not the hopper car in the picture is USRA, GLA or
somethng else, I keyed on the small triangle just like Clark. Great minds
think alike, you know. Taking a second look I see the middle vertical
support on the car's end that Doug noticed. That feature is not found on the
USRA design nor on any other hopper in the 1928 Car Builders' Cyclopedia.
The spacing of the verticals is unusual as well.

Ken Olson says "GLA" based on the end beam. That was my first thought, too.
I would like to revise the answer I gave in Message #10876. My new response
is, "I don't know."

Gene Green
-----
I mentioned Richard Hendrickson's comment on the color of the 65001 hoppers
after Gene said they were black in an effort to spark some conversation on
the subject...oh well...Here's another one I'd like to have a definite
answer to.
I didn't see any of the 67001 hoppers till near the end of their lives. They
appeared to be box car red. A friend whose been kitbashing freight cars
since the last 60s has a model one of those cars he's painted bright red. If
we are to assume the C&O painted these cars before delivery would the M&StL
requested bright red paint? Or, would the C&O just painted them with want
they had on hand? Did the M&StL paint them? If so which color?
Clark Propst
-----
Doug, By the late 50s it would appear that only the larger 66xxx 3 bay cars
were in coal service. Check the Landmesser lists for loads in the other
number series.

I will stick with 64xxx series in Chuck's photo. The Pennsy style cars do
have the box end still, but don't have that bottom side triangle. The USRA
cars have the triangle, but not the box still and none have that style of
end supports. Time to go to the freight car list with this one!

Sunshine makes/made a mini-kit for the offset side 60001 series cars. You
scrape all the detail off the side of an Atlas hopper and glue a new
laminate side over it. I believe there are some end detail pieces too, plus
decals. I've built two and have one more to do. Makes a nice model.

As for paint, it's amazing how were rationalize a color....
Clark Propst
-----
Not sure if this will help or not, but in the same folder of photos
referenced in my original inquiry is another photo, apparently taken at the
same time and location, but showing the opposite end of the string of coal
service hoppers. The link to that photo is:
<http://www.sjcook.com/trains/mccall/misc/msl0111.jpg> Interestingly (or
not) the two nearest cars on this end are of a different series than those
on the other end. They do not appear to be a USRA version....unfortunately
the numbers can't be made out on this photo either. Among other things they
lack some of the features Clark pointed out as USRA identifiers. (From
Clark's earlier post..."The USRA cars have another triangular shaped piece
of steel at the bottom of the side pointing towards the end still.") If you
enlarge this photo a bit, it appears that the end of the nearest car clearly
has a vertical brake shaft, and only 4 vertical supports on the end beam.

Maybe this will help pin down a time frame and therefor help in identifying
the two series depicted here?

Chuck Schwartz

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12:09 PM


benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

Douglas Harding wrote:
"On the MSTL yahoo list
<http://www.yahoogroups.com/community/mstl>
we have been discussing the idenity of a coal hopper shown in a
photo taken at Oskaloosa, Iowa. We need some help. What follows is
the discussion to date (edited for content), leading to our need for
help. Can anyone help clairify the "idenity" of the car in question.
Clark and I will both be at Cocoa Beach where we can chew over this
in person."

Doug/Clark, I'll cover the car in the photo first, then address some
of the misconceptions in discussion thread, as there are many
erroneous assumptions being made by folks who should know better.

<http://www.sjcook.com/trains/mccall/misc/msl0105.jpg>

The car in this photo is definitely NOT a USRA twin hopper. Far too
many enthusiasts focus on that triangular gusset and 7 panels/8 side
stakes and automatically assume "USRA twin". NOT ALL 7 PANEL/8 SIDE
STAKE HOPPERS ARE USRA TWINS! Additional critical spotting features
of the USRA twin are as follows:
- Two channel section end verticals (NOT four as posted in the M&StL
group thread)
- No slope sheet braces
- No heavy end sill
- 1880 cu ft
- 30 ft 6 in IL
- 10 ft 8 in height of top chord above rails

The last two dimensions are important, as they help visually
differentiate these cars from other common hoppers of the period,
particularly the height.

Based on the photo and the roster information provided by Gene
Green, I contend that this car is one of the ex-NYC cars in the
64501-64601 purchased in 1942. The following is my supporting
information:

BACKGROUND: In 1910, 1912, and 1917, the New York Central and
subsidiaries acquired 8,600 twin hoppers from various builders with
the same common characteristics:
- 7 panels/8 side stakes
- Triangular gussets at bottom of outermost side stakes
- 3 end verticals
- No slope sheet braces
- Heavy end sill
- 1660 cu ft
- 30 ft IL
- 10 ft height of top chord above rails

A summary of the individual lots follow pulled from Terry Link's
outstanding NYCS Freight Cars website - more details and equipment
diagram links can be found there:
http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/NYC-MODELS-FREIGHT.htm

Lot / Built / Series / Number of Cars / Off NYC Roster
250-H / 1910 / NYC 408000-408999 (ex-NYC&HR 39000-39999) / 1000 /
1943
251-H / 1910 / NYC 409000-409999 (ex-LS&MS 71000-71999) / 1000 / 1948
251-H / 1910 / MCRR 8400-8999 / 600 / 1933
252-H / 1910 / NYC 410000-414999 (ex-LS&MS 72000-73499) / 1500 / 1944
265-H / 1910 / NYC 411500-411999 (ex-LS&MS 73500-74499) / 1000 / 1943
281-H / 1912 / NYC 412500-413999 (ex-NYC&HR 77500-78999) / 1500 /
1944
291-H / 1912 / NYC 414000-414999 (ex-NYC&HR 79000-79999) / 1000 /
1944
356-H / 1917 / NYC 822000-822999 (ex-NYC 417000-417999) / 1000 / 1951
http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/images/nyc-417000.jpg
(This builders photo does not show the triangular gusset, but it is
clearly shown on the equipment diagram.)

An additional 4000 cars were built in 1917 sharing these same
details; however, these had slope sheet braces and can be eliminated
from this discussion. They are included to show the entire picture
of these important NYC hoppers:
359-H / 1917 / NYC 823700-824699 (ex-CCC&StL 72700-73699) / 1000 /
1960
360-H / 1917 / NYC 825500-826499 (ex-NYC 400500-401499, ex-T&OC
25500-26499 / 1000 / 1955
362-H / 1917 / NYC 827000-828999 (ex-NYC 418000-419999) / 2000 / 1955

As you can see above, the New York Central was retiring the first
six lots of these cars by 1943-1944; the most likely source of the
M&StL cars are probably lots 250-H, 251-H, or 265-H, but depending
on the pace NYC retired these cars, it's conceivable that cars from
all of the 1910 and 1912 built lots made their way to the equipment
broker providing these cars to the M&StL.

The ex-Westmoreland Coal Co. cars in the 65000 series purchased in
1943 are another possibility, but these were most likely PRR Class
GLA cars. These can be esily distinguished from the NYC cars by
their ends. Class GLA had "built up" end vericals with trapezoidal
gussets at the top.

As with many other common New York Central freight cars, there is no
model in HO scale for these cars (or for that matter, other common 7
panel/8 side stake, 30 ft IL, 10 ft height of top chord above rail
hoppers such as the B&O N-12 subclasses). Two possible approaches:

- Modify the Bowser or Westerfield PRR Class GLA models with new
side stakes and end verticals. This kitbash results in a car that
is 5" too long (IL 30 ft 5 in)

- Cut down the Varney/Life-Like twin to 10 ft height of top chord
above rails, rework the ends, and upgrade the details on the car.
This is a more involved kitbash, but it'll give you a car with the
correct length.

Some other comments:
Gene Green wrote:
"I've heard that the Tichy USRA hopper is too wide and the Accurail
is too narrow. I have both and have never checked either."

This is an oversimplification of the problems with the Tichy car.
The center two panels are wider than the prototype. This increases
the wheelbase of the model to prevent the inner wheel flanges from
rubbing against the slope sheets. This is not noticeable at first,
but if you compare it side by side to a prototype photo, the
compromise jumps right out at you. (See the files section of the
STMFPH group for a side-by-side comparison.) The Accurail car is
NOT too narrow - the panel widths are correct.

Clark Propst wrote:
"Notice the car has had the top edge re-enforced with a piece of
channel iron. That's not on any of the other series cars I have
photos of."

This is a common feature on the early quads (PRR Class H21A, B&O
Class W-1/W-1A), but seemingly not as common on twin hoppers. I
have seen this feature on B&O N-10 and N-12 subclasses, so it may be
more common on early steel hoppers than we realize.


Ben Hom


Bob Karig <karig@...>
 

I agree with Ben's assessment and have sent you a scan of a builders photo of one of these cars built by Standard Steel, which I got from Keith Retterer.

Regarding the side post gussett, it's been my observation that these often varied in cars produced to the same design by different manufacturers. I have been unable to account for the differences.

Regarding the heavier top chord/side rail, many early cars had their top chord/side rails reinforced with heavier angle during their lives. Good examples include the B&O's N-10 and the PRR's H21 cited by Ben.

Bob Karig


rwitt_2000 <rmwitt@...>
 

Bob Karig wrote:

I agree with Ben's assessment and have sent you a scan of a builders
photo
of one of these cars built by Standard Steel, which I got from Keith
Retterer.
I also agree with Ben's reply.

Here is another photo more clearly showing the end with its three
braces.

http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/images/ccc&stl-73700.jpg

Bob Witt


Douglas Harding <dharding@...>
 

Thanks to Ben, Bob and Bob. We have a definate answer, and photos. This will
give Clark and I something to chew on at Cocoa Beach. By the way arrived in
Florida late Wed. night, was 39 degrees when I landed, so don't feel too
sorry for us.

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org

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11:29 AM


Bob Karig <karig@...>
 

Doug,

Note the different number of grab irons on the ends of cars 73699 and 73700. This should help you identify the vintage of the M&StL car.

Bob

At 08:20 AM 1/3/2008, you wrote:
Thanks to Ben, Bob and Bob. We have a definate answer, and photos. This will
give Clark and I something to chew on at Cocoa Beach. By the way arrived in
Florida late Wed. night, was 39 degrees when I landed, so don't feel too
sorry for us.

Doug Harding
www.iowacentralrr.org


rwitt_2000 <rmwitt@...>
 

Bob Karig wrote:

Note the different number of grab irons on the ends of cars 73699 and
73700. This should help you identify the vintage of the M&StL car.<

Another observation I made after enlarging the photo a little
http://www.sjcook.com/trains/mccall/misc/msl0105.jpg
<http://www.sjcook.com/trains/mccall/misc/msl0105.jpg> .

It appears that these hoppers received new hand holds on their ends and
this explains the "extra" end brace noted in the discussion. The
"additional" end brace is actually the right hand stile for the
replacement hand holds. The replacement hand holds are apparently
narrower than those applied to the original cars.

Bob Witt