B&LE triple offset hoppers


Dean Payne
 

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).

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.

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). 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. 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!

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.

Dean Payne


benjaminfrank_hom <b.hom@...>
 

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


Cyril Durrenberger
 

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


Tony Thompson
 

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, but for those not already familiar with this topic, it should be emphasized that ALL iron ore is "natural," but as the grade (iron content) declined due to mining of the best stuff, it was no longer economical to ship it in its natural or as-mined state, and the taconite process was introduced, which beneficiates the ore (increases iron content).

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@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, 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


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@mchsi.com> wrote:
--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, 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


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



--- In HYPERLINK "mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com"STMFC@yahoogroups.-com,
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




No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.3/1354 - Release Date: 4/1/2008
5:38 AM



No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG.
Version: 7.5.519 / Virus Database: 269.22.3/1354 - Release Date: 4/1/2008
5:38 AM



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


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


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@yahoogroups.com, 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]


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@sbcglobal.net>
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@mchsi.com> wrote:
--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, 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]


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@yahoogroups.com, "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


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


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, 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


Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>
 

Chuck;



I really appreciate you getting these points out there. There seems to be a
trend in the hobby of wanting to fit a lot of freight car traffic into
several theories that seem, at times, to disagree with both what I observed
for many years, and what is also visible in the photo record. One of the
current ones accepted by some is that hoppers didn't "travel".



I personally witnessed thousands of hoppers traveling the rails, and equally
as many sitting still in yards, and have to say that, rare as they were, you
DID see hoppers from railroads very far away, on the railroads of western
Pennsylvania. I can only guess why some of them were there, but have found
out over the years, that loads in hoppers were not restricted to coal, and
that the many mineral additives used in the steel industry were probably one
very good reason you saw hoppers from far and wide in that area.



Although we can be certain that the specific properties of many of these
additives were the reason that one got a GS gon load of manganese, for
example, off the D&RGW, instead of elsewhere, there is a huge volume of
research on this subject that has barely been scratched, along with the
details on many hundreds of other industries.



I have been as guilty of making assumptions about what was carried in a given
car as anyone else, due to a lack of detailed information on many of the
trains in my area, but I am sure trying to get educated.



On the other subject, I was also told by several individuals (yardmasters
among them), that the PRR regularly hoarded, misplaced, mis-routed, or simply
diverted gondolas and hoppers, so they could serve their local customers, in
preference to routing these cars home on the next train, and even (horrors),
sending them out loaded in the opposite direction from where they were
supposed to be routed. This explains the presence of gondolas from far and
wide, sitting on out-of-the-way sidings, with no apparent logic to their
being there.



We like to develop pat theories on any number of things, but railroads were
run as businesses, with many quirks and hard to explain behaviors to those
wanting some "standardized" rules.



Now, for my own interests, if I could find out why the Southern Pacific seems
to have had so many hoppers showing up on the PRR....



Elden Gatwood



________________________________

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
drgwrail
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 9:49 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers



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@yahoogroups.com <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> , 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








Eric
 

Regarding taconite pellets.

After going to the process of extracting the magnetite iron from the
taconite rock, that then mixing it with the bentonite and limestone
to make pellets seems to be counterproductive. After refining the
iron, making pellets is, in effect, diluting it.

So why was it done? Is the hematite the oxidation process creates
considered more valuable than the magnetite?

Wouldn't shipping the pure extracted magnetite be more cost efficient
than diluting it by 35%?


Eric Petersson


Gatwood, Elden J SAD <Elden.J.Gatwood@...>
 

Eric;



Pellets were created to allow more efficient charge in the furnaces. By
binding the limestone or dolomite powder (flux stone) to the refined ore,
with the bentonite, you had product that allowed faster reaction to the heat,
and more consistent distribution within the burden. The pulverized flux
stone also reacted more quickly, instead of taking the time to break down
from crushed stone. The ore would then melt quicker, and impurities would
bind more quickly to the reacting calcium carbonate, forming slag, which
would then float on top of the hot metal. Instead of the slower process of
each layer taking time to react to the ones above and below it, you got
uniform behavior throughout much of the burden. The burden was placed in
layers, then, like CCOOCCO, from bottom to top, instead of CCOOFCCOOFC,
making management of the burden easier. I think that they often used pellets
and refined ore (and even some scrap), in different mixes, before they
figured out how to do the whole thing more effectively. The more you study
blast furnace operations, the more complex it turns out to be.



The pellets I still have are purplish to dirty orange, and would make a very
interesting load to model. Most of the ones I saw were the size of a small
marble or so.



I used to regularly get peppered with pellets watching trains on the PRR,
B&O, Union, and P&LE, since they found every opportunity to escape their
bounds, and escape back to the environment....viva libertad!



Elden Gatwood





________________________________

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of eric
petersson
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 3:38 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers



Regarding taconite pellets.

After going to the process of extracting the magnetite iron from the
taconite rock, that then mixing it with the bentonite and limestone
to make pellets seems to be counterproductive. After refining the
iron, making pellets is, in effect, diluting it.

So why was it done? Is the hematite the oxidation process creates
considered more valuable than the magnetite?

Wouldn't shipping the pure extracted magnetite be more cost efficient
than diluting it by 35%?

Eric Petersson


Frederick Freitas <prrinvt@...>
 

Elden,

You did bag these flying pellets, didn't you? Nothing like the real item for making loads for cars. Bought an old blender at a yard sale for 5 bucks and it is great at making ground coal for hoppers. Never a duplicate!!. Works well on other than granite chunks; those come from the lawn tractor when the wife drives. Other bits & chunks I use are for the landscaping supply box. One word of warning --- do not loose the cover !!!!!

Fred Freitas

"Gatwood, Elden J SAD " <Elden.J.Gatwood@sad01.usace.army.mil> wrote:
Eric;

Pellets were created to allow more efficient charge in the furnaces. By
binding the limestone or dolomite powder (flux stone) to the refined ore,
with the bentonite, you had product that allowed faster reaction to the heat,
and more consistent distribution within the burden. The pulverized flux
stone also reacted more quickly, instead of taking the time to break down
from crushed stone. The ore would then melt quicker, and impurities would
bind more quickly to the reacting calcium carbonate, forming slag, which
would then float on top of the hot metal. Instead of the slower process of
each layer taking time to react to the ones above and below it, you got
uniform behavior throughout much of the burden. The burden was placed in
layers, then, like CCOOCCO, from bottom to top, instead of CCOOFCCOOFC,
making management of the burden easier. I think that they often used pellets
and refined ore (and even some scrap), in different mixes, before they
figured out how to do the whole thing more effectively. The more you study
blast furnace operations, the more complex it turns out to be.

The pellets I still have are purplish to dirty orange, and would make a very
interesting load to model. Most of the ones I saw were the size of a small
marble or so.

I used to regularly get peppered with pellets watching trains on the PRR,
B&O, Union, and P&LE, since they found every opportunity to escape their
bounds, and escape back to the environment....viva libertad!

Elden Gatwood

________________________________

From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of eric
petersson
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 3:38 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [STMFC] Re: B&LE triple offset hoppers

Regarding taconite pellets.

After going to the process of extracting the magnetite iron from the
taconite rock, that then mixing it with the bentonite and limestone
to make pellets seems to be counterproductive. After refining the
iron, making pellets is, in effect, diluting it.

So why was it done? Is the hematite the oxidation process creates
considered more valuable than the magnetite?

Wouldn't shipping the pure extracted magnetite be more cost efficient
than diluting it by 35%?

Eric Petersson