Feed Mills


Donald B. Valentine <riverman_vt@...>
 

Speaking of feed mills in responding to James McDonald's question
brings up another point surrounding them. Prior to the elimination of
the PIT (Process In Transit) rating, and certainly in our steam era,
feed mills in northern New England seemed to receive the bulk of
their grains via Canadian Differential Tariff routings. Much of this
was, probably for that reason, grain bulk loaded into Canadian cars
with Signode or other grain doors, these having beed discussed before
on this list. I'm not just certain of when the changeover from box
cars to covered hoppers occurred for this inbound grain, however, and
wonder if someone can shed some light on that issue. Was grain ever
loaded into covered hoppers such as the ACF 70 Ton car type, for
example? If so, I don't recall seeing any in such use. My first
recollection of grain arriving at feed mills in covered hoppers is of
it coming in PS-2's and that is rapidly getting out of the steam era
in New England.

The other issue here is grain arriving in Canadian cars. It occurs
to me that they could not be reloaded for delivery of the processed
product, i.e. grain in 100 lb. bags, to the final destination. Is
this correct? If so that would require a lot of extra switching at a
good sized feed mill to remove the empty Canadian cars and replace
them with American cars, with a preference for home road cars, for
the final delivery. While a lot of feed mills have disappeared in
this part of the world over the last twenty five years there are
still some large ones left. The H.K. Webster (Blue Seal Feeds) plant
in Richford, VT, for example, is within a stone's throw of the
International Boundary (literally) and seems to have been, and
remain, about the largest such plant in New England. While most of
the processed feed now leaves in tractor trailers I can well recall
the day when finding 25 to 30 cars sitting at that one plant was
nothing. The CPR kept an RS-2 at Richford almost solely to handle the
switching at that plant. Thus this is an industry that could provide
a lot of action on a model railroad. But I'm wondering about the car
mix for the postwar period as I really don't recall any early covered
hopper types.

Food for thought with one's layout planning.

Don Valentine


water.kresse@...
 

I assummed that the 1937 era 70-ton covered hops were targeted for denser materials such as gypsum for making cement. The gypsum staining is why the C&O eventually changed over to gray from black covered hops.

Al Kresse

-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Donald B. Valentine" <riverman_vt@yahoo.com>
Speaking of feed mills in responding to James McDonald's question
brings up another point surrounding them. Prior to the elimination of
the PIT (Process In Transit) rating, and certainly in our steam era,
feed mills in northern New England seemed to receive the bulk of
their grains via Canadian Differential Tariff routings. Much of this
was, probably for that reason, grain bulk loaded into Canadian cars
with Signode or other grain doors, these having beed discussed before
on this list. I'm not just certain of when the changeover from box
cars to covered hoppers occurred for this inbound grain, however, and
wonder if someone can shed some light on that issue. Was grain ever
loaded into covered hoppers such as the ACF 70 Ton car type, for
example? If so, I don't recall seeing any in such use. My first
recollection of grain arriving at feed mills in covered hoppers is of
it coming in PS-2's and that is rapidly getting out of the steam era
in New England.

The other issue here is grain arriving in Canadian cars. It occurs
to me that they could not be reloaded for delivery of the processed
product, i.e. grain in 100 lb. bags, to the final destination. Is
this correct? If so that would require a lot of extra switching at a
good sized feed mill to remove the empty Canadian cars and replace
them with American cars, with a preference for home road cars, for
the final delivery. While a lot of feed mills have disappeared in
this part of the world over the last twenty five years there are
still some large ones left. The H.K. Webster (Blue Seal Feeds) plant
in Richford, VT, for example, is within a stone's throw of the
International Boundary (literally) and seems to have been, and
remain, about the largest such plant in New England. While most of
the processed feed now leaves in tractor trailers I can well recall
the day when finding 25 to 30 cars sitting at that one plant was
nothing. The CPR kept an RS-2 at Richford almost solely to handle the
switching at that plant. Thus this is an industry that could provide
a lot of action on a model railroad. But I'm wondering about the car
mix for the postwar period as I really don't recall any early covered
hopper types.

Food for thought with one's layout planning.

Don Valentine


Dennis Storzek
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, water.kresse@... wrote:

I assummed that the 1937 era 70-ton covered hops were targeted for
denser materials such as gypsum for making cement. The gypsum
staining is why the C&O eventually changed over to gray from black
covered hops.

Al Kresse
There were some few 70 ton covered hoppers built for grain service in
the very late fifties; the Soo line had some. Typical 70T cement cars
had cubic capacities of 1958 or 2003 CU. FT. In 1958 the Soo bought
some Pullman Standard "Jumbo" (yep, jumbo, said so right on the car)
three bay covered hoppers with a capacity of 70T and 2893 Cu.Ft. The
next year they went for more, these being "Super Jumbo" cars with a
capacity of 70T and 3219 Cu.Ft.

The use of covered hoppers for grain must not have been a foregone
conclusion at that time, because the railroad also began a program of
building new 50' boxcars with 10' plug doors that had grain loading
doors in the upper portion of the door. This arrangement overcame the
problem of fitting grain doors to wide door openings; the main plug
door became the "grain door", while the grain was blown in through the
small upper door. These cars were also 70t capy., and over 5000
cu.ft., so they would never fill above the bottom of the loading
doors. The cars with grain loading doors were built in 1963 and '64,
so are beyond the scope of this list, but it's interesting to note
that when the first 100T covered hoppers arrived, no additional
boxcars were built with grain loading doors, and those that had them
eventually lost them over the years.

It would appear that on the Soo at least, 1964 - 1965 was when the
decision was made to go with 100T covered hoppers exclusively for
grain service. Small customers who couldn't deal with the larger cars
were serviced for maybe the next decade or so with the existing 40'
boxcar fleet.

Dennis


rockroll50401 <cepropst@...>
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, water.kresse@... wrote:

I assummed that the 1937 era 70-ton covered hops were targeted for
denser materials such as gypsum for making cement. The gypsum
staining is why the C&O eventually changed over to gray from black
covered hops.

Al Kresse
Ft Dodge Iowa is/was one of the largest producer/miner of Gypsum. The
stuff sold to cement plants was on 2" (+ -) chunks deliverd in open
hoppers throughout the Midwest.
Differences in parts of the country?
Clark Propst


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Dec 17, 2008, at 1:07 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

There were some few 70 ton covered hoppers built for grain service in
the very late fifties; the Soo line had some. Typical 70T cement cars
had cubic capacities of 1958 or 2003 CU. FT. In 1958 the Soo bought
some Pullman Standard "Jumbo" (yep, jumbo, said so right on the car)
three bay covered hoppers with a capacity of 70T and 2893 Cu.Ft. The
next year they went for more, these being "Super Jumbo" cars with a
capacity of 70T and 3219 Cu.Ft.

The use of covered hoppers for grain must not have been a foregone
conclusion at that time, because the railroad also began a program of
building new 50' boxcars with 10' plug doors that had grain loading
doors in the upper portion of the door. This arrangement overcame the
problem of fitting grain doors to wide door openings; the main plug
door became the "grain door", while the grain was blown in through the
small upper door. These cars were also 70t capy., and over 5000
cu.ft., so they would never fill above the bottom of the loading
doors. The cars with grain loading doors were built in 1963 and '64,
so are beyond the scope of this list, but it's interesting to note
that when the first 100T covered hoppers arrived, no additional
boxcars were built with grain loading doors, and those that had them
eventually lost them over the years.

It would appear that on the Soo at least, 1964 - 1965 was when the
decision was made to go with 100T covered hoppers exclusively for
grain service. Small customers who couldn't deal with the larger cars
were serviced for maybe the next decade or so with the existing 40'
boxcar fleet.





























Dennis, the history you summarize here was largely duplicated, though
on a larger scale, by the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe's first three bay
covered hoppers, 100 cars of the Ga-90 class, arrived from Pullman-
Standard in mid-1954, somewhat earlier than on the SOO. The 2893 cu.
ft. Ga-90s were specifically intended for grain service and must have
been successful, as 315 identical Ga-94s came in 1955, still more in
the late 1950s, and then a growing flood of grain covered hoppers in
the 1960s, with the first 100 ton cars in 1963. Like the SOO, the
ATSF covered their bets in the early 1960s by converting a sizable
number of 40' box cars with grain loading doors. And, of course,
they still had thousands of conventional 40' single door box cars
that could be fitted with temporary grain doors during the grain
shipping season, but the last such cars that were built new came in
1953. After that the Santa Fe bought only 50' box cars. By the late
1960s, new 100 ton covered hoppers were rapidly taking over the bulk
grain traffic.

Richard Hendrickson


Earl Tuson
 

Don Valentine asked about:

I'm not just certain of when the changeover from box
cars to covered hoppers occurred for this inbound grain, however, and
wonder if someone can shed some light on that issue.
Regarding such things in New England, I would encourage you to take up a dialog with Dwight Smith regarding this.

�� The other issue here is grain arriving in Canadian cars. It occurs
to me that they could not be reloaded for delivery of the processed
product, i.e. grain in 100 lb. bags, to the final destination. Is
this correct?
Dwight had the foresight to, among other things, save the last two months of interchange records for the Suncook Valley Railroad prior to its abandonment in December of 1952. Included in that traffic was a fair amount of inbound feed (primarily for the extensive poultry operations in the valley.) The primary sources included H.K.Webster (which Don already mentioned; they sold Blue Seal feeds) as well as Merrimack Farmers Exchange (Bow Junction, NH,) St. Albans Grain Company (which offered the Wirthmore brand milled in the namesake town in VT,) and Eastern States Farmers Exchange (Buffalo, NY.) (A fair amount of artifacts from these companies have now been saved from the corners of my barns and my attic. Like Bill Welch with his produce labels, I am accumulating feed bags and such, some of which actually traveled on the SunVal.) Below is a list of the cars orginated from these four locations:

Date Car No. Contents From Shipper
12/8 SAL 4232 Feed Black Rock, NY ESFX
11/24 MP 32665 Feed Buffalo, NY ESFX
11/11 PRR 90785 Feed Buffalo, NY ESFX
11/8 ACL 24113 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/19 BM 71399 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/26 BS 6589 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/13 CN 484497 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/12 CN 526501 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/7 CP 225388 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/26 CP 227746 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/20 DLW 52068 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/10 DM 3090 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/4 NKP 16499 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/3 NYC 135931 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/5 PRR 571427 Grain Concord, NH MFX
12/11 SOU 12499 Grain Concord, NH MFX
11/15 CN 480668 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/15 CN 485909 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/15 CP 222756 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/12 CP 222966 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/26 CP 240268 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/5 CP 256493 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/19 CP 258141 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/8 CP 258690 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/4 CP 260307 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/10 FWD 7554 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/6 GBW 832 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/22 IC 31414 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/1 MP 31486 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/12 PRR 603949 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/28 SAL 25128 Grain Richford, VT HKW
12/3 SP 103549 Grain Richford, VT HKW
11/26 CN 474696 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth
11/19 CP 257626 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth
11/12 NKP 27343 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth
11/5 UP 100291 Grain St. Albans, VT Wirth

This list includes 36 shipments from the four mills. While none of the ESFX feed was shipped in Canadian cars, much of that grain may have been of US origin anyhow. Of the 13 MFX carloads, 4 were shipped from Bow onto the SunVal in Canadian road cars. The location of the MFX facility placed it well to conceivably receive traffic from any of the main western interchanges (CP, CV, D&H, NH, or NYC.) HKW shipped 16 carloads onto the shortline, and with its proximity to the international border, it comes as little surprise that 9 of those cars were Canadian. Wirthmore feeds came in 2 each of American road and Canadian road cars; I can only speculate here, but I belive they could have come directly from Canada or via the Rutland.

All in all, I think this argues that Canadian cars were regulary reloaded at the three northern New England mills. From my understanding from Dwight, that was in fact part of the point with milling-in-transit- it was not quite considered a stop in the cars journey to the final consignee.

Lastly, it would leave something out if I failed to mention 6 other inbound grain carloadings:

12/6 B&O 285471 Grain Coshocton, OH unk
11/26 C&O 291153 Corn Chicago, IL unk
11/4 CNW 85882 Corn Newville, PA unk
12/10 CP 183800 Oats Goderich, ON unk
11/25 CP 250119 Grain Peterboro, ON unk
12/8 CP 260881 Bran Peterboro, ON unk

Note the correspondence between country of origin and car ownership.

These cars were all destined for Fowler Brothers grain mill, a small local affair located right behind the Suncook depot. A longtime customer of the road, Fowler Bros occasionally received blended feeds from some of the other feed mills, but more often purchased grain directly. They also shipped to destinations elsewhere on the SV.

I hope that helps,
Earl Tuson