Illinois Coal industry, was: IC "Chiselled Side" Offset Twins


Ray Breyer
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
IC owned more than 19,000 open hoppers in 1950, and a few
thousand gondolas too. This was about 40% of IC's freight
car fleet. IC operated in Kentucky and Tennessee, and
interchanged with many other coal haulers. IC's core
business has always been coal, just like the L&N.

Hi Tim,

Let's put the IC into sharper focus. In 1950, the IC owned the seventh largest fleet of open hoppers in North America, with 28,625 cars (12,678 of them being these short taper offsets). They had the 11th largest gondola fleet with 8582 cars, which were about evenly split between composite and all steel GS gons (with a few mill gons thrown in for fun). That's a grand total of over 37,000 coal carrying freight cars, not including the few hundred cars on the C&IW or on long term lease to the C&IM.

The IC operated in 14 states, and was a dominant road in over half of them. The road serviced hundreds of coal mines in IL, KY and TN, and at one time even served mines in IA, WI and IN. Coal from IC hoppers served most of the Commonwealth Edison powerplants in the Midwest, along with C&IM hoppers (the C&IM leased hoppers short term from the IC during peak seasons, as well as from the NYC). IC coal went EVERYWHERE, and especially on the N-S spine: engine coal in Canada, steel mills and power plants on the Great Lakes, and export coal in New Orleans.

Illinois has the third largest proven coal reserves in the USA, and in 1950 was churning out more coal than West Virginia (check the USGS Bureau of Mines report for 1950, available online). During the 1950s the world's largest strip mine was in Illinois (on the P&E).

By any metric, the IC was a MAJOR coal player, and in many areas was the DOMINANT one.


Unfortunately, we're running in the "odd little men playing choo-choo" syndrome here. The hobby is biased towards the coasts where the scenery is "pretty", rather than towards the rust belt where all of the action is. Even those few hearty souls who DO model the Midwest don't concentrate on the production centers or major mining operations, but on bridge traffic routes where reefers dominate. So nobody in the hobby even KNOWS about this traffic, let alone about the IC. If it wasn't for their Orange and Chocolate streamliners, nobody would even be modeling that road (although what I think is the world's largest home layout is all IC. HOW big is Bob Perrin's empire again?)

So I'm not holding my breath waiting for anything close to resembling IC hoppers to come out of the mass market manufacturers, so long as all they stare at are mountain railroads. I'll be happy with my Atlas and Accurail stand ins, with a few of Chad Boas' Red Caboose conversion kits thrown in for fun (thanks for those Chad!). I had three of Sunshine's IC twins at one time, but sold them; even Frank isn't about to build many of them for his freight car fleet, since he thinks he needs more than 30 of them. He MAY have one piece hoppers cast with cast-on grabs done if he can find someone to do the molds, but they're a few years away.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Ray Breyer wrote:
Unfortunately, we're running in the "odd little men playing choo- choo" syndrome here. The hobby is biased towards the coasts where the scenery is "pretty", rather than towards the rust belt where all of the action is.
So you don't think there's any action climbing up to Gallitzen or Donner or Cajon, or speeding along NYC's Water Level Route or Santa Fe's Arizona main? By "action" do you define only "coal trains" and nothing else? You gotta get out more, Ray.

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


mike brock <brockm@...>
 

Ray Breyer says:

IC coal went EVERYWHERE,

Yes...even over...gasp...Sherman Hill. There is one shown in the video The Big Boy Collection.

"Unfortunately, we're running in the "odd little men playing choo-choo" syndrome here. The hobby is biased towards the coasts where the scenery is "pretty", rather than towards the rust belt where all of the action is."

I beg your pardon. While I'll admit that there has been some discussion that Wyoming is not part of the West and might even have an Atlantic coast line,[ I have not found it there yet ], I don't think too many would call southeastern WY "pretty". Besides, I frankly would not classify all areas bordering the Atlantic as "pretty"...even...gasp...Cocoa Beach. And, while I suppose some areas to the east of that river...as in "Ol'Man Riva"...might have some action including rusting away, areas west of there in Big Wyoming does have action [ 1954 ]. So...there.

"Even those few hearty souls who DO model the Midwest don't concentrate on the production centers or major mining operations, but on bridge traffic routes where reefers dominate. So nobody in the hobby even KNOWS about this traffic, let alone about the IC."

Perhaps so. However, there is another RR to consider...CB&Q. The Q historical society published a very nice "book" on the Q in the Illinois coalfields. It even mentioned the IC.

So I'm not holding my breath waiting for anything close to resembling IC hoppers to come out of the mass market manufacturers, so long as all they stare at are mountain railroads.
Hmmm. I'll have to admit that I don't seem to have a significant IC presence on my UP layout...I have no IC cars of any type which is my bad. However, there are a few Mopac hoppers running around and, while some in Missouri might claim the Mopac to be a mountain RR...I would not...having ridden a Mopac passenger train from New Awleans to Beaumont Texas...stopping at every road crossing it seemed.

I have to blame IC for the lack of model hoppers. Just think, had they built copies of the N&W H2a we'd now have many IC hoppers running around...not to mention copies of the AAR Standard 50 ton car. Of course, you [ we ] might get lucky. The guy who used to work for Marklin/Trix [ surely he's either gone by now or committed ] might develop the tooling for an IC hopper car. It would fit in nicely next to the Trix UP H-70-1 [ In addition to the 2-3000 UP cars, I think NP may have had a hundred or more ]. We UP modelers got lucky. Now...if I could just talk someone into producing the UP 12,000 gal 4 course tank car [ I need 3 ], I would be as happy as a pig in...well...

Mike Brock


Tim O'Connor
 

Ray,

Your data does not jive with my July 1950 ORER. Where are you getting your
numbers from? I get exactly:

6,912 gondolas (approx 40ft) -- many of which are composite construction,
and more than 1,000 were assigned to log loading (Note D, ORER)
18,368 hoppers

You seem to be off by 10,000 hopper cars and almost 2,000 gondolas. If your
numbers were right, the IC would have 37,207 coal cars out of a fleet of
53,640 cars! Kinda difficult since IC had 20,868 box cars, 1,498 flat cars
1,100 stock cars, and 1,017 reefers in July, 1950.

Tim O'Connor

Let's put the IC into sharper focus. In 1950, the IC owned the seventh largest fleet of open hoppers in North America, with 28,625 cars (12,678 of them being these short taper offsets). They had the 11th largest gondola fleet with 8582 cars, which were about evenly split between composite and all steel GS gons (with a few mill gons thrown in for fun). That's a grand total of over 37,000 coal carrying freight cars, not including the few hundred cars on the C&IW or on long term lease to the C&IM.


Tim O'Connor
 

So you don't think there's any action climbing up to Gallitzen or
Donner or Cajon, or speeding along NYC's Water Level Route or Santa
Fe's Arizona main? By "action" do you define only "coal trains" and
nothing else? You gotta get out more, Ray.
Tony Thompson

------------------------

Tony, I think you are confusing "level of activity" with "excitement".
I have railfanned in the midwest, and the coasts, and the intensity
(frequency, density) of heavy freight trains in some areas in the middle
of the country is mind boggling. You know I love the SP, but you could
sit and wait for two hours for a train to show up on an SP mainline .. On
the Water Level Route, if you looked down the track in either direction
you could almost always see a headlight! Now you could argue it isn't
much fun watching trains moving in perfectly straight lines at high
speed, and I'd have to agree with you. :-)

Tim O'Connor


Ray Breyer
 

Ray Breyer wrote:
Unfortunately, we're running in the "odd little men playing
choo-choo" syndrome here. The hobby is biased towards the
coasts where the scenery is "pretty", rather than towards the
rust belt where all of the action is.
So you don't think there's any action climbing up to Gallitzen
or Donner or Cajon, or speeding along NYC's Water Level Route
or Santa Fe's Arizona main? By "action" do you define only "coal
trains" and nothing else? You gotta get out more, Ray.
Tony Thompson         

Not at all Tony, but just how many Horseshoe Curve or Cajon Pass layouts can you stand before your eyes cross? Warbonnets may be pretty to look at (even I like them, and I'm a steam guy) but how many layouts that feature it do more than whiz by pretty scenery and disappear? As for water level layouts....please; I can count THOSE on one hand.

What I was referring to was the general lack of Midwestern layouts. The hobby seems to be awash with Pennsy, Santa Fe, and even Rutland layouts, but how many Wabash, or CB&Q, or even NYC Lines West are there? Want a nice layout with a metric ton of operation? How about Streator or Lafayette, as opposed to New Podunk, VT? Quick: how many people model Chicago or Toledo or even Indy? You know, traffic GENERATION bases? If the old saw in the hobby about people modeling what they grew up with was really true, we'd see at least one C&NW commuter layout a year in MR.

In terms of coal railroading, it does seem as though EVERYONE models somewhere in between Scranton and Mingo Junction. And I suspect that that's part of a herd mentality, rather than people actually sitting down, studying freight traffic in the USA, tracing maps, and figuring out where there's a lot of action that isn't yet another "black snake and trees" themed layout.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


asychis@...
 

Now not so fast Ray!

"So nobody in the hobby even KNOWS about this traffic, let alone about the
IC."

I am happily modeling the Missouri Pacific's coal branches in southern
Illinois (Herrin, Ziegler, Bush, etc.) and having a ball. In fact there is
interchange/joint trackage with the IC and CB&Q at Herrin and C&EI in Johnson
City. It is a fascinating area to model. I call it a heavy duty
branchline. Even in the mid-1950s the area was still a spider's web of railroads
serving coal mines. Only drawback is that the Missouri Pacific operations
were seldom photographed, so I have a lot of hunches and guesswork on the
layout.

Jerry Michels


Tim O'Connor
 

Mike, the Red Caboose/Detail Associates GS gondolas are pretty
close to IC GS gondolas -- both steel and composite styles. I think
Red Caboose released models decorated for IC. So you really have no
excuse to have no IC "coal cars". :-)

Tim O'Connor

--------------------------------

I have to blame IC for the lack of model hoppers. Mike Brock


Ray Breyer
 

Tim O'Connor wrote:
Ray,
Your data does not jive with my July 1950 ORER. Where are
you getting your numbers from? I get exactly:
6,912  gondolas (approx 40ft) -- many of which are
composite construction, and more than 1,000 were
assigned to log loading (Note D, ORER)
18,368  hoppers

You seem to be off by 10,000 hopper cars and almost 2,000
gondolas. If your numbers were right, the IC would have
37,207 coal cars out of a fleet of 53,640 cars! Kinda
difficult since IC had 20,868 box cars, 1,498 flat cars
1,100 stock cars, and 1,017 reefers in July, 1950.
Tim O'Connor

Hi Tim,

I'll double check the ORER when I get home tonight. For the record, I did a complete car type count of the 1919, 1930 and 1950 ORERs several years ago, which is where my numbers came from.

My list includes 62,153 IC cars, including 21,248 X, 28,625 H, 8582 G, 1362 F, 1117 S, 202 L, and 1017 R classified cars.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Tim O'Connor
 

Ray

I don't know about early ORER's but the later ORER's all have
"summary" tallies of freight cars by type that you can use to
double check your arithmetic.

Tim

I'll double check the ORER when I get home tonight. For the record, I did a complete car type count of the 1919, 1930 and 1950 ORERs several years ago, which is where my numbers came from.

My list includes 62,153 IC cars, including 21,248 X, 28,625 H, 8582 G, 1362 F, 1117 S, 202 L, and 1017 R classified cars.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


George Courtney
 

--- In STMFC@..., Ray Breyer <rtbsvrr69@...> wrote:


Ray Breyer wrote: If the old saw in the hobby about people modeling what they grew up with was really true, we'd see at least one C&NW commuter layout a year in MR. ...and figuring out where there's a lot of action that isn't yet another "black snake and trees" themed layout.
Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL
I grew up with prototype "black snake and trees and tunnels and grades. But at least once a year I operate on a Detroit yard based layout and a local modeler is doing Sn3 western layout. I think one of the great things about this hobby is being able to go to someone else's layout that is themed differently from yours.

George Courtney


william darnaby
 

I'm with Ray on this. Those of you who have seen my railroad or had the pleasure (I hope) to operate on it know that it is set in north central Ohio for the traffic generation and multitudes of interchanges. No spectacular scenery...just railroady stuff <g>. And lots of freight cars...

Bill (who has 3 Sunshine IC hoppers on the layout) Darnaby


Richard Hendrickson
 

On Jan 27, 2011, at 3:08 PM, william darnaby wrote:

I'm with Ray on this. Those of you who have seen my railroad or
had the
pleasure (I hope) to operate on it know that it is set in north
central Ohio
for the traffic generation and multitudes of interchanges. No
spectacular
scenery...just railroady stuff <g>. And lots of freight cars...
Bill, watching quarrels about what part of the country is best to
model is like being in the visitors' gallery at the La Brea tar
pits. In any case, I don't want to give Ray any encouragement. It
doesn't matter what location, railroad, type of traffic, etc. a
layout models. What matters is how well it's done. As for your own
layout, "no spectacular scenery"? Au contraire. The scenery is
spectacular because it's so well done, and gets better every time I
visit.

Richard Hendrickson


Ray Breyer
 

Hi Tim,
I'll double check the ORER when I get home tonight. For the
record, I did a complete car type count of the 1919, 1930
and 1950 ORERs several years ago, which is where my numbers
came from.
My list includes 62,153 IC cars, including 21,248 X, 28,625
H, 8582 G, 1362 F, 1117 S, 202 L, and 1017 R classified
cars.
Regards,
Ray Breyer

Hi again Tim,

Wow, were my numbers off. Guess I need to ash-can them and do a recount! (I may have gotten the numbers from the IC's 1/1951 list of stations & equipment. A quick check shows the boxcar tallies to be nearly identical)

Anyway, the 7/1950 ORER says that the IC had a total of 56,516 cars, broken down into the following general categories:

X - 20,868
G - 6939 (the recapitulation in back says 6937)
H - 20,581
S - 1100
LO - 476
LP - 1161
F - 1498
R - 1017

13,175 of their hoppers were the chisel-side cars we were talking about, which was a pretty hefty number. That figure is actually a bit higher, but these are all identical cars. If my other numbers aren't all messed up as well, that still gives the IC the seventh largest hopper fleet (#6 as the B&O with 33,706 and #8 being the Reading, with 16,627).

So I still don't see why we can't see one of these cars mass-produced, especially considering all of the FAR more unique cars we can get these days in plastic. But I suppose I'm just venting; I have no idea how manufacturers pick what they pick to make, but it sure doesn't seem like they listen to the heartland modelers. All nine of us.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Tim O'Connor
 

Ray, this is starting to feel comical. Are we looking at the same
July 1950 Official Railway Equipment Register??

The "Total" listed in my copy is 53,640 cars. If I add up the tallies
of cars in your list below, I get 53,640.

So how did you get 56,516???

Tim O'Connor

Anyway, the 7/1950 ORER says that the IC had a total of 56,516 cars, broken down into
the following general categories:

X - 20,868
G - 6939 (the recapitulation in back says 6937)
H - 20,581
S - 1100
LO - 476
LP - 1161
F - 1498
R - 1017


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Now I can use that D/A GS gon that I bought years ago (this kit is wrong for CN Enterprise-design GS gons) AND model an IC loco car carrying loco coal.

Serendipity?

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


Mike, the Red Caboose/Detail Associates GS gondolas are pretty
close to IC GS gondolas -- both steel and composite styles. I think
Red Caboose released models decorated for IC. So you really have no
excuse to have no IC "coal cars". :-)

Tim O'Connor

--------------------------------

I have to blame IC for the lack of model hoppers. Mike Brock


Steve Lucas <stevelucas3@...>
 

Ray--

A number of other Canadian modellers of CN steam operation in Southern Ontario, as well as I, will--I'll go out on a limb by including them as in this asssertion--buy good RTR HO models of Illinois Central hoppers.

Ironically, were I modelling seven years earlier than 1956, I'd instead need models of B&O hoppers that carried coal to Lindsay and Peterborough, Ontario across Lake Ontario on the car-ferry from the former BR&P near Rochester, NY! Of course, THOSE are available RTR... :(

So it's more than "nine" of us that'd like to see these IC hoppers produced, and I'll buy good RTR X-3's and H21's, too, if they ever come out. I may be modelling a line east of Toronto, Ontario, but it's amazing just how many of these cars made it to Lindsay. A 1953 photo of a CN Consol at the engine terminal there has behind it...an IC hopper. Not to mention stuff in other Lindsay photos like a Southern Railway boxcar. (Geez...another car to build...)

I'm not holding my breath either, but we can dream, ask, and advocate for the models we want, can't we?

Let's keep trying!

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., Ray Breyer <rtbsvrr69@...> wrote:

Tim O'Connor wrote:
IC owned more than 19,000 open hoppers in 1950, and a few
thousand gondolas too. This was about 40% of IC's freight
car fleet. IC operated in Kentucky and Tennessee, and
interchanged with many other coal haulers. IC's core
business has always been coal, just like the L&N.

Hi Tim,

Let's put the IC into sharper focus. In 1950, the IC owned the seventh largest fleet of open hoppers in North America, with 28,625 cars (12,678 of them being these short taper offsets). They had the 11th largest gondola fleet with 8582 cars, which were about evenly split between composite and all steel GS gons (with a few mill gons thrown in for fun). That's a grand total of over 37,000 coal carrying freight cars, not including the few hundred cars on the C&IW or on long term lease to the C&IM.

The IC operated in 14 states, and was a dominant road in over half of them. The road serviced hundreds of coal mines in IL, KY and TN, and at one time even served mines in IA, WI and IN. Coal from IC hoppers served most of the Commonwealth Edison powerplants in the Midwest, along with C&IM hoppers (the C&IM leased hoppers short term from the IC during peak seasons, as well as from the NYC). IC coal went EVERYWHERE, and especially on the N-S spine: engine coal in Canada, steel mills and power plants on the Great Lakes, and export coal in New Orleans.

Illinois has the third largest proven coal reserves in the USA, and in 1950 was churning out more coal than West Virginia (check the USGS Bureau of Mines report for 1950, available online). During the 1950s the world's largest strip mine was in Illinois (on the P&E).

By any metric, the IC was a MAJOR coal player, and in many areas was the DOMINANT one.


Unfortunately, we're running in the "odd little men playing choo-choo" syndrome here. The hobby is biased towards the coasts where the scenery is "pretty", rather than towards the rust belt where all of the action is. Even those few hearty souls who DO model the Midwest don't concentrate on the production centers or major mining operations, but on bridge traffic routes where reefers dominate. So nobody in the hobby even KNOWS about this traffic, let alone about the IC. If it wasn't for their Orange and Chocolate streamliners, nobody would even be modeling that road (although what I think is the world's largest home layout is all IC. HOW big is Bob Perrin's empire again?)

So I'm not holding my breath waiting for anything close to resembling IC hoppers to come out of the mass market manufacturers, so long as all they stare at are mountain railroads. I'll be happy with my Atlas and Accurail stand ins, with a few of Chad Boas' Red Caboose conversion kits thrown in for fun (thanks for those Chad!). I had three of Sunshine's IC twins at one time, but sold them; even Frank isn't about to build many of them for his freight car fleet, since he thinks he needs more than 30 of them. He MAY have one piece hoppers cast with cast-on grabs done if he can find someone to do the molds, but they're a few years away.

Regards,
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


Benjamin Hom
 

Steve Lucas wrote:
"Ironically, were I modelling seven years earlier than 1956, I'd instead
need models of B&O hoppers that carried coal to Lindsay and Peterborough,
Ontario across Lake Ontario on the car-ferry from the former BR&P near
Rochester, NY! Of course, THOSE are available RTR... :("

In which plane of existence? I challenge you to produce said RTR B&O
hoppers - outside of the Class N-17 cars offered by Intermountain, there
aren't any on the market. Kadee won't offer B&O as one of their offset
twins because the great majority of the B&O's cars had Duryea cushion
underframes and end detail differences from their model. The huge Class
N-12 and subclasses aren't available in any form.


Ben Hom


asychis@...
 

I don't think too many would call southeastern WY "pretty".

Now, now Mike. Speak for yourself! Maybe it's because I now live in the
Texas High Plains, but southeastern Wyoming is beautiful! All of Wyoming is
beautiful, it simply depends on your perspective. Following a FtW&D
freight north out of Cheyenne to Chugwater or a UP train over Sherman only
sweetens the deal.

Jerry Michels


mike brock <brockm@...>
 

Jerry Michels says that I said:


I don't think too many would call southeastern WY "pretty".

Now, now Mike. Speak for yourself! Maybe it's because I now live in the
Texas High Plains, but southeastern Wyoming is beautiful! All of Wyoming is
beautiful, it simply depends on your perspective. Following a FtW&D
freight north out of Cheyenne to Chugwater or a UP train over Sherman only
sweetens the deal.
I am reminded again of some guy standing next to me on a bridge overlooking the UP yard at Rawlins. He said: "You know, when God got to Wyoming He didn't have too much left, so instead of using it here He waited unti He got to the western part of the state...read that, the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone". As I recall, I didn't argue with him...although I will say that an occasional UP steam engine hastening through the area in 1953 certainly seemed to enhance the view...pulling, of course, all kinds of frt cars...

Mike Brock...