In a message dated 3/16/2013 9:52:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
First of all the size of the car. Two or three bay covered hoppers carry
high density products such as cement, kaolin or lime (or in the good old
days, carbon black). Four and five bay covered hoppers carry lighter materials
such as plastic pellets, grain or flour.
Please, not so fast on the "au contraire" ... as with most topics discussed
here, there are certain variables which include "What year is it?"
I recall two-bay covered hoppers placed for unloading feed at a couple of
small distributors in the early/mid-1960s and even as late as the early
1970s; which certainly fits the time period of this group and even extends
The discussion of four- and five-bay covered hoppers and plastic pellets
generally fits in another group (MFCL) as only (I know, never say only and
never say never) the Southern "Big John" covered hoppers fit the four-bay
grain-carrying cars in the mid-1960s.
I recall being s-s-s-o-o-o impressed when I first saw the L&N three-bay
ACF 4650 49 ft 97.5 ton covered hoppers in their blue paint and yellow
the main thing driving larger cars was cost, not revenues.
revenue was less important because rates were regulated on
the basis of tons and distance, so the number of cars made
a bigger difference to railroads than to the shippers. the
"big john" rate battle in the 1960's was fought over the right
of the railroad to offer a lower price based on a larger car --
to the ICC this was 'unfair' and so the battle was joined...
and it took another 20+ years to dismantle the ICC control of
so anyway, covered hoppers of various sizes were used for grains,
cement, lime, sand, etc more or less whatever car size happened
to be available and allowable in the 1950's. it wasn't until the
era of price based on car size (and later, train size) that optimal
loading (max tons per car) became vitally important to shippers.
Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
David Payne wrote:
I recall two-bay covered hoppers placed for unloading feed at a couple of small distributors in the early/mid-1960s and even as late as the early 1970s; which certainly fits the time period of this group and even extends beyond.Actually, David, the group topic range is to 1960, so I would say your observations do NOT fit.
Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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