Topics

The History of Shipping Bulk Cement


Jim Betz
 

Hi all,

This thread was born as "Covered Hoppers - for Cement".

Although there have been a few posts on the referenced thread
this part of my question has gone essentially unanswered ...

What I'm looking for is the kind of -general- historical information
that covers questions such as

1) When were cement hoppers commonly in use (as opposed
to the earliest experiments - which I know about )?

2) Was I wrong in my general statements about how far -most-
bulk cement was moved in covered hoppers?

All - I am not talking about concrete - I'm interested in the
bulk cement hauls (before, during, and after the transition to
using 'dedicated service' covered hoppers).
At least one thing I learned from the prior thread was about
the use of "bulk containers in gons" in the early days. Thanks
for that detail/piece of information.
- Jim B.


Tony Thompson
 

Jim Betz wrote:

1) When were cement hoppers commonly in use (as opposed to the earliest experiments - which I know about )?


      Right after the end of World War II, many railroads were buying covered hoppers, the great majority for cement. See the recent issues of RPC for more info.

2) Was I wrong in my general statements about how far -most-bulk cement was moved in covered hoppers?


       No.

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, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history





Ray Breyer
 

Common? Mid to late 1930s. The AMC roads were buying them as-needed to cover increased concrete production for WPA projects all over the Great Lakes region. They were also converting plain hoppers into LOs for the same traffic.
 
The Nickel Plate started converting USRA twins into covered hoppers, and by 1936 had converted 40 of them to dry cement cars (and another 19 for dolomite or soda ash). They bought 50 new LOs in 1937 and 1939 for cement service. The W&LE bought 13 LOs new for cement service in 1937. The C&O and PM did the same thing, but I don't have those numbers in front of me. Several Midwestern roads, especially the IC and Rock Island, also bought new ACF-built covered hoppers for cement service before WWII.

Ray Breyer 
 Elgin, IL



From: "jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC]"
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2016 1:03 PM
Subject: [STMFC] The History of Shipping Bulk Cement

Hi all,

  This thread was born as "Covered Hoppers - for Cement".

    Although there have been a few posts on the referenced thread
this part of my question has gone essentially unanswered ...

  What I'm looking for is the kind of -general- historical information
that covers questions such as

    1) When were cement hoppers commonly in use (as opposed
          to the earliest experiments - which I know about )?

    2) Was I wrong in my general statements about how far -most-
          bulk cement was moved in covered hoppers?

  All - I am not talking about concrete - I'm interested in the
bulk cement hauls (before, during, and after the transition to
using 'dedicated service' covered hoppers).
  At least one thing I learned from the prior thread was about
the use of "bulk containers in gons" in the early days.  Thanks
for that detail/piece of information.
                        - Jim B.


------------------------------------
Posted by: jimbetz <jimbetz@...>
------------------------------------


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Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
 

Jim,

There were wooden covered hoppers as early as the 1890s, and special steel cars in the 1920s. Checked my Gregg Cyclopedias: Greenville built small 50-ton hoppers for the Erie in 1934. The PRR H30 car dates from around 1935, as does the B&O N31. There are some other cars that date from the late 1930s like some home-built WM cars from 1937. I see NYC Enterprise cars from 1939, L&NE drop-frame cars from 1938 and the NKP bought AC&F 70-ton cars in 1939. That seems like the watershed year.

Does this help?

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff


On 3/3/16 2:03 PM, jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC] wrote:
 

Hi all,

This thread was born as "Covered Hoppers - for Cement".

Although there have been a few posts on the referenced thread
this part of my question has gone essentially unanswered ...

What I'm looking for is the kind of -general- historical information
that covers questions such as

1) When were cement hoppers commonly in use (as opposed
to the earliest experiments - which I know about )?

2) Was I wrong in my general statements about how far -most-
bulk cement was moved in covered hoppers?

All - I am not talking about concrete - I'm interested in the
bulk cement hauls (before, during, and after the transition to
using 'dedicated service' covered hoppers).
At least one thing I learned from the prior thread was about
the use of "bulk containers in gons" in the early days. Thanks
for that detail/piece of information.
- Jim B.



Douglas Harding
 

Jim here is the M&StL cement hopper purchase history.

1940       buy-new              10           cov hoppers                       70051 to 70069  29'-3"    140,000                 cement service                 GA

1947       buy-new              50           cov hoppers                       70101 to 70199  29'-3"    140,000                 cement service                 P-S

1955       buy-new              40           cov hoppers                       70201 to 70279  29'-3"    140,000                 cement service                 P-S

1956       buy-new              50           cov hoppers                       70301 to 70399  29'-3"    140,000                 cement service                 P-S

1957       buy-new              100         cov hoppers                       70401 to 70599  29'-3"    140,000                 cement service                 P-S

 

As you can an early purchase let to major purchase after WWII, then major purchases in the mid 50’s.

 

The M&StL served two cement plants in Mason City IA, most production going north into Minnesota. Minnesota being one of the few states with out deposits suitable for making cement.

The M&StL also served two cement plants in Des Moines IA, which served the central Iowa area.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


mark_landgraf
 

Prior to the bulk loading of cement, it was shipped in bags in box cars. Many of this countries transcontinental highways, built in the 1920s were built this way. 

In the 1935-1937 is when dedicated fleet of covered hoppers and cement bulk containers started showing up. NE Pennsylvania was the starting area. These dedicated cars had steep slope sheet - about 80 degrees - that provided easier self unloading of the dense cement. A retrofitted coal hopper - with 120 degree slope sheets - did not self unload very well. Much cement needed to be either vibrated out or manually assisted out of the cars.  This why the retro cars did not catch on. The RRs bought the dedicated covered hoppers. 

Distance shipped - every ton mile costs money. The closest suitable product will be the cheapest. You would only buy a premium product if you needed a premium product, but even then the closest will likely be the cheapest. 

Mark Landgraf
Albany NY

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.
From: jimbetz jimbetz@... [STMFC]
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2016 2:03 PM
To: STMFC@...
Reply To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] The History of Shipping Bulk Cement

 

Hi all,

This thread was born as "Covered Hoppers - for Cement".

Although there have been a few posts on the referenced thread
this part of my question has gone essentially unanswered ...

What I'm looking for is the kind of -general- historical information
that covers questions such as

1) When were cement hoppers commonly in use (as opposed
to the earliest experiments - which I know about )?

2) Was I wrong in my general statements about how far -most-
bulk cement was moved in covered hoppers?

All - I am not talking about concrete - I'm interested in the
bulk cement hauls (before, during, and after the transition to
using 'dedicated service' covered hoppers).
At least one thing I learned from the prior thread was about
the use of "bulk containers in gons" in the early days. Thanks
for that detail/piece of information.
- Jim B.



Clark Propst
 

You need to have the ability to unload and transport a product in house. Here in the Upper Midwest most cement was sold to lumber yards. First in barrels, then cloth bags, then paper sacks – still sold at barrel pricing after the end of this list timeframe. 4 97lb sacks equal 1 barrel of cement. It wasn’t till batch plants became common did the scales tip toward bulk cement in covered hoppers. Excluding highway or other large jobs. Other areas of the country may differ?
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


Guy Wilber
 

Clark wrote:

"4 97lb sacks equal 1 barrel of cement."

Clark,

94 Lb. bag is the standard.

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada


Clark Propst
 

Clark wrote:

"4 97lb sacks equal 1 barrel of cement."

Clark,

94 Lb. bag is the standard.

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada


Yup. My goof!
 
Clark Propst
Mason City Iowa


caboose9792@...
 

 
 
In a message dated 3/3/2016 2:21:09 P.M. Central Standard Time, STMFC@... writes:
The C&O and PM did the same thing, but I don't have those numbers in front of me. Several Midwestern roads, especially the IC and Rock Island, also bought new ACF-built covered hoppers for cement service before WWII.

Ray Breyer 
 Elgin, IL
I got some of the numbers in front of me, at least for the IC covered hoppers.
 
From IC equipment list of equipment owned by the railroad or its subsidiaries,  List #1 June 1 1940:

14 on hand 50 ton cars, 62 70 ton cars on order to be received starting in May 1940 All IC owned.

List #2 April 1 1945:
 
14 50 ton cars, 277 70 ton cars All IC owned
 
Mark Rickert


rhammill
 

I have a couple of related things that folks may find interesting, although neither is about cement...

First, from the New Haven Speical Car Order 2-102, February 20, 1950
These are the assignments of the NH owned covered hoppers at the time. I find the second assignment interesting, since the cars originate and terminate on railroads other than the NH. Most of the other assignments also originate off New Haven property. It's an interesting mix of loads other than cement.

New Haven owned covered hoppers temporarily assigned as follows:
117000-117002-117003
Sand loading Marion, Mass. to local destinations.

117001-117005-117005-117010-117011-117012-117013
Salt cake loading Jersey City, N.J,, on CNJ to LaTuque, Que., or Berlin N.H.

117004-117014
Manganese ore loading Port Richmond, PA., to New Haven via RDG-CNJ-NH

117006-117008-117009
Hadite loading Jewettville, N.Y., to Framingham via B&O-LV-O&W-NH.

..

Second - 

In response to the question about distance. The closest suitable product will not always be cheapest (although in the case of cement it probably was). There's an interesting section in "American Commodity Flow" by Edward L. Ullman (1957) in the data from the 1% study of waybills regarding Washington State. 

"In a splendid recent analysis, Roy Sampson shows how Washington and Douglas fir region lumber is able to compete with southern pine in spite of being almost three times as far from market. Production costs of Douglas fir lumber average 15 to 20 percent below southern pine from 1939 to 1952, with the absolute cost spread widening after the war. (This presumably reflects, among other factors, the larger size of the Northwest trees and mills, compared to the diminishing supply of  larger stands of the cutover South.) In addition, rates per ton mile are less for the long haul, as is normally the case; but even more significant, southern pine weighs up to 15 percent more per board foot than Douglas fir, and transport rates are quoted on a weight basis, whereas lumber is sold on a board-foot basis.

There's a corresponding map that shows that it cost the same to deliver lumber from the Northwest to all states north of southern VA and Kentucky and west of the Mississipi except for eastern TX. The only exception to this line is northern Missouri and Iowa where it's still cheaper to get lumber from the south.

So distance isn't the only factor at play for determining cost.

Randy Hammill
--
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954  |  http://newbritainstation.com


---In STMFC@..., <mark_landgraf@...> wrote :

Prior to the bulk loading of cement, it was shipped in bags in box cars. Many of this countries transcontinental highways, built in the 1920s were built this way. 

In the 1935-1937 is when dedicated fleet of covered hoppers and cement bulk containers started showing up. NE Pennsylvania was the starting area. These dedicated cars had steep slope sheet - about 80 degrees - that provided easier self unloading of the dense cement. A retrofitted coal hopper - with 120 degree slope sheets - did not self unload very well. Much cement needed to be either vibrated out or manually assisted out of the cars.  This why the retro cars did not catch on. The RRs bought the dedicated covered hoppers. 

Distance shipped - every ton mile costs money. The closest suitable product will be the cheapest. You would only buy a premium product if you needed a premium product, but even then the closest will likely be the cheapest. 

Mark Landgraf
Albany NY