What Are These Folks Doing?


thecitrusbelt@...
 

This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1

 

It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 

My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 

Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Bruce Smith
 

​Bob,


You seem to have already made that "educated guess".  That's quite a string of a "dogs breakfast" of cars that all seem to be undergoing the same treatment as well.  The boards appear to be too short for interior sheathing as they would not be close to full height.


Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... on behalf of thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC]
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 


This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1

 

It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 

My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 

Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA




gary laakso
 

The fourth car from the right is a double door Great Northern boxcar and both doors are open.  For grain doors, wouldn’t one door be closed? the fifth car with is door close, appears to have a steam cleaner or a large shop vac next to it.  The stack of thick boards closest to the camera suggests floor board and end board replacements. 
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
 

Sent: Monday, August 08, 2016 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 
 

​Bob,


You seem to have already made that "educated guess".  That's quite a string of a "dogs breakfast" of cars that all seem to be undergoing the same treatment as well.  The boards appear to be too short for interior sheathing as they would not be close to full height.

 

Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... on behalf of thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC]
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 


This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1

 

It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 

My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 

Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA




Staffan Ehnbom
 

Would a double sliding door car be usable for grain at all?

Staffan Ehnbom

On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 2:00 PM, 'gary laakso' vasa0vasa@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

The fourth car from the right is a double door Great Northern boxcar and both doors are open.  For grain doors, wouldn’t one door be closed? the fifth car with is door close, appears to have a steam cleaner or a large shop vac next to it.  The stack of thick boards closest to the camera suggests floor board and end board replacements. 
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2016 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 
 

​Bob,


You seem to have already made that "educated guess".  That's quite a string of a "dogs breakfast" of cars that all seem to be undergoing the same treatment as well.  The boards appear to be too short for interior sheathing as they would not be close to full height.

 

Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... <STMFC@...> on behalf of thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 


This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1

 

It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 

My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 

Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA





Charles Peck
 

Besides the "boards" being too short, the piece being passed into the door in the foreground seems to
have a sag.  Perhaps rolled paper for coopering the car?
Chuck Peck

On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 7:45 AM, 'Bruce F. Smith' smithbf@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

​Bob,


You seem to have already made that "educated guess".  That's quite a string of a "dogs breakfast" of cars that all seem to be undergoing the same treatment as well.  The boards appear to be too short for interior sheathing as they would not be close to full height.


Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... <STMFC@...> on behalf of thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 


This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1

 

It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 

My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 

Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA





Bruce Smith
 

Stephan

Yes, with one door temporarily “sealed”.  My impression of the grain rush was that almost any “tight”, “clean” car was very valuable.

The presence of the GN car also supports the grain rush hypothesis, and Gary’s comments could as well.  Why else would a foreign road car be getting interior repairs?  Usually the car would be sent home for that sort of thing, right?

Regards

Bruce


Bruce F. Smith            

Auburn, AL

https://www5.vetmed.auburn.edu/~smithbf/

"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."



On Aug 8, 2016, at 7:12 AM, STMFC@... wrote:



Would a double sliding door car be usable for grain at all?

Staffan Ehnbom

On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 2:00 PM, 'gary laakso' vasa0vasa@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

The fourth car from the right is a double door Great Northern boxcar and both doors are open.  For grain doors, wouldn’t one door be closed? the fifth car with is door close, appears to have a steam cleaner or a large shop vac next to it.  The stack of thick boards closest to the camera suggests floor board and end board replacements.  
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2016 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 
 

​Bob,


You seem to have already made that "educated guess".  That's quite a string of a "dogs breakfast" of cars that all seem to be undergoing the same treatment as well.  The boards appear to be too short for interior sheathing as they would not be close to full height.

 

Regards,

Bruce

Bruce Smith

Auburn, AL


From: STMFC@... <STMFC@...> on behalf of thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 



This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 



 


It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 


My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 


Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 


Thanks.

 


Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA












Dennis Storzek
 




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

The presence of the GN car also supports the grain rush hypothesis, and Gary’s comments could as well.  Why else would a foreign road car be getting interior repairs?  Usually the car would be sent home for that sort of thing, right?
==================

I think that's the key, "conditioning" is not repairs, it's otherwise known as "coopering", and is simply patching the holes by nailing boards over them, or driving split boards or oakum into the cracks; whatever it takes to make the car grain tight. Since they aren't removing any boards for replacement, there aren't any broken boards evident. They also appear to be cleaning the cars.

Dennis Storzek



Richard Townsend
 

I support the grain rush hypothesis, or something like it. A couple of years ago I ran into a Colorado & Southern book listing "cars made ready" for various high class cargos on each day at Denver. There were 10 to 20 or more cars, many from foreign roads, cleaned and patched for loading with food and other items, including (surprisingly to me) feldspar loading.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, OR


-----Original Message-----
From: 'Bruce F. Smith' smithbf@... [STMFC]
To: STMFC <STMFC@...>
Sent: Mon, Aug 8, 2016 6:07 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?

 
Stephan

Yes, with one door temporarily “sealed”.  My impression of the grain rush was that almost any “tight”, “clean” car was very valuable.

The presence of the GN car also supports the grain rush hypothesis, and Gary’s comments could as well.  Why else would a foreign road car be getting interior repairs?  Usually the car would be sent home for that sort of thing, right?

Regards
Bruce

Bruce F. Smith            
Auburn, AL
"Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield."



On Aug 8, 2016, at 7:12 AM, STMFC@... wrote:



Would a double sliding door car be usable for grain at all?

Staffan Ehnbom

On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 2:00 PM, 'gary laakso' vasa0vasa@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...> wrote:
 

The fourth car from the right is a double door Great Northern boxcar and both doors are open.  For grain doors, wouldn’t one door be closed? the fifth car with is door close, appears to have a steam cleaner or a large shop vac next to it.  The stack of thick boards closest to the camera suggests floor board and end board replacements.  
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock
 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2016 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 
 

​Bob,

You seem to have already made that "educated guess".  That's quite a string of a "dogs breakfast" of cars that all seem to be undergoing the same treatment as well.  The boards appear to be too short for interior sheathing as they would not be close to full height.
 
Regards,
Bruce
Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

From: STMFC@... <STMFC@...> on behalf of thecitrusbelt@... [STMFC] <STMFC@...>
Sent: Sunday, August 7, 2016 12:16 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] What Are These Folks Doing?
 



This is a link to a photo from the Kansas State Historical Society:

 

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1

 

It shows workmen engaged in some activity along a string of boxcars and racks of lumber spaced out along the cars. The caption notes that this is conditioning yard at Clovis, New Mexico.

 

My initial thoughts are that the cars are being prepared for grain doors or that car interiors are being refurbished. The lack of used, broken boards on the ground probably weights against refurbishing.

 

Can anyone make an educated guess as to what actually is the activity?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA












Tim O'Connor
 


To me it looks like a whole cut of cars has been pulled into a work track, and cars that need attention,
of whatever kind, are getting it. Railroad yards often had a "clean out" track where trash and filth from
the cars was shoved out onto the ground. Doing a batch of cars at the same time is the most efficient
way to do it. This looks like a similar "spot repair" activity.

Tim O'Connor




The fourth car from the right is a double door Great Northern boxcar and both doors are open.  For grain doors, wouldn’t one door be closed? the fifth car with is door close, appears to have a steam cleaner or a large shop vac next to it.  The stack of thick boards closest to the camera suggests floor board and end board replacements. 
 
gary laakso
south of Mike Brock

http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/218115/page/1


Guy Wilber
 




"Would a double sliding door car be usable for grain at all?"

Staffan Ehnbom


Dr. Ehnbom:

I have never seen photo evidence of a double door car in grain service, but the ARA's original diagrams covering the preparation of cars for grain loading included a diagram for double door cars. 

I believe, as Dennis stated, that these cars are being "coopered" and prepared for grain.  The large array of silos in the background is a pretty good indication, but I did not know that New Mexico was a major grain producing area.   

Regards,

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada

 

.


Dennis Storzek
 




---In STMFC@..., <guycwilber@...> wrote

I believe, as Dennis stated, that these cars are being "coopered" and prepared for grain.  The large array of silos in the background is a pretty good indication, but I did not know that New Mexico was a major grain producing area.
=================

Beans?

Dennis Storzek
.


Guy Wilber
 


"Beans?"

Dennis Storzek

New Mexican Jumping Beans!  Could very well be, Dennis.  Until I saw the silos I was going to suggest cotton which was a New Mexico and Arizona product during the period of the photo.  I do know that the pinto beans from the region are said to be above average due to the higher elevations at which they are grown.



Regards,

Guy Wilber
Reno, Nevada
.


Benjamin Hom
 

Rich Townshend wrote:
"I support the grain rush hypothesis, or something like it."

The location of the work (Clovis NM) is throwing me off.  Granted, it could be because Clovis is lighter loaded than Topeka, but you'd think the work would be done closer to the area of need.


Ben Hom


Douglas Harding
 

I was wondering the same thing Guy. A quick check shows Morley Mills built a modern feed mill  in Clovis NM in 1955. As a feed mill, it use local and imported grains to blend and make feed, mostly for cattle.

 

Dennis is correct that beans, as in pinto beans, are a common crop in SW Colorado and New Mexico. Also wheat, sorghum, milo and other grains.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 


np328
 

Of double door boxcars being used for grain, yes, we have covered this subject before.

 I had posted a photo of a MILW DD boxcar that the Railway Age article in which the photo was taken from stated that the car was equipped with a metal post consisting of a U shaped channel containing wood which allowed grain doors in a double door set up.

  For more info and documentation, see my post of 81059 dated April 14, 2009.

    Of the work being done, I would agree with clean out and coopering.  Of the monthly AAR reports I have been able to get a hold of and read, there is ALWAYs a monthly reminder to - please clean out your cars before releasing them again  - and how this affected the (always short) car supply.  And floor maintenance concerns were high enough that steel nailable floors became the norm in new car construction well before the end time of this list, so some of the more substantial boards in the photo make sense.

Ben, first - your comments and observations are pretty much right on and I always appreciate them.

     Of your mention about Clovis, what I can state is that - on the Northern Pacific, there was a clean out yard at Lake Park, MN where cleaning and coopering were done for boxcars.  It was a small town in the middle of nowhere and I think that labor was the determinant factor in placing it here. Non-union labor could be used.  

This also fit the NPs traffic flow of empties west.      

      Staples, MN,  further east was where the Twin Cities and Twin ports lines met, and cars were graded here as to suitability. This was east of Lake Park, and if cars needed to be rejected after getting through the east interchanges, it was done here. And if they needed cleaning or coopering, Lake Park was a few miles west and on the route of a local, so that allowed the better grade cars to be expedited right away, and run past Lake Park.

     This site at Lake Park was pre-grain staging areas. Cars could be diverted to places in ND or MT and the clean out and coopering would not interfere with pre-grain rush car staging. As branchlines branch off the NP further west, the cars would still pass by Lake Park after returning from eastern railroads, or if grain, from the Twin Ports and Twin Cities prior to getting to the wheat fields west.

I would think that other railroads had plans like this in place also.

     I am not familiar with how the loads/empties flow was on the ATSF and perhaps this made sense locating it there. However, I would think again, labor costs were a big factor.  

One last thing, by any means, the photo represents an "industry" to me. Any XM car from any road.
      
   For years/decades of wondering about photos showing reefers stuffing a siding in a small town north of the Twin Cities on the area I am modeling, and no fruit or vegetable concerns to be found. And after conferring with other NP experts on this "phenomenon", and them adding nothing factual, I found a letter stating that a small part (20' x 20') of a larger building was in use by a firm coopering these reefers.

    This "coopering" firm will be an industry I model. And even though this industry could hold no more than the load of one boxcar, it can prototypically serve many boxcars or in my case, reefers.    

                                                                                                       Jim Dick - St. Paul

BTW - of these AAR reports - if someone has the server space to accommodate these reports, please contact me.  I have these, not sure the STMFC site has the room unless they set up a sister site like the Yahoo Railway-Signaling site has.  

I presented on some of the materials found at Cocoa Beach earlier this year and will tweak the presentation for the Chicagoland/Lilse/Naperville RPM.  I need to contact Mike Skibbe about that.

However there is SO much more in the documents that cover almost two years with month by month reports.
Coal, ore, crop reports, port loading and unloading, open top car reports, and more.
And the Minnesota Historical Society (where these were found) stated these are open - non-copyrighted docs, so - they should be out there - open.      
    

  



























































































































































































Edward
 

Covis, NM near the Texas panhandle western border, is reasonably close to the grain country of northern Texas,  western Oklahoma and western Kansas, though which Santa Fe ran.
While not quite as productive for grain these days, back in the 1940s it was the main crop in those areas.

Ed Bommer


Jim Betz
 

Hi,

Loooong cut of cars getting a similar treatment (work being done).
Guys transferring 'material' in the first car are not handing off wood.
It is some form of cardboard - and it looks to me like it is "going in"
and not coming out based upon the bend in it at the lower end.
That car - and another past it - show some of the same material
on the floor of the car that appears to not be 'in its final place yet'.
Lots of step ladders for getting in and out of the cars all down
the line ... and stacks/skip loads of more of that same light colored
material (as in "clean cardboard in folds").
Also note that the step ladders are not in the door openings but
rather just along side of them ... so they don't interfere with the
installation of the grain doors?
No "sweepings" on the ground outside of the cars - they have
been cleaned previously and brought here (or the ground
cleaned) to do the install.

So ... I say "grain doors". (cardboard)

And the wood on that rack is a red herring - that is not necessarily
involved in the treatment/process ... as in "what would you use 6x6s
for during grain doors or even interior wood replacement?". And
many of the cars in the string do not have similar racks of wood
(about every other car or so) ... perhaps they aren't even for this
particular cut of cars/work but rather some later/earlier cut to
the same track.

Finally - no one seems to have any of the tools you'd expect for
any serious wood work. Could they have been patching some
holes to make them grain tight - yes? That would have been
done with some 1x6/1x4 and a hammer and maybe a saw ... and
in much shorter lengths than the wood on the rack.

If I had to guess I'd say that the crew handles about 4 or 5
cars at a time and works its way from the foreground to the
cars furthest away.

I did not know/it never occurred to me to even suspect - that
the cardboard would have been delivered to the track folded
up ... now that I see it and think about it I'm not at all surprised.

So was the grain door installed with a gap "not finished" at the
bottom and the last thing done was for someone to climb out
and button it up? Presumably using the ladders we are seeing.

- Jim B.


Brad Andonian
 

Can anyone clearly make out the car number on the Super Chief boxcar?

I am thinking this is a BX-27 but cannot be certain of the car number.

Thanks,
Brad Andonian


spsalso
 

Somewhat incidentally, because of the lettering scheme on the GN car, the photo has to be after 1956-ish.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


mopacfirst
 

And because of the reweigh stencil AM (Amarillo) 10-55.

Clovis is at the very edge of the major agricultural areas of West Texas and extreme eastern New Mexico,  My wife's uncle and relatives, who lived between Friona and Hereford, farmed on both sides of the state line.  Bovina, Texas, is just down the way from there.

I believe there's a Bx-16 (ex-Orient) still on their property.

Ron Merrick