Topics

Tupperware Rexall Chemicals General American hopper

Peter Ness
 

While watching a short film made after the end of time for this group I observed a non-existent car that gives rise to the following question:

Tupperware, in North Smithfield, RI, started manufacturing at this facility in the mid-50's.  How can I find out if Rexall Chemical leased any GACX Airslides that were first built in 1953 up until the end of time?

I am assuming these would be 2066 cu ft single-bay Airslide hoppers, but we all know what happens when one assumes, so I will ask: how can I find out what types of cars Rexall Chemical leased? Would these show up in an ORER under General American? And would Rexall Chemical be identified as the lessee?

In the mid to late 1950's how else aside from covered hoppers would polyethylene pellets have been transported by rail? bagged in boxcars?

For info, Rexall Chemical had a refinery facility in El Paso, TX, so information on these cars may be of more than passing interest to modelers of other regions.

Peter Ness

Dennis Storzek
 

On Sat, Dec 1, 2018 at 02:51 PM, Peter Ness wrote:
In the mid to late 1950's how else aside from covered hoppers would polyethylene pellets have been transported by rail? bagged in boxcars?
Bags stacked on pallets, is a good possibility. When I worked for an injection molder after school in 1968 we still received a lot of material this way, but by truck. Also common was material in "Gaylords", pallet sized boxes that took their name from the originator, the Gaylord Container Co. of St. Louis. I haven't been able to find a definite first date of use, but Gaylord was bought out by Crown Zellerbach in 1955, so I assume the bulk boxes predate that. Gaylords were sturdy enough that they could be stacked two high.

2066 Cu. Ft. is too small for polyethylene, even if it's only a fifty ton car. As I recall, some of the original three bay P-S covered hoppers were leased to plastics companies, these being 70 ton cars holding over 3000 Cu. Ft. AHM used to offer their model decorated in some plastic supplier schemes.

Dennis Storzek

Peter Ness
 
Edited

Dennis thanks for the response. A member on the NH Forum who could watch the Tupperware film since times ends there in 1969 told me the car looks like a 3500 cu ft General American Dry-Flo, which was first built in 1959 and is made by Tangent. So at least this car I can talk about on this forum, too.

 

I reviewed the AHM P-S covered hopper you describe which gave me a chuckle since I have two of them – both decorated for former employers in my younger days and owned for sentimental reasons rather than prototype modeling reasons. Were these P-S hoppers built prior to 1960 and only gravity discharge via the doors on the hoppers or could they have been configured for pressurized discharge?

 

The only data I have for thinking the Tupperware facility may have accepted shipments by pressure discharge covered hopped from the get-go rather than from gravity discharge hoppers;

-          General American Airslide hoppers were first built in 1952

-          The facility in North Smithfield, RI was built in “the mid-‘50’s” according to local historical sites, so post-dating Airslide hoppers; the location was previously a woolen mill so the only usable features on site were the structure and rail sidings.  The work area had to be climate controlled, pressure tanks and compressors for the molding machines and an air handling system for the pellets had to be installed and there are photos that show pellet storage tanks outside the building.  So,  I think it’s plausible since Airslides were already in existence the facility was designed for pressure discharge.

-          I have a lot of gravity 2-, 3- and 4-bay ACF and P-S and other hoppers but no reason (yet) to run Airslide or other pressurized discharge hoppers (OK, that’s my personal biased objective that is not data…)

 

Since I model 1959, even the Dry-Flo hoppers are a tight stretch for me, depending on what month they actually entered service, still, I would like to learn more about these cars.

 

I only own one complete ORER for January 1959 which means anything listed is most likely in service somewhere during the period I model. Here I find the following:

GACX 43920-43954 L 50’9” 3560 CU FT 50t CAPY

GACX 43955-43999 L 50’9” 3560 CU FT 70t CAPY

 

I would also like to learn more about these cars.  With my very limited knowledge, I have to wonder if this was a small group built as a predecessor to the Dry-Flo cars.

EDIT: The AHM cars I own for sentimental reasons are ACF Center Flow design, not the PS-2 2893 CAPY car.

 

Peter Ness

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Saturday, December 1, 2018 9:43 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tupperware Rexall Chemicals General American hopper

 

On Sat, Dec 1, 2018 at 02:51 PM, Peter Ness wrote:

In the mid to late 1950's how else aside from covered hoppers would polyethylene pellets have been transported by rail? bagged in boxcars?

Bags stacked on pallets, is a good possibility. When I worked for an injection molder after school in 1968 we still received a lot of material this way, but by truck. Also common was material in "Gaylords", pallet sized boxes that took their name from the originator, the Gaylord Container Co. of St. Louis. I haven't been able to find a definite first date of use, but Gaylord was bought out by Crown Zellerbach in 1955, so I assume the bulk boxes predate that. Gaylords were sturdy enough that they could be stacked two high.

2066 Cu. Ft. is too small for polyethylene, even if it's only a fifty ton car. As I recall, some of the original three bay P-S covered hoppers were leased to plastics companies, these being 70 ton cars holding over 3000 Cu. Ft. AHM used to offer their model decorated in some plastic supplier schemes.

Dennis Storzek

 

Peter Ness
 

I'm not crazy about the type of research I am doing, but lacking anything more substantial...
It was pointed out to me on the NH Forum that CDS previously produced Rexall Chemical dry transfers,  I was able to find a vendor with the lettering diagram (O scale dry transfer set) posted on line.  The dry transfers are for a 2600 cu ft capy Airslide GACX 44373 with the note "1959" visible on the drawing. My January ORER ends with the 43991-44199 series listed.

Now, I never used CDS dry transfers but I know they had a good reputation for a quality product, so for now I am going to "assume" CDS had a photo or other data to indicate there were Airslides leased bu Rexall Chemical.

This means I can now go back to one of my original questions;
Is there any source to know to whom General American leased Airlside covered hoppers?

In the event the Dry-Flo hoppers were built too late in 1959 for my purposes, if there is a way to learn the car numbers for the Airslides leased by Rexall Chemical -it may be possible to confirm if some were leased, say, in 1958 based on the GACX car number alone.

Peter Ness  

Craig Wilson
 

Tom Hood (who started C-D-S) had an extensive collection of freight car slides.  Years and years ago Ken Goslett introduced me and my friend Arnt Gerritsen to Tom and we spent an enjoyable day in his basement as he loaded box after box of freight car slides into his stack loader.

His lettering sets were based on that collection and you can bet that if you have a diagram of a GACX/Rexall Chemical airslide, Tom had a slide of THAT CAR in his collection.  We provided Tom with the photos and data to produce Ann Arbor RR freight car sets and we had to lobby hard to get him to include an extra number jumble in the C-D-S sets to allow us to do more than one model.  His early sets had only the particular car number that appeared in his photo.

Craig Wilson

Tim O'Connor
 

 > I would also like to learn more about these cars.  With my very limited knowledge, I have to
 > wonder if this was a small group built as a predecessor to the Dry-Flo cars. Peter Ness


Peter, you need to locate a copy of Eric Neubauer's publication on airslides, published
as FREIGHT CARS JOURNAL #9. Most of the FCJ's are available for free from David Casdorph,
but not #9. http://dgcasdor.ipower.com/dgcasdorph/id10.html

GATC 3500's (Dry-Flo) built in 1959=1960:

ATSF, BAR, CB&Q, GACX, IC, MP, T&NO, UP, DOWX, DUPX, DYLX, ETCX, MOHX (incomplete list)

GACX marked cars leased to Quaker Oats, Rock Island, PRR, CPC, Firestone, Hercules,
Allied Chemical, US Industrial Chemicals, Rexall (50334-50354), Anhaeuser-Busch,
Premium Plastics, Dow, Gulf, L&N, ACL... (incomplete list, as of 1962)

Tim O'Connor

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Peter Ness
 

Craig, Thanks for the encouragement! I would really like to be able to add a Rexall Chemical General American hopper of any type and this is the first positive news so far. 

 

On the New Haven Forum a member consulted  "A History of the General American Airslide and Other Covered Hopper Cars" by Eric A. Neubauer, and informed me that car number GACX 44373 shown on the C-D-S lettering diagram was in a group of 2600s  that were leased to the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, so that put a damper on my spirits. Rexall Chemical did lease two groups of 3500 cu ft Dry-Flo cars, GACX 50334-50354 and 50460-50466 but these are most likely built after my modeling period (ends June 30 1959).

 

Peter Ness

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Craig Wilson
Sent: Sunday, December 2, 2018 11:09 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tupperware Rexall Chemicals General American hopper

 

Tom Hood (who started C-D-S) had an extensive collection of freight car slides.  Years and years ago Ken Goslett introduced me and my friend Arnt Gerritsen to Tom and we spent an enjoyable day in his basement as he loaded box after box of freight car slides into his stack loader.

His lettering sets were based on that collection and you can bet that if you have a diagram of a GACX/Rexall Chemical airslide, Tom had a slide of THAT CAR in his collection.  We provided Tom with the photos and data to produce Ann Arbor RR freight car sets and we had to lobby hard to get him to include an extra number jumble in the C-D-S sets to allow us to do more than one model.  His early sets had only the particular car number that appeared in his photo.

Craig Wilson

Tim O'Connor
 


GACX 50334-50354 are from 12-1961. The whole series 50000-50499 existed by
1963 but other than photos or other sources, there is no definitive list of
who had what and when the cars were built... But I think 1959 is too early
for the Rexall cars.

You might want to ask David Lehlbach (bnsd45@...) - TANGENT - since he
knows a great deal about the Dry-Flow hoppers.

Tim O'



On the New Haven Forum a member consulted  "A History of the General American Airslide and Other Covered Hopper Cars" by Eric A. Neubauer, and informed me that car number GACX 44373 shown on the C-D-S lettering diagram was in a group of 2600s  that were leased to the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, so that put a damper on my spirits. Rexall Chemical did lease two groups of 3500 cu ft Dry-Flo cars, GACX 50334-50354 and 50460-50466 but these are most likely built after my modeling period (ends June 30 1959).
Peter Ness

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 02:37 PM, Peter Ness wrote:
On the New Haven Forum a member consulted  "A History of the General American Airslide and Other Covered Hopper Cars" by Eric A. Neubauer, and informed me that car number GACX 44373 shown on the C-D-S lettering diagram was in a group of 2600s  that were leased to the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, so that put a damper on my spirits. Rexall Chemical did lease two groups of 3500 cu ft Dry-Flo cars, GACX 50334-50354 and 50460-50466 but these are most likely built after my modeling period (ends June 30 1959).
One of the things that has been confusing to me in this discussion is that both Airslide and Dry-Flow cars were designed for powdered materials, while I tend to think of the feedstock for injection molding as pellets, which are typically shipped on non-pressure, vacuum unloading cars. It is possible that Rexall was shipping some of their polyetheylene production as powder, as rotational molding uses powder feedstock, but I'm not aware that Tupperware is, or ever was, rotational molded. Do you actually have any evidence that these leased powder material cars were ever delivered to the Tupperware plant?

Dennis Storzek

Peter Ness
 

Hi Dennis, yes. At about 9m 40s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbPjGl0vii4 WARNING! This is 5 years after the end of time (but it does show unloading pressure discharge covered hoppers, which did occur prior to 1960….).  The film clearly shows you are correct – no rotational molding.

 

Peter Ness

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Monday, December 3, 2018 8:57 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Tupperware Rexall Chemicals General American hopper

 

On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 02:37 PM, Peter Ness wrote:

On the New Haven Forum a member consulted  "A History of the General American Airslide and Other Covered Hopper Cars" by Eric A. Neubauer, and informed me that car number GACX 44373 shown on the C-D-S lettering diagram was in a group of 2600s  that were leased to the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, so that put a damper on my spirits. Rexall Chemical did lease two groups of 3500 cu ft Dry-Flo cars, GACX 50334-50354 and 50460-50466 but these are most likely built after my modeling period (ends June 30 1959).

One of the things that has been confusing to me in this discussion is that both Airslide and Dry-Flow cars were designed for powdered materials, while I tend to think of the feedstock for injection molding as pellets, which are typically shipped on non-pressure, vacuum unloading cars. It is possible that Rexall was shipping some of their polyetheylene production as powder, as rotational molding uses powder feedstock, but I'm not aware that Tupperware is, or ever was, rotational molded. Do you actually have any evidence that these leased powder material cars were ever delivered to the Tupperware plant?

Dennis Storzek

Dennis Storzek
 

On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 06:06 PM, Peter Ness wrote:
Hi Dennis, yes. At about 9m 40s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbPjGl0vii4 WARNING! This is 5 years after the end of time (but it does show unloading pressure discharge covered hoppers, which did occur prior to 1960….).  The film clearly shows you are correct – no rotational molding.
Wow! A drum tumbler! haven't seen one of those in fifty years. Coloring amterial used to be one of my after school jobs.

You're right, all injection molding, and no powder, other than the colorant. Also, looking at the covered hopper, it's just a covered hopper with tight sealing loading hatches and pneumatic outlets... no air pressure involved. Not the same class as an Air-slide at all. Back in the days of seventy ton cars 3000 Cu.Ft. was considered adequate for resins.

I also noted in the material prep segment lots of pallets of bags, so not everything was coming in bulk.

I also got a kick out of the unguarded robot, although they may have taken all the guards down to make the film.

Dennis Storzek