[EXT] [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail
Since 1926 (I looked it up) the city of Milwaukee has sold dried sewage sludge under the brand name Milorganite. Once a year, a golf course north of Grand Rapids, MI would receive a 40' boxcar of bagged Milorganite. It was touted as a source of slow release nitrogen. The car was spotted on a team track in Rockford, MI. There was no odor. The name is derived from Milwaukee Organic Nitrogen.
I don't think that would be realistic. First, manure needs to be composted before it can be used in gardens. It is too "hot" and full of hay seeds. That's fine to spread on the fields, but a disaster to spread on a garden. Second, that's a lot of manure! Third, a local operation would get manure locally. The dairy farm up the street or the local livery stable (if such still existed in your time frame). One of the only operations that I know of that actively shipped manure was from the horse farms and race tracks of the middle Atlantic region to the mushroom farms in Kennet Square PA. That was (and remains) a high volume business, with large composting operations, and many mushroom houses concentrated locally.
The gondolas used for manure were pretty much embargoed from other uses and thus the PRR used old composite GR and GRA class cars. When the manure/hay mix spontaneously combusted, as it was want to do, especially in the summer months, local fire departments would be called to a grade crossing to put out the burning car, but they quickly started refusing to come to these calls, resulting ultimately in the embargoing of the load on the railroad.
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Robert G P <bobgp5109@...>
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 7:11 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io <RealSTMFC@groups.io>
Subject: [EXT] [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail
I model the midwest and wanted some extra uses for my gons and hoppers so It was my conjecture that "bulk" manure loads might be an accurate bill for them?
Lets say the manure is traveling to a feed/seed shop (like heater coal would to a dealer) to be sold in smaller portions to folks with gardens or to larger farming operations. I suppose in the latter case a farmer may have his own hopper(s) full and spotted on a team track for unloading.
To all those with the knowledge - is any of this realistic? Have you heard of anything like this? Sounds like a good way to add in some extra operations and maybe even have fun making sure the cars aren't too close to the caboose!