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Hoppers off-line: was war emergency hoppers

Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Dear friends,

Up until now, I've stayed out of this discussion, since what I can add
with authority is beyond the usual era of this group. But when I could I
keep silent for very long?

In 1982-1983 I lived in Chesapeake, Virginia, not far from the western
end of the N&W mainline, which passed a few blocks from my home. N&W
trains of the time had many off-line hoppers, though most were actually
cars acquired in various mergers (something that hasn't been part of
this discussion ... yet). I saw many Southern cars, lots of N&W 3-pocket
offsets, and frequent Virginian cars. I even saw a pair of the original
Norfolk Southern cars go by one day. Of course I didn't have a camera.

Then I moved to Charlottesville on the C&O's Mountain Division. I worked
right beside the line for two years, and coal trains would frequently
stop behind our building while they waited for the impossibly small yard
to clear. Merger cars were again frequent, especially Clinchfield, and
some L&N. However, about 10% were Upper Merion & Plymouth (huh?). There
were also frequent odd-balls, usually singles, including Santa Fe, E-L,
PRR, and once even a Cambria & Indiana (yes, I did get a picture of this
one!). There were also flocks of short length, very high side D&H cars
for a few months. And then there was a Virginia car that was sitting in
down the C&O yard one day.

It was quite a show. Now local trains are totally homogenized. Yawn.
Wait! Some NYC (ex-Conrail) cars just went through a few minutes ago!

Kind regards,

Garth G. Groff