Manure shipped by rail


Robert G P
 

Hello group, 

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!

-Bob


Douglas Harding
 

Gons were used for shipping manure, not aware of hoppers being used in this service. It was also bagged, which could be shipped on a flatcar or in a boxcar. In the Midwest most often it was coming from large stockyards and packing plants. Usually shipped to rural areas where it was sold to farmers for applying to their fields for fertilizer, esp in the days before commercial fertilizer. It was also bagged and shipped for gardens. Attached are a few photos and documents related to shipping manure by rail. Team tracks or a remote siding could be used for unloading. Workers with shovels and pitchforks were the norm. Clamshell buckets on a crane were used at large operations. Loading of gons was similar to coal, wagons and carts dumping from an elevated ramp. Or the clamshell bucket and crane.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert G P
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 7:11 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Hello group, 

 

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!

 

-Bob


Andy Laurent
 

On Mon, Sep 13, 2021 at 05:11 AM, Robert G P wrote:
Hello group, 
 
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? 
 
-Bob
Bob, I have evidence of 4 carloads of bulk manure being shipped in gondolas from Union Stock Yards in Chicago, IL to an orchard company in Sturgeon Bay, WI.  The shipment was made in one block (4 cars moving together) and was delivered to a team track in downtown Sturgeon Bay (in early summer).  The cars were unloaded by hand into trucks.  The shipment was NOT repeated!

Andy L.
Madison, WI


Steve Salotti
 

Hello Robert
For many years the PRR shipped carloads of manure from farms to the Kennet Square PA area.  The loads were destined for mushroom growers located throughout the area.  After many years, the shipments were stopped when the local fire departments refused to respond when the loads of manure left in the sun too long would spontaneously combust.  Not a pleasant task.
Steve Salotti


Craig Wilson
 

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? 
---------------
Here are a couple which were taken from the car ferry manifests archived from the Ann Arbor Railroad:

January 4, 1975 / MILW 51674 (50 foot boxcar)  / Vigoro sheep manure
From:  Organic Compost, Germantown Wisc / To:  Vigoro, Toronto Ont
Via:  MILW - GBW - AA - DTI - CP

January 14, 1975 / CVC 402583 (50 foot boxcar) / manure
From:  Compost Corp, Germantown Wisc / to F. Manley Corp, Etobicoke Ont
Via:  MILW - GBW - AA - DTI - CP

Craig Wilson


ron christensen
 

I have never heard of a farmer selling or giving away manure, but that might have happened. That was a very useful fertilizer for the farmer.
Usually the manure is a product of large stock yards or race tracks
 In the case of Chicago race tracks a lot of manure was shipped on the old PM to mushroom plants in Michigan.
The manure was shipped in gondolas and weighed in New buffalo Mi. If the car was too heavy some had to be unloaded.
All that went away in the 70s as trucks started hauling the manure
Ron Christensen


Ray Breyer
 

Before 1925 or so horses were the dominant form of "horsepower" in urban areas. Stables were everywhere to house wagon teams. And everyone who was upper middle class or rich had one or more. A horse can easily produce 100 pounds of "soiled bedding" in a day, which means a LOT of manure to remove from an average-sized city. So besides stockyards (most of which were inside major cities) there was a lot of manure to move around.

Larger cities, or smaller ones with a disproportionately large number of private buggy horses, usually had manure loading ramps to help the process. While manpower was dead cheap before the 1950s, time was still a finite commodity. If you had a lot of poop to move out of town, you had to have a ram to speed up the process.

I've attached a few photos.


Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL


On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 08:53:36 AM CDT, ron christensen via groups.io <rxensen@...> wrote:


I have never heard of a farmer selling or giving away manure, but that might have happened. That was a very useful fertilizer for the farmer.
Usually the manure is a product of large stock yards or race tracks
 In the case of Chicago race tracks a lot of manure was shipped on the old PM to mushroom plants in Michigan.
The manure was shipped in gondolas and weighed in New buffalo Mi. If the car was too heavy some had to be unloaded.
All that went away in the 70s as trucks started hauling the manure
Ron Christensen


Eric Hansmann
 

Before motorized vehicles dominated the streets, cities had to clean up the waste left by horses and teams. An August 1912 photo if the Pennsy's Try Street team yard in Pittsburgh, PA, captures a transfer facility. I had long thought it was used to load gondolas from wagons to transfer the animal waste. Here's the photo. Click on the image to use the enhanced functions to zoom in for a look.

This photo is actually part of the documentation for a very large public works project that removed many cubic feet of earth that had been a hump on several city streets. Hence the image title of Hump District. Dirt was loaded into wagons by steam shovel then transported a few blocks to this transfer platform to load into gondolas below.

But we can easily see a loaded WNY&P GS gondola beside the transfer platform. It seems to be topped off with what looks like manure. Another partially loaded gondola is ahead with a wagon adjacent that my have just been emptied by shovel. Cities of that time had many stables that needed to be cleaned out daily. Moving the bulk material out to surrounding farms was easier using rail.



Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

On 09/14/2021 7:53 AM ron christensen via groups.io <rxensen@...> wrote:


I have never heard of a farmer selling or giving away manure, but that might have happened. That was a very useful fertilizer for the farmer.
Usually the manure is a product of large stock yards or race tracks
 In the case of Chicago race tracks a lot of manure was shipped on the old PM to mushroom plants in Michigan.
The manure was shipped in gondolas and weighed in New buffalo Mi. If the car was too heavy some had to be unloaded.
All that went away in the 70s as trucks started hauling the manure
Ron Christensen



Douglas Harding
 

Let me add that sometimes gons of manure were just hauled to a remote yard location, ie in the country somewhere, and unloaded into a wet or swampy area. Of course this was all in the days before landfills and EPA.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding via groups.io
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 8:19 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Gons were used for shipping manure, not aware of hoppers being used in this service. It was also bagged, which could be shipped on a flatcar or in a boxcar. In the Midwest most often it was coming from large stockyards and packing plants. Usually shipped to rural areas where it was sold to farmers for applying to their fields for fertilizer, esp in the days before commercial fertilizer. It was also bagged and shipped for gardens. Attached are a few photos and documents related to shipping manure by rail. Team tracks or a remote siding could be used for unloading. Workers with shovels and pitchforks were the norm. Clamshell buckets on a crane were used at large operations. Loading of gons was similar to coal, wagons and carts dumping from an elevated ramp. Or the clamshell bucket and crane.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert G P
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 7:11 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Hello group, 

 

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!

 

-Bob


Charlie Vlk
 

All-

Before the era of this group but I think interesting to this discussion, there was a spur off the 1864 “Chicago Branch” (aka the CB&Q “Racetrack”) just west of the Chicago city limit  which at the time was at  Western Avenue into the area that would become Douglas Park.  It was labeled “Stock Car Spur” and I surmise that it was used for cleaning out the manure from stock cars being sent west after unloading livestock at the Chicago Union Stockyards which were south of that location.  At the time the area was low swampy land with very few neighbors to complain….and it enriched the soil for the park to come!

Charlie Vlk

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 10:32 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Let me add that sometimes gons of manure were just hauled to a remote yard location, ie in the country somewhere, and unloaded into a wet or swampy area. Of course this was all in the days before landfills and EPA.

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Douglas Harding via groups.io
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 8:19 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Gons were used for shipping manure, not aware of hoppers being used in this service. It was also bagged, which could be shipped on a flatcar or in a boxcar. In the Midwest most often it was coming from large stockyards and packing plants. Usually shipped to rural areas where it was sold to farmers for applying to their fields for fertilizer, esp in the days before commercial fertilizer. It was also bagged and shipped for gardens. Attached are a few photos and documents related to shipping manure by rail. Team tracks or a remote siding could be used for unloading. Workers with shovels and pitchforks were the norm. Clamshell buckets on a crane were used at large operations. Loading of gons was similar to coal, wagons and carts dumping from an elevated ramp. Or the clamshell bucket and crane.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Robert G P
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2021 7:11 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Hello group, 

 

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!

 

-Bob


Charlie Vlk
 

Eric-

Let me know when you need to finish your model of this facility.

I have several friends down the road from our house that have horses…..

Charlie Vlk

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 9:13 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

Before motorized vehicles dominated the streets, cities had to clean up the waste left by horses and teams. An August 1912 photo if the Pennsy's Try Street team yard in Pittsburgh, PA, captures a transfer facility. I had long thought it was used to load gondolas from wagons to transfer the animal waste. Here's the photo. Click on the image to use the enhanced functions to zoom in for a look.

 

This photo is actually part of the documentation for a very large public works project that removed many cubic feet of earth that had been a hump on several city streets. Hence the image title of Hump District. Dirt was loaded into wagons by steam shovel then transported a few blocks to this transfer platform to load into gondolas below.

 

But we can easily see a loaded WNY&P GS gondola beside the transfer platform. It seems to be topped off with what looks like manure. Another partially loaded gondola is ahead with a wagon adjacent that my have just been emptied by shovel. Cities of that time had many stables that needed to be cleaned out daily. Moving the bulk material out to surrounding farms was easier using rail.

 

 

 

Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

 

On 09/14/2021 7:53 AM ron christensen via groups.io <rxensen@...> wrote:

 

 

I have never heard of a farmer selling or giving away manure, but that might have happened. That was a very useful fertilizer for the farmer.
Usually the manure is a product of large stock yards or race tracks
 In the case of Chicago race tracks a lot of manure was shipped on the old PM to mushroom plants in Michigan.
The manure was shipped in gondolas and weighed in New buffalo Mi. If the car was too heavy some had to be unloaded.
All that went away in the 70s as trucks started hauling the manure
Ron Christensen

 


Philip Dove
 

The fibre in the real thing is way out of scale. But some soft and moist manure hidden near the trackside could add the dimension of smell. 


Eric Bergh
 

I have used leftover coffee grounds from "pods" as a stand-in for manure on my layout... I gave them a spritz of Lysol to cut the coffee smell before using them. Color and texture seems pretty good!
--
-Eric Bergh, Walnut Creek, CA
Learn by Doing!


Charlie Vlk
 

Horse manure, when aged and reduced to dust, retains a mild horsey smell that might help mask the smell of coffee grounds.

I don’t know if cow or pig poop tones down with age….it sure (at least to me) is more offensive when freshly out of the animals!

Charlie Vlk

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Bergh
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 11:30 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail

 

I have used leftover coffee grounds from "pods" as a stand-in for manure on my layout... I gave them a spritz of Lysol to cut the coffee smell before using them. Color and texture seems pretty good!
--
-Eric Bergh, Walnut Creek, CA
Learn by Doing!


maynard stowe
 

Guess you don’t live in the country Charlie.
Maynard Stowe

On Sep 15, 2021, at 1:09 PM, Charlie Vlk <cvlk@...> wrote:

Horse manure, when aged and reduced to dust, retains a mild horsey smell that might help mask the smell of coffee grounds.
I don’t know if cow or pig poop tones down with age….it sure (at least to me) is more offensive when freshly out of the animals!
Charlie Vlk
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Bergh
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2021 11:30 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Manure shipped by rail
 
I have used leftover coffee grounds from "pods" as a stand-in for manure on my layout... I gave them a spritz of Lysol to cut the coffee smell before using them. Color and texture seems pretty good! <image001.jpg>
-- 
-Eric Bergh, Walnut Creek, CA
Learn by Doing!



Todd Sullivan
 

Charlie,

Goat effluent tops the list for retaining a strong smell.  Fortunately, most real and model railroads don't service goat farms. ;-)

Todd Sullivan


Jim and Barbara van Gaasbeek
 

You guys are sticklers for realism.  Well done.

 

Jim van Gaasbeek

Irvine, CA

 

(No horses near by)


Robert G P
 

Yes, this has all been exceptionally helpful!   


On Wed, Sep 15, 2021 at 1:46 PM Jim and Barbara van Gaasbeek <jvgbvg@...> wrote:

You guys are sticklers for realism.  Well done.

 

Jim van Gaasbeek

Irvine, CA

 

(No horses near by)


Larry Goolsby
 

A really interesting discussion and some excellent photos. All this appears to cover manure shipments only in the northeast and midwest - seems to me the shipments should have been happening in the south as well with its extensive agricultural base, but I don't recall coming across any evidence of that. Does anybody know otherwise? Other types of fertilizer certainly moved often by rail in the south, and phosphate for example still does.   

Larry Goolsby 
Armchair-modeling the AB&C/ACL Western Division


Dennis Storzek
 

On Fri, Sep 17, 2021 at 06:55 AM, Larry Goolsby wrote:
A really interesting discussion and some excellent photos. All this appears to cover manure shipments only in the northeast and midwest - seems to me the shipments should have been happening in the south as well with its extensive agricultural base, but I don't recall coming across any evidence of that. Does anybody know otherwise? Other types of fertilizer certainly moved often by rail in the south, and phosphate for example still does.   
Larry,

The fact that the South was largely agrarian during the period that these shipments were made by rail misses the point, which is the originators were packing house stockyards and racetracks deep within tightly packed cities. How many southern cities had similar stockyards during this period? It seems that wagon/truck haulage to outlying farms was much more likely.

Dennis Storzek