Topics

[Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Matt;

 

Thanks for confirming that.  I think I have seen a NKP box in that service.

 

As improbable as it sounds, I think they nailed them in place, climbed the ladder to get out, then filled the car, then once at destination, started knocking out boards starting at the top, and moving down.  Finally, shoveling the car out to clear the rest.

 

The attached shows a filling pic that, as crude as it appears, was used for large pieces of flaked coke, so didn’t require the boards be flush with one another.  But the coke is clearly in contact with the boards.

 

The boards at least keep the coke away from the doors, so they can be opened easily to get to the boards to punch them out.

 

Sheesh.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Matt Smith
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 11:05 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The Nickel Plate did this with several old Fowlers and later War Emergency SS box cars. For the doors they simply nailed up boards similar to grain boards. 
--
Matt Smith
Bloomington, IL


Bruce Griffin
 

Friends,

The B&O converted older boxcars into coke gons by removing the roofs and tying the sides together with steel rods (that was the method in photos I have seen). This was done over several decades and the boxcars reclassified as various subclasses of O-39.This happened from the late 20s into the early 50s with different boxcar classes including some M-8, M-13, M-15, M-24, and M-26 boxcars. Confirming Elden's scenario, I saved a post from the B&O Yahoo Group from 2006 and it tells a similar story by first hand account and added it below.
 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
https://bomodeling.com/blog/

Re: Coke Car

Posted by: "Scott Trostel" blwloco@...   blwloco

Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:21 pm (PST)

I well recall the coke cars in the early 1960s, probably the M-15 series.. The few I saw came to a local foundry. It lacked a between-rails receiving pit, thus the need for a car that could be unloaded similar to a conventional box car. Those cars I saw all had steel underframes and were very much showing their age with badly faded paint, wear, some rust and dents from probably loading.. When loaded, the doors had been cross boarded on the inside with planks. The foudrymen would climb onto the top of the car with flat shovels and start shoveling into an adjacent bin. When they reached a level even with the first board, the door was slid open and the plank removed. The men shoveled directly through the door into the bin. This was repeated until all the planks were removed and the car was finally empty. The planks were returned to the car loose, and the door then closed. They might put four to six men on the car and it would be easily unloaded in a day. I recall
seeing a number of those cars, along with the wagon-top cars sitting on a scrap line outside of a steel mill in Portsmouth, Ohio, just a year or so later. The foundry went over to trucks with the end of the coke cars and is still operating today even though the railroad tracks are gone.
One thing that caught my eye about the few cars I saw in service, they had the "Linking thirteen great states with the nation" logo, which was becoming rare in western Ohio by this time. The same foundry got coal in standard twin B & O hoppers, probably a 50 ton capacity, and they dumped it right onto the track and shoveled it off. All of those cars had a standard "B & O" painted on them. Those twin hoppers, all seemed to disappear about the same time, replaced by a 70 ton triple hopper. The B & O served a stone quarry at Piqua and every day they brought from 50 to 75 empty hoppers. The newer cars were too tall to fit under the tipple, so the quarry lowered the tracks, then a bunch of them lacked what the car knocker called a "stone gussett," which apparently was a corner reenforcement to handle the weight of the more dense stone. If it lacked it, the car was rejected by the railroad agent himself, and many were.

Scott Trostel


CJ Riley
 

The C&O also had similar cars with the reinforcing rods.




Mont Switzer
 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

Mont Switzer 



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Bruce Griffin <bdg1210@...>
Date: 10/21/20 2:45 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

Friends,

The B&O converted older boxcars into coke gons by removing the roofs and tying the sides together with steel rods (that was the method in photos I have seen). This was done over several decades and the boxcars reclassified as various subclasses of O-39.This happened from the late 20s into the early 50s with different boxcar classes including some M-8, M-13, M-15, M-24, and M-26 boxcars. Confirming Elden's scenario, I saved a post from the B&O Yahoo Group from 2006 and it tells a similar story by first hand account and added it below.
 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
https://bomodeling.com/blog/

Re: Coke Car

Posted by: "Scott Trostel" blwloco@...   blwloco

Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:21 pm (PST)

I well recall the coke cars in the early 1960s, probably the M-15 series.. The few I saw came to a local foundry. It lacked a between-rails receiving pit, thus the need for a car that could be unloaded similar to a conventional box car. Those cars I saw all had steel underframes and were very much showing their age with badly faded paint, wear, some rust and dents from probably loading.. When loaded, the doors had been cross boarded on the inside with planks. The foudrymen would climb onto the top of the car with flat shovels and start shoveling into an adjacent bin. When they reached a level even with the first board, the door was slid open and the plank removed. The men shoveled directly through the door into the bin. This was repeated until all the planks were removed and the car was finally empty. The planks were returned to the car loose, and the door then closed. They might put four to six men on the car and it would be easily unloaded in a day. I recall
seeing a number of those cars, along with the wagon-top cars sitting on a scrap line outside of a steel mill in Portsmouth, Ohio, just a year or so later. The foundry went over to trucks with the end of the coke cars and is still operating today even though the railroad tracks are gone.
One thing that caught my eye about the few cars I saw in service, they had the "Linking thirteen great states with the nation" logo, which was becoming rare in western Ohio by this time. The same foundry got coal in standard twin B & O hoppers, probably a 50 ton capacity, and they dumped it right onto the track and shoveled it off. All of those cars had a standard "B & O" painted on them. Those twin hoppers, all seemed to disappear about the same time, replaced by a 70 ton triple hopper. The B & O served a stone quarry at Piqua and every day they brought from 50 to 75 empty hoppers. The newer cars were too tall to fit under the tipple, so the quarry lowered the tracks, then a bunch of them lacked what the car knocker called a "stone gussett," which apparently was a corner reenforcement to handle the weight of the more dense stone. If it lacked it, the car was rejected by the railroad agent himself, and many were.

Scott Trostel


Matt Smith
 

That would jive with the photos I've seen and what Bruce described. These cars appeared to serve the smaller foundries once spread all across the midwest. Obviously these couldn't feed the appetite of large scale production.

--
Matt Smith
Bloomington, IL


mel perry
 

what would be interesting is the unloading of these cars, with the
door on the inside, especially with no
door tracks
just thinking out loud
;-)


On Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 8:38 PM Matt Smith <flyn96@...> wrote:
That would jive with the photos I've seen and what Bruce described. These cars appeared to serve the smaller foundries once spread all across the midwest. Obviously these couldn't feed the appetite of large scale production.

--
Matt Smith
Bloomington, IL


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Thanks, Mont!

 

That sounds like very similar experiences from those I’ve heard of RRs around my hometown, where they generated a LOT of coke.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer 

 

 

 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

 

 

-------- Original message --------

From: Bruce Griffin <bdg1210@...>

Date: 10/21/20 2:45 PM (GMT-05:00)

Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Friends,

The B&O converted older boxcars into coke gons by removing the roofs and tying the sides together with steel rods (that was the method in photos I have seen). This was done over several decades and the boxcars reclassified as various subclasses of O-39.This happened from the late 20s into the early 50s with different boxcar classes including some M-8, M-13, M-15, M-24, and M-26 boxcars. Confirming Elden's scenario, I saved a post from the B&O Yahoo Group from 2006 and it tells a similar story by first hand account and added it below.
 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
Blockedhttps://bomodeling.com/blog/

Re: Coke Car

Posted by: "Scott Trostel" blwloco@...   blwloco

Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:21 pm (PST)

I well recall the coke cars in the early 1960s, probably the M-15 series.. The few I saw came to a local foundry. It lacked a between-rails receiving pit, thus the need for a car that could be unloaded similar to a conventional box car. Those cars I saw all had steel underframes and were very much showing their age with badly faded paint, wear, some rust and dents from probably loading.. When loaded, the doors had been cross boarded on the inside with planks. The foudrymen would climb onto the top of the car with flat shovels and start shoveling into an adjacent bin. When they reached a level even with the first board, the door was slid open and the plank removed. The men shoveled directly through the door into the bin. This was repeated until all the planks were removed and the car was finally empty. The planks were returned to the car loose, and the door then closed. They might put four to six men on the car and it would be easily unloaded in a day. I recall
seeing a number of those cars, along with the wagon-top cars sitting on a scrap line outside of a steel mill in Portsmouth, Ohio, just a year or so later. The foundry went over to trucks with the end of the coke cars and is still operating today even though the railroad tracks are gone.
One thing that caught my eye about the few cars I saw in service, they had the "Linking thirteen great states with the nation" logo, which was becoming rare in western Ohio by this time. The same foundry got coal in standard twin B & O hoppers, probably a 50 ton capacity, and they dumped it right onto the track and shoveled it off. All of those cars had a standard "B & O" painted on them. Those twin hoppers, all seemed to disappear about the same time, replaced by a 70 ton triple hopper. The B & O served a stone quarry at Piqua and every day they brought from 50 to 75 empty hoppers. The newer cars were too tall to fit under the tipple, so the quarry lowered the tracks, then a bunch of them lacked what the car knocker called a "stone gussett," which apparently was a corner reenforcement to handle the weight of the more dense stone. If it lacked it, the car was rejected by the railroad agent himself, and many were.

Scott Trostel


william darnaby
 

Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.

Bill Darnaby


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer 

 

 

 



Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Thanks for sharing that, Bill!  Very similar to PRR coke cars of that era.

 

It appears that most (if not all) coke cars of this type did have the original doors removed as here:

 

https://digital.hagley.org/PRR_13040?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=ffb3ba399698fd3b3998&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=2

 

…and that it was then a simple matter of installing the “doors” board-by-board, after which you climbed the ladder, filled the car up, took it to the customer, and bashed the boards out (in) to empty.

 

I would still like to find the correspondence as to why they didn’t use a dedicated coke hopper like attached H22.  It might have been lack of facility to center dump.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of william darnaby
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:12 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.

 

Bill Darnaby

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer 

 

 

 

 


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Good point, CJ!

 

I have seen cars with rods across the width of the car, and also those that had angles welded over the top chord to stiffen the car.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of CJ Riley via groups.io
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 2:55 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The C&O also had similar cars with the reinforcing rods.



Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Thanks for providing that, Bruce!

 

I am looking for the specifics on the PRR’s coke cars, and will update when I find info.

 

I appreciate everyone’s input!

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bruce Griffin
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 2:46 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Friends,

The B&O converted older boxcars into coke gons by removing the roofs and tying the sides together with steel rods (that was the method in photos I have seen). This was done over several decades and the boxcars reclassified as various subclasses of O-39.This happened from the late 20s into the early 50s with different boxcar classes including some M-8, M-13, M-15, M-24, and M-26 boxcars. Confirming Elden's scenario, I saved a post from the B&O Yahoo Group from 2006 and it tells a similar story by first hand account and added it below.
 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
Blockedhttps://bomodeling.com/blog/

Re: Coke Car

Posted by: "Scott Trostel" blwloco@...   blwloco

Sat Jul 8, 2006 1:21 pm (PST)

I well recall the coke cars in the early 1960s, probably the M-15 series.. The few I saw came to a local foundry. It lacked a between-rails receiving pit, thus the need for a car that could be unloaded similar to a conventional box car. Those cars I saw all had steel underframes and were very much showing their age with badly faded paint, wear, some rust and dents from probably loading.. When loaded, the doors had been cross boarded on the inside with planks. The foudrymen would climb onto the top of the car with flat shovels and start shoveling into an adjacent bin. When they reached a level even with the first board, the door was slid open and the plank removed. The men shoveled directly through the door into the bin. This was repeated until all the planks were removed and the car was finally empty. The planks were returned to the car loose, and the door then closed. They might put four to six men on the car and it would be easily unloaded in a day. I recall
seeing a number of those cars, along with the wagon-top cars sitting on a scrap line outside of a steel mill in Portsmouth, Ohio, just a year or so later. The foundry went over to trucks with the end of the coke cars and is still operating today even though the railroad tracks are gone.
One thing that caught my eye about the few cars I saw in service, they had the "Linking thirteen great states with the nation" logo, which was becoming rare in western Ohio by this time. The same foundry got coal in standard twin B & O hoppers, probably a 50 ton capacity, and they dumped it right onto the track and shoveled it off. All of those cars had a standard "B & O" painted on them. Those twin hoppers, all seemed to disappear about the same time, replaced by a 70 ton triple hopper. The B & O served a stone quarry at Piqua and every day they brought from 50 to 75 empty hoppers. The newer cars were too tall to fit under the tipple, so the quarry lowered the tracks, then a bunch of them lacked what the car knocker called a "stone gussett," which apparently was a corner reenforcement to handle the weight of the more dense stone. If it lacked it, the car was rejected by the railroad agent himself, and many were.

Scott Trostel


Eric Hansmann
 

Elden,

 

Some customers may not have needed the cubic capacity that an H22 could deliver.

 

IIRC from a certain published source, GSD gondolas had some modifications for coke, too.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 9:54 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Thanks for sharing that, Bill!  Very similar to PRR coke cars of that era.

 

It appears that most (if not all) coke cars of this type did have the original doors removed as here:

 

https://digital.hagley.org/PRR_13040?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=ffb3ba399698fd3b3998&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=2

 

…and that it was then a simple matter of installing the “doors” board-by-board, after which you climbed the ladder, filled the car up, took it to the customer, and bashed the boards out (in) to empty.

 

I would still like to find the correspondence as to why they didn’t use a dedicated coke hopper like attached H22.  It might have been lack of facility to center dump.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of william darnaby
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:12 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.

 

Bill Darnaby

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer 

 

 

 

 


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Eric;

 

Spot on.

 

I was unable to find the correspondence on the GS cars that went into coke service, but it is clear they did so.  They were such early cars, they may have pre-dated the H22 sufficiently that it was OBE.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 11:48 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Elden,

 

Some customers may not have needed the cubic capacity that an H22 could deliver.

 

IIRC from a certain published source, GSD gondolas had some modifications for coke, too.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 9:54 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Thanks for sharing that, Bill!  Very similar to PRR coke cars of that era.

 

It appears that most (if not all) coke cars of this type did have the original doors removed as here:

 

Blockedhttps://digital.hagley.org/PRR_13040?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=ffb3ba399698fd3b3998&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=2

 

…and that it was then a simple matter of installing the “doors” board-by-board, after which you climbed the ladder, filled the car up, took it to the customer, and bashed the boards out (in) to empty.

 

I would still like to find the correspondence as to why they didn’t use a dedicated coke hopper like attached H22.  It might have been lack of facility to center dump.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of william darnaby
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:12 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.

 

Bill Darnaby

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer 

 

 

 

 


Eric Hansmann
 

As noted in the Pennsy gondola book, the GSD cars were out of coke service by 1931.

 

Several years ago when I was researching the coal fields of north-central West Virginia I stumbled across an interesting nugget. Coke oven operations shut down along the Western Maryland near Belington and in Thomas, WV. Only one remained in Harding, WV, but it would close in 1927 or 28. Coke production had shifted from beehive ovens to the by-product plants and affected these operations far from the mills.

 

Have you found similar shutdowns in the Connellsville Coal & Coke District that would affect the numbers of cars needed to transport coke?

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:59 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Eric;

 

Spot on.

 

I was unable to find the correspondence on the GS cars that went into coke service, but it is clear they did so.  They were such early cars, they may have pre-dated the H22 sufficiently that it was OBE.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 11:48 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Elden,

 

Some customers may not have needed the cubic capacity that an H22 could deliver.

 

IIRC from a certain published source, GSD gondolas had some modifications for coke, too.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 9:54 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Thanks for sharing that, Bill!  Very similar to PRR coke cars of that era.

 

It appears that most (if not all) coke cars of this type did have the original doors removed as here:

 

Blockedhttps://digital.hagley.org/PRR_13040?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=ffb3ba399698fd3b3998&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=2

 

…and that it was then a simple matter of installing the “doors” board-by-board, after which you climbed the ladder, filled the car up, took it to the customer, and bashed the boards out (in) to empty.

 

I would still like to find the correspondence as to why they didn’t use a dedicated coke hopper like attached H22.  It might have been lack of facility to center dump.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of william darnaby
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:12 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.

 

Bill Darnaby

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To:
main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer 

 

 

 

 


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Eric;

 

Yes, and converted back to GS thereafter, sloped drop doors being removed 1929-’45-ish.  The two photos of coke racks on GSD we put in the book are instructive.

 

Yes, I have, but do not have those materials at-hand.  It also corresponds to the rebuilding of H22 into H21A, as need for other “coke” cars also shifted to the in-plant RRs that replaced the beehives and banked coke works.  Remaining coke cars on the PRR, at least, were just using under-loaded H21’s (or whatever class), or those one-off coke box cars that remained (including GTC26 and GTC29, IIRC).   Believe it or not, a handful of the latter ran into the sixties.   There were no other dedicated coke cars I can find on the PRR.

 

Someone I know is doing research on the other cars owned by Frick, et al., that ended up being sold to the PRR as a result of this consolidation to big coke plants like Clairton.  I don’t know when that will be available.

 

The things interesting in the H22 photo are not only the banks of ovens behind, but the “flaked” coke typical of those ovens, in the H22.  Something to consider in modeling.

 

Finally, here is an excerpt from my analysis of industries on the Monongahela Division/Branch, for 1918, 1939, 1945, 1962.  Note the precipitous drop between 1918 and 1939, in coke manufacture and loading (from 11 goes to 2).  And this is ONLY from industry on the Mon, not the Southwest Branch, MRY, or other feeding or adjacent lines.

 

Business Traffic by Commodity/Industry - 1962

Commodity/

Industry

1918

1939

1945

1962

Auto/Truck Delivery

1

 

 

 

Boiler Tubes

1

 

 

 

Boxes

 

2

2

2

Brewing/Distilling

12

5

5

1

Brick (Standard, not refractories)

2

1

1

 

Cement

 

1

1

1

Chemical/Coke By-Products

1

3

4

4

Coal (Mining)

48

32

39

16

Coal (Retail)

1

2

2

 

Coke

 

4

1

1

 

Coal AND Coke

 

7

1

 

 

Concrete Block

 

 

 

1

Construction

 

 

2

 

Cooperage (Barrels)

1

1

1

 

 

Here’s also a couple more to whet your appetite, attached.  The postcard of box cars at the coke works, 1910:  Can you imagine how many cars they torched using un-quenched coke?

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 12:32 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

As noted in the Pennsy gondola book, the GSD cars were out of coke service by 1931.

 

Several years ago when I was researching the coal fields of north-central West Virginia I stumbled across an interesting nugget. Coke oven operations shut down along the Western Maryland near Belington and in Thomas, WV. Only one remained in Harding, WV, but it would close in 1927 or 28. Coke production had shifted from beehive ovens to the by-product plants and affected these operations far from the mills.

 

Have you found similar shutdowns in the Connellsville Coal & Coke District that would affect the numbers of cars needed to transport coke?

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:59 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Eric;

 

Spot on.

 

I was unable to find the correspondence on the GS cars that went into coke service, but it is clear they did so.  They were such early cars, they may have pre-dated the H22 sufficiently that it was OBE.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 11:48 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Elden,

 

Some customers may not have needed the cubic capacity that an H22 could deliver.

 

IIRC from a certain published source, GSD gondolas had some modifications for coke, too.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gatwood, Elden J SAD
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 9:54 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Thanks for sharing that, Bill!  Very similar to PRR coke cars of that era.

 

It appears that most (if not all) coke cars of this type did have the original doors removed as here:

 

BlockedBlockedhttps://digital.hagley.org/PRR_13040?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=ffb3ba399698fd3b3998&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=2

 

…and that it was then a simple matter of installing the “doors” board-by-board, after which you climbed the ladder, filled the car up, took it to the customer, and bashed the boards out (in) to empty.

 

I would still like to find the correspondence as to why they didn’t use a dedicated coke hopper like attached H22.  It might have been lack of facility to center dump.

 

Elden Gatwood

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of william darnaby
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2020 10:12 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

Here is a screen shot I snagged off a Herron Rail video of an empty Monon coke car headed back to Indy on an NYC freight out of Bellefontaine, OH in 1955.

 

Bill Darnaby

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Mont Switzer
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2020 8:20 PM
To:
main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [RealSTMFC] PRR and other coke cars

 

The MONON hauled coke from the Indianapolis Gas and Coke utility to destinations all over the midwest.  In our era composite stone gons had boxcar bodies  dropped onto them.  Roofs were removed for top loading.  Door openings were boarded up for loading, boards removed as load was removed.

 

The composite boxcar bodies had boards removed and were often thought to be stock cars. 

 

As mentioned before, inadequate quenching of the coke combined with air entering the cars as they were hauled in freight trains resulted in fires.  On the Monon this usually occurred between Indianapolis and Monon on train 90 which ran in the evenings.  

 

Train crews were good at setting out coke cars that had burst into flames.  Local fire departments extinguished the flames, but typically most of the wood was lost.

 

Mont Switzer