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Sugar Beets in Cattle Cars


Ray Hutchison
 

The idea of shipping food products (cabbages, sugar beets in recent postings to the list) in cattle cars is slightly....  disgusting.  

But it does give me a reason to have a group of stock cars in my layout.  With special note board reading "for sugar beets only"

rh


Bruce Smith
 

Ray, I'm curious to know what you think was applied to those food crops, to help them grow, in that era? It was probably the same thing you would find inside those stock cars!
Regards,
Bruce Smith
Auburn, Alabama


From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Ray Hutchison <rayhutchison2@...>
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2020 8:47:15 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Sugar Beets in Cattle Cars
 
The idea of shipping food products (cabbages, sugar beets in recent postings to the list) in cattle cars is slightly....  disgusting.  

But it does give me a reason to have a group of stock cars in my layout.  With special note board reading "for sugar beets only"

rh


Jerry Michels
 

Wouldn't stock cars used for sugar beets and cabbage be cleaned out beforehand?  They were cleaned out after a cattle shipment.  Regarding sugar beets.  They are refined to such an extent that no contamination would remain.  It is a pretty neat process I saw at the Holly Sugar plant in Hereford, TX, before it closed.  Dirty beets go in, pure white sugar comes out.  Jerry Michels


james murrie
 

In the early 1970s I remember seeing NP stock cars near Grand Forks, ND with plywood installed inside the slats to haul wheat. Once a car is steam cleaned, etc. after a livestock load it didn't seem to be an issue.
Jim Murrie


Armand Premo
 

The Rutland frequently carried Hay.in their stock cars. Armand Premo

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 12:59 PM james murrie via groups.io <bi291=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
In the early 1970s I remember seeing NP stock cars near Grand Forks, ND with plywood installed inside the slats to haul wheat. Once a car is steam cleaned, etc. after a livestock load it didn't seem to be an issue.
Jim Murrie


Tony Thompson
 

Ray Hutchison wrote:

The idea of shipping food products (cabbages, sugar beets in recent postings to the list) in cattle cars is slightly....  disgusting.  

    Ray, you must be forgetting that stock cars were thoroughly cleaned after every trip, often steam cleaned. The purpose was to prevent any disease or little critters from infecting subsequent loads.

Tony Thompson




Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
 

Ray and Friends,

To echo what Jerry said, I have been inside a sugar plant and saw how the refining process works. This was the C&H plant at Crockett, California, which processed cane sugar, but the process for beet sugar is similar. Essentially, the sugar source is ground to a pulp, which is then washed several times to remove all the possible sugar, and also to float off impurities. The solution is then boiled and centrifuged to kill any little beasties and remove any additional impurities. The sugar went through this process multiple times, so it was essentially sterilized several times during the process.

Now for Fun Part #1: C&H collected all the drips from their pipes in buckets, plus the mop water from cleaning the floors, and poured it back into the process. It was all pure in the end.

Fun Part #2: C&H also put up various types of raw and turbinado sugar for the health food trade. This was the same sugar, just not boiled and spun as many times. This left more molasses in the sugar, plus as the tour guide explained, a bit more dirt and rat droppings. All still sterilized though. Yum!

Fun Part #3: With cane sugar, including that grown and refiled in Louisiana and Texas, the crushed pulp (called bagasse) could be used as fuel to run the sugar mill, ground and returned to the fields as mulch, or  in later years sold as a by-product to be used as an industrial additive or for chemical extraction. (C&H received their sugar as syrup from Hawaii, delivered every two weeks by ship, so bagasse was not an issue here). Used pulp from beet sugar tended to pile up into large mountains. I used to work across the street from the Holly Sugar plant at Dyer (near Sant Ana, California). They had a huge mountain of this stuff that was daily sculpted by bulldozers. I was told the waste was loaded with toxins. I wonder what became of the piles when this plant closed.

Fun Part #4: Sugar used to be heavily subsidized by the government until price supports were removed by Congress in favor of the high-fructose corn syrup industry in the 1980s. Look at the previous list of plant closures, many of which happened at that time. Thanks to the subsidies, cheaper high-fructose corn syrup became the sweetener of choice for the soft drink industry (remember 'New Coke'?) and in processed foods.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 12:34 PM Jerry Michels <gjmichels53@...> wrote:
Wouldn't stock cars used for sugar beets and cabbage be cleaned out beforehand?  They were cleaned out after a cattle shipment.  Regarding sugar beets.  They are refined to such an extent that no contamination would remain.  It is a pretty neat process I saw at the Holly Sugar plant in Hereford, TX, before it closed.  Dirty beets go in, pure white sugar comes out.  Jerry Michels


Jerry Michels
 

One more comment on sugar beets, but  a little different.  In Wyoming the BN served a number of sugar beet plants.  Lovell, Sheridan, Worland, Torrington, and perhaps some others.  These were all active during the steam era.  Most were transported in two-bay hoppers.  A curious by-product was shipping tare soli (that dirt coming off the beets after harvest) from one Holly Sugar plant to another and giving the soil to the local farmers. Sadly, the Wpr;and area sugar beet area was infested with the sugarbeet root maggot, Torrington was not.  In the later 1970s, The Torrington area became infested with the maggot.  An intense survey of the insect revealed that the infestation site was the Holly refinery tare soil dump.

Jerry Michels


Steve SANDIFER
 

They lined stock cars with cardboard and used them to ship grain, so why worry about sugar beets? Nothing like high protein corn flakes.

Steve Sandifer

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 11:34 AM, Jerry Michels
<gjmichels53@...> wrote:
Wouldn't stock cars used for sugar beets and cabbage be cleaned out beforehand?  They were cleaned out after a cattle shipment.  Regarding sugar beets.  They are refined to such an extent that no contamination would remain.  It is a pretty neat process I saw at the Holly Sugar plant in Hereford, TX, before it closed.  Dirty beets go in, pure white sugar comes out.  Jerry Michels


Thomas Birkett
 

I hesitate to mention the cars I leased out for beet juice that were last contained sodium hydroxide, not clean. We don't buy beet derived sugar at our house.
Another question: in the steam era were beets crushed and the juice sent to another location for final processing? Always looking for a tank car connection for layout industries.
Tom Birkett, Bartlesville, OK



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S® 6, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: James SANDIFER <steve.sandifer@...>
Date: 10/26/20 6:13 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Sugar Beets in Cattle Cars

They lined stock cars with cardboard and used them to ship grain, so why worry about sugar beets? Nothing like high protein corn flakes.

Steve Sandifer

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 11:34 AM, Jerry Michels
<gjmichels53@...> wrote:
Wouldn't stock cars used for sugar beets and cabbage be cleaned out beforehand?  They were cleaned out after a cattle shipment.  Regarding sugar beets.  They are refined to such an extent that no contamination would remain.  It is a pretty neat process I saw at the Holly Sugar plant in Hereford, TX, before it closed.  Dirty beets go in, pure white sugar comes out.  Jerry Michels


Tony Thompson
 

Thomas Birkett wrote:

I hesitate to mention the cars I leased out for beet juice that were last contained sodium hydroxide, not clean. We don't buy beet derived sugar at our house.
Another question: in the steam era were beets crushed and the juice sent to another location for final processing? Always looking for a tank car connection for layout industries.

      Sugar beets were partially steam cooked and shredded, and the pulp was the source of sugar. (Done all at one plant.) I would think that "beet juice" would be a vegetable juice, not from sugar beets at all. 

Tony Thompson




Richard Townsend
 

At least at the sugar plants I am aware of in Colorado, beets were not crushed into pulp. They were put through a slicer that cut them into “cossettes” that resembled French fries but with a triangular cross-section. They then went through various cooking and centrifugal processes to extract the sugar. At each stage the result was some form of liquid with more or less sugar content. I haven’t heard of any of the juices being shipped to other places outside the originating sugar factory. They did ship molasses in tank cars as it was considered to be a waste product. The remains of the beets came out as a pulp but that was a result of the refining process, not any initial crushing like with sugar cane.


On Oct 26, 2020, at 7:09 PM, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:


Thomas Birkett wrote:

I hesitate to mention the cars I leased out for beet juice that were last contained sodium hydroxide, not clean. We don't buy beet derived sugar at our house.
Another question: in the steam era were beets crushed and the juice sent to another location for final processing? Always looking for a tank car connection for layout industries.

      Sugar beets were partially steam cooked and shredded, and the pulp was the source of sugar. (Done all at one plant.) I would think that "beet juice" would be a vegetable juice, not from sugar beets at all. 

Tony Thompson




Douglas Harding
 

The sugar beet plants in the Midwest, ie Iowa and Minnesota, were all in one processors. Sugar beets came in, in any available car, and bags of refined sugar was shipped out in boxcars. Liquid sugar and Molasses was shipped out in tankcars. I far as I know the only thing arriving in tankcars was fuel for boilers.

 

Doug Harding

www.iowacentralrr.org

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Thomas Birkett
Sent: Monday, October 26, 2020 8:41 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Sugar Beets in Cattle Cars

 

I hesitate to mention the cars I leased out for beet juice that were last contained sodium hydroxide, not clean. We don't buy beet derived sugar at our house.

Another question: in the steam era were beets crushed and the juice sent to another location for final processing? Always looking for a tank car connection for layout industries.

Tom Birkett, Bartlesville, OK

 

 

 

Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S® 6, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

 

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

From: James SANDIFER <steve.sandifer@...>

Date: 10/26/20 6:13 PM (GMT-06:00)

Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Sugar Beets in Cattle Cars

 

They lined stock cars with cardboard and used them to ship grain, so why worry about sugar beets? Nothing like high protein corn flakes.

Steve Sandifer

 

On Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 11:34 AM, Jerry Michels

Wouldn't stock cars used for sugar beets and cabbage be cleaned out beforehand?  They were cleaned out after a cattle shipment.  Regarding sugar beets.  They are refined to such an extent that no contamination would remain.  It is a pretty neat process I saw at the Holly Sugar plant in Hereford, TX, before it closed.  Dirty beets go in, pure white sugar comes out.  Jerry Michels


Thomas Evans
 


My experience with the Rocky Ford factory confirms what Richard & Doug have said.
Beets in - granulated sugar out - no juice either came or went.
In later years, they built a concrete silo & shipped granulated sugar out in covered hoppers as well as bagged.
I understand that some other factories shipped refined liquid sugar in bulk, but I'm not well informed on this.
The pulp went out a pipe to the "pulp pit" where farmers could pick it up to make silage for cattle feed.
(That's the part that really stank!)
I understand that some other factories dried & pelletized the pulp, but, again, this is outside my experience.
The use of beet juice as a substitute for road salt on highways in the winter is a modern development post-closure of the Rocky Ford factory.

Tom E.