Topics

War Emergency Hoppers


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

Shawn Beckert wrote

My problem is nailing down the type of traffic that moved
on the Cotton Belt during these years. Since this was a
"bridge line" moving freight through the St. Louis gateway
to points West, I can get away with running all types of
cars, up to a point. What's hard is trying to pin down what
percentage of what kind of freight moved on the SSW. And one
of my problems is knowing how much coal - if any - they were
moving in my era of interest. I asked about the P2K hoppers
because I don't want to spend money on them if they wouldn't
normally be seen in Cotton Belt territory. Thus my question
to the List. Can anyone tell me with confidence that these
cars should not be represented on my railroad?
From my "Report on the Alton Railroad Company", there is a
table showing that "transcontinental traffic"* for 1920's-30's

(1) Tonnage split about 68% eastbound, 32% westbound
(2) About 39% of eastbound tons were perishable foods
(3) About 38% of eastbound tons were lumber and wood products
(4) About 15% of westbound tons were iron, steel products
(5) About 19% of westbound tons were autos, trucks, parts
(6) Other westbound traffic was manufactured products which
included merchandise, paper, foods, beverages

That sounds about right to me for bridge traffic on the SSW.
Coal would have been received by the SSW at St Louis, Memphis
and other points for distribution all over its lines, but not
as bridge traffic. I think IC, GM&O, L&N, NC&StL, Southern,
B&O, C&O, Wabash, CB&Q, MP, C&EI, RI, and even NYC coal cars
would not be unusual on the SSW between St Louis/Memphis and
Pine Bluff. What you need is a list of SSW online customers to
see which ones received coal, and from whom!

[ * The table is not entirely clear about how it defines
traffic to be transcontinental or not. My guess is that
it may simply mean freight conveyed from western roads
to eastern or midwestern connections. The book is chock
full of data and I haven't studied much of it closely. ]

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


Tim O'Connor <timoconnor@...>
 

The Santa Fe used their WE hoppers for coal service on the eastern part
of the system and also for borate service on the Mojave desert in Calif.
In neither role did they go off-line much; all the photos I have show
them on Santa Fe rails except for one Paul Dunn shot of a Ga-62 at
Zanesville, OH. The Q cars were used mostly in Illinois coal service,
as were the Illinois Central's. So the generalization that these cars
didn't stray far from home rails applies out west as well as on the
eastern coal roads.
I don't have any evidence from the 1940's, but I do have plenty of photos
from the "Front Range" of Colorado in the 1960's showing a lot of hoppers
from distant owners, and lots of mixed up consists. The beet harvest in
Colorado and Wyoming was quite intense, and everyone seemed to get a
piece of the action. Cars were shanghied as needed, evidently. Pueblo
(CF&I Steel) received coke from the east, resulting in L&N and Southern
Railway and IC hoppers. C&NW hoppers are in abundance too. But Richard
is no doubt correct in the sense that 99% of Q and AT&SF hoppers were
probably on home rails 90% (or more) of the time.

Timothy O'Connor <timoconnor@mediaone.net>
Marlborough, Massachusetts


thompson@...
 

Mike Brock says:
I believe that most photographic evidence will show that during the steam
era, N&W coal trains operating on N&W tracks contained a very high per
centage of N&W hoppers. I'm not nearly so certain about the C&O...primarily
because there were certain areas where coal was, I think, interchanged
between other RRs and the C&O.
Not based on the C&O photos I've browsed--though I can't claim to be
anything like an expert on C&O.

Here, things get a bit tricky. The Prince book shows...and there is a
pamphlet published by the N&W itself supporting Prince's book...that 22
million tons went west of N&W's coal fields...basically through Cicinnati.
Now, this stuff, apparently, found its way into Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois,
Chicago being mentioned. There was a lot of plants using coal back then in
those areas. I have seen some photos of groups of N&W hoppers in trains
moving through the area but real data would be needed to know for sure. The
B&O steam tape by Heron does show 4 or 5 N&W hoppers being moved near a B&O
coaling tower in the upper midwest.
I don't claim N&W (or any particular road) didn't send hoppers off line.
What I do say is that, aside from traffic like coal to the Great Lakes, it
was only in small groups in MOST cases. Documentation needed in general.

My all time favorite, of course, is that damned
Lackawanna [ heck, I don't know how to spell it, why should I? ] hopper
behind the Challenger on Sherman Hill. Second, though, has to be the lone MP
hopper in the long string of B&O cars heading from Lake Erie back to West BY
God Virginia.
Note: one lonely hopper in each case. If you want oddballs, I have a
photo of a Reading (empty) hopper in LA in the early 1950s. Am I going to
model it? Hell no.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2942 Linden Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 http://www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroads and on Western history


Garth G. Groff <ggg9y@...>
 

Tony,

Via-a-vis the C&O, the purity of their coal trains varied with different
parts of the system. In Virginia, published photo evidence shows that in
the late steam era the trains were about 99% C&O. The major exception
was for Berwind hoppers. A modest fleet of these was mixed with the
C&O's, and indeed they were maintained at Newport News.

In western West Virginia and Kentucky, the situation was quite
different. The C&O had joint operations with the Virginian and the NYC
(the details of which I no longer have). There are published photos
showing Virginian cars in C&O trains from this area. Cars from these two
roads, at least, would not have been rare, though probably not so common
on the C&O either. More likely they would have been loaded on joint
lines for a specific destination on their home roads, picked up in a
local or sweeper train, and then marshalled into cuts for interchange to
their home roads.

Of course, freight cars themselves were almost never photographed by
fans in those days, unless they just happened to be behind some monster
steam locomotive. This tends to skew the value of photos as evidence. I
agree that conductors' books are better sources, but you would still
need a pile of them from different men, since a conductor with seniority
might always be on the same run with the same car mix (or lack of mix)
for years at a time.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff

Not based on the C&O photos I've browsed--though I can't claim to be
anything like an expert on C&O.


Ted Culotta <ted@...>
 

Garth wrote:

Of course, freight cars themselves were almost never photographed by
fans in those days, unless they just happened to be behind some monster
steam locomotive.

I would agree with him and also add that many photographers may have
photographed freight cars because of the shock value to that particular
photographer, thereby making the extremely rare seem commonplace to
subsequent would-be historians examining the photos. I'm sure that there
are many instances (and I don't use this example literally, but rather
illustratively) of a photographer snapping a picture of the one pickle car
he's ever seen rather than the thousands of seemingly mundane hoppers that
were always 'in the way' when he peered through his viewfinder.

Ted

-----Original Message-----
From: Garth G. Groff [mailto:ggg9y@virginia.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2001 5:19 AM
To: STMFC@egroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: War Emergency Hoppers


Tony,

Via-a-vis the C&O, the purity of their coal trains varied with different
parts of the system. In Virginia, published photo evidence shows that in
the late steam era the trains were about 99% C&O. The major exception
was for Berwind hoppers. A modest fleet of these was mixed with the
C&O's, and indeed they were maintained at Newport News.

In western West Virginia and Kentucky, the situation was quite
different. The C&O had joint operations with the Virginian and the NYC
(the details of which I no longer have). There are published photos
showing Virginian cars in C&O trains from this area. Cars from these two
roads, at least, would not have been rare, though probably not so common
on the C&O either. More likely they would have been loaded on joint
lines for a specific destination on their home roads, picked up in a
local or sweeper train, and then marshalled into cuts for interchange to
their home roads.

Of course, freight cars themselves were almost never photographed by
fans in those days, unless they just happened to be behind some monster
steam locomotive. This tends to skew the value of photos as evidence. I
agree that conductors' books are better sources, but you would still
need a pile of them from different men, since a conductor with seniority
might always be on the same run with the same car mix (or lack of mix)
for years at a time.

Kind regards,


Garth G. Groff
Not based on the C&O photos I've browsed--though I can't claim to be
anything like an expert on C&O.
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