Yosemite Portland Cement Incline


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>
 

Friends,

While scanning up prints from my collection, I happened upon this view of the Yosemite Portland Cement Co. incline at Emory, California. I snapped the photo around 1967, and it shows the grade down from the loading bins near the top of the mountain. Recent photos posted online show this hasn't changed much, except the roof on the bin house is now gone. 

O.K., this isn't a freight car, but wait Grasshopper, and all shall be revealed.

The YPCCo. went into business in the 1920s. It's quarries were located atop this mountain above the Merced River on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The stone was lowered to the YV via this double-track incline. From here the YV hauled the limestone to kilns near Merced, California, where the stone was burned to make cement. There is a nice web site with photos at http://memorableplaces.com/yvrr/CEMENT/YPCo.Blind.html . In 1944 the whole company was sold to Henry J. Kaiser (yes, the Liberty Ship guy). He immediately dismantled the kilns and other machinery which were sold to a concern in Venezuela. It isn't clear if any equipment from the Emory quarries also went to Venezuela, or if it was just scrapped. Kaiser is said to have bought the YPCCo. just to eliminate a competitor, though that may just be bad PR. It is possible the quarries were nearly played out, or that the YPCCo. was becoming unprofitable due to the quarry location and shipping costs.

In any case, with the timber operations that fed the YV gone and automobiles cutting into their passenger traffic even before WWII, the loss of the limestone traffic was the last straw for the YV. The line shut down a few months later.

O.K. Here come the freight cars. The YV owned a small fleet of ex-Great Northern ore cars to cover the limestone traffic. There were, IIRC, 50 cars in this fleet. The Sierra Railroad bought some of these, and several are still at Jamestown on display at Railtown 1897, and one more in Sacramento at the CSRM (in hideous orange paint when I last saw it, though the cars seem to have been black on the Sierra). A few others were cast off to other shortlines for maintenance-of-way purposes. Without a detailed roster I can't say if they were sold directly by the YV or its scrappers to these other lines, or were for a time they were owned by the SRR. McCloud River Railroad had several, Amador Central owned two, and the Yreka Western had at least one, though as my father's photo shows, this car still had the GN side walkways, and may have come directly to the YW from the GN. How these got from the YV to the buyers with their archbar trucks circa 1945 is a head scratcher, but possibly the cars had variances for one-time moves.

Westerfield offers this kit in several road names, including the VY as their 3452. It is still in their catalog.

Maybe Jack Burgess will want to chime in here, as the YV is his special interest and I may have garbled some things in this summary.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 


Hi Garth and List Members,
 
I made a visit to the Sierra Railroad at Jamestown during the late 1990s. I saw at least one of these cars, could even still read the GREAT NORTHERN road name on it, and I did wonder what the car was doing there. Now I know - thanks.
 
Claus Schlund
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2021 7:48 AM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

Friends,

While scanning up prints from my collection, I happened upon this view of the Yosemite Portland Cement Co. incline at Emory, California. I snapped the photo around 1967, and it shows the grade down from the loading bins near the top of the mountain. Recent photos posted online show this hasn't changed much, except the roof on the bin house is now gone. 

O.K., this isn't a freight car, but wait Grasshopper, and all shall be revealed.

The YPCCo. went into business in the 1920s. It's quarries were located atop this mountain above the Merced River on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The stone was lowered to the YV via this double-track incline. From here the YV hauled the limestone to kilns near Merced, California, where the stone was burned to make cement. There is a nice web site with photos at http://memorableplaces.com/yvrr/CEMENT/YPCo.Blind.html . In 1944 the whole company was sold to Henry J. Kaiser (yes, the Liberty Ship guy). He immediately dismantled the kilns and other machinery which were sold to a concern in Venezuela. It isn't clear if any equipment from the Emory quarries also went to Venezuela, or if it was just scrapped. Kaiser is said to have bought the YPCCo. just to eliminate a competitor, though that may just be bad PR. It is possible the quarries were nearly played out, or that the YPCCo. was becoming unprofitable due to the quarry location and shipping costs.

In any case, with the timber operations that fed the YV gone and automobiles cutting into their passenger traffic even before WWII, the loss of the limestone traffic was the last straw for the YV. The line shut down a few months later.

O.K. Here come the freight cars. The YV owned a small fleet of ex-Great Northern ore cars to cover the limestone traffic. There were, IIRC, 50 cars in this fleet. The Sierra Railroad bought some of these, and several are still at Jamestown on display at Railtown 1897, and one more in Sacramento at the CSRM (in hideous orange paint when I last saw it, though the cars seem to have been black on the Sierra). A few others were cast off to other shortlines for maintenance-of-way purposes. Without a detailed roster I can't say if they were sold directly by the YV or its scrappers to these other lines, or were for a time they were owned by the SRR. McCloud River Railroad had several, Amador Central owned two, and the Yreka Western had at least one, though as my father's photo shows, this car still had the GN side walkways, and may have come directly to the YW from the GN. How these got from the YV to the buyers with their archbar trucks circa 1945 is a head scratcher, but possibly the cars had variances for one-time moves.

Westerfield offers this kit in several road names, including the VY as their 3452. It is still in their catalog.

Maybe Jack Burgess will want to chime in here, as the YV is his special interest and I may have garbled some things in this summary.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆


Eric Hansmann
 

I saw one or two of these hoppers at the Georgetown Loop Railroad back in 1985. I believe they were used in ballast service.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 6:48 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

 

Friends,

 

While scanning up prints from my collection, I happened upon this view of the Yosemite Portland Cement Co. incline at Emory, California. I snapped the photo around 1967, and it shows the grade down from the loading bins near the top of the mountain. Recent photos posted online show this hasn't changed much, except the roof on the bin house is now gone. 

 

O.K., this isn't a freight car, but wait Grasshopper, and all shall be revealed.

 

The YPCCo. went into business in the 1920s. It's quarries were located atop this mountain above the Merced River on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The stone was lowered to the YV via this double-track incline. From here the YV hauled the limestone to kilns near Merced, California, where the stone was burned to make cement. There is a nice web site with photos at http://memorableplaces.com/yvrr/CEMENT/YPCo.Blind.html . In 1944 the whole company was sold to Henry J. Kaiser (yes, the Liberty Ship guy). He immediately dismantled the kilns and other machinery which were sold to a concern in Venezuela. It isn't clear if any equipment from the Emory quarries also went to Venezuela, or if it was just scrapped. Kaiser is said to have bought the YPCCo. just to eliminate a competitor, though that may just be bad PR. It is possible the quarries were nearly played out, or that the YPCCo. was becoming unprofitable due to the quarry location and shipping costs.

 

In any case, with the timber operations that fed the YV gone and automobiles cutting into their passenger traffic even before WWII, the loss of the limestone traffic was the last straw for the YV. The line shut down a few months later.

 

O.K. Here come the freight cars. The YV owned a small fleet of ex-Great Northern ore cars to cover the limestone traffic. There were, IIRC, 50 cars in this fleet. The Sierra Railroad bought some of these, and several are still at Jamestown on display at Railtown 1897, and one more in Sacramento at the CSRM (in hideous orange paint when I last saw it, though the cars seem to have been black on the Sierra). A few others were cast off to other shortlines for maintenance-of-way purposes. Without a detailed roster I can't say if they were sold directly by the YV or its scrappers to these other lines, or were for a time they were owned by the SRR. McCloud River Railroad had several, Amador Central owned two, and the Yreka Western had at least one, though as my father's photo shows, this car still had the GN side walkways, and may have come directly to the YW from the GN. How these got from the YV to the buyers with their archbar trucks circa 1945 is a head scratcher, but possibly the cars had variances for one-time moves.

 

Westerfield offers this kit in several road names, including the VY as their 3452. It is still in their catalog.

 

Maybe Jack Burgess will want to chime in here, as the YV is his special interest and I may have garbled some things in this summary.

 

Yours Aye,

 

 

Garth Groff  🦆


Jack Burgess
 

Garth…

 

Your summary is fairly accurate.

 

For a long time, all of the Yosemite Portland Cement buildings (except for the 275-ton storage bin which was used to load the cars and the buildings at the top of the incline) where still there were until destroyed by forest fires a decade ago. The quarry was located about a mile from the top of the incline and limestone was transported from the quarry to the crusher at the top of the incline by standard-gauge Plymouth locomotives.

 

Henry J. Kaiser (one of the Six Companies which built Boulder Dam) later wanted to get the bid to construct a dam in Northern California but didn’t get the contract so he submitted a bid to supply the concrete cement for the project. After winning the bid, he built a very efficient cement plant west of the San Francisco Bay and could then outbid all of the other cement companies in California. Those companies were in collusion, letting one company submit a high bid on a project and still get the contract. YPC was one of those companies and knew that they could not compete against Kaiser Permanente (yes, Henry Kaiser also started Kaiser Permanente hospitals). Kaiser offered to purchase YPC since he knew that he could sell the equipment for more than the purchase price.

 

The YV purchased 51 hopper cars in 1924 and initially used them to deliver rock to make concrete for the construction of a dam on the Merced River (which resulted in the relocation of 24 miles of YV mainline and the construction of five steel bridges) so the hopper cars were called “rock cars” on the YV. The Sierra Railroad purchased some identical cars for the construction of a dam near its mainline. Upon abandonment of the YV, 3 cars were sold to Amador Central Railroad, 10 to the Apache Railway, 4 to Santa Maria Railroad, and 32 to Kaiser interests in Southern California. The car in Yreka was actually an ex-Pacific Gas and Electric car, apparently purchased directly from the company that was selling the ex-GN cars.

 

Interesting question about moving the cars with archbar trucks. Possibly the fact that they were not loaded got around that issue.

 

As mentioned, Westersfield has a kit for these cars. After Al Westerfield released a kit for a longer version of the same car design, I asked him to considered releasing a kit for the 22-foot car and that I could give him detail photos of the cars since the Sierra Railroad had three of these cars on display along the highway leading to Jamestown. Al later told me that it was the first kit that he released that was for a car which still existed.

 

Attached us a photo of some of the Westerfield rock cars at the 275-ton storage bin at Emory on my layout.

 

Jack Burgess

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 4:48 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

 

Friends,

 

While scanning up prints from my collection, I happened upon this view of the Yosemite Portland Cement Co. incline at Emory, California. I snapped the photo around 1967, and it shows the grade down from the loading bins near the top of the mountain. Recent photos posted online show this hasn't changed much, except the roof on the bin house is now gone. 

 

O.K., this isn't a freight car, but wait Grasshopper, and all shall be revealed.

 

The YPCCo. went into business in the 1920s. It's quarries were located atop this mountain above the Merced River on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The stone was lowered to the YV via this double-track incline. From here the YV hauled the limestone to kilns near Merced, California, where the stone was burned to make cement. There is a nice web site with photos at http://memorableplaces.com/yvrr/CEMENT/YPCo.Blind.html . In 1944 the whole company was sold to Henry J. Kaiser (yes, the Liberty Ship guy). He immediately dismantled the kilns and other machinery which were sold to a concern in Venezuela. It isn't clear if any equipment from the Emory quarries also went to Venezuela, or if it was just scrapped. Kaiser is said to have bought the YPCCo. just to eliminate a competitor, though that may just be bad PR. It is possible the quarries were nearly played out, or that the YPCCo. was becoming unprofitable due to the quarry location and shipping costs.

 

In any case, with the timber operations that fed the YV gone and automobiles cutting into their passenger traffic even before WWII, the loss of the limestone traffic was the last straw for the YV. The line shut down a few months later.

 

O.K. Here come the freight cars. The YV owned a small fleet of ex-Great Northern ore cars to cover the limestone traffic. There were, IIRC, 50 cars in this fleet. The Sierra Railroad bought some of these, and several are still at Jamestown on display at Railtown 1897, and one more in Sacramento at the CSRM (in hideous orange paint when I last saw it, though the cars seem to have been black on the Sierra). A few others were cast off to other shortlines for maintenance-of-way purposes. Without a detailed roster I can't say if they were sold directly by the YV or its scrappers to these other lines, or were for a time they were owned by the SRR. McCloud River Railroad had several, Amador Central owned two, and the Yreka Western had at least one, though as my father's photo shows, this car still had the GN side walkways, and may have come directly to the YW from the GN. How these got from the YV to the buyers with their archbar trucks circa 1945 is a head scratcher, but possibly the cars had variances for one-time moves.

 

Westerfield offers this kit in several road names, including the VY as their 3452. It is still in their catalog.

 

Maybe Jack Burgess will want to chime in here, as the YV is his special interest and I may have garbled some things in this summary.

 

Yours Aye,

 

 

Garth Groff  🦆


Jack Burgess
 

Eric…

 

I had rumors about one of these cars in Colorado a few decades ago but nothing specific. Your comment seems to confirm that rumor.

 

Jack Burgess

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Eric Hansmann
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 7:04 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

 

I saw one or two of these hoppers at the Georgetown Loop Railroad back in 1985. I believe they were used in ballast service.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 6:48 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

 

Friends,

 

While scanning up prints from my collection, I happened upon this view of the Yosemite Portland Cement Co. incline at Emory, California. I snapped the photo around 1967, and it shows the grade down from the loading bins near the top of the mountain. Recent photos posted online show this hasn't changed much, except the roof on the bin house is now gone. 

 

O.K., this isn't a freight car, but wait Grasshopper, and all shall be revealed.

 

The YPCCo. went into business in the 1920s. It's quarries were located atop this mountain above the Merced River on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The stone was lowered to the YV via this double-track incline. From here the YV hauled the limestone to kilns near Merced, California, where the stone was burned to make cement. There is a nice web site with photos at http://memorableplaces.com/yvrr/CEMENT/YPCo.Blind.html . In 1944 the whole company was sold to Henry J. Kaiser (yes, the Liberty Ship guy). He immediately dismantled the kilns and other machinery which were sold to a concern in Venezuela. It isn't clear if any equipment from the Emory quarries also went to Venezuela, or if it was just scrapped. Kaiser is said to have bought the YPCCo. just to eliminate a competitor, though that may just be bad PR. It is possible the quarries were nearly played out, or that the YPCCo. was becoming unprofitable due to the quarry location and shipping costs.

 

In any case, with the timber operations that fed the YV gone and automobiles cutting into their passenger traffic even before WWII, the loss of the limestone traffic was the last straw for the YV. The line shut down a few months later.

 

O.K. Here come the freight cars. The YV owned a small fleet of ex-Great Northern ore cars to cover the limestone traffic. There were, IIRC, 50 cars in this fleet. The Sierra Railroad bought some of these, and several are still at Jamestown on display at Railtown 1897, and one more in Sacramento at the CSRM (in hideous orange paint when I last saw it, though the cars seem to have been black on the Sierra). A few others were cast off to other shortlines for maintenance-of-way purposes. Without a detailed roster I can't say if they were sold directly by the YV or its scrappers to these other lines, or were for a time they were owned by the SRR. McCloud River Railroad had several, Amador Central owned two, and the Yreka Western had at least one, though as my father's photo shows, this car still had the GN side walkways, and may have come directly to the YW from the GN. How these got from the YV to the buyers with their archbar trucks circa 1945 is a head scratcher, but possibly the cars had variances for one-time moves.

 

Westerfield offers this kit in several road names, including the VY as their 3452. It is still in their catalog.

 

Maybe Jack Burgess will want to chime in here, as the YV is his special interest and I may have garbled some things in this summary.

 

Yours Aye,

 

 

Garth Groff  🦆


Dennis Storzek
 

On Fri, May 7, 2021 at 08:46 AM, Jack Burgess wrote:

 

Interesting question about moving the cars with archbar trucks. Possibly the fact that they were not loaded got around that issue.

You realize that in our time frame the "ban" on archbar trucks simply said they couldn't be offered in unrestricted interchange. The railroads were free to haul anything that they could be persuaded to agree to. It was common practice for the railroads to agree to haul obsolete equipment on the basis of 'to home shop for repair'. This relieved them from the obligation to repair the equipment for the ARA fixed charges should it break down en route. Back in my early days of railway museum involvement in the seventies we had a lot of things delivered on its own wheels that would NEVER be accepted in interchange.

Dennis Storzek


Jack Burgess
 

Thanks for the explanation Dennis…!

 

Jack

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 10:36 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

 

On Fri, May 7, 2021 at 08:46 AM, Jack Burgess wrote:

 

Interesting question about moving the cars with archbar trucks. Possibly the fact that they were not loaded got around that issue.

You realize that in our time frame the "ban" on archbar trucks simply said they couldn't be offered in unrestricted interchange. The railroads were free to haul anything that they could be persuaded to agree to. It was common practice for the railroads to agree to haul obsolete equipment on the basis of 'to home shop for repair'. This relieved them from the obligation to repair the equipment for the ARA fixed charges should it break down en route. Back in my early days of railway museum involvement in the seventies we had a lot of things delivered on its own wheels that would NEVER be accepted in interchange.

Dennis Storzek


Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>
 

Jack,

Thanks for the additions and corrections on this story. I did not know that the Sierra cars were separate from the YV group. As for the McCloud River car or cars, they could have come from either group, or might have been from the PG&E like the Yreka Western car. I have a very poor negative of a McCloud car from the early 1960s. It was BARELY worth the effort to scan and attach even for discussion purposes, but then I was only 12 years old and using a cheap camera (probably a Kodak 127 Brownie Starmite with a lens like a soda pop bottle). Ah, the things I missed in those days!

Another that I missed was what I thought was one of these hoppers on a flatbed truck on the McArthur Freeway in Oakland when I was stationed in the Bay Area during the late 1970s. It went one way and I went the other at the split for the Oakland Bay Bridge. There wasn't time to make a certain ID.

Yours Aye,


Garth Groff  🦆








On Fri, May 7, 2021 at 11:46 AM Jack Burgess <jack@...> wrote:

Garth…

 

Your summary is fairly accurate.

 

For a long time, all of the Yosemite Portland Cement buildings (except for the 275-ton storage bin which was used to load the cars and the buildings at the top of the incline) where still there were until destroyed by forest fires a decade ago. The quarry was located about a mile from the top of the incline and limestone was transported from the quarry to the crusher at the top of the incline by standard-gauge Plymouth locomotives.

 

Henry J. Kaiser (one of the Six Companies which built Boulder Dam) later wanted to get the bid to construct a dam in Northern California but didn’t get the contract so he submitted a bid to supply the concrete cement for the project. After winning the bid, he built a very efficient cement plant west of the San Francisco Bay and could then outbid all of the other cement companies in California. Those companies were in collusion, letting one company submit a high bid on a project and still get the contract. YPC was one of those companies and knew that they could not compete against Kaiser Permanente (yes, Henry Kaiser also started Kaiser Permanente hospitals). Kaiser offered to purchase YPC since he knew that he could sell the equipment for more than the purchase price.

 

The YV purchased 51 hopper cars in 1924 and initially used them to deliver rock to make concrete for the construction of a dam on the Merced River (which resulted in the relocation of 24 miles of YV mainline and the construction of five steel bridges) so the hopper cars were called “rock cars” on the YV. The Sierra Railroad purchased some identical cars for the construction of a dam near its mainline. Upon abandonment of the YV, 3 cars were sold to Amador Central Railroad, 10 to the Apache Railway, 4 to Santa Maria Railroad, and 32 to Kaiser interests in Southern California. The car in Yreka was actually an ex-Pacific Gas and Electric car, apparently purchased directly from the company that was selling the ex-GN cars.

 

Interesting question about moving the cars with archbar trucks. Possibly the fact that they were not loaded got around that issue.

 

As mentioned, Westersfield has a kit for these cars. After Al Westerfield released a kit for a longer version of the same car design, I asked him to considered releasing a kit for the 22-foot car and that I could give him detail photos of the cars since the Sierra Railroad had three of these cars on display along the highway leading to Jamestown. Al later told me that it was the first kit that he released that was for a car which still existed.

 

Attached us a photo of some of the Westerfield rock cars at the 275-ton storage bin at Emory on my layout.

 

Jack Burgess

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Friday, May 7, 2021 4:48 AM
To: RealSTMFC@groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Yosemite Portland Cement Incline

 

Friends,

 

While scanning up prints from my collection, I happened upon this view of the Yosemite Portland Cement Co. incline at Emory, California. I snapped the photo around 1967, and it shows the grade down from the loading bins near the top of the mountain. Recent photos posted online show this hasn't changed much, except the roof on the bin house is now gone. 

 

O.K., this isn't a freight car, but wait Grasshopper, and all shall be revealed.

 

The YPCCo. went into business in the 1920s. It's quarries were located atop this mountain above the Merced River on the Yosemite Valley Railroad. The stone was lowered to the YV via this double-track incline. From here the YV hauled the limestone to kilns near Merced, California, where the stone was burned to make cement. There is a nice web site with photos at http://memorableplaces.com/yvrr/CEMENT/YPCo.Blind.html . In 1944 the whole company was sold to Henry J. Kaiser (yes, the Liberty Ship guy). He immediately dismantled the kilns and other machinery which were sold to a concern in Venezuela. It isn't clear if any equipment from the Emory quarries also went to Venezuela, or if it was just scrapped. Kaiser is said to have bought the YPCCo. just to eliminate a competitor, though that may just be bad PR. It is possible the quarries were nearly played out, or that the YPCCo. was becoming unprofitable due to the quarry location and shipping costs.

 

In any case, with the timber operations that fed the YV gone and automobiles cutting into their passenger traffic even before WWII, the loss of the limestone traffic was the last straw for the YV. The line shut down a few months later.

 

O.K. Here come the freight cars. The YV owned a small fleet of ex-Great Northern ore cars to cover the limestone traffic. There were, IIRC, 50 cars in this fleet. The Sierra Railroad bought some of these, and several are still at Jamestown on display at Railtown 1897, and one more in Sacramento at the CSRM (in hideous orange paint when I last saw it, though the cars seem to have been black on the Sierra). A few others were cast off to other shortlines for maintenance-of-way purposes. Without a detailed roster I can't say if they were sold directly by the YV or its scrappers to these other lines, or were for a time they were owned by the SRR. McCloud River Railroad had several, Amador Central owned two, and the Yreka Western had at least one, though as my father's photo shows, this car still had the GN side walkways, and may have come directly to the YW from the GN. How these got from the YV to the buyers with their archbar trucks circa 1945 is a head scratcher, but possibly the cars had variances for one-time moves.

 

Westerfield offers this kit in several road names, including the VY as their 3452. It is still in their catalog.

 

Maybe Jack Burgess will want to chime in here, as the YV is his special interest and I may have garbled some things in this summary.

 

Yours Aye,

 

 

Garth Groff  🦆


Richard Wilkens
 

Coos Bay Timber in Oregon also had some of these GN hopper cars on their logging railroad.

Rich Wilkens


Jim Betz
 

Hi,
  The ex-GN hoppers on the Sierra that are used for ballast service are
the early ones from the Mesabi range.  The GN replaced them with
cars more suited to their Ore service and sold them off to whoever
would buy them.  Ballast service is less 'demanding' than ore service
so they lasted a long time and often changed hands.
                                                                                            - Jim


Richard Wilkens
 

Here is one of the former GN ore cars on the McCloud River Railroad.

https://lchm.pastperfectonline.com/photo/517EDD6F-0DE0-4255-BBD0-795760046419

Looks like GN 83548 and looks like while last on the GN it was stenciled "Company Coal Service Only.

Rich Wilkens


Jim Betz
 

Rich,
  That does look like a former GN car.  That pic, according to the details, was
taken on the McCloud RR ... but there is some connection with the Lane
County Historical Museum (which is in Oregon).  I see the number - but it
is not 'placed' where most GN ore cars had their numbers.  However, this
is one of the early GN ore cars and I don't know if they wore their marks
on the frame like the later ones did.
  Those standing boards along the sides were used during unloading iron
ore in the winter.  The unloading crew had long steam probes they thrust
into the ore to unfreeze it.  That is also the reason for those 5 oblong holes
which allowed access to the lower part of the load.  Iron ore often comes
out of the ground quite wet and stays that way long enough that it
freezes in the Minnesota winters.  I remember seeing a picture of one of
the ore yards that had long strings of steam engines ("out of service")
that were being used to provide steam to ore unloading.
  As with the GN cars on the Yosemite - these former ore cars were used
in a variety of services, ballast, coal, etc. The GN sold them when they
received improved ore cars - I think the major improvement was larger
capacity.  Even those newer cars had extensions put on them for the
taconite service in the later years (taconite is lighter than "raw" iron ore).
                                                                                                 - Jim


John Riddell
 

The Algoma Central & Hudson Bay Railway bought 200 of these cars in 1900 new from Pressed Steel Car Co. In 1916 the AC&HB purchased an additional 100 second-hand from the Duluth & Iron Range. One of the 300 cars is preserved restored in the Canadian Railway Museum at St. Constant, Quebec.

 

John Riddell

 

 

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