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Sand Transported in Open Hoppers?

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Sand Transported in Open Hoppers?
Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 3:34 PM

Doing some research on area rail served industries, I stumbled upon a home page of a sand quarry/dealer here in GA.  Linked in their public home page is a pic (scroll to the right if you have too) of a string of open hoppers loaded with sand.  Looking at google maps, it appears to be a spur connected to either NS or CSX mainline, not just some internal shunting operation.

My understanding is that sand should be kept dry for transport, changes the weight way too much if wet, and is typically transported by rail in shorty covered hoppers.

Any idea what make of hoppers these are?

http://www.atlantasandsupply.com/

 

- Douglas

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 5:25 PM

That's not a very good picture.   Since they don't seem concerned about keeping it dry, any hooper would do.

Henry

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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 10:22 AM

I have also seen photos of sand shipped in gondolas, both very old photos and fairly recent ones; when the first frac sand was being shipped from Wisconsin it was in open gondolas, later is shorty covered hoppers.  What surprises me is that a regular hopper car's gates are tight enough to hold sand in - I'd think much would be lost due to leakage during transport.  Modest evidence of the problem is that you can tell where ore jennies have been from the amount of taconite pellets that you find in the ballast.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by zugmann on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 10:25 AM

dknelson
What surprises me is that a regular hopper car's gates are tight enough to hold sand in - I'd think much would be lost due to leakage during transport.  Modest evidence of the problem is that you can tell where ore jennies have been from the amount of taconite pellets that you find in the ballast.  

That's why God invented Great Stuff spray foam. 

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 10:50 AM

dknelson
I have also seen photos of sand shipped in gondolas, both very old photos and fairly recent ones; when the first frac sand was being shipped from Wisconsin it was in open gondolas,

Yes, the raw sand was, headed to be refined.  Once it was refined into the clean dry silica sand ( aka Northen White sand),  it's then shipped in the 3 bay covered hoppers.

Mike.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 12:51 PM

It may be different now, but historically railroads received 'wet' sand in open top cars and then dried the sand in the sandhouse to use in locomotives. I would assume if for some reason a railroad had to transport the dry sand somewhere they would use a covered hopper or other enclosed car.

Stix
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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 1:26 PM

Doughless
...My understanding is that sand should be kept dry for transport, changes the weight way too much if wet, and is typically transported by rail in shorty covered hoppers....

Yeah, but can you imagine the sand castle you'd get if a hopper loaded with wet sand was flipped-over, then the hopper-car lifted off?  Way better than the plastic bucket-at-the-beach version! Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 3:59 PM

mbinsewi

 

 
dknelson
I have also seen photos of sand shipped in gondolas, both very old photos and fairly recent ones; when the first frac sand was being shipped from Wisconsin it was in open gondolas,

 

Yes, the raw sand was, headed to be refined.  Once it was refined into the clean dry silica sand ( aka Northen White sand),  it's then shipped in the 3 bay covered hoppers.

Mike.

 

That's interesting.  I was under the impression that it mainly moved in 2 bays because of the weight.  The only silica facility I'm familiar with is the one in Berkeley Springs, WV and they're an all 2 bay operation.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 4:59 PM

I can confirm that in the 1980s and 1990s the sand mined in Hendry County, Florida left the quarry in open hopper cars.

A floating dredge was used to pump the sand from the quarry lake to the power screen. Thus, all the sand was wet when it was loaded into the hopper cars.

Where it went from there, I have no idea.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 6:36 PM

So raw sand gets quarried, loaded, then transported to a refinery of sorts where it gets processed into higher quality sand? (if there is no processing facility on site)  Makes sense.

What does a sand processing refinery look like?  A few conveyors, silos, and metal pole buildings?  Any ideas where I can get a pic?

Interesting modeling possibility.  Open hoppers of sand as input, covered three bay hoppers as output.

- Douglas

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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 8:40 PM

NittanyLion
That's interesting.  I was under the impression that it mainly moved in 2 bays because of the weight.  The only silica facility I'm familiar with is the one in Berkeley Springs, WV and they're an all 2 bay operation.

Your right, was thinking of the hatch on top, they are 2 bay.

Douglas,  I'm talking frac sand, as far as the refinery thing goes.  They seperate and wash the silica, which is used in fracing ops.

WI. has been a top supplier of "Northern White Sand", but has lost some market with competition from sand in Texas.

Sand used in construction, like the picture you show, would be graded and washed at the pit, like mason sand, torpedo sand, bank run, etc.

Mike.

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Posted by PM Railfan on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 9:40 PM

Sand is still sand no matter refined or not. Handling in open top cars under inclimate weather would still be a mess. Yet, i have seen sand hauled in hoppers and gondolas myself.

Car-shakers wouldnt be out of the question for todays operations for 'wet loads'. Rotary dumpers would completely eliminate the hassle. Since the sand is going to get wet anyways in the refining process, no special care is needed in its delivery.

 

But....

Does make me curious to wonder what was used before covered hoppers came into fruition. Boxcars perhaps? Ive seen these used to haul grain. It was just poured right in like it was a covered hopper of sorts. 

Ofcourse, in those times as well, 'open' hoppers and gondolas were your primary aggregate haulers.  

 

PMR

 

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, March 18, 2021 6:42 AM

PM Railfan

Sand is still sand no matter refined or not. Handling in open top cars under inclimate weather would still be a mess. Yet, i have seen sand hauled in hoppers and gondolas myself.

Car-shakers wouldnt be out of the question for todays operations for 'wet loads'. Rotary dumpers would completely eliminate the hassle. Since the sand is going to get wet anyways in the refining process, no special care is needed in its delivery.

 

But....

Does make me curious to wonder what was used before covered hoppers came into fruition. Boxcars perhaps? Ive seen these used to haul grain. It was just poured right in like it was a covered hopper of sorts. 

Ofcourse, in those times as well, 'open' hoppers and gondolas were your primary aggregate haulers.  

 

PMR

 

 

I think back in the day it would be gondolas.

But yes, in addition to weight, I would think the handling of sand would be significanlty different if wet compared to dry.

IDK, in the picture above, maybe sand is dense enough that water would not seep down and contaminate the entire load?  Maybe just the first few feet on top.  I'd think wet sand would not flow well through the bays, but maybe all of it doesn't get that wet during transport, as long as its loaded dry enough to flow, it can still be handled well.

Again, the pic is a surprise to me.  I thought sand was transported in short covered hoppers in the modern day.  I stand corrected.

Edit:  The pic is not clear, but maybe the cars are not hoppers but ex-coal gondolas downgraded for sand service.  A solid floor requiring a rotary dumper?

- Douglas

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Posted by caldreamer on Thursday, March 18, 2021 8:14 AM

Atlanta Sand & Supply Company sells 3 different types of sand, constgruction, industrial and golf course sand.  They have three locations around the Atlanta metropolin area.

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Posted by Lakeshore Sub on Friday, March 19, 2021 2:25 PM

Already covered by Stix

Scott Sonntag

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Posted by csxns on Friday, March 19, 2021 3:27 PM

Southern Concrete did at one time got sand in 70 ton coal hoppers they took six at a time.

Russell

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