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stencil data mark BN ACF covered hopper?

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stencil data mark BN ACF covered hopper?
Posted by HO-Velo on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 8:22 AM

Wondering what the BN 6-85 stencil data mark on this Athearn BN ACF 2970 covered hopper signifies? Surely not a build date as the COTS data at the other end of the car shows Lub ACF-BN Oct. 1973.

Thanks and regards,  Peter

     

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:58 AM

My guess is that it's a re-weigh date, and only a guess because I'm not certain that that practice is still in use.

I model the late '30s, and at that time, most cars had to be re-weighed every 30 months.  This was done so that products shipped by-weight could be billed accurately, as car weights could change due to replacement of parts, repairs, or modifications.  
F'rinstance, a car built in April of 1934 would be weighed when new, and the date of the weighing would be stencilled on the car, at the end of the line of data beginning "LT. WT."  as "NEW 4-34".  

The "NEW" refers to the car's weight when new, not to the car's built date.  The Built date is usually place somewhere on the car's side to the right of the door, and would read "BLT 4-34".

When this car was due to be re-weighed (it appears that this could occur somewhere around the required time, but not necessarily the exact date), the re-weighing could be done by the road on which the car was, at that time, located. If not a home-road weigh scale, the railroad doing the weighing would bill the owner road a set fee for doing the work.  
If the car's weight had changed, up or down, by at least 100lbs., the pertinent numbers would be painted-over and the area re-stencilled with the new information.  The "NEW" and its date would also be painted over, and re-stencilled with the date of the re-weighing and a letter or number code indicating the scale at which the weighing had been done.

Here's an example of a car that's not yet due for re-weighing...

 

This one has been re-weighed many times, and is about due for another...

Here's another re-weighed car...

 

The weights shown on each car are all interrelated, and for a car like the one above, with a nominal 55 ton capacity, the sum of Load Limit and the Light Weight must total an arbitrary figure based on those numbers.  For the car above, that number is 169,000.  Therefore, when the car's weight changes, the Load Limit number will change, too, so that the total will still be 169,000.

The star next to the LD. LMT. on the Michigan Central car indicates that even when this car is re-weighed, its Load Limit cannot be altered by anyone except the car's owner.  This is usually due to some anomally with the particular car - the prototype of my model, when it went for its re-weighing, was totally re-built as a wider and higher all-steel car, and might have become either an automobile car equipped with auto racks, or a single-door boxcar.

Hope I haven't confused the issue.

Wayne

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:02 PM

The re-weigh date can be more important for us model railroaders than the built date when trying to determine if a car is right for your era or not. For example, your BN car could have been built as a Burlington Route car in 1966, but repainted at some point after the 1970 BN merger. Someone not familiar with railroad history but who wants to model 1969 might buy the model because it was built in 1966 without realizing it's wearing a later paint scheme. The re-weigh date would tell them the car should (strictly speaking) only go on a layout set in June 1985 or later.

Stix
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Posted by angelob6660 on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 2:56 PM

I use both information when buying a new freight car. If I can't see the built date but I do see the reweight date.  That's tells me within the years I model and/or the paint is correct.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

Amtrak America, 1971-Present.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:32 PM

angelob6660

I use both information when buying a new freight car. If I can't see the built date but I do see the reweight date.  That's tells me within the years I model and/or the paint is correct.

 

That assumes the models are correctly painted and marked.  My impression is that today the models are more accurate than they were in the "good old days"

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by HO-Velo on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:59 AM

Gentlemen,  Thanks for the responses and insight. 

Happened to be checking out RTR HO boxcars today on the Moloco website (btw, some nice looking models), and noticed that some are offered in prototype repaint schemes with the repaint month & year marked on the car sides near the CAPY, LD LMT and LT WT data. 

Of course just a guess, but as Stix mentioned maybe the BN 6-85 stencil mark denotes a repaint in June of 1985.  In any case the BN 435543 covered hopper is proper for my chosen layout era circa 1986, but if repainted in 1985 would warrant a minimalistic approach when I get around to weathering it.  I also believe that having it in fly ash service is plausible?

Thanks again & regards,  Peter   

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 10:48 AM

HO-Velo

I also believe that having it in fly ash service is plausible?

 

 

 

These cars were designed for load densities in the "cement range".  Flyash is only half as dense.  So a car with twice the cubic capacity would be more appropriate.  There might be other car design elements involved in the choice, too.

But if all you've got is cement cars, you use cement cars.  If the car will unload at the destination.

Probably the best way to find out the type of car that is used for flyash is to inspect an operation that either ships or receives it.

 

Here's a neat table on the subject of load densities:

 

http://www.sawyerhanson.com/uploads/Brabender%20Ingredient%20bulk%20density%20table.pdf

 

 

 

Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 11:59 AM

Generally speaking, a railroad wouldn't bring a car into the shops just to repaint it. There could be a situation I suppose where there was a merger and the new railroad wanted everything repainted as soon as possible...but then, BN had Great Northern "Big Sky Blue" boxcars still in service in their original paint and lettering in 1990 so BN apparently wasn't all that worried about it.

The car would normally only be repainted if it was being repaired due to damage, or had to be shopped for other reasons. Don't remember the exact time frame, but cars have to be shopped every so many years and basically taken apart, checked, repaired, and put back together.

So the stencil with the 'repaint' date you saw is probably when the car had it's last major shop visit. Usually the railroad has a 2-4 letter code it uses to show where it took place...so you might see a car that said "BLT 4-58" and "CHI 10-74" meaning it was built in April 1958, and was worked on in the railroad's Chicago shops in October 1974.

When it was repainted, it would be painted in the railroad's most recent paint scheme for that type of car, so if you model 1960 the boxcar above probably would be wrong for your layout, because the 1974 paint scheme most likely isn't the same as the railroad's 1958 scheme (which might have advertised the railroad's top passenger train for example).

Stix
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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 12:30 PM

HO-Velo

Wondering what the BN 6-85 stencil data mark on this Athearn BN ACF 2970 covered hopper signifies? Surely not a build date as the COTS data at the other end of the car shows Lub ACF-BN Oct. 1973.

Thanks and regards,  Peter

     

 

 

The cars in this series were built for the Great Northern early in 1967.  The car series was GN 173800-173999 (200 cars).

In June of 1985 (the date on the car side in the photo), there were approximately 166 cars remaining in the series.

Cars renumbered for BN were in the series BN 435500-435699 (200 cars). 

In June of 1985, there were approximately 24 cars in this series.  Individually, they might have simply been patched to BN, or they might have been fully repainted (as in the photo above).

 

Ed

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 3:56 PM

I suspect a pic of the other end of the car would show a build date. The "Lub ACF-BN Oct. 1973" I imagine represents the car being worked on - lubricated?

Stix
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Posted by HO-Velo on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 6:10 PM

wjstix
other end of the car would show a build date

No build date in the COTS. 

Found a web photo of a prototype S.P. ACF 2970 covered hopper in soda ash service, soda ash is listed at 65 lb. cu. ft. on the chart that Ed linked, so maybe not too much of a stretch using a couple 2970s for fly ash at my layout power plant. 

Also interesting to learn that fly ash is used in the making of concrete.

Much appreciate the interesting and informative responses.

Regards, Peter

   

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, October 12, 2017 8:26 AM

Interesting; my understanding was regulations require a car had to have a built date - at least a car used in interchange service.

Stix
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Posted by csxns on Saturday, October 14, 2017 11:18 AM

7j43k
Flyash is only half as dense.

When i worked for a concrete co fly ash came in the same type of hopper as cement did.

Russell

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, October 14, 2017 12:36 PM

csxns

 

 
7j43k
Flyash is only half as dense.

 

When i worked for a concrete co fly ash came in the same type of hopper as cement did.

 

 

 

That is real interesting.  

One way I can "explain" it is that they wouldn't have to worry about cross-contamination of loads.  They wouldn't have to do a clean-out.

 

But that is neat to know.  Reality trumps theory.

 

Ed

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Posted by HO-Velo on Saturday, October 14, 2017 7:14 PM

csxns
same type of hopper as cement did

csxns
same type of hopper as cement did

Thanks Russell,  Now I can feel more prototypical about sending my fly ash loaded ACF 2970s from the coal fired power plant to an imagined off-layout cement company.

Regards, Peter

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Posted by csxns on Sunday, October 15, 2017 10:56 AM

The fly ash came in 2 bay N&W or NS hoppers from Virginia the cement came from Santee SC in CSX or Family Lines 2 bay hoppers.

Russell

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