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Woodchip cars

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Woodchip cars
Posted by alcofanschdy on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:38 AM

Are regular hoppers or gondolas ever used for transporting wood chips or do they always use the special woodchip hoppers for that.

Thanks

Bruce

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, February 10, 2018 10:44 AM

Since you use the word "do" rather than "did", it sounds like you are asking after the present day.

 

Last I saw in 2015, BNSF was still using woodchip GONS (many formerly owned by old-line railroads) to haul woodchips.  Not a woodchip HOPPER in sight.

Back in the olden days, on the SP&S (and NP), they converted many "regular gondolas" into woodchip cars by adding side extensions.  Whether those could be called "regular gondolas" is up for grabs.

In the Pacific Northwest, I do not believe any railroads use or used unmodified hoppers or gons for woodchip service.

 

Ed

 

 

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Posted by mlehman on Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:30 AM

In the transport business, wood chips are among the commodities that often "cube out" before a load gets too heavy for the conveyance. That's why you typically see sideboard extensions on hoppers or gons used in this service. They want to pack in as much as they can in a load, because it's unlikely to be too heavy.

Use of an unmodfied hopper or gon could happen under circumstances where cars dedicated to this service aren't immediately available. However, this is a very inefficient use of equipment and is most likely to be rare and limited when it did happen.                                                                              

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:49 PM

alcofanschdy
Are regular hoppers or gondolas ever used for transporting wood chips or do they always use the special woodchip hoppers for that.

As Ed says, porbably not "regular" hoppers, but there are a few that have modified side extensions

I don't know how to get a Google image on here with out running it through Photobucket first, but, if you Google "wood chip cars", as I just did, you'll see many examples that are prototype, and not models.

Mike.

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Posted by alcofanschdy on Saturday, February 10, 2018 12:53 PM

Thanks for the replies, I guess I better get more wood chip hoppers.

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 1:18 PM

I have seen woodchip hoppers used in transporting cotton seed for animal feed too. So they can be used in more than just modeling woodchips!

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Posted by Doughless on Monday, February 12, 2018 2:18 PM

alcofanschdy

Are regular hoppers or gondolas ever used for transporting wood chips or do they always use the special woodchip hoppers for that.

Thanks

Bruce

 

Woodchips are a low value commodity.  Regular short-sided gons were not used because they just dont carry enough chips to make it profitable.  Hoppers were sometimes used after they were downgraded from coal useage.  Ortner 5 bays are an example of ex-coal hoppers that were put into service for chips. 

But mostly those big special purpose hoppers were built specifically for chips because that's how much product needed to be hauled before it became profitable.

Before all of this, woodchips were hauled in coal hoppers that had their sides extended upwards to handle the increased volume of product needed to make weight, so to speak.  

I think you can get by by using the Athearn/Roundhouse 5 Bay Ortner Rapid discharge hopper or the 50 ft Thrall Hi-Sided Gondola.  Both were built to haul coal, but I think I've seen pics of some loaded with chips.  These are smaller than the Walthers woodchip hoppers and woodchip gons so they might work better for a layout.

Edit:  My head is usually in the modern era.  For pre-modern (whatever that is), Wayne points out that Bowser makes a nice kit representing the 40 foot coal hoppers with extended sides.  Athearn makes a similar model RTR.

- Douglas

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, February 12, 2018 10:14 PM

Bowser offers kits for woodchip hoppers.

Wayne

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Posted by NHTX on Monday, February 12, 2018 11:30 PM

     You don't have limit yourself to just gons and hoppers for handling woodchips.  Both Bangor and Aroostook and, Maine Central converted old boxcars for this service.  BAR rebuilt almost two hundred older 40 foot PS-1s by removing the roof, extending the sides and ends and replacing the sliding doors with hinged plywood doors.  They were numbered in the 3400 and 3500 series.  Maine Central used the same approach but, with 50 foot cars originally built in 1939. The 18 cars were numbered 57000-57017.  One of the western roads (I can't recall which one) did the same thing with woodsided, single sheathed double door automobile boxcars.  In my opinion, a string of re-purposed old boxcars might be more interesting and could augment the modified gons and hoppers.  Since most of these cars were not used in interchange, all kinds of outmoded technology could be represented.

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Posted by DavidH66 on Thursday, February 15, 2018 2:38 PM

There was an Article in the mid 80s about Woodchip hoppers of the Ashley, Drew & Northern that were converted 70-Ton hoppers and also showed how to build one.

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Thursday, February 15, 2018 3:22 PM

 

 

FWIW.
 
Altho', sadly, not the subject of the photo, both cars to right are chip gons, the BCOL a factory-new one in the mid 1970's, and are stenciled  ' Caution No Roof. '
 
 
From this site.
 
 
One of the BCOLs was a Demo and circulated around the West sawmill to pulp mill.
 
 
CP Chip gons here.
 
 
Many had end doors hinged similar to those on a dump truck. Others had two hinged side doors.
 
The end door type could be dumped on a dumper.
 
Shays once worked here.
 
 
 
 

Thank You.

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Posted by cv_acr on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 10:27 PM
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Posted by mbinsewi on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 11:06 PM

The OP's question is about regular (as in coal type) hoppers and gondolas (as in your typical low side gondola),  NOT gondolas or hoppers built purposly for wood chips, as many of the posted pictures show.

Mike.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, March 15, 2018 6:00 AM


Drop bottom gons with extended sides were used for chips by the NP, SP&S and WP

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 DSchmitt on Thursday, March 15, 2018 6:07 AM


Drop bottom gons with extended sides were used for chips by the NP, SP&S and WP and probably others.

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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