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40 foot hopper era?

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  • Member since
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  • From: outside of London, Ontario
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40 foot hopper era?
Posted by lone geep on Sunday, June 13, 2021 10:04 PM

When did 40 foot steel quad hoppers start appearing on the rails? From the little that I dug up, they didn't appear till the 60s since the shorter 55 ton hoppers seemed to be more prevalent before then. I do have some 40 footers in my collection and I would like to know if they would be prototypical for the 40's and 50's.

Lone Geep 

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, June 13, 2021 10:16 PM

B&O, C&O, PRR, C&NW all had 40' quad hoppers in 1940.  And there were 40' triples, too.  Most of them were 70 ton cars.

 

Ed

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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, June 14, 2021 12:08 AM

According to the instruction sheet for these Bowser models of Pennsy hoppers, they were built (30,000 of them) between 1911 and 1917, with the clamshell-style hoppers...

 

 

During the '30s and early '40s, many were rebuilt with "sawtooth" hoppers...

All of these cars had a capacity of 70 tons.

Wayne

 

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Posted by NHTX on Monday, June 14, 2021 12:09 AM

     Baltimore and Ohio's W-2 class 70 ton, offset side quads first appeared in 1926-27.  This is the car rumored to be the prototype for the Athearn quad in HO.  W-2's were numbered 434000-434999.  Cars 532000-532999 came along in 1927, as did 533000-533999 as class W-2a.  Class W-2b numbered 430000-431999 arrived in 1929, giving B&O 5000 cars of this type.

     Chesapeake and Ohio also had similar quads, on a lesser scale with 68000-69576 delivered 1928-29 and  71500-72999 in 1930.  The problem with these high capacity cars for this era was, most coal yards were not set up to handle larger 70 ton quads vs. the smaller 55 ton twins.

    I've only listed cars from two coal hauling roads, to give you an idea of who the major purchasers were, and when.  Other coal haulers had quads but B&O-C&O were prolific.  Many quads had second careers as well.  New Haven leased 30 refurbished quads from United States Railway Equipment Company in 1964 for aggregate service.  Quads were quite common in the years you ask about but unfortunately you didn't mention a road name.  If prototypical accuracy matters to you, be careful.

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Posted by dehusman on Monday, June 14, 2021 7:41 AM

There were 10's of thousands of quad hoppers in the 1940's and 1950's   Some were old enough to be retired by then.  A lot depends on what roads or region you are modeling.  They were way more prevelant in the east than the west.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by lone geep on Monday, June 14, 2021 8:59 AM

Interesting. In all my pictorial books on Canadian railroading in the 40's and 50's, I can't recall seeing any 40 foot hoppers in any pictures I've seen. Even more interesting is that most of the the shorter hoppers are from American roads. I've seen pictures of L&N and IC hoppers in the CNR's Palmerston, Ontario yards. I do find the L&N ones surprising since the CNR didn't directly interchange with them at the time and the IC ones would have had to come through the GTW subsiduary. I understand that is where the coal originated but I would have thought that if the shorter hoppers came this far North, so would have the larger ones too. 

Lone Geep 

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, June 14, 2021 9:19 AM

lone geep

Interesting. In all my pictorial books on Canadian railroading in the 40's and 50's, I can't recall seeing any 40 foot hoppers in any pictures I've seen. Even more interesting is that most of the the shorter hoppers are from American roads. I've seen pictures of L&N and IC hoppers in the CNR's Palmerston, Ontario yards. I do find the L&N ones surprising since the CNR didn't directly interchange with them at the time and the IC ones would have had to come through the GTW subsiduary. I understand that is where the coal originated but I would have thought that if the shorter hoppers came this far North, so would have the larger ones too. 

 

 

NHTX (above) noted that  "The problem with these high capacity cars for this era was, most coal yards were not set up to handle larger 70 ton quads vs. the smaller 55 ton twins."

It might be that the big quads (and don't forget the triples, also 70 tons and (usually) 40' long) tended to be in assigned service to places that COULD handle larger cars, and not available to travel long distances.

Also, unlike multi-compartment tank cars, the smallest quantity of coal that could be delivered was 55 tons (unless perhaps you could wangle a half-loaded car somehow--MAYBE??).  So, if you just wanted a small quantity of coal, that would be 55 tons.  Perhaps you only wanted 15 tons.  "Well, it don't come that way, pal."

Which does bring up that question.  Was it possible to order a partially loaded hopper car of coal?  Physically, probably not a problem.  But was it actually done?  If so, it would also likely have been shipped in a small hopper.

 

Ed

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Posted by lone geep on Monday, June 14, 2021 10:41 AM

I have heard about the size of the hoppers being dictated by the customer being unable or not needing larger hoppers. I also thought the smaller size had something to do with the light rail on the mine branches in certain areas as well. I've just been digging around the Canadian Freight Car gallery and discovered that the CPR had 40 foot triple bay hoppers as early as 1941 and receiving  more ones in the 50's as well. 

Lone Geep 

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Posted by NHTX on Monday, June 14, 2021 5:01 PM

     Remember, railroads generally billed based on the weight of the cargo.  A partial load, especially a mineral load would probably be refused by the railroad because the charges on the lighter weight would not begin to cover the expense of moving the car.  The larger cars (triples and quads) were generally used to service industrial customers who went through more coal in a day than many residential/commercial yards dealt with in a month.  

     The mines on the L&N and IC probably charged the Canadian customers a better price on the coal, than the mines of Ohio, West Virginia or other nearer states.  Also, the coal from mines on the L&N or IC possibly better suited the user's needs.  Depending on composition, there were coking coals, steam coals, metallurgical coals-and they were prevalent in different parts of coal country.  IC and L&N were prolific in the Kentucky and Tennessee coal fields.

     OP, what road name are you modelling, on these cars you are concerned with?  Now that I think of it, Canada imported much of their locomotive coal from mines in the KY-TN fields which would explain the L&N and IC cars.  A little more information from you would eliminate a lot of speculation, giving you more exact answers.

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