THE magazine of railroading

SEARCH TRAINSMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

AOKX Covered Hoppers in Texas normally carry?

2357 views
19 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Allen, TX
  • 694 posts
AOKX Covered Hoppers in Texas normally carry?
Posted by cefinkjr on Monday, February 25, 2013 5:12 PM

I have seen short, two-bay covered hoppers apparently stored at Sherman, TX and I wonder what they normally carry. These cars look fairly new and have load limits a little over 100 tons. (I was doing 70mph when I saw the cars so didn't record the details.)

The reporting marks are AOKX.    The AAR's web page lists GREENBRIER MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC as the owner.  That's not much of a clue since Greenbrier probably leases the cars to some shipper in the Sherman, TX area.

Can anyone enlighten me on what these cars normally carry? 

Chuck
Allen, TX

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • 8,689 posts
Posted by edblysard on Monday, February 25, 2013 9:51 PM

Dry cement or ground flour…most likely dry cement.

We get them in here one I a while, I will check the next ones I handle and see.

  • Member since
    January, 2002
  • From: PA
  • 4,341 posts
Posted by zugmann on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 5:55 AM

We get them once in awhile with foundry sand.

"Dude, please stop.  You're giving me second-hand shame."

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: South Central,Ks
  • 4,755 posts
Posted by samfp1943 on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 9:21 AM

 

 Those two bay hoppers come through here (Southern T-con/BNSF) on a pretty regular basis.  There are a couple of solid trains of those types of hopper cars ( mostly seem to be on week-ends.).Sometimes, they move mixed in blocks those blocks are mixed between blocks of crude oil tankers (Code 1267 on Placards). Empties going (West/South); loads going (North/East). 

  Those types of cars used to be exclusive to heavier dry loads ( Cement, etc.)  now, they seem to be more for sand loadings(?). Web still see many shuttle trains of grains.( in the larger covered hopper cars). 

 

Sam

 

 


 

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Allen, TX
  • 694 posts
Posted by cefinkjr on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 1:12 PM

Thanks for the replies, but my question should have been, "What are these cars hauling to or from Sherman, TX?".  When I saw them, they were on an overpass above a 4-lane highway and stretched out of sight in both directions.

That's a lot of something that's very dense.  These cars don't have enough cubic capacity to be hauling 100+ tons of grain or cement.  Foundry sand? Maybe, but that's an awful lot of foundry sand.  I'm not aware of any source of sand in the Sherman area and I'm pretty sure there is no foundry there that would use that much sand.  Fracking sand?  Again, maybe, but I'm not aware of that much sand being shipped from Sherman and I'd certainly have heard of any gas drilling boom in that area (I live only 30 miles south of Sherman).

Since these AOKX cars all looked to be in uniformly excellent condition with no graffiti, etc., there is also the possibility that they are new (I wasn't close enough to see a BLT date) and waiting for their first assignment.  If that;s the case, I'd like to know who built them and exactly where.

Chuck
Allen, TX

  • Member since
    June, 2001
  • From: Lombard (west of Chicago), Illinois
  • 12,054 posts
Posted by CShaveRR on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 2:05 PM

Most new two-bay cars are going into the sand-transporting trade.  And if they're big enough to haul a full load of sand, they're the right size for cement, which is probably even denser than sand.  We've had AOKX cars in our neck of the woods, hauling foundry or glass sand.

As for telling you who built these, and how many and where, that information should be easily obtainable...once I have a car number!

Carl

Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)

CAACSCOCOM--I don't want to behave improperly, so I just won't behave at all. (SM)

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 2,757 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 6:25 PM

There's a lot of frack sand moving from Wisconsin and Minnesota points to Texas right now.  If the propaganda we have been told is true, the profit a certain railroad is making on each car load of sand is $4500.  The revenue from one sand train equals the revenue of three coal trains.  (Which might explain why they aren't as upset at losing coal business.) 

You could also be seeing cars that are being staged for other points.  The destinations may be congested and the place the cars are being seen might be a convenient (for the railroad) point to stage cars waiting for their turn.

Jeff

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 101 posts
Posted by Northtowne on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 7:42 PM

There are several fairly large sand mining operations at Roff and Millcreek, Oklahoma, on the BNSF (the Madill sub, I think). I am surprised that the reporting mks on the hoppers end with an X; AOK is an operating railroad and as such would not have an X at the end. I recall in an article in Trains about the AOK, that the railroad had allowed a leasing co to use their AOK rep mk for a fee.  Here in Alabama I often see autoracks w/ AOK as rep mks, no X.

Northtowne

  • Member since
    October, 2014
  • 1 posts
Posted by Lionel23 on Saturday, October 25, 2014 12:50 PM

Just saw these cars in Boulder County CO for first time.  Frack sand makes sense. 

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Marseilles, IL
  • 23 posts
Posted by Rockfan 71 on Saturday, November 15, 2014 8:20 PM

See lots of those AOK hoppers going to and from U.S. Silica in Ottawa IL on the Illinois Railway's line to the BNSF in Aurora, from what I hear they ship a lot of frac sand to Texas and points south.

  • Member since
    March, 2002
  • 8,689 posts
Posted by edblysard on Saturday, November 15, 2014 9:45 PM
Just had a few here at the PTRA, they had lime in them.
  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • From: Valparaiso, In
  • 4,902 posts
Posted by MP173 on Saturday, November 15, 2014 10:21 PM

Quite a few of these cars are moving on the NS line on trains to and from Conway Yard.  My guess is these are frak sand cars.  Often the Conway trains will have up to 40 cars per train.  These are the short covered hoppers with only two hoppers for discharging.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: comanche, texas
  • 186 posts
Posted by fluff on Sunday, November 16, 2014 7:37 AM

those cars in Sherman may have frac sand in them. i work for the Fort Worth and Western, and we get 100 car unit trains of sand 2 or 3 times a week. I know some of these trains comes from Sparta, Wisconsin.  

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Allen, TX
  • 694 posts
Posted by cefinkjr on Sunday, November 16, 2014 4:54 PM

fluff

those cars in Sherman may have frac sand in them. i work for the Fort Worth and Western, and we get 100 car unit trains of sand 2 or 3 times a week. I know some of these trains comes from Sparta, Wisconsin.  

That makes sense although it still doesn't explain what they were doing sitting for hours on a highway overpass.  I'm assuming that's a running track; would a storage track be on an overpass spanning four lanes of traffic?

Chuck
Allen, TX

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,386 posts
Posted by cacole on Sunday, November 16, 2014 6:16 PM

I saw 3 or 4 of those hoppers in a Union Pacific train on the Sunset Route eastbound at Willcox, Arizona on Sunday, November 16th.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 6,987 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, November 16, 2014 6:18 PM

cefinkjr

 

 
fluff

those cars in Sherman may have frac sand in them. i work for the Fort Worth and Western, and we get 100 car unit trains of sand 2 or 3 times a week. I know some of these trains comes from Sparta, Wisconsin.  

 

 

That makes sense although it still doesn't explain what they were doing sitting for hours on a highway overpass.  I'm assuming that's a running track; would a storage track be on an overpass spanning four lanes of traffic?

 

Tracks run where they run and serve the purpose the carrier intends.  Roads run where they run and cross the tracks where they do.  There is no operational reason not to have a storeage track or passing siding that crosses a highway on a bridge. 

Remember, in most cases the railroad and it's tracks were in existance long before the modern highway system and the highway system had to be built to accomodate the existing railroad.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

  • Member since
    September, 2002
  • From: North Carolina
  • 1,162 posts
Posted by csxns on Sunday, November 16, 2014 6:48 PM

cefinkjr
would a storage track be on an overpass spanning four lanes of traffic?

Here in Gastonia I85 just has that and NS still uses the tracks for storage.

Russell

  • Member since
    June, 2009
  • From: Dallas, TX
  • 601 posts
Posted by CMStPnP on Sunday, November 16, 2014 8:35 PM

edblysard
Just had a few here at the PTRA, they had lime in them.

This would be my bet as most of North Texas sits on a very large limestone deposit and there are several quaries in the countryside around Sherman.    OTOH, former KATY and Missouri Pacific enter this area of Texas and both Dennison and Sherman is a rail junction of sorts between those two and the former Southern Pacific (now run by a shortline).

This is where you would interchange to avoid a through Dallas routing and either move via Ft. Worth or points North or West of Fort Worth or East of Sherman.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Vicksburg, Michigan
  • 2,127 posts
Posted by Andrew Falconer on Friday, December 05, 2014 2:49 PM

AOKX covered hopper

Andrew

Watch my videos on-line at https://www.youtube.com/user/AndrewNeilFalconer

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern New York
  • 13,481 posts
Posted by tree68 on Friday, December 05, 2014 3:06 PM

Hours isn't storage.  Hours is waiting for a recrew (or space in a yard).  

Weeks and months is storage.

I81 at Pulaski NY is spanned by a RR bridge that includes the main and a passing siding.  I occasionally see trains just "sitting there."  My trips that way usually involve a return a few hours later, and I rarely see the same train there on the way home. 

LarryWhistling
Resident Microferroequinologist (at least at my house) 
Everyone goes home; Safety begins with you
My Opinion. Standard Disclaimers Apply. No Expiration Date
Come ride the rails with me!
There's one thing about humility - the moment you think you've got it, you've lost it...

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Trains free email newsletter
NEWS » PHOTOS » VIDEOS » HOT TOPICS & MORE
GET OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Connect with us
ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Loading...