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?
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.
We get them once in awhile with foundry sand.
"I'm not smart enough to ever figure it all out. All I can do right now is keep moving forward!" - Rin Okumura
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).
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.
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!
Railroader Emeritus (practiced railroading for 46 years--and in 2010 I finally got it right!)
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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.
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.