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Covered hopper types and uses

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Covered hopper types and uses
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 24, 2003 7:29 PM
I have a dozen or so covered hoppers of several shapes and lengths. I know these are used for carrying grain, cement, and plastic pellets, among other things. Are the individual cars assigned to a specific industry, or do they intermix?

If they intermix, how and where are they cleaned? I am planning to add some industry to my rr, and need at least two places covered hoppers would typically service.

Any good sources for info?

thanks

nodima
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 24, 2003 9:08 PM
They can also haul sugar in bulk, liquid food products with a giant inner liner (like a mcdonald's ketchup bag) such as salad dressing, oils etc. I also assign some to run salt, hops, pellets (discarded sugar refinery product) to cattle feeds etc

Keep in mind that cement is way heavy. Small 2 bays are good for these. Anything that water will destroy but yet "pours" as a powder or granules are shipped in covered hoppers.

If you ever saw farmers carrying giant "totes" to and from a grainery those couldve been delivered by covered hoppers. Or shipped in bulk in Boxcars.

There are several threads one of which I started was called "Operation Ideas" there are some posts related to covered hoppers and thier use in industry such as at a brewery etc.

Good Luck! I hope that others step forward because I am looking also for novel ways to use a covered hopper.

Lee
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,977 posts
Posted by dehusman on Monday, November 24, 2003 10:10 PM
First clue is to turn the car over and look at the bottom. If the hopper bottoms are relatively large and rectangular or square, then it will haul what I will call "dirty" commodities. If there are what look like tubes going across or coming out of the hopper bottoms it hauls what I will call "clean" commodities. Dirty commodities are grain, fertilizer, potash, soda ash, sand, cement, etc. Clean commodities are Sugar, flour, plastic pellets, powders, starches, etc. The dirty and clean designation is not an industry standard, just something I am using to make a rough grouping.

Next look at the length of the car, The longer the car, the less dense the material it carries. Cement and sand is very dense and heavy. Its carried in short two bay hoppers. Grain and soda ash is less dense, its carried in long 3 to 5 bay hoppers.

Ag products can be loaded in succession (corn to wheat to milo). Soda ash, potash and fertilizer cars move in and out of the grain pool and are pretty much interchangeable. The rest ove the cars pretty much stay in their commodity groups. A car that loads refined food products (starch, sugar, flour) will pretty much stay in that one commodity. Cement cars are pretty much stuck in cement service. Plastic pellet cars will stay in pellet service.

Private owner cars (initials ending in X, as in RAIX) are privately owned and assigned to a specific industry (either shipper or reciever). Railroad owned cars can be assigned to a pool of cars for one industry (ABCD 2345 thru ABCD 4567 are assigned to Joe's Co-Op for corn loading) and they will cycle back and forth between Joe and his customers.

When cars are relined or cleaned (the lining is a type of paint or coating that reduces contamination or helps the flow of the material out of the car) it is done in a building that could be modeled using a engine house type structure (an old RR engine house retired and recycled as a car cleaner) or a more modern facility using Pikestuff metal building pieces. Do a Google search on "railcar repair" and that should get lots of sites, some are bound to have pictures.

Dave H.

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

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 27, 2003 12:06 AM
Hmm.

I have two questions.. What is Potash? And how may I use it?

I have seen Carbon Black cars on the UP mainline thru Little Rock and I dont know anything about these except that they cannot haul anything else... can anyone clarify?

Thanks in advance for assistance

Lee
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 27, 2003 12:38 AM
Carbon Black is used in tires, I believe that is is a pure form of rubber. Potash is used in quite a few things, from soaps to cement. Sorry about the scanty answers, I don't know a whole lot on the subjects, but I hope this helps...
TM223
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,977 posts
Posted by dehusman on Thursday, November 27, 2003 8:16 AM
Potash is primarily a fertilizer.

Carbon black is a extremely fine powder of pure carbon. It is added to rubber products to make it black and as a filler.

Its handled in cars specifically designed for carbon black.

Dave H.

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

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 28, 2003 12:12 AM
Thank you for your answers. It is very helpful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Lee

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