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Pulpwood loads

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  • Member since
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  • From: Indianapolis, Indiana
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Pulpwood loads
Posted by Mr. Dispatcher on Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:06 AM

Good morning, I have a few questions about pulpwood loads.from all the photo's I have seen it looks like there are two stacks of logs on the car, my question's are.

1. When loading the car does the loader use full length logs placed randomly in the load to hold the logs together or,

2. Do they use chains (never seen any chians in the photos,don't know if photo was taken before/after the chains were added/removed)?.

3.Or do they just use the weight of the log's to hold everything in place?

My son in law has a 8year old step daughter that has been wanting to help me build something so this might be a good project for her.

                                                                     Thank's Otto

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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:14 AM
The length depends on the planned use. Pulpwood for the paper industry is usually cut to four feet long. Wood going to a sawmill would be longer lengths so it could be sawn into boards

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by bogp40 on Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:20 AM

You will notice that most pulpwood cars will allow the logs to tip in toward the center of the floor/ frame (slight "V" with lowered at center), gravity does most of the work in securing the stacked logs. This is not always the case, just for this particular loading of "pulpwood cars"

Modeling B&O- Chessie  Bob K.  www.ssmrc.org

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Posted by Mr. Dispatcher on Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:28 AM

I know that the one cast load that I have is got a slope to the center but was not shure if all were that way. Also I forgot to mention that i'm using sticks from the back yard,need to dry them out in the oven on low heat first before cutting them to length.If anyone has built their own loads can you post some pics. Thanks Otto

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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, April 19, 2015 10:17 AM

I finished building this Northeastern Scale craft kit for the Boothbay Railway Village; another volunteer had started it.

This wood kit car was way light, so I added a core from some scrap plywood and added some rolled up sheet lead to add weight to NMRA standard. It also saved cutting a lot of sticks. I cut some 4' for the top of the load; some 8' for the ends between the core and the end plate. and some 2' to line the core sides. All held in place with clear silicone sealer.

The 2 screws were temporary, so I could remove the core after most of the logs were in place to add some more lead. In the end, I filled 2 of the 3 holes on each core piece.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by JOHN BRUCE III on Sunday, April 19, 2015 10:43 AM

Pulpwood loads vary by region and era. The c 1960 cars modeled in the Northeastern kit were set up for 4-foot logs tilted toward the center, but later they were modifed woth side stakes to take longer logs lengthwise. A standard Canadian style car used by CP, CN, WC, and others also has side stakes for bunches of lengthwise logs. This style of loading appears much more common, although I've seen fairly recent video of 4-foot logs loaded the traditional way on IC and KCS is Mississippi.

Also, pulpwood was loaded crosswise with 8-foot logs in the upper Midwest. In other cases, pulpwood was randomly dumped into roofless boxcars, as well as sometimes in special racks with lattice sides.

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Posted by HO-Velo on Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:33 PM

This type of load began with a walk in the woods and collecting twigs along the way.  Fun project.

Regards, Peter

  

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Posted by Hobbez on Sunday, April 19, 2015 12:45 PM

The length of your pulpwood will depend on what handing equipment the destination customer has.  Many of the mills up here in Maine had grinders that could handle pulpwood anywhere from 16' up to tree length.  Cars loaded with full length logs were commonplace.

But not all customers had the ability to handle tree length and pulpwood had to be chopped to 4' or so before loading.

 

If you don't have a specific prototype that you are trying to imitate, go with witchever style that you can reliably aquire/make rolling stock to accomidate.

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The creation, death, and rebirth of the Bangor & Aroostook

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Posted by jmbjmb on Sunday, April 19, 2015 1:31 PM

Depends on the era and railroad.  In the 50s/60s/70s in SC most pulpwood was cut by small outfits.  Often one or two man jobs.  The would have a truck with the bed removed and racks installed.  Many also had a small "crane" mounted, but these tended to be manual or perhaps a small electric motor (much like a wench) system for getting logs on top of the load.  Pulpwood was cut in three-four foot lengths because that's what a couple of guys could handle and load.  These small outfits handloaded crosswise.  While the trucks were typically designed for two cords, often they would be overloaded to three to four cords, leading to a pretty top heavy sight on the road.

Once loaded they would drive the truck to a local yard where they would sell it and it would be offloaded by a special forklift type truck.  The yard would then load on pulpwood racks that had a slopped floor toward the center (V shaped) and bulkheads on the ends.  I think gravity did the rest.

By the end of the 70s, more commercial outfits were taking over where the cut whole sections and used mechanical skidders and lengthwise loading similar to logging operations.  These trucks were also overloaded and you had to stay way back because the ends of a pine tree running 20 feet or more behind the truck could fling around pretty good, often breaking for whole sections in the road.  At this point pulpwood-rail switched over to chippers and chip cars rather than racks.  While massive operations, I found the older racks to be more interesting modesl.

 

jim

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Posted by Redore on Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:08 PM

In Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan UP, and Northwest Ontario the standard length of pulpwood logs is 100 inches.  These logs are called sticks.  This has been the standard length since at least the 30's.  A few mills can take tree length logs by truck in modern times.

 

Pulpwood used to be shipped in open gons piled crossways.  Some sticks would be stood up on end at the ends to form a crib to pile the load higher.  The sticks in a car are piled loose.  On a flatbed truck there were steel poles on each end to form the load.  Trucks had one absolutely useless chain draped over the top and secured at the ends.

 

Pulpwood cars are loaded with a hydraulic grapple crane from a truck at a siding.  They used to be unloaded the same way at the mill.

 

In modern times the mills have shifted to log handlers instead of grapple cranes and trucks and rail have adapted.  Now there are cribs on each side that the log handler can reach around, like on the Walthers pulpwood car.  These cars are loaded with the sticks lengthways in each crib.  The handler can reach in and unload up to a whole crib at at time.

 

I understand the sticks are shorter in other parts of the country.

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Posted by Redore on Sunday, April 19, 2015 9:26 PM

By the way, I use a plant I harvest in the late fall called Yarro.  The stem makes good pulpwood and the top makes a good tree armature.

 

I stand a bunch of them up in a block of Styrofoam for painting.  I paint them with a rattlecan of light greenish gray paint followed by spattering them with flat black to simulate Aspen, the most common pulpwood species around here. 

 

I then cut the stems to length in a jig.

 

I then line a car with wax paper to form the load.  If the car is a gon, I use a filler made from 3/8 in plywood.  I start by laying a bead of clear silicone RTV on the plywood or waxed paper.  Then I load in layers of pulpwood sticks held together with beads of RTV.  When the load is complete I let it sit overnight and then pull the load out of the car to remove the waxed paper.  Voila, a completed, removable pulpwood load.

 

Save any scraps, shavings, or sawdust for scenery at the loading siding or on car bottoms.

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Posted by G Paine on Sunday, April 19, 2015 11:16 PM

I forgot to mention, on my log car I used mostly oak and maple twigs; lots of them around my house on the Maine coast.

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by NHTX on Friday, April 24, 2015 12:23 PM

  As a youngster in the 1950's, my family would make an annual pilgrimage to Thomaston Georgia.  Thomaston was served by the Central of Georgia Railway, and pulpwood was loaded there by hand.  The cars had vee shaped floors and the logs were four feet in length.  No tie downs or stakes were necessary, as gravity and friction were sufficient to secure the load.  Also, trains carrying this "short wood" were limited to about 40mph, due to the nature of the loads without physical restraint and the possibility of a "long log" portruding from the crosswise load.  One other fact about Thomaston that makes it interesting to a model railroader is the fact that the CofG trackage actually formed a reverse loop at the end of the branch from Barnesville, instead of a wye or run-around track!  Major traffic generators were the Martha, Thomaston, and Peerless textile mills.  Check it out on Google-Earth.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Saturday, April 25, 2015 3:07 PM

I built a couple of pulpwood car loads for my take on the DMIR pulpwood gondolas (using the Keystone metal ends). I ended up using regular dowels and using some model stain (I think it was a bottle of the old Flo-Stain) to color them to look like logs. Of course, I didn't think to use the waxed paper to keep the load from getting stuck in the car. (Had to get creative to get it back loose in one of the cars but I managed to get it loose.)

No matter what kind of wood you use, I would recommend using something like a NWSL (Montana company by the way) Chopper to keep all the sticks the same size.

"The only stupid question is the unasked question."
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