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Products Carried In Beer Can Tank Cars

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Products Carried In Beer Can Tank Cars
Posted by caldreamer on Friday, August 26, 2016 12:32 PM

What products are carried in the beer can tank cars? 

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Posted by chutton01 on Friday, August 26, 2016 12:46 PM

Back to the future...

From that thread,  sulfuric acid, slurries,  petroleum derivatives, and some other commodities - and that thread itself contains a link back to an earlier thread.
Also, from a different forum on a different message board...
Beer cans generally haul liquids with a high density such as acids and heavier fluids as a longer car would only be half loaded before exeeding its capacity.
some examples of liquids which could be found in (and sometimes around) beer can shorties...
phosphoric acid (used in food industry, cleaning solutions, etc.)
hydrofluoric acid (glass etching, chemical refining)
hydrochloric acid (metal cleaning, plating)
sulfuric acid (many uses)
caustic soda (many uses in industrial processes)
salt brine (chemical refining)
heavy lube oils
Titainium Dioxide (used in paint and printing ink formulations)
resins and catalysts (plastics industry, adhesives and coatings)
clay slurry (paper industry)
sulfur slurry (used in several industrial processes including fertilizers)
fertilizer concentrate
pesticide concentrate
molasses
fatty acids & alcohols
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Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, August 26, 2016 12:48 PM

My best guess would be beer. But I dunno. Are the cars painted so you can tell from the label if they are regular or light beer?  If they are Budweiser, I'm sure some would argue if it really is beer.

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Posted by wanswheel on Friday, August 26, 2016 1:39 PM
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Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, August 26, 2016 2:22 PM

wanswheel

What do you think is in it?

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Posted by Mookie on Friday, August 26, 2016 3:59 PM

Murphy Siding

 

 
wanswheel

 

What do you think is in it?

 

 

Sez corn syrup on side....

She who has no signature! cinscocom-tmw

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Friday, August 26, 2016 4:06 PM

Well our drivers that deliver to Memphis and Denver see ones going to Coors all the time.  One driver asked and into Denver they are empty outbound they are hauling the Wort to make the beer to other Coors Breweries in the nation.  COORX is the reporting marks on those. 

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Posted by samfp1943 on Friday, August 26, 2016 4:40 PM

Murphy Siding

My best guess would be beer. But I dunno. Are the cars painted so you can tell from the label if they are regular or light beer?  If they are Budweiser, I'm sure some would argue if it really is beer.

 

 

     Before I retired in the early 2000's; I was a fairly frequent visitor to the Anheiser-Bush Brewery, Shipping area at Columbus, Oh.. Saw some tank cars on that site, either being loaded or unloaded.. An employee told several of us they were hauling what was an incomplete product [wort?] used to make beer(?). 

   A-B had plants all over the country, and it seemed logical at the time that more than just containers would be moved about to facilitate production(?).

   There was a recent Thread here that got into a discussion revolving around the Molson-Coors  [nee: Coors Brewing] Brewery near Harrisonburg,Va. 

Linked @ http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/111/t/255707.aspx?page=2#2863535

Part of that discussion had to do with Coors [Beers] being shipped in rail tankers from Colorado to the Virginia facility.  It was first used as a bottling plant, a shipping point for East Coast distribution.   It was later enlarged, and now brews those beers in Va.

 Around the time of the first Obama run for President 2005-2008 (?) there was some advertising by A-B that took a 'swipe' in a TV commercial at the fact that Coors was shipping their beer in railroad tank cars. 

  There was, at least one TRAINS magazine article that covered the Coors Brewery in Golden Co., and its' plant railroad. I do not remember the year of that article's publication. 

  The company I worked for at one point before 2000 ran a fleet of tanker trailers for Stroh's Brewery. We hauled Memphis Water up to NJ, and Fruit Juice back. to be made into their line of wine coolers. Not only did they ship packaged beer products in box cars, they also used some rail tankered-in products as well.

 

 


 

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Posted by Murphy Siding on Friday, August 26, 2016 8:03 PM

Mookie

 

 
Murphy Siding

 

 
wanswheel

 

What do you think is in it?

 

 

 

 

Sez corn syrup on side....

 

 

I know- always remember to read the fine print.Geeked

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Posted by caldreamer on Saturday, August 27, 2016 12:06 PM

Thanks for the information.  This is very inportant to me since I am writing a program to control my model railroad and I want it be able to act EXACTLY like the prottype railroads

WHAT OTHER COMMODITIES REQUIRE SPECIFIC CARS TO CARRY THEM?

all help will be greatly appreciated.

  Ira

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Posted by wanswheel on Saturday, August 27, 2016 2:46 PM

samfp1943

There was, at least one TRAINS magazine article that covered the Coors Brewery in Golden Co., and its' plant railroad.

"Silver Bullet by Rail" by Mike Danneman, Trains, April 2006

Food has been shipped by train almost since railroading's inception. Beer in bottles or cans has moved in boxcars for generations, but it has only been in the past 20 years that one brewery has been moving it by the tankcar load.

Every day, a fleet of white tank cars moves batches of beer from the Coors Brewing Co. plant in Golden, Colo., to a second brewery in Memphis, Tenn., and a packaging plant in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, near the town of Elkton.

But the connection between Coors and railroading doesn't end there. Like many other brewers, Coors receives ingredients by rail, and it even operates its own in-plant railroad at the Golden brewery, the largest of its kind in the world. The brewing connection carries over to the BNSF locals that serve the brewery at the end of the 16-mile Golden Subdivision twice daily; they're well known as "beer runs."

As part of a nationwide distribution expansion, Coors opened its Virginia packaging plant along the Norfolk Southern right-of-way in 1985, and added its Tennessee brewery on what was then Burlington Northern's former St. Louis-San Francisco Railway in 1990.

Coors has always prided itself as a beer "brewed from pure Rocky Mountain spring water." Since the beer in its fleet of 316 tank cars is brewed in Golden and shipped east to be finished and packaged, the company today proclaims it is "a taste born high in the Rocky Mountains."

The trip begins at the Golden Beer loadout shed, where Coors' tank cars are cleaned and filled, then taken to Coors' North Yard for interchange to BNSF. Coors blocks the tank cars into two groups depending on whether the cars are destined to Memphis or Elkton, and BNSF takes them to its 38th Street Yard in Denver. Pre-blocking the cars means less work for BNSF when trains are built in Denver for eastern destinations.

Tank cars full of beer head for Kansas City on BNSF's former Burlington Northern rails through Holdrege, Neb., and St. Joseph, Mo. At Kansas City, the Elkton-bound tank cars are switched to Norfolk Southern, usually on NS train No. 111, a Kansas City-to-Roanoke, Va., freight. This route takes the tanks through St. Louis to Danville, Ky., where they travel down the famous "Rathole" to Harriman, Tenn., and then head east via Knoxville and Bristol, Tenn., to Elkton.

Memphis-bound cars at Kansas City continue south on BNSF through Springfield, Mo. The Coors brewery in Memphis is a former Schlitz plant that adjoins BNSF's Memphis yard. None of the tank cars go in unit trains, and it's not unusual for them to travel solo or in groups, depending on production and shipping needs. Once unloaded, the tank cars head back empty to Golden to start the process over again, with the cars returning via BNSF's beer trains to Coors' East Yard in Golden. Typically, it takes five to seven days for a tank car full of beer to travel from Golden to Virginia or Memphis, and a round-trip turnaround is 19 days.

Although the majority of beverage distributors get their beer by truck, the Coors brewery in Golden still ships about 250 boxcars per week of beer in bottles, cans, barrels, or kegs to distribution centers nationwide, said Coors Manager of Transportation Operations Jeff Solnick. The Virginia brewery also ships finished beer by rail in boxcars, mostly to the Northeast. Memphis ships by rail, as well, usually to the Southeast. From various distribution centers, the beer is then sent to the smaller distributors by truck.

As recently as the early 1990s, Coors' Golden brewery shipped about 600 to 700 rail cars per week. The Tennessee and Virginia operations have contributed to some of the decline, as they're closer to those markets, but the need to get its product to consumers faster also helped Coors decide.

"We used to have higher rail volumes, years back, such as in the early '90s. Most of our product is now shipped by truck," Solnick said. "It was driven by getting the product to the field faster and sustaining the freshness dates of Coors."

The tank beer arrives much quicker than the finished goods in a boxcar, partly because of the premium rates that Coors pays for the tank-car shipments.

Boxcar traffic also decreased when many distributors stopped accepting shipments at loading docks next to sidings. Now only the largest of the distributors can still take boxcar loads of product. "For example, a distributor may want three or four boxcars just of Coors Light of a specific pack type, where some of the smaller distributors wouldn't be able to take that kind of volume," Solnick said.

Most of Coors' raw commodities, including rice and barley, still arrive in Golden by rail. Much of the barley comes in covered hoppers from the San Luis Valley in Colorado and Worland, Wyo. Some barley also arrives by rail from Huntley, Mont. A Coors elevator in Longmont, Colo., gets rail-shipped barley from other locations, then forwards it to Golden by truck.

Inbound loads arrive at the East Silos elevator, which is known as McIntyre, named for the main road passing over the tracks to the west of the elevator. The unloading spot is just west of the Commodities Yard, where the cars are weighed and unloaded. Inbound grain is sorted and stored at the elevator.

When needed, grain is reloaded into 11 captive covered hoppers that move the product from the East Silos west to the main brewery complex and the West Silos. These hoppers are equipped with pneumatic gates and electrical hookups tied into timers in the brewing process. This enables the cars to release a precise amount of a specific grain directly into seep tanks at the appropriate time in the brewing process--even if no one's around.

Coal comes from Colorado's Moffat County and the mines south of Grand Junction on Union Pacific's North Fork branch. It usually arrives at a rate of about 10 to 13 cars a day to feed an onsite power plant.

Originally, the Colorado & Southern served and switched the Coors Brewery. As the complex grew, it expanded down the valley to the east in the only direction it could. Located between North and South Table Mountains, and the city of Golden to the west, the brewery had no other way to go. Expansion led to the construction of the South, East, and Commodities yards, and Coors' decision to buy its own locomotives and do the switching.

Today, the Coors plant railroad consists of 35.7 miles of track that links the facilities in the valley using six diesel switchers (see roster on page 46). Since it is a private railroad, Coors switchers never leave the property. A dispatcher monitors rail moves inside the plant 24 hours a day. The main line, called the "21 track," connects the eastern end of the railroad and the Commodities Yard with the brewery complex.

Coors also maintains a track department, shop, and refueling and sanding facilities. Gunderson is under contract to repair cars for Coors at a spot alongside the East Yard. Cars needing more extensive work are sent to a Gunderson facility at McIntyre Street off of BNSF's Golden Sub.

Coors typically runs four train crews on day shifts. One crew takes care of the commodities elevator and yard. This also includes taking the commodity cars across the entire main line to the main brewery complex. Another crew works the East Yard, breaking up the trains delivered by BNSF. Two "upper valley" crews put empty cars and cars with recyclables into the warehouse and pick up loads. This transload facility has a track that goes through the building to facilitate car loading.

One of the more unusual features of the Coors railroad is the north and south transfer tables inside the main brewery complex. These were built in the mid-1960s to expand the capabilities of the brewery to load cars in a limited space that would not otherwise accommodate a conventional switching yard. Upper valley crews use a Coors switcher to load cars onto a track, then the transfer tables convey them to a running track. A waiting switcher can then pick up the loaded car and swap it for an empty, and then the table moves the empty back to the loading door. This is done without using any track turnouts and without moving any adjoining cars that might be in the middle of loading.

One of the upper valley crews also moves the empty tank cars into the Golden beer loadout shed and takes the filled cars to the North Yard. These jobs also make the coal movements for the power plant.

The two-man crews that operate these jobs typically rotate between running the locomotive and working the ground every other day. They also rotate jobs every week. For example, the crew working the Commodities Yard one week will work one of the upper valley jobs the next. Coors calls the crews that run the trains "drivers," and they all come from within the ranks of other jobs in the brewery.

Even though the rail traffic to and from the huge Coors Brewery in Golden isn't as heavy as it used to be, the operation is still impressive. The addition of beer traveling by tank cars has also added a new dimension. The next time you see a bartender pour a "Silver Bullet," as the current Coors TV commercials call the product, remember that at some point, it traveled by train.

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Saturday, August 27, 2016 7:39 PM

caldreamer

Thanks for the information.  This is very inportant to me since I am writing a program to control my model railroad and I want it be able to act EXACTLY like the prottype railroads

WHAT OTHER COMMODITIES REQUIRE SPECIFIC CARS TO CARRY THEM?

all help will be greatly appreciated.

  Ira

 

In a past life I was an Inspector with the Bureau of Explosives, the organization that wrote what are now the Hazardous Materials Regulations of the DOT.

Each hazardous material has one or more tank cars authorized to transport it. See 49 CFR parts 100-199.

In very broad terms most liquids are authorized in nonpressure cars, while compressed gasses require pressure cars. Non pressure cars have test pressures of 60 or 100 pounds with safety valve start to discharge pressure of 75% of test pressure.  Most corrosive products have frangible disc safeties, not valves.

The car photographed is a Class 103 car, most likely built before 1960. Their distinguishing feature is the expansion dome. The dome in the photo is a 2% typical of flammable liquids. The more modern Class 111A cars carry the vacant space for expansion in the tank and have no expansion dome.

Pressure cars have test pressures of 300-500 pounds, again with safety valve STD 75% of test pressure.

Nonhazardous liquids generally move in Class 111A cars. This is not required by DOT regulations, but the car leasing companies prefer DOT spec. cars to the equavalent AAR spec since DOT spec cars can be used for hazardous material while AAR can not and there is very little difference in cost as between the two.

In general cars will stay in a particular service for an extended period. Changing service requires at least that the car be washed out. In general cars will return empty to the origin shipper.

Physical size of the tank is largely a function of product density given gross weight limits. The denser the product the smaller the volume needed to transport a given weight. Sulfuric acid is quite dense and nominal 100 ton class 111A tanks for it are 13,300 gallons or so. Ethanol is relatively light. I think a nominal 110 ton tank for it is over 30,000 gallons, but I am soft on that since these cars came along after I left the business.

In short the tank car used is a function of the product.

I have no idea what a 'beer can' car is.

Mac McCulloch

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Posted by 54light15 on Saturday, August 27, 2016 8:13 PM

" I wonder what's in it?" Reminds me of the classic film, "Angels With Dirty Faces" from 1938 with James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Bogart and Ann Sheridan (Yow!) They're depicted as kids in a train yard, the boxcar read something like Acme Fountain Pen Company. The young Cagney's character says what I wrote in the opening sentence here. Cops come, they catch one but not the other. One becomes a priest and the other goes to the electric chair. No guesses at to who ended up in the chair.

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Posted by tree68 on Saturday, August 27, 2016 8:46 PM

PNWRMNM
I have no idea what a 'beer can' car is.

A visit to Google brought numerous examples like this:

Beer Can Tank Car

Essentially just a short tank car.

Unless you're talking something like this:

Real Beer Can

I think Walthers offered a kit for this at one time...

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Saturday, August 27, 2016 10:38 PM

That is a 111A100W1, uninsulated, with top operated bottom outlet in the center, manway cover offset to the left and safety valve further left. There is no hazardous material placard, but they sometimes got/get lost or not placed.

The car is a bit unusual in that it has an underframe. Most 111's are stub sill cars. The car is an early build, as indicated by the underframe and I note the photo date is 1969. Whatever service it is in, the product is quite dense, hence the small tank size OR it is a nominal 70 ton car.

The reporting mark is not a big leasing company so it would be possible to determine owner/lesee and make a reasonable guess as to product on that basis, maybe.

Mac

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Posted by ericsp on Sunday, August 28, 2016 4:04 AM

To my knowledge, there is no official definition of a "beer can" tank car but when people use it they are generally referring to very short (usually less than 40 foot long) tank cars.

"No soup for you!" - Yev Kassem (from Seinfeld)

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Posted by PNWRMNM on Sunday, August 28, 2016 2:46 PM

According to the October 1971 ORER the reporting mark TCX belonged to Texaco but the cars were listed under General American Transportation, so GAT evidently managed the fleet on behalf of Texaco, and could well have leased the cars to Texaco.

The size mystery is solved. The car is only 100,000 pound capacity, a nominal 50 ton car. Previous generation 50 ton 103W cars for gasoline ran about 12,500 gallons which would be a reasonable guess for capacity of this car.

Mac

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