Hopper Cargo Loads and Car Orientation

Hi all. I've got one really dumb question, and one not-so-dumb one (well, to me anyway).
a) I was at a Greenburg train show this past weekend, and picked up a
set of 5 (uncovered) 4-door hoppers from Athearn. I'm still building my layout, but I wasn't intending on having the traditional coal industry. Is there any other kind of cargo that hoppers traditionally carry besides coal? I'm prototyping a branch line off the B&O, slightly mountainous, late 50s, if that helps.
b) The kits I'm building of freight cars have a brake wheel on one end and not one on the other. The dumb question, is which way should point forward?
Thanks for your help, Tim
--
Timothy A. Meushaw
snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

To further build on what Steve said...
On all cars, the B end is the reference from which other appellations are derived, such as wheel and journal defects, etc.
Counting from the B end, the axles go 1, 2, 3, etc. Looking at the B end, the right side is on your right, and the left is where it should be, too. This is useful if there's some kind of problem, and the offending item can be identified, e.g., "Wheel R3 is tight." When the number of axles on a car exceeds nine (as on a modern stack car), the wheel/axle designation continues with the letters of the alphabet in reverse order, i.e., Z, Y, etc.
Dieter Zakas
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope, it wasn't clear. ;-) Thanks to both of you for the useful info!
Tim
--
Timothy A. Meushaw
snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That makes some degree of sense. My wife suggested I put cows in the hoppers for the humor value, but I thought I'd try to be a little more realistic. ;-)

True, that thought occurred to me. I just read John Armstrong's "Track Planning for Realistic Operation," and he suggested the idea of having a hidden track between two consumer/provider industries (like coal and a power plant), so you just push cars through and it's like the industries are emptying/filling the cars magically. I was thinking of doing something like that, but then I didn't want coal. Gravel could be good, have a quarry on one end and whatever-the-heck-uses-gravel on the other. :-) (I'm still new to thinking of industries like this!)

Right, I forgot about the whole delivery/pick up thing. It's not like the cars will get turned around or anything. Thanks for clarifying!
Tim
--
Timothy A. Meushaw
snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

IIRC, iron ore _was_ shipped in large 4 bay hoppers on occassion, but the cars were only partially filled. Seems to me this was true of gravel and rock as well, as a full load (cubic) would have overloaded the car by weight.
--

Joe Ellis

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Aug 2004 12:50:15 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com (Joe Ellis) wrote: 2000

If the car was used regularly in such service there might be lines marked on the outside to indicate load levels for various commodities.
--
ernie fisch


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<< The B end is the Brake end... Just in case you wondered :-)
>><BR><BR> And the A end is the "Avoided brake end." Gene ABV61-1043.001.HCB <A HREF="http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot ">http://www.tckworld.com/opfoot </A> Find "Skinny Dipping and Other Stories" On the web at www.publishamerica.com or www.military-brats.com and look for "Into Joy From Sadness" soon.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stevert wrote:

It's quite common to transport iron ore in regular hoppers, but, due to the weight, you can only fill them to about 1/4 to 1/3 volume capacity to avoid overloading. Iron ore is FAR more dense than coal.
A four axle freight car can only carry up to about 100 tons capacity. Older four axle cars might be as little as 50 tons capacity. Thus, the denser the load, the smaller the car. You can tell a lot about the intended density of a car load by just looking at the car. Iron ore hoppers, for instance, are usually less than 30 ft. long. Conventional coal hoppers were typically more like 40 feet long. Grain hoppers are more like 55 ft. long. Auto parts box cars were typically 50-80 ft. long.
A larger (volume) than necessary car CAN often be used for more dense loads, of course, by only partially filling it. If you've got a lot of empty coal hoppers heading somewhere anyway, and you need iron ore there, you might as well use them, even if they end up only 1/3 full.
Dan Mitchell =========
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Open hoppers:
Sand, gravel, cullett, ballast, coal, metal ores, wood chips; virtually anything that you can pour into the top and pour out of the bottom that won't be injured by getting wet.
Covered Hoppers:
any of the above plus: cement, sugar, flour, carbon powder, grain, chemicals, salt; anything that can be poured into the top and poured out of the bottom that needs to stay dry.
What, exactly, are you wanting to put into your hoppers?

Captain Handbrake
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Since the Canadian government is growing weed for cancer patients.. could that be a backhaul for an empty grain hopper? :P
--
________________________________________
"A fire drill does not demand a fire."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2004-08-12, snipped-for-privacy@Atlantic.Coast.Line.com

That's, exactly, why I asked the question I did. ;-) I only got the hoppers because I needed to build my rolling stock inventory, and it was a good price a train show I went to. I was getting tired of only having a locomotive and one boxcar. Now I want to figure out what to put in the hoppers, and what industry would produce/consume said cargo, that I can put on my layout. I'm working a little backwards in this regard, but the suggestions have been wonderful about what gets carried in hoppers because, as I said, the only thing I ever knew that went in them in the past was coal (which I can still have a car of, because I've got a steam locomotive that's going to need supplies shipped in from off-site).
Thanks for the suggestions, Tim
--
Timothy A. Meushaw
snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Are they open top or covered?

Captain Handbrake
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2004-08-13, snipped-for-privacy@Atlantic.Coast.Line.com

Open top. It was a package of 5 40' quad hoppers from Athearn.
Tim
--
Timothy A. Meushaw
snipped-for-privacy@pobox.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@Atlantic.Coast.Line.com wrote:

...or that is very light and would blow away in an open car. Plastic pellets for extruders is another item I have seen shipped in covered hoppers.
--

Rick Jones
Remove the Extra Dot to e-mail me
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

since nobody has answered specifically, I would hazard to guess that it makes no difference which end the brake wheel end faces. If it was a unit train of rotary dump cars, normally they are all arranged so the rotary couplers are all on the same end, so the brakewheels would also be on the same end as the next car, but since you're talking about old B&O 4-bay hoppers, that wouldn't apply here.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Here is an image of sugar beets being loaded into a Milwaukee Road hopper:
http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00341pages/of000158.html (Minnesota Historical Society)
Sugar beet processors would set up temporary scales and conveyors in several locations along the railroad during harvest season (in the upper Midwest that was early October). Gondolas were more commonly used to ship the beets, but as the photo shows -- hoppers are not out of the question when the harvest rush is under way.
--
Mark Mathu
The Green Bay Route: http://www.greenbayroute.com /
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

First of all ALL freight cars (except some articulated intermodal cars) have a brakewheel only on one end. That is called the "B" end (obviously for "brake" end)... the other end is called the "A" end.
It doesn't matter which way is pointing forward.
Hoppers can carry all kinds of materials, but some of them are dependent upon the type of hopper. Coal is the most obvious commodity, but they can also carry such things as sand, cinder ash/fly ash, ballast (or other rock), woodchips, sulfur, etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Slingblade wrote:

It should be added that some hoppers, like most other cars, MAY be in some kind of 'dedicated' service. This could be because of some special properties of the car, or because the car is owned/leased to a particular owner. It may also mean that the car is just assigned to a particular type of service, say grain hauling. Over time, the car may be assigned to other service for a period, or seasonally, as needs change. A few bulk commodities must be kept relatively uncontaminated, particularly some chemicals and foodstuffs. Unless special care is exercised, some residual material is usually left in a car after unloading. This will slightly contaminate the next load. For lots of things like aggregates and coal this is little problem. For some chemicals, however, it could result in a disaster, or at least degrade the quality of the commodity.
Most of the more critical bulk loads are shipped in covered hoppers, to keep the material dry and relatively uncontaminated.
Tank cars may have special linings to be resistant to harsh chemicals. Some have heating and/or insulating systems to keep thick liquids in a more fluid state for unloading. Molten (liquid) sulfur and tars are among such loads.
In the case of foodstuffs, the cars will likely be specially cleaned between loads, and possibly decontaminated with sprayed chemicals or poison gas. It's not uncommon for grain hopper, for instance, to be gassed to kill any vermin that might be living in the residual grain or crevices in the car's structure. You can see empty cars placarded with "Do not enter ... poison gas inside" notices.
Dan Mitchell =========
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

But of course!
That is why Tyco made an HO scale covered hopper lettered for "Jell-O." If the Jell-O mines would have used open hoppers instead it would have been just plain dangerous -- especially if it started to rain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

How about gravel... the B&O Shenandoah Branch, near Harpers Ferry West Va. had several rock quarries and shipped stone by rail car.
--
Kelly Regan
Home Page: http://mysite.verizon.net/the.regans/index.html
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.