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Thread: Name those hoppers?

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    Default Name those hoppers?

    Hi folks. I came across this great shot (credit to Robert Pisani: https://www.railpictures.net/photo/745587/) while looking through images of the Cascade and Columbia River shortline railroad, which runs between Wenatchee and Oroville, Wa. This picture features a train dropping off outbound cars at the BNSF interchange in Wenatchee. While admiring the train's great variety of freight cars, the intriguing group of eight rounded hoppers near the middle of the train jump out at me. Does anyone know what these cars are and if they are available in N scale? Would they be more likely to be carrying grain or gravel/sand? Also, would gravel be transported in the black ex-Northern Pacific open hoppers rather than these covered hoppers? Many thanks for any help.
    Wenatchee yard.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekiben View Post
    black ex-Northern Pacific open hoppers.
    Those are woodchip hoppers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekiben View Post
    eight rounded hoppers near the middle of the train
    Looks like steel coil cars. They are more of a flat car with a removable lid/cover/hood to keep coiled steel from being exposed to the elements. This link to Union Pacific's site has basic info about coil cars.
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    Guessing those are four coil cars, two lids per but not exactly one of these models:
    https://archive.atlasrr.com/NFreight/arc-ncushioncoil.htm
    https://www.hobbylinc.com/atlas-coil...n-freight-cars
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    They're weird, originally Canadian ore cars:
    https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/11208
    Rapido just made models of the original schemes in HO scale. As far as their use now I couldn't tell you, probably some form of aggregate, ore or other dense commodity.


    Now reguarding wood chip hoppers and gravel. Sorta.
    Traditionally speaking cars with a higher capacity are used for lighter commodities so they don't weigh out before they cube out.

    That didn't stop Herzog from converting a whole bunch of them to ballast service, how these aren't totally and completely over weight to an unsafe extreme is beyond me:



    I very vaguely remember seeing a photo of a similar conversion by RJ Corman, but I could be wrong, am probably wrong.


    Now remember what I said about loads weighing out before they cube out. There are certain types of gravel that will do the complete opposite of this on a normal hopper. A couple of notable examples are Gravelite, stalite and lava rock. In general when Gravelite and Stalite travel by rail they come in normal cars. Never learned why, my only guess would be basic volume of product being moved wasn't enough to justify specialized cars. That stuff doesn't exactly fly off the shelf. Lava rock on the other hand, you may aswell unload that directly onto your neighbors flowerbed. So to get the absolute most out of every car load there's a few of these (talking less than 8) bumping around the nation's rail network in dedicated lava rock service:
    http://m.rrpicturearchives.net/showP...spx?id=4707259
    Theyre former woodchip hoppers rebuilt Miner doors that will kill you if you aren't careful with them. Actually even if you are careful with them they'll knock you out, got a good concussion or two from fighting with these cars back when I busted doors for a living.
    :gp38::chop::beam::box:

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    Many thanks to everyone for your responses. I’ve spent the last few days down the rabbit hole looking into all sorts of different hopper types from both the modern era and historical. I never realized how many actual types of hoppers are included in that picture i attached in my original post. Also interesting to imagine how all those different hoppers from different roads and eras ended up serving on the same little branchline out of Wenatchee.

    Couple of observations and queries…. Am I right to assume that the white lines painted across some of the NP hoppers are fill lines, reminding clients about maximum capacity for heavier commodities like gravel. Also, the woodchip hoppers I’ve seen all appear to have very obvious hightop sides (such as the recent run of n scale cars produces by Bluford Shops). Could woodchips be hauled in regular 70 or 100 ton hoppers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekiben View Post
    Couple of observations and queries…. Am I right to assume that the white lines painted across some of the NP hoppers are fill lines, reminding clients about maximum capacity for heavier commodities like gravel.
    It COULD be. It also could be total and complete nonsense done by someone, it could have also been a training aid, ect ect. Thing you always gotta remember, a lot of things are done without a specific reason on the railroad. Not everything is official.

    Now the gravel thing, don't expect that by any means, generally speaking when you say chip hopper 4 commodities come to mind: chips, scrap metal, garbage, construction waste. Remember you've got to unload those cars in the safest, cheapest and fastest way possible. Chips get flipped, scrap gets the magnet and the rest get clawed. Unloading aggregates in gons usually requires either a backhoe or an excavator to crawl into or on top of the car to shovel it out. In a chip gondola there's no guarantee you could both get all of the material and get out of the car.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ekiben View Post
    Also, the woodchip hoppers I’ve seen all appear to have very obvious hightop sides (such as the recent run of n scale cars produces by Bluford Shops).
    That is largely an era thing, originally chip hoppers were just hoppers. Then railroads realized wait these cars aren't fully loaded weight wise, plywood sides went on, capacity went up and the car was once again being used to generate the maximum amount of profit possible. In recent history chips have been enough of a money maker to have purpose built cars made with some exceptions like when NS permanently converted airslide hoppers to chip service for whatever reason but otherwise a chip hopper is a chip hopper. Athearn/MDC/Roundhouse and the now defunct Deluxe innovations make/made more modern cars.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ekiben View Post
    Could woodchips be hauled in regular 70 or 100 ton hoppers?
    Sorta already hit this but yes, sure in a pinch you can use anything to carry just about anything; box cars to move grain? Yep. Coal gondolas for scrap metal? Why not? A heavy duty flatcar to carry the weight of knowing I'll never be good enough for my ex? Totally. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the most profitable option and with railroads profit is everything so it'll become a question of "Do we lose more moving this in the wrong car or by not moving it at all"
    :gp38::chop::beam::box:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intermodalman View Post
    They're weird, originally Canadian ore cars:
    https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/11208
    Rapido just made models of the original schemes in HO scale. As far as their use now I couldn't tell you, probably some form of aggregate, ore or other dense commodity.
    He has it right. They are not steel coil cars, but rather ore cars -- most likely for zinc, bauxite or copper.
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    Mystery solved! After discovering that the second-highest trafficked product (in 2007) on the Cascade and Columbia Railway is Sodium Bicarbonate (behind wood chips), I took a journey along the railroad's route to a site just south of the village of Tonasket, WA. Thanks to Google maps' streetview, I got a great view of the mine/loading site (?) from a bridge that runs over the beautiful Okanogan River. Behold, there are the ore hoppers waiting for their loads. These will be taken down to Wenatchee, where they will be hooked onto the passing BNSF line for transport elsewhere on the continent. I was curious so I looked up the uses of Calcium Bicarbonate. The mineral is apparently used in dozens of products, including high-grade white stationery paper, antacids, toothpaste and paint.

    Janis, Washington.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekiben View Post
    Mystery solved! After discovering that the second-highest trafficked product (in 2007) on the Cascade and Columbia Railway is Sodium Bicarbonate (behind wood chips), I took a journey along the railroad's route to a site just south of the village of Tonasket, WA. Thanks to Google maps' streetview, I got a great view of the mine/loading site (?) from a bridge that runs over the beautiful Okanogan River. Behold, there are the ore hoppers waiting for their loads. These will be taken down to Wenatchee, where they will be hooked onto the passing BNSF line for transport elsewhere on the continent. I was curious so I looked up the uses of Calcium Bicarbonate. The mineral is apparently used in dozens of products, including high-grade white stationery paper, antacids, toothpaste and paint.

    Janis, Washington.jpg
    Plop plop, fizz fizz. ...
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