Plastic Bag Factory

Discussion in 'Trackside Photos & Details' started by Gary S., Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Here are some pics of Republic Bag, an industry off of the BNSF Mykawa yard in Houston. The covered hoppers must be used for storage of the pellets, there are always 4 or 5 of them on the spur.

    these first pics are of the south and southeast sides

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  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    And here is a pic of the south side and the west side, west on left.

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  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    And 2 more, the first is the north side, the second is the silos.

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  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Oh BTW, those silver and white silos in the very first picture are at a different facility, a thermoplastics company.
  5. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Gary,Thanks again for sharing another great industry idea!! :thumb:
    That would be simple to model..
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Nice industry. The covered hoppers are not used for storage, they are delivering the plastic pellets to be used in the manufactur of the plastic bags. The silos are where the plastic pellets are stored.
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    The reason I think the hoppers are used for storage, aside from being used to deliver the pellets, is that the hoppers, usually 7 of them, will sit there for a week at a time before they get moved and replaced. I'm not sure if those 4 silos would hold 7 hoppers of pellets.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    The customer wis probably "slow" at unloading the hoppers. If BNSF doesn't have a big demand for the covered hoppers, they won't care if they sit a week at the plant waiting to be unloaded. If they need the hoppers, they will encourage the customer to get them unloaded so they can turn them around.
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    You could be right.

    I've been watching this operation on and off for the past year, and it is always like this. The hoppers don't get changed out very often. This is what lead to my speculation concerning storage.

    Another piece of the puzzle is this: There is a "derail" device on the "mainline" side of the spur which prevents these cars from being moved. My guess is that they leave the hoppers attached to the pneumatic unloading pipes for quite awhile, and they don't want a loco inadvertantly moving the hoppers, wrecking the pneumatic pipes in the process.

    But honestly, I don't really know anything about the process or the derail device. I'm just guessing. It would be nice to know though.

    Gary
  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Gary,It takes about 2 days to unload a covered hopper because of the slow method most companies use..The derail is to prevent the cars from rolling through the switch on on to the main line.You see having unloaded boxcars and the need to pull the empty car clear of the dock doors I would release the brakes on the cars..Some times I would need to drain air reservoir so the brakes would fully release..Of course being a former brakeman I would always set the hand brakes on at least 3 cars however,the day shift unloader would not.
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Now it all makes sense. I didn't realize it took so long to unload them. The pneumatic unloading tubes are what, about 6" diameter? Plus the pellets have to go up about 40 or 50 feet to te top of the silo. I guess it would take awhile.
  12. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

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    Great pix Gary :thumb:

    We have several industries around the area that have had covered hoppers
    sitting in place for months! (CP owned rail) at a factory that is very similar
    to your plastics plant. Don't know what they do there.
    Have pix when I can figure once again how to
    post them. :oops:

    Question, is that a prison gaurd tower in the background?

    Just curious, used to be a lock and crash gate man for a company that rebuilt facilities.

    Russell
  13. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    That "guard tower" is actually the control tower at an airport! :)