Proper Grain Hauling Cars

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rowdygoudy, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. rowdygoudy

    rowdygoudy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Living in the corn belt I see grain being moved all the time. It is also my understanding that in the past it was moved by boxcar. When modeling a given era such as the 1930's to 1940's, or any other time frame would there be any specifics about the boxcars being used other than of the correct era? Examples: Would they tend to be newer or older cars in a fleet? Specific details that would be different from a normal boxcar? At some point I am going to be in need of a bunch of these. I would like to be able to start massing my collection.

    Thanks for any help!!!

    Goudy
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Goudy: the only details I remember are a wooden panel going up one door (horizontal boards, maybe 8" or more) and paper seals on the other door. There may have been a paper seal on the wood slats. I think the slats had an open bit at the top for loading.
    And I hope the boxcars were clean.
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Boxcars would need to be clean and "tight" (to prevent leakage of grain). Both the CNR and CPR used single sheathed 36' boxcars, mostly built in the 'teens and '20's, in the fall grain rush in western Canada, right up into the 1960's, as bigger cars were unsuitable for use on some lightly-built branch lines. Of course, regular 40-footers would also be used, both wood and steel types. Here's a photo of a car with a wooden "grain door" in place.

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  4. rowdygoudy

    rowdygoudy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the both your responses. I figured someone would know something on the subject. At least availability of proper rolling stock will not be a problem. I just discovered a local Historical Society Museum has a huge archive of railroad photos available. With luck there will be some taken at a local elevator.

    Thanks Again,

    Goudy
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Proto1000 offers those 36' Fowler Patent boxcars that I mentioned, in both CPR and CNR. I'm sure that similar cars would have been used on some of the lightly-built branchlines in the US midwest.
    Here's a photo of one of mine: I've redone all of the steps and grabirons with metal parts, as I felt that the free-standing plastic ones on the model were too heavy.
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  6. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    0
    They were hauling grain in box cars right up into the 70's (I remember well, we moved to Mn in 71, that was the first time I ever saw grain being loaded and hauled). The picture that docwayne posted looks pretty much correct except that all the boxcars I saw like that were pretty rough looking.

    Rick
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some boxcars were built with drop bottoms (kind of like drop bottom gondolas) to help with unloading. But that is a detail this is mostly not visible in most situations.

    Many different bulk (or bulky) materials were moved by boxcar in the days before covered hoppers and/or covered gons or other "purpose built" cars were common - salt, grain, automobile frames and other parts, lumber, and so on. The box cars for autos and lumber had some product specific modifications - i.e. double doors and/or end doors for auto frames, and small doors high on the ends for lumber.

    Andrew
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    905
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for posting up about this. I also needed some info about what type of car was used to haul grain. This helps. Just one quick question.

    What type of car is used to haul grain now-a-days? Thanks.
  9. KATY

    KATY Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually box cars were loaded into the early 80's. Sent many an RBOX to Mexico loaded with grain sorghum.

    Regarding the doors, whether paper or wood, you had to have ample room at the top to be able to get a loadout spout in there to fling the grain back to each end. What you ended up with was a peaked pile of grain at each end of the boxcar that would sometimes have to be "trimmed" or leveled out so an inspection agency could probe/sample the grain.

    When I started in the business, the old timers told me cattle cars had also been used to haul grain. In my time I've also seen it loaded in open top swing bottom coal cars, sometimes tarped over, sometimes not.

    Jack
    37 years working in grain elevators (hope it ends soon!)
  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not sure that counts as "clean lading only"...! Yikes! :eek:

    Andrew
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nowadays, Shane, most grain is shipped in covered hoppers, and usually ones that are much larger than any models that I have a photo of. Part of the reason for the larger cars is that many of the smaller branch line grain elevators are gone, with the grain being trucked to larger, centralised elevators.
    Jack (KATY) may be able to provide more details.

    Wayne
  12. KATY

    KATY Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    There are a few of the smooth side 4600 cu ft hopper cars still around, but the vast majority are still the ribbed 4750 cu ft hoppers. Many of these can be purchased as models with numerous road names and private lines. My favorite is the pink Klemme Coop cars. Was always a kick to see 25 pink loaded hopper cars come in from Iowa. Wish I had taken some photos at the time. We're seeing more and more of the 5100 cu ft cars with larger load limits, but I have yet to see a model of one of those. Any modern grain loading facility is set up to load trough tops only. The round hatch lids are mostly for pneumatic flour cars.

    For me, I model in N scale and would love to find a grain trailer truck, but have had no luck as yet.

    Those open top coal cars were loaded maybe 25+ years ago. Pain in the butt, however the pigeons sure liked it!

    Jack
  13. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    905
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info folks. It is appreciated.

    Shane
  14. KATY

    KATY Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anything I spoke about is strictly U.S. equipment. Sorry, not familiar with Canadaian equipment or operations at all.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    5,718
    Likes Received:
    0
  16. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2005
    Messages:
    905
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW! That is much more then I was asking for. sign1
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    The majority of covered hoppers I see in photos aren't ribbed-side. In the US, there's a mix of ribbed-side and the bulged smoothside (ACF-style). Here in Canada, both those types are common, but the National Steel Car Co. 4-bay cylindricals from the early 70s are still the majority.