Ready Mix Sand 2; RJ Corman Style.

Discussion in 'Trackside Photos & Details' started by inflammable, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. inflammable

    inflammable New Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    You may have seen photos of Corman's Sand Train in magazines or online. With some background from a friend, and Bird's Eye View from, let me show you what's going on with it.

    The sand starts out on the Louisville waterfront. Nugent Sand brings in sand on barges, and ships it by truck and rail.

    The facility is too big to get all of it with the limited zoom of Bird's Eye View. As you can see, the barges are at the top left, with several conveyors to get it to the big pile at the bottom right. If you re-center the map on the large pile, then you can easily see the rail yard there on the right. You can probably also see the bright red Corman GP on a nearby track.

    So, 3 to 6 days a week, 15-30 gondolas leave this location, and travel east.

    RJC has some trackage rights over CSX, they meet the CSX main here:

    The RJC line is the bottom right with the grade crossing. Following CSX through Louisville, RJC splits off again here:

    With RJC being the single track. The RJC main to Lexington was L&N at one point, and is still owned by CSX. There's a lot of interesting things to see on the line, but for our sand train, it's just straight hauling through the countryside.

    Arriving in Lexington, about 70 rail miles later, the gons are weighed at this nondescript scale. The scale house is the small, silver box in the center of the screen:

    Having been weighed, the sand train enters Rupp yard, and is broken apart for the two customers. Scroll to the right from the above map, over the yard, and you can see some empty sand gondolas. The bright red ones near the engine shop. Some of the loads are sent to the far end of the yard. Either continue scrolling, or click here:

    Here you have the unloading track, some dump trucks, and the sand pile. There's one crawler already on top of a load of sand, and another on the flatcar, with the ramp. The red dump truck is probably a Corman truck, and is possibly used to ferry over to the sand pile. Also note the truck scale, for the outbound sand. I don't know if this is just for one customer, or for general distribution. Probably a customer orders it and sells it, separate from Corman's business.

    Some of the sand loads go to Clay Ingles, across town. It's a pretty convoluted route; Lexington used to be eaten up with railroads, and now only the tricky tracks remain.

    How do you like the big cement storage silo, in the center? This location used to be the C&O yard in Lexington. All that remains is the coaling tower, and it hasn't seen coal in a long time. It's difficult to tell if the coal tower holds sand, or cement, or maybe it's been partitioned, and holds some of each.

    So, how to model? I started this post with the idea of modeling the crawlers and dump trucks in Rupp yard, though if you've the space, and can spare a coal tower, you could model the Clay Ingles facility. I seem to be a big fan of rail to truck transloading, if my other threads in this forum are any evidence.

    The sand gondolas were specially built for RJC, they seem to hold 117 tons of sand. The ramp which is on the crawler flatcar would probably need to be built by hand, but you can probably find a model of a bucket loader somewhere, as well as some dump trucks.

    RJC uses the sand loads for other things; When pulling passengers behind his Chinese Steam Locomotive was denied by the track owner CSX, Corman used the steamer to haul sand on it's maiden run. Also, sand loads are used to test the power of new locomotives to the system. There's a steep hill on the way to Lexington, outside of Frankfort. An SD70ACe was tested on it with sand, as well as several Gensets from different manufacturers.

    I haven't railfanned the Sand Train at all. I have a friend from this area who has, and he provided a lot of the information.

  2. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for the info. I will have to study it carefully some time. I live next to the R J Corman operation utilizing the stump of the old L&N Memphis line in Clarksville Tn, which has been re built as far as Cumberland City Tn.

    Bill Nelson