Author Topic: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days  (Read 724 times)

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delamaize

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2021, 12:24:16 PM »
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Man, I'd like to see video of those car tippers working....
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Chris333

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2021, 03:11:26 PM »
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Man, I'd like to see video of those car tippers working....

Was thinking the same thing.

Also why the heck did it take so long for a covered hopper? They have hoppers, they have boxcars. Put a boxcar roof on a hopper or put hopper chutes on a boxcar.

wazzou

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2021, 03:30:47 PM »
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Was thinking the same thing.

Also why the heck did it take so long for a covered hopper? They have hoppers, they have boxcars. Put a boxcar roof on a hopper or put hopper chutes on a boxcar.

https://lsrm-nssr.fandom.com/wiki/Burlington_Northern_%22Bopper%22_Boxcars_Nos._800000,_800001,_800004
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Missaberoad

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2021, 05:01:16 PM »
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The transition took a long time. 1950s to 1996 (the year the last boxcar branches in Canada were abandoned)

The transition was tied to a change/abandonment of infrastructure. It was expensive to convert a elevator to handle covered hoppers, so thr first to be converted were elevators on main lines with enough traffic to guarantee future service. Low capacity light rail branch lines were the last holdouts, there was no incentive for the elevator companies or for the railroads to upgrade lines that they knew would be abandoned. Deregulation in 1980 streamlined the abandonment process and spelled the end for the grain boxcar in the US.

There was a political situation in Canada that stretched the grain boxcar era longer then in the US. The Crows Nest Pass agreement locked the amount railroads could charge to haul grain to 1897 rates (this was increased a couple times, but remained artificially low) This cheap transportation cost combined with government subsidies kept small prairie branch lines and small elevators running long after they would have been abandoned.
This had the effects of keeping 40 foot boxcars running on 60lb rail branchlines well Into the 1990s.

The scrapping of the Crow's rate in the 1990s spelled the end for the boxcar branches the last ones being abandoned in 1996. It also put an end to the small country elevator, and among a number of other factors, the small family owned farms.

Now we have loop terminals that load 8000ft+ grain trains without even taking the power off - Massive tracts of farmland owned by wealthy people thousands of miles away, farmed by contract, by people and equipment trucked into the community and trucked out as soon as the work is done. And countless 35 ton super b trucks that travel hundreds of miles doing immense damage to local highways all over the prairies.

Is the past the worst? I agree with the sentiment, but it isn't an absolute and not true to everyone's situation.


 
Ryan in Alberta

sirenwerks

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2021, 11:19:29 PM »
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https://lsrm-nssr.fandom.com/wiki/Burlington_Northern_%22Bopper%22_Boxcars_Nos._800000,_800001,_800004


But the boppers were an answer to a different question - how to press every last piece of equipment into grain service during the harvest.  I imagine there were drawings somewhere for tank cars with grain outlets...
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wazzou

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2021, 12:50:48 AM »
+1

But the boppers were an answer to a different question - how to press every last piece of equipment into grain service during the harvest.  I imagine there were drawings somewhere for tank cars with grain outlets...


The Boppers were more a response to Chris. 
The MILW and BCOL did a joint venture experiment with a similar outcome.
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Chris333

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2021, 01:43:36 AM »
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I was thinking along the lines of the first covered hoppers were built in the 1940's. But in the 1800's we had boxcars and hoppers. It took them 40+ years to put a roof on it.

nkalanaga

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Re: Unloading grain in the pre-covered hopper days
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2021, 02:11:18 AM »
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Conventional hoppers leak too much for grain.  Sealing the hopper doors was a bigger pain than using grain doors.

I think the last boxcar-hauled grain in Washington was the ex-GN Mansfield Branch, near Wenatchee.  It was laid, in part, with used rail from the original GN mainline, and nothing bigger than GP-7s and 50-ton boxcars could run on it.  The elevators switched to trucks, and the line was abandoned.  It was apparently still in use in 1983, and there were LOTS of old boxcars, most in pre-BN paint, stored east of Wenatchee, waiting for the grain rush, when Mom and I were out there for her HS reunion.

Many of the country elevators I remember could load either boxcars or hoppers.  All they did was add another chute for the hopper, and a new gate position to control which one the grain went down.  That's also how they routed grain from the truck dump to the various bins.
N Kalanaga
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