Re: Cotton belt open hoppers
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Ron, et al
World War 1 started in Europe on June 28, 1914 and we entered the conflict on April 6, 1917. The 1917-18 winter came early and was colder than normal in the Northeast and New England. Tremendous volumes of war material piled up along the east coast awaiting transport to the conflict. Loaded Coal hoppers were backed up to Pittsburgh and other points hundreds of miles from the coast, resulting in shortages of empty cars at the mines. Hence, President Wilson’s edict on December 28, 1917 to nationalize the railroads.
More freight cars were needed, and in order to conserve steel for the war effort, wood & steel composite freight cars to USRA designs. Many of these cars were still in service on December 7, 1941 when, once again, we faced a shortage of freight equipment. Again, composite cars, larger and with more capacity than those 20 years earlier, were built. (Train Shed Cyclopedia #70 has specs on AAR Emergency Design Open Hoppers and Gondolas)
Following VE and VJ days, the oldest composite cars were retired and newer composite cars were replaced by still larger and greater capacity steel cars in the 1950s and 60s. I recall seeing a few of those old timers in the early 60s, but just like the ubiquitous 40 foot XMs, everything was replaced by more modern cars until today, none of those relics remain outside of museums.
I grew up in DFW where wood coal hoppers were practically nil.
Gerald Hook – Russellville, AR
From: Ron Roman [mailto:ronaf5as@...]
Sent: Monday, August 3, 2020 1:14 PM
To: Tom Roise <tomroise@...>; Edwin Cooper via groups.io <edwin_c_cooper@...>
Cc: Steve Goen <texaszephyr@...>; Railspot Forum <RailSpot@...>; Gerald Hook <gah333br@...>; panhandlerails@...; Dennis Hogan <denmeg_hogan@...>; Texoma Railfans List <texomarailfans@...>; firstname.lastname@example.org; Everett Lueck <elueck@...>
Subject: Re: [Railspot] Cotton belt open hoppers
When did the RR’s get rid of the Wooden Coal Cars and favor the Steel ones…
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One thing you forgot Ed, there were many industries on line that used coal. And the cotton belt did and still does have a large gas manufacturer in Tyler that produced many cars of coke for shipping out to northern facilities.