Date   

locked Re: Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

John Stewart
 

Hi folks

 

THANKS! I am still getting used to this group as it is a little different than the JMRI group.io that I belong to.  I didn’t post attachments, but apparently attachments here are OK.  These are courtesy of Lee Singletary (L&N), Jason Parham (GM&O), and the U of Al online map archive.

 

I appreciate the information and Ike, thanks for the image of the Southern car.

 

“Red Rollers” makes sense – all the cars had roller bearings, L&N, GM&O and SOU

 

I expect to get some pics of some of these cars on the TCI/USS properties at Birmingham.  If so, I will share them here.

 

Now the question is :

 

When did this operation end?

 

Mike Burns included info on L&N hauling red ore from Mobile to Bhm for Republic’s Gadsden Steel Mill.  Republic, to my knowledge, was buying Venezuelan ore on the SA “market”, rather than having their own developed mines and transportation as USS did and as did Bethlehem.  The pricing structure was a bit exotic, but that is another story.

 

I stand corrected about Morristown NJ!  Thanks for the info, I was going from memory without checking my notes, and it was indeed Morrisville, PA for the USS Fairless Hills Works.  Apparently there were a lot of navigation issues regarding draft of the 60,000 T ore carriers, at every port of call.  In addition, at 800 ft nominal length, it was hard to navigate turns and some structures.  Some of this ore was hauled by Liberty ships and C-4 ships from WWII and purchased on the post war salvage/surplus market.

 

Thanks again for the help and picture.  Hope someone can offer when the service ended.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

image004

 


locked Re: Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

Bill Schafer
 

When I was stationed in Selma, Ala., 1972-1973, I would see these cars come through Selma occasionally. They looked much different from the new aggregate cars then arriving on the property. When I asked about them, I was told they were for ore movements out of Mobile. Southern even had a nickname for them - “red rollers”. I guess because they were red and were on roller bearings. During my time there, I don’t remember any special movements of iron ore that would have required an extra train. I would just see several at a time. 

—Bill Schafer

On Jun 15, 2020, at 10:10, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

The Southern “ore cars” were 100T three-bay cars (Southern 100000-100249 built by P-S in 1954 (note the date) under Program F-117 as their Lot No. 8127-3. At only 36’ over strikers, the cars were unique on the SR. A photo of Sou 100002 is attached.

There may (!) be information in the archives on the F-117 cars in the SR Mechanical Dept files SRHA has that explains what their intended use was. The “1954” built date appears to correspond to the shipments from Mobile to Birmingham. 

Unfortunately, although the files at, Coster Shop (responsible for maintaining the Southern’s “open” cars) were promised to SRHA, when several of us went to get them, the Shop Manager would not let us into the building where they were kept. I mentioned I would be glad to call David Goode if he had any questions. He response was he would let us in the building after lunch…and then never returned. I suspect (strongly) that he had promised someone they could take whatever they wanted and had no intention of letting SRHA take the files.

I mention that because it follows a pattern seen before. An individual, or local group, obtains important files…does nothing with them and eventually gets rid of them. I’ve asked people around Knoxville for years if they knew anything of the Coster files. No one seems to know anything about them so it’s possible they were simply bulldozed with the buildings.

If anyone is aware of SR files sitting unused in a library or archives some where, SRHA can receive and preserve almost anything related to the Southern.

Ike

<Sou 100002.jpeg>


locked Re: Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

George Eichelberger
 

The Southern “ore cars” were 100T three-bay cars (Southern 100000-100249 built by P-S in 1954 (note the date) under Program F-117 as their Lot No. 8127-3. At only 36’ over strikers, the cars were unique on the SR. A photo of Sou 100002 is attached.

There may (!) be information in the archives on the F-117 cars in the SR Mechanical Dept files SRHA has that explains what their intended use was. The “1954” built date appears to correspond to the shipments from Mobile to Birmingham. 

Unfortunately, although the files at, Coster Shop (responsible for maintaining the Southern’s “open” cars) were promised to SRHA, when several of us went to get them, the Shop Manager would not let us into the building where they were kept. I mentioned I would be glad to call David Goode if he had any questions. He response was he would let us in the building after lunch…and then never returned. I suspect (strongly) that he had promised someone they could take whatever they wanted and had no intention of letting SRHA take the files.

I mention that because it follows a pattern seen before. An individual, or local group, obtains important files…does nothing with them and eventually gets rid of them. I’ve asked people around Knoxville for years if they knew anything of the Coster files. No one seems to know anything about them so it’s possible they were simply bulldozed with the buildings.

If anyone is aware of SR files sitting unused in a library or archives some where, SRHA can receive and preserve almost anything related to the Southern.

Ike


locked Re: Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

Allen Cain
 

John,

I am considering adding a steel mill to my 1955 Southern layout and any info you could provide on the ore and Taconite cars you mentioned would be GREATLY appreciated from anyone who can help.

Thanks, Allen Cain


locked Re: Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

Robert Graham
 

John,

I don't have any specifics on Sou Ry movements or equipment that you are seeking, but I see an error in your work regarding other eastern US shipments. Baltimore MD sounds reasonable as Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point Works was on Baltimore's outer harbor accessible to ocean going vessels. But Morristown NJ is not on any navigable waterway and there are no basic steel plants anywhere nearby. I suspect you meant Morrisville PA, location of a large U.S.Steel integrated mill and on the Delaware River, still navigable north of Philadelphia PA. I don't know if this detail is important to  you, but thought I would point it out.

Bob Graham

-----------------------------------------

From: "John Stewart"
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Sunday June 14 2020 8:23:21PM
Subject: [SouthernRailway] Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

Hello

 

I am researching the movement of Venezuelan iron ore by rail from the Port of Mobile to TCI steel mills in Birmingham, AL starting in 1954.

 

Based on work so far, I have found that three railroads, L&N, GM&O and Southern Ry had small fleets of “made to order” hopper cars, likely built at Bessemer, AL Pullman Standard, for this bulk freight.

 

I am have images of the L&N and GM&O cars, as well as an image (aerial) of the TCI Bulk Material Facility in Mobile.  The cars are 36 foot, 3 bay hoppers of 90-100 ton capacity.  The L&N and GM&O cars are very similar if not identical.

 

The TCI port facility image for 1955 shows one of the 790 ft., 60,000 ton “Ore Chief” class bulk carriers docked, as well as a line of rail cars on the loading track.  (At the time these 3 ships were introduced they were some of the largest ships afloat.) The facility could transload iron ore from the bulk carrier ship directly to barges or rail cars, as well as provide open bulk storage on site.  Shipping from Venezuela began in late 1953, eventually reaching about 3 million tons per year at Mobile.  Ore was split between barge and rail cars for the trip to Birmingham.

 

Barges were unloaded at Birmingport, on the Warrior River, and moved by rail to the TCI mills at Ensley and Fairfield, after being processed at the Ore Conditioning Plant on Red Mtn at Wenonah.  Rail shipments were interchanged to the TCI RR and taken to the Ore Plant as well.  Conditioned and blended ores were then moved back to the blast furnaces by TCI RR trains.

 

TCI stopped underground mining of iron ore at Birmingham in June, 1962.  Venezuelan ore would continue to be processed at Wenonah even as sole source ore.

 

Based on my work so far it appears that these cars and trains of iron ore operated from 1954 to at least 1975 or so, maybe later.

 

The things that would have led to the end of this operation were new and larger river locks on the Warrior River system, with the final improvement at Bankhead Dam being made in 1975, improving transit times.  The introduction of Taconite pellets in the US began in 1955, and these were eventually being shipped to Birmingham by rail from the Minnesota ranges.  Finally, the Venezuelan ore developments made by US Steel and Bethlehem Steel were nationalized by the Venezuelan government in 1975, although provisions were made for shipments to the US at least until 1981 and likely longer.  So, it seems that these trains were phased out some time after 1975 or so.

 

(Similar movements of ore were made to the US Steel plants in the east as well, docking at Baltimore and Morristown NJ.  These shipments were larger than the ones to Birmingham.)

 

I am seeking your help to learn about Southern Ry’s part in this unique (at least in the southern states) ore movement.

 

I have two basic questions:

 

1.       Did Southern have a small fleet of these cars and where were they built?

 

2.       How long did the ore movements continue?

 

I am hoping you may be able to provide this information in the form of pictures, articles or timetable information.

 

Thanks very much for any help and information you can provide.

 

John


locked Iron Ore trains from Port of Mobile to Tn Coal & Iron (TCI) Birmingham, AL

John Stewart
 

Hello

 

I am researching the movement of Venezuelan iron ore by rail from the Port of Mobile to TCI steel mills in Birmingham, AL starting in 1954.

 

Based on work so far, I have found that three railroads, L&N, GM&O and Southern Ry had small fleets of “made to order” hopper cars, likely built at Bessemer, AL Pullman Standard, for this bulk freight.

 

I am have images of the L&N and GM&O cars, as well as an image (aerial) of the TCI Bulk Material Facility in Mobile.  The cars are 36 foot, 3 bay hoppers of 90-100 ton capacity.  The L&N and GM&O cars are very similar if not identical.

 

The TCI port facility image for 1955 shows one of the 790 ft., 60,000 ton “Ore Chief” class bulk carriers docked, as well as a line of rail cars on the loading track.  (At the time these 3 ships were introduced they were some of the largest ships afloat.) The facility could transload iron ore from the bulk carrier ship directly to barges or rail cars, as well as provide open bulk storage on site.  Shipping from Venezuela began in late 1953, eventually reaching about 3 million tons per year at Mobile.  Ore was split between barge and rail cars for the trip to Birmingham.

 

Barges were unloaded at Birmingport, on the Warrior River, and moved by rail to the TCI mills at Ensley and Fairfield, after being processed at the Ore Conditioning Plant on Red Mtn at Wenonah.  Rail shipments were interchanged to the TCI RR and taken to the Ore Plant as well.  Conditioned and blended ores were then moved back to the blast furnaces by TCI RR trains.

 

TCI stopped underground mining of iron ore at Birmingham in June, 1962.  Venezuelan ore would continue to be processed at Wenonah even as sole source ore.

 

Based on my work so far it appears that these cars and trains of iron ore operated from 1954 to at least 1975 or so, maybe later.

 

The things that would have led to the end of this operation were new and larger river locks on the Warrior River system, with the final improvement at Bankhead Dam being made in 1975, improving transit times.  The introduction of Taconite pellets in the US began in 1955, and these were eventually being shipped to Birmingham by rail from the Minnesota ranges.  Finally, the Venezuelan ore developments made by US Steel and Bethlehem Steel were nationalized by the Venezuelan government in 1975, although provisions were made for shipments to the US at least until 1981 and likely longer.  So, it seems that these trains were phased out some time after 1975 or so.

 

(Similar movements of ore were made to the US Steel plants in the east as well, docking at Baltimore and Morristown NJ.  These shipments were larger than the ones to Birmingham.)

 

I am seeking your help to learn about Southern Ry’s part in this unique (at least in the southern states) ore movement.

 

I have two basic questions:

 

1.       Did Southern have a small fleet of these cars and where were they built?

 

2.       How long did the ore movements continue?

 

I am hoping you may be able to provide this information in the form of pictures, articles or timetable information.

 

Thanks very much for any help and information you can provide.

 

John


locked Discontinuing Passenger Trains and Moving US Mail to Intermodal Services

George Eichelberger
 

Reading though passenger train-off files in the SRHA archives, I realized there was a direct relationship between the Southern wanting to reduce passenger train miles and the early development of intermodal services (sic Rail-Highway on the Southern) that I was not aware of. As with many things, the reason was money.

While passenger services, particularly dining cars, were not profitable, revenues from Railway Express and US Mail were significant enough the Southern did not want to lose them. Eliminating passenger trains in the 1960s came at the same time the Post Office was trying to reduce its own costs. Paying mail handlers at stations, moving mail to postal sorting facilities and adapting to reduced passenger train schedules were all issues to be dealt with.

As the Southern started attaching intermodal cars to passenger trains for additional revenue on those trains, the railroad asked to PO Dept if they would like to load and unload mail from containers at their facilities rather than passenger stations. Initially, the SR's intent appears to have been to add more COFC (Southern did not handle TOFC in those days) to its passenger trains. Very quickly, the PO asked to move containers between its facilities at times that did not correspond to SR passenger train schedules.

At first, the Trailer-Train (CTTX, specially equipped, only the SR and B&O used them) cars were operated in regular merchandise freights but the growth of Rail-Highway services soon led to dedicated intermodal trains and terminal facilities. As that trend accelerated, the PO was happy to eliminate RPO services and move what had been storage mail to intermodal.

Was this typical with other railroads?

I’ve attached a two-page SR memo to DW Brosnan dated 10-22-65 that discusses “diversion of mail from Trains 3 and 4” from Cincinnati to Jacksonville.

Ike





locked Re: Info requested on the "Florida Sunbeam" and Through Cars at Cincinnati

George Eichelberger
 

Jack:

Thanks for the reminder about the Wayner book. Another book I suggest is “Midwest Florida Sunliners” by R. Lyle Key Jr.

Most of the material in the draft of the Sunbeam article is from the SRHA archives. Because that is “primary” reference material, I usually start assembling an article with it before I do a deep review of published work. Hopefully, the combination of sources helps fill in most of the details. Although there is an entire file on the postwar Sunbeam, I need to look into “passenger” files for all previous years to find memos or correspondence that might also refer to the train. Dining car files, for example.

As is common with this type of research, it can be like a chain reaction. The Sunbeam to Cincy leads to which NYC trains carried the cars from there., etc., etc.

Ike



On Jun 9, 2020, at 2:27 PM, C J Wyatt <cjwyatt@...> wrote:

Ike,

Have you seen the consist for the Florida Sunbeam departing Miami on December 25, 1940 published in Wayner's Passenger Train Consists of the 1940? The Pullman names could be crossed checked with the Pullman A/C register assignment, but one definitely assigned to NYC car was the 6 DB Buffet-Lounge, Dover Plains (which I photographed in the early 1990s). Southern Rwy. cars are represented by a heavyweight combine, coach, and diner. SAL's contribution was an American Flyer coach. Its AF coaches and combines appeared frequently in the Florida Sunbeam over the years.

The consist that Chuck gave of  no. 5 on December 11, 1949 actually should be December 17, 1949 and the source was Louis Newton in his Rails Remembered Vol.2, page 482.

Jack Wyatt



locked Re: Info requested on the "Florida Sunbeam" and Through Cars at Cincinnati

C J Wyatt
 

Ike,

Have you seen the consist for the Florida Sunbeam departing Miami on December 25, 1940 published in Wayner's Passenger Train Consists of the 1940? The Pullman names could be crossed checked with the Pullman A/C register assignment, but one definitely assigned to NYC car was the 6 DB Buffet-Lounge, Dover Plains (which I photographed in the early 1990s). Southern Rwy. cars are represented by a heavyweight combine, coach, and diner. SAL's contribution was an American Flyer coach. Its AF coaches and combines appeared frequently in the Florida Sunbeam over the years.

The consist that Chuck gave of  no. 5 on December 11, 1949 actually should be December 17, 1949 and the source was Louis Newton in his Rails Remembered Vol.2, page 482.

Jack Wyatt

On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 02:00:57 PM EDT, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


All:

I attempted to copy the following series (some omitted) of posts from ther Passenger Car LIst but apparently I "fat fingered" the process. Here is attempt number two....

Ike
***

I am putting the finishing touches on an article about the “Florida Sunbeam” for the Southern Railway Historical Association’s “TIES” magazine. As usual, the Southern Railway Presidents’ files in the SRHA archives have provided correspondence between the NYC, Southern and Seaboard and internal SR memos about the train over the years.

The seasonal "Florida Sunbeam" (known as the "Suwannee River Special" prior to the 1937 season), year-round "Royal Palm", "Royal Palm DeLux”, and "Ponce DeLeon" on the Southern and the “Flamingo” on the L&N were promoted by the New York Central as their “Florida” trains. The Central interchanged through cars or passengers to and from those trains from Detroit/Grand Rapids, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Buffalo at Cincinnati.

I have been able to research all of the sources I am aware of “Guides”, PTTs, books, etc., not to mention Bob Piety’s fabulous spreadsheets, on the Sunbeam and NYC Florida services but would like to find more on specific consists over the years. (Of course I am aware of the equipment descriptions in PTTs but I am not certain if they are sometime provided more as advertising than actual operating data. For example, PTTs saying a Detroit-Miami train has a dining car does not say (or care) if NYC, Southern and Seaboard diners were changed along the way.)

So…my question. Is anyone aware of train consist information from any of the NYC terminals, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Jacksonville (for the ACL and FEC trains), Tampa or St. Pete? As a seasonal train, the Fla Sunbeam used Pullman pool equipment, were specific cars more or less assigned to the seasonal trains? …and many more questions.

Thanks in advance for any ideas….

Ike

***

Hi Ike,
I have a consist of a New Royal Palm in Chattanooga, SB 12-11-1949, A NB Royal Palm from http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/passenger-consists-122151.htm
Are they of interest to you?

Take care,
Chuck

***
Chuck:

Thanks for the info!

The December 21, 1951 consist of the NB “New Royal Palm” at Cincinnati (?) is very interesting.
At first, I thought the passenger count was very low but as the second section of a NB train that originated in Florida in late December, the number of Pullman passengers (only 14) shows people were heading to Florida, NOT Detroit. The five, mostly empty, sleepers could be basically deadheading north for their next SB trip. (The July, 1951 “Guide” shows three Cincinnati-Detroit sleepers on train 302, were these through cars?)

I do not see if there is a “first 302” listed but the fact this is the consist of a second section tells us something. (?) Was the Southern train into Cincy so late, the Central ran #302 ("The Michigan Special”) with the through cars on the second section? I speculate the NYC express reefers originated in Cincinnati although shipments of Florida Citrus for Christmas would still be high in late December. Considered basically a NYC “train” on the Southern and FEC, the cars may have been sent south to handle the NB shipments? Even for that business, many express shipments from the south went to Cincinnati to be sorted and forwarded there for midwest destinations. Also, in 1951, the “New Royal Palm” was considered an important train on the Southern, it would not have carried a lot of express cars.

I would not expect the NB “Palm” would have carried a heavyweight NYC diner into Cincinnati. Was a Southern diner normally cut off there? Does the fact it was a NYC heavyweight tell us it was a backup car needed for the second section? Lastly, the only (Southern) coach on the train had a heavy passenger load. Were those through passengers or (College students?) “on at Cincinnati”?

I would very much like to see your consist of the SB “Palm” at Chattanooga. The “Florida Sunbeam” operated in 1950 so that consist would show activity at the beginning of the season. (More SB Pullmans were added to the Florida trains on the Central a couple of weeks after New Years when the “high season" in Florida was getting underway.)

I suspect train consists would give us as many questions as answers but everything adds to our knowledge. Thanks again!

Ike

***

Hi Ike,
Here is the SB at Chattanooga, 12-11-1949.
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 NYC Chattanooga Baggage-Coach LW Railway Classics Cincinnati Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 FEC Chattanooga Coach-56 seat Dania 9613-005 Budd LW Walthers 6380, Riv Budd coach, both close Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga Chair 56 Sweetwater 7457 6646 PS LW Rivarossi, fluted coach Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga Chair 34, Bar-L 951 9621-030 Budd LW NKP Car Company Cincinnati Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga Diner 48 Seat 3308 9624-030 Budd LW NKP Car Company Cincinnati Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Rappahannock River 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Chicago Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Coosa River 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Cleveland Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Flint River 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Buffalo Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 NYC Chattanooga 4 Cpt-4 DB-2 DR Imperial Emblem 4069E 6617 PS LW Athabasca, Laser Horizons Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 NYC Chattanooga 10 Rmt-5 DB Cascade Spray 4072C 6610 PS LW Union Station Products Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 FEC Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Chile 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 1-2-Buf-Lng Crescent City 4160 6814 PS LW NKP Car Company Detroit Miami
12 cars
I am sure it will be scrambled when you get it. If so let me know and I can send the spreadsheet.

Take care,
Chuck

***

I'm pretty sure it was an exceptional situation if the Royal Palm caused a second section on the NYC.  At its peak, there were six Detroit cars on the New Royal Palm, five sleepers and one coach.  You can see this in the FEC equipment listings.  I'm looking at the 2/51 listing.  On the same trains, NYC 302 and 309, there was a Detroit-Tampa sleeper that ran on the Royal Palm from Cincinnati, also a Detroit-Cincinnati sleeper.  Southbound, the Royal Palm departed Cincinnati 15 minutes after the New Royal Palm and took three hours longer to get to Jacksonville.  Six cars added to the regular train would not have justified a second section.
 
I noticed a few comments about diners.  The New Royal Palm carried a diner and a diner-Lounge between Cincinnati and Miami.  The schedule between Detroit and Cincinnati was entirely within sleeping hours, so only three cars were needed to cover all of the trains.  Four cars were needed to cover the Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland services.  According to Wayner, the dining-lounge cars were delivered by ACF to the FEC(1) and SOU(2) in Aug-Sep 1950.  The 50-51 season was the first full season of operation of the whole NRP train.  The observation cars came from Pullman in Feb-Mar 1950 to the NYC(1), FEC(1) and SOU(2).  SOU received two diners for the train in SEP-OCT 1949, and according to Wayner, one diner was contributed to the pool by NYC but did not operate on the NYC.
 
Malcolm Laughlin

***

Statements like that about the Florida Sunbeam always trigger my skepticism.  I've been searching the on-line NYC timetable collection and could find none for the Big four between 1930 and 1941.  Unfortunately, y Official guide collection is mostly summer season.  I did find one for winter of 1937 and looked at the Florida Sunbeam consist.  There are ten sleepers listed, one each from Cincinnati and Indianapolis and eight from Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit.
 
There was no NYC train named the Florida Sunbeam.  From the NYC perspective,  it was only the name of a sevice that included cars from three of their trains and not more than four from any one of them.  Why would NYC care at all about one sleeper not from them in a train made up at Cincinnati ?  I note that the NYC train with the Sunbeam cars from chicago also carried two Florida sleepers for the Royal Palm.
 
ML

***

Malcolm:

I am not sure your comment about "one sleeper" refers to my comment about the NYC not wanting Pullmans from non-NYC cities in the Sunbeam. In case it is...one of the great things about the Southern Railway Historical Association's archives (at TVRM in Chattanooga) is that they contain more than 17,000 SR Executive Dept files that span the entire history of the Southern. I can argue that those files make writing articles easier or harder because guesswork or speculation (even when facts are missing) are not usually needed.

In the case of the NYC and Pullmans at Cincinnati, I don't believe the attached 10-7-46 memo leaves much room for interpretation, at least for the postwar Sunbeam. (HAD is SR President Harry A DeButts)

Ike


 


locked Info requested on the "Florida Sunbeam" and Through Cars at Cincinnati

George Eichelberger
 

All:

I attempted to copy the following series (some omitted) of posts from ther Passenger Car LIst but apparently I "fat fingered" the process. Here is attempt number two....

Ike
***

I am putting the finishing touches on an article about the “Florida Sunbeam” for the Southern Railway Historical Association’s “TIES” magazine. As usual, the Southern Railway Presidents’ files in the SRHA archives have provided correspondence between the NYC, Southern and Seaboard and internal SR memos about the train over the years.

The seasonal "Florida Sunbeam" (known as the "Suwannee River Special" prior to the 1937 season), year-round "Royal Palm", "Royal Palm DeLux”, and "Ponce DeLeon" on the Southern and the “Flamingo” on the L&N were promoted by the New York Central as their “Florida” trains. The Central interchanged through cars or passengers to and from those trains from Detroit/Grand Rapids, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Buffalo at Cincinnati.

I have been able to research all of the sources I am aware of “Guides”, PTTs, books, etc., not to mention Bob Piety’s fabulous spreadsheets, on the Sunbeam and NYC Florida services but would like to find more on specific consists over the years. (Of course I am aware of the equipment descriptions in PTTs but I am not certain if they are sometime provided more as advertising than actual operating data. For example, PTTs saying a Detroit-Miami train has a dining car does not say (or care) if NYC, Southern and Seaboard diners were changed along the way.)

So…my question. Is anyone aware of train consist information from any of the NYC terminals, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Jacksonville (for the ACL and FEC trains), Tampa or St. Pete? As a seasonal train, the Fla Sunbeam used Pullman pool equipment, were specific cars more or less assigned to the seasonal trains? …and many more questions.

Thanks in advance for any ideas….

Ike

***

Hi Ike,
I have a consist of a New Royal Palm in Chattanooga, SB 12-11-1949, A NB Royal Palm from http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/passenger-consists-122151.htm
Are they of interest to you?

Take care,
Chuck

***
Chuck:

Thanks for the info!

The December 21, 1951 consist of the NB “New Royal Palm” at Cincinnati (?) is very interesting.
At first, I thought the passenger count was very low but as the second section of a NB train that originated in Florida in late December, the number of Pullman passengers (only 14) shows people were heading to Florida, NOT Detroit. The five, mostly empty, sleepers could be basically deadheading north for their next SB trip. (The July, 1951 “Guide” shows three Cincinnati-Detroit sleepers on train 302, were these through cars?)

I do not see if there is a “first 302” listed but the fact this is the consist of a second section tells us something. (?) Was the Southern train into Cincy so late, the Central ran #302 ("The Michigan Special”) with the through cars on the second section? I speculate the NYC express reefers originated in Cincinnati although shipments of Florida Citrus for Christmas would still be high in late December. Considered basically a NYC “train” on the Southern and FEC, the cars may have been sent south to handle the NB shipments? Even for that business, many express shipments from the south went to Cincinnati to be sorted and forwarded there for midwest destinations. Also, in 1951, the “New Royal Palm” was considered an important train on the Southern, it would not have carried a lot of express cars.

I would not expect the NB “Palm” would have carried a heavyweight NYC diner into Cincinnati. Was a Southern diner normally cut off there? Does the fact it was a NYC heavyweight tell us it was a backup car needed for the second section? Lastly, the only (Southern) coach on the train had a heavy passenger load. Were those through passengers or (College students?) “on at Cincinnati”?

I would very much like to see your consist of the SB “Palm” at Chattanooga. The “Florida Sunbeam” operated in 1950 so that consist would show activity at the beginning of the season. (More SB Pullmans were added to the Florida trains on the Central a couple of weeks after New Years when the “high season" in Florida was getting underway.)

I suspect train consists would give us as many questions as answers but everything adds to our knowledge. Thanks again!

Ike

***

Hi Ike,
Here is the SB at Chattanooga, 12-11-1949.
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 NYC Chattanooga Baggage-Coach LW Railway Classics Cincinnati Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 FEC Chattanooga Coach-56 seat Dania 9613-005 Budd LW Walthers 6380, Riv Budd coach, both close Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga Chair 56 Sweetwater 7457 6646 PS LW Rivarossi, fluted coach Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga Chair 34, Bar-L 951 9621-030 Budd LW NKP Car Company Cincinnati Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga Diner 48 Seat 3308 9624-030 Budd LW NKP Car Company Cincinnati Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Rappahannock River 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Chicago Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Coosa River 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Cleveland Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Flint River 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Buffalo Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 NYC Chattanooga 4 Cpt-4 DB-2 DR Imperial Emblem 4069E 6617 PS LW Athabasca, Laser Horizons Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 NYC Chattanooga 10 Rmt-5 DB Cascade Spray 4072C 6610 PS LW Union Station Products Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 FEC Chattanooga 10 Rmt-6 DB Chile 4140 6814 PS LW Union Station Products, NKP Car Company, Walthers Detroit Miami
12/11/1949 New Royal Palm SOU #5 SOU Chattanooga 1-2-Buf-Lng Crescent City 4160 6814 PS LW NKP Car Company Detroit Miami
12 cars
I am sure it will be scrambled when you get it. If so let me know and I can send the spreadsheet.

Take care,
Chuck

***

I'm pretty sure it was an exceptional situation if the Royal Palm caused a second section on the NYC.  At its peak, there were six Detroit cars on the New Royal Palm, five sleepers and one coach.  You can see this in the FEC equipment listings.  I'm looking at the 2/51 listing.  On the same trains, NYC 302 and 309, there was a Detroit-Tampa sleeper that ran on the Royal Palm from Cincinnati, also a Detroit-Cincinnati sleeper.  Southbound, the Royal Palm departed Cincinnati 15 minutes after the New Royal Palm and took three hours longer to get to Jacksonville.  Six cars added to the regular train would not have justified a second section.
 
I noticed a few comments about diners.  The New Royal Palm carried a diner and a diner-Lounge between Cincinnati and Miami.  The schedule between Detroit and Cincinnati was entirely within sleeping hours, so only three cars were needed to cover all of the trains.  Four cars were needed to cover the Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland services.  According to Wayner, the dining-lounge cars were delivered by ACF to the FEC(1) and SOU(2) in Aug-Sep 1950.  The 50-51 season was the first full season of operation of the whole NRP train.  The observation cars came from Pullman in Feb-Mar 1950 to the NYC(1), FEC(1) and SOU(2).  SOU received two diners for the train in SEP-OCT 1949, and according to Wayner, one diner was contributed to the pool by NYC but did not operate on the NYC.
 
Malcolm Laughlin

***

Statements like that about the Florida Sunbeam always trigger my skepticism.  I've been searching the on-line NYC timetable collection and could find none for the Big four between 1930 and 1941.  Unfortunately, y Official guide collection is mostly summer season.  I did find one for winter of 1937 and looked at the Florida Sunbeam consist.  There are ten sleepers listed, one each from Cincinnati and Indianapolis and eight from Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit.
 
There was no NYC train named the Florida Sunbeam.  From the NYC perspective,  it was only the name of a sevice that included cars from three of their trains and not more than four from any one of them.  Why would NYC care at all about one sleeper not from them in a train made up at Cincinnati ?  I note that the NYC train with the Sunbeam cars from chicago also carried two Florida sleepers for the Royal Palm.
 
ML

***

Malcolm:

I am not sure your comment about "one sleeper" refers to my comment about the NYC not wanting Pullmans from non-NYC cities in the Sunbeam. In case it is...one of the great things about the Southern Railway Historical Association's archives (at TVRM in Chattanooga) is that they contain more than 17,000 SR Executive Dept files that span the entire history of the Southern. I can argue that those files make writing articles easier or harder because guesswork or speculation (even when facts are missing) are not usually needed.

In the case of the NYC and Pullmans at Cincinnati, I don't believe the attached 10-7-46 memo leaves much room for interpretation, at least for the postwar Sunbeam. (HAD is SR President Harry A DeButts)

Ike


 


locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

A&Y Dave in MD
 

Gino,

That is correct. There is a great discussion of coal car design issues in the book by Robert Karig "Coal Cars: The first three hundred years."  White's "The American Railroad Freight Car" is another good source for early designs.  The Karig book is worth the price alone for his discussion and many photos of freight car trucks.Neither book is specific to the Southern designs and nomenclature though, but they are both informative, interesting reads.

Dave



Monday, June 1, 2020, 4:58:14 AM, you wrote:


Hi,

I'm no chemist, but could it be that the sulfur in the coal reacted to form sulfuric acid? Which in it's turn corrodes the metal quickly if it is an inferior quality?

Gino Damen
The Netherlands


1 jun. 2020 04:06:43 George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...>:

Sam:

To further complicate the nomenclature, there were also “hopper bottom” (HB) gondolas. They were as you’d expect, gondolas with hopper bottoms. A benefit of the “hopper” design was that although there were doors on both sides of the center sill, the latching mechanism controlled both doors so they could both be opened from one side.

I would think the early Carbuilders’ Cycs would provide a formal definition of DB and DDB but it does not. The Southern applied the term very specifically to different car series but without some research the meanings are not clear. A quick look at drawings suggests “DDB” cars had a “winding shaft” that went through over the center sill with a chain arrangement holding the doors closed. The ICC records show DDB cars being rebuilt into DB versions. That may (!) coincide with the development or door latches that eliminated the need for the chain design? (Any  other ideas?)

PPS Wood or composite gondolas or hoppers cars were preferred by the Southern well into the 1920s. Apparently the steel of the period rusted out very quickly when used to carry coal. Very few steel gondolas lasted more than 20 years….

Ike


On May 31, 2020, at 7:52 PM, Sam Smith via groups.io <sam_smith2004@...> wrote:

Would one of y'all gentlemen please explain to me the difference between the "drop bottom" vs. "double drop bottom" as described below.

Thank you,
Samuel Smith



On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 7:26 PM, George Eichelberger
<
geichelberger@...> wrote:
Dave:

There is not a specific file or folder to refer to and read but these kinds of letters appear in the Southern Railway Presidents’ files quite often. They provide insights into both the technology and business of railroading across many years.

BTW, drop bottom (DB) and double drop botton (DDB) gondolas went through a name change in SR terminology. Before the "Hopper car” designs that we see today (open top, slope sheets and hopper doors), “coal cars” (sounds like Lionel?) were DB and DDB gons. The jpg below is a portion of an 1899 freight equipment capacity chart prepared for Samuel Spencer. Note “coal cars”…. (First column is 1899 quantities, third are 1898, second is the difference between the two years. Other columns are quantities and tonnage by different size cars.

The entire chart will be published as a “From the Archives” item in a future TIES magazine. The chart, and a complete inventory of Southern rolling stock acquired when the Southern was created from the Richmond Terminal Company bankruptcy provides a starting point for all SR rolling stock and locomotives.

Ike

<PastedGraphic-1.png>

On May 31, 2020, at 4:03 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <
dbott@...> wrote:

Re: [SouthernRailway] From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948
The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike

<9-27-48 AAR ltr to EEN about gons.jpeg>

<10-1-48 gon response letter.jpeg>



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC
<PastedGraphic-1.png>


--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC


locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

George Eichelberger
 

Gino:

I believe that is correct. Eventually, the composition of the steel improved to help somewhat. I cannot quote the car series offhand but the Southern(s) first group of all steel gondolas was followed by more composite designs using wood rather than steel plate.

A few years ago, Richard Hendrickson was working on an article about USRA gondolas and asked if/how they were rebuilt at the end of the Gov’t financing. My, somewhat “flip”, first answer was “like everything else, they were probably rebuilt and renumbered” was completely wrong. After nearly 20 years of service, the cars were in poor condition, the USRA finance terms were expiring and the Great Depression had drastically reduced the need for any type of freight cars.

Ike

PS The USRA gondola specification in the SRHA archives has been scanned. I will post a copy if folks are interested. (Rather than a Southern Railway produced spec., it is simply the USRA document with a new cover sheet.)


On Jun 1, 2020, at 4:58 AM, Gino Damen <g.damen@...> wrote:

Hi,

I'm no chemist, but could it be that the sulfur in the coal reacted to form sulfuric acid? Which in it's turn corrodes the metal quickly if it is an inferior quality?

Gino Damen
The Netherlands


1 jun. 2020 04:06:43 George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...>:

Sam:

To further complicate the nomenclature, there were also “hopper bottom” (HB) gondolas. They were as you’d expect, gondolas with hopper bottoms. A benefit of the “hopper” design was that although there were doors on both sides of the center sill, the latching mechanism controlled both doors so they could both be opened from one side.

I would think the early Carbuilders’ Cycs would provide a formal definition of DB and DDB but it does not. The Southern applied the term very specifically to different car series but without some research the meanings are not clear. A quick look at drawings suggests “DDB” cars had a “winding shaft” that went through over the center sill with a chain arrangement holding the doors closed. The ICC records show DDB cars being rebuilt into DB versions. That may (!) coincide with the development or door latches that eliminated the need for the chain design? (Any  other ideas?)

PPS Wood or composite gondolas or hoppers cars were preferred by the Southern well into the 1920s. Apparently the steel of the period rusted out very quickly when used to carry coal. Very few steel gondolas lasted more than 20 years….

Ike


On May 31, 2020, at 7:52 PM, Sam Smith via groups.io <sam_smith2004@...> wrote:

Would one of y'all gentlemen please explain to me the difference between the "drop bottom" vs. "double drop bottom" as described below.

Thank you,
Samuel Smith


On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 7:26 PM, George Eichelberger
Dave:

There is not a specific file or folder to refer to and read but these kinds of letters appear in the Southern Railway Presidents’ files quite often. They provide insights into both the technology and business of railroading across many years.

BTW, drop bottom (DB) and double drop botton (DDB) gondolas went through a name change in SR terminology. Before the "Hopper car” designs that we see today (open top, slope sheets and hopper doors), “coal cars” (sounds like Lionel?) were DB and DDB gons. The jpg below is a portion of an 1899 freight equipment capacity chart prepared for Samuel Spencer. Note “coal cars”…. (First column is 1899 quantities, third are 1898, second is the difference between the two years. Other columns are quantities and tonnage by different size cars.

The entire chart will be published as a “From the Archives” item in a future TIES magazine. The chart, and a complete inventory of Southern rolling stock acquired when the Southern was created from the Richmond Terminal Company bankruptcy provides a starting point for all SR rolling stock and locomotives.

Ike

<PastedGraphic-1.png>

On May 31, 2020, at 4:03 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike

<9-27-48 AAR ltr to EEN about gons.jpeg>

<10-1-48 gon response letter.jpeg>



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC

<PastedGraphic-1.png>



locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

Gino Damen
 

Hi,

I'm no chemist, but could it be that the sulfur in the coal reacted to form sulfuric acid? Which in it's turn corrodes the metal quickly if it is an inferior quality?

Gino Damen
The Netherlands


1 jun. 2020 04:06:43 George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...>:

Sam:

To further complicate the nomenclature, there were also “hopper bottom” (HB) gondolas. They were as you’d expect, gondolas with hopper bottoms. A benefit of the “hopper” design was that although there were doors on both sides of the center sill, the latching mechanism controlled both doors so they could both be opened from one side.

I would think the early Carbuilders’ Cycs would provide a formal definition of DB and DDB but it does not. The Southern applied the term very specifically to different car series but without some research the meanings are not clear. A quick look at drawings suggests “DDB” cars had a “winding shaft” that went through over the center sill with a chain arrangement holding the doors closed. The ICC records show DDB cars being rebuilt into DB versions. That may (!) coincide with the development or door latches that eliminated the need for the chain design? (Any  other ideas?)

PPS Wood or composite gondolas or hoppers cars were preferred by the Southern well into the 1920s. Apparently the steel of the period rusted out very quickly when used to carry coal. Very few steel gondolas lasted more than 20 years….

Ike


On May 31, 2020, at 7:52 PM, Sam Smith via groups.io <sam_smith2004@...> wrote:

Would one of y'all gentlemen please explain to me the difference between the "drop bottom" vs. "double drop bottom" as described below.

Thank you,
Samuel Smith


On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 7:26 PM, George Eichelberger
Dave:

There is not a specific file or folder to refer to and read but these kinds of letters appear in the Southern Railway Presidents’ files quite often. They provide insights into both the technology and business of railroading across many years.

BTW, drop bottom (DB) and double drop botton (DDB) gondolas went through a name change in SR terminology. Before the "Hopper car” designs that we see today (open top, slope sheets and hopper doors), “coal cars” (sounds like Lionel?) were DB and DDB gons. The jpg below is a portion of an 1899 freight equipment capacity chart prepared for Samuel Spencer. Note “coal cars”…. (First column is 1899 quantities, third are 1898, second is the difference between the two years. Other columns are quantities and tonnage by different size cars.

The entire chart will be published as a “From the Archives” item in a future TIES magazine. The chart, and a complete inventory of Southern rolling stock acquired when the Southern was created from the Richmond Terminal Company bankruptcy provides a starting point for all SR rolling stock and locomotives.

Ike

<PastedGraphic-1.png>

On May 31, 2020, at 4:03 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike

<9-27-48 AAR ltr to EEN about gons.jpeg>

<10-1-48 gon response letter.jpeg>



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC

<PastedGraphic-1.png>


locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

George Eichelberger
 

Sam:

To further complicate the nomenclature, there were also “hopper bottom” (HB) gondolas. They were as you’d expect, gondolas with hopper bottoms. A benefit of the “hopper” design was that although there were doors on both sides of the center sill, the latching mechanism controlled both doors so they could both be opened from one side.

I would think the early Carbuilders’ Cycs would provide a formal definition of DB and DDB but it does not. The Southern applied the term very specifically to different car series but without some research the meanings are not clear. A quick look at drawings suggests “DDB” cars had a “winding shaft” that went through over the center sill with a chain arrangement holding the doors closed. The ICC records show DDB cars being rebuilt into DB versions. That may (!) coincide with the development or door latches that eliminated the need for the chain design? (Any  other ideas?)

PPS Wood or composite gondolas or hoppers cars were preferred by the Southern well into the 1920s. Apparently the steel of the period rusted out very quickly when used to carry coal. Very few steel gondolas lasted more than 20 years….

Ike


On May 31, 2020, at 7:52 PM, Sam Smith via groups.io <sam_smith2004@...> wrote:

Would one of y'all gentlemen please explain to me the difference between the "drop bottom" vs. "double drop bottom" as described below.

Thank you,
Samuel Smith


On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 7:26 PM, George Eichelberger
Dave:

There is not a specific file or folder to refer to and read but these kinds of letters appear in the Southern Railway Presidents’ files quite often. They provide insights into both the technology and business of railroading across many years.

BTW, drop bottom (DB) and double drop botton (DDB) gondolas went through a name change in SR terminology. Before the "Hopper car” designs that we see today (open top, slope sheets and hopper doors), “coal cars” (sounds like Lionel?) were DB and DDB gons. The jpg below is a portion of an 1899 freight equipment capacity chart prepared for Samuel Spencer. Note “coal cars”…. (First column is 1899 quantities, third are 1898, second is the difference between the two years. Other columns are quantities and tonnage by different size cars.

The entire chart will be published as a “From the Archives” item in a future TIES magazine. The chart, and a complete inventory of Southern rolling stock acquired when the Southern was created from the Richmond Terminal Company bankruptcy provides a starting point for all SR rolling stock and locomotives.

Ike

<PastedGraphic-1.png>

On May 31, 2020, at 4:03 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike

<9-27-48 AAR ltr to EEN about gons.jpeg>

<10-1-48 gon response letter.jpeg>



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC

<PastedGraphic-1.png>


locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

Sam Smith
 

Would one of y'all gentlemen please explain to me the difference between the "drop bottom" vs. "double drop bottom" as described below.

Thank you,
Samuel Smith


On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 7:26 PM, George Eichelberger
<geichelberger@...> wrote:
Dave:

There is not a specific file or folder to refer to and read but these kinds of letters appear in the Southern Railway Presidents’ files quite often. They provide insights into both the technology and business of railroading across many years.

BTW, drop bottom (DB) and double drop botton (DDB) gondolas went through a name change in SR terminology. Before the "Hopper car” designs that we see today (open top, slope sheets and hopper doors), “coal cars” (sounds like Lionel?) were DB and DDB gons. The jpg below is a portion of an 1899 freight equipment capacity chart prepared for Samuel Spencer. Note “coal cars”…. (First column is 1899 quantities, third are 1898, second is the difference between the two years. Other columns are quantities and tonnage by different size cars.

The entire chart will be published as a “From the Archives” item in a future TIES magazine. The chart, and a complete inventory of Southern rolling stock acquired when the Southern was created from the Richmond Terminal Company bankruptcy provides a starting point for all SR rolling stock and locomotives.

Ike


On May 31, 2020, at 4:03 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike

<9-27-48 AAR ltr to EEN about gons.jpeg>

<10-1-48 gon response letter.jpeg>



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC


locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

George Eichelberger
 

Dave:

There is not a specific file or folder to refer to and read but these kinds of letters appear in the Southern Railway Presidents’ files quite often. They provide insights into both the technology and business of railroading across many years.

BTW, drop bottom (DB) and double drop botton (DDB) gondolas went through a name change in SR terminology. Before the "Hopper car” designs that we see today (open top, slope sheets and hopper doors), “coal cars” (sounds like Lionel?) were DB and DDB gons. The jpg below is a portion of an 1899 freight equipment capacity chart prepared for Samuel Spencer. Note “coal cars”…. (First column is 1899 quantities, third are 1898, second is the difference between the two years. Other columns are quantities and tonnage by different size cars.

The entire chart will be published as a “From the Archives” item in a future TIES magazine. The chart, and a complete inventory of Southern rolling stock acquired when the Southern was created from the Richmond Terminal Company bankruptcy provides a starting point for all SR rolling stock and locomotives.

Ike


On May 31, 2020, at 4:03 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike

<9-27-48 AAR ltr to EEN about gons.jpeg>

<10-1-48 gon response letter.jpeg>



--
David Bott

Sent from David Bott's desktop PC


locked Re: From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

A&Y Dave in MD
 

The AAR was almost funny.  The Southern had one of the larger gondola fleets in the US, especially relative to its size (obviously nothing like the Pennsy).   I guess Faricy figured if a road had so many, it wouldn't mind adding a few more.

I'm curious since I've been reading about ATSF gondolas designed for both gravel and other loads (with drop doors) and for mill materials also (with drop ends).  Didn't the AAR think to consider the types of gons used by Southern customers vs others?  That's hinted at in the letter about 10% having to be returned empty (other than low side gons).  I wonder  also if that rule had anything to do with the fact that the Southern obtained a lot of low side gons?  A lot of people who I have talked to think it was due to the surplus of cheap manual labor in the southeast  and so low side fixed gons for gravel, sand, etc, would be cheaper and easier to unload than high side gons.  It's a plausible theory, but here's a hint that there may be more to the story.

Interesting bit of correspondence.

Dave

Sunday, May 31, 2020, 9:56:33 AM, you wrote:


For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike







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David Bott

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locked From the SRHA Archives - Gondola Shortage in 1948

George Eichelberger
 

For a medium size railroad, the Southern maintained sufficient freight cars to receive, rather than pay, per diem for interchanged freight cars. When cars were MOL free running, there are multiple letters in the Southern Presidents’ files complaining to the AAR and other railroads that Southern’s cars were not being returned in a timely manner.

The two attached letters discuss a gondola shortage in 1948, a request that the Southern buy gons and the response from SR President EE Norris.
Ike



locked Gathering Material for "TIES" Article on "Florida Sunbeam"

George Eichelberger
 

We are gathering material to use in a future TIES article on the “Florida Sunbeam”. If anyone has any information or material to contribute, please contact us at editor@... or archives@....

The “Sunbeam” was a seasonal train with Pullmans and coaches on the NYC from Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago connecting at Cincinnati, then on the CNO&TP, Southern and the GS&F to Hampton, FL to the Seaboard.

Any information about operations at Hampton and if/which Southern or NYC cars operated on the Seaboard. Several good photos are available but “more is better” if they can be located, particularly anything of the train operating on the SAL. Consist information at Detroit, Cincy or Atlanta would be particularly helpful.

Ike


locked Re: Southern reweigh and repack shop codes

A&Y Dave in MD
 

If you can find the result, that would be great. History is always in danger of being lost, just when it seems safe something changes.

Sent from Dave Bott' iPhone

On May 30, 2020, at 12:36 AM, Jason Greene <jason.p.greene@...> wrote:

This was throughly hashed out years ago on the old yahoo group. You may have them saved in your saved emails.  I’m not sure if you can still go back and find the old yahoo group and search the messages. I may have a chance to look it up tomorrow. 


Jason Greene 

On May 29, 2020, at 7:27 PM, A&Y Dave in MD <dbott@...> wrote:

 On the steam freight car list (STMFC) there is an excel sheet which has the reweigh and repack location shop codes compiled for all US railroads mostly by Richard Hendrickson and primarily based upon an analysis of 1950's era car photographs (mostly). Cars had to be reweighed, and restencilled if certain amounts of change occurred.  In early days, this could be every year or so, and the shops reflected in one era may not work for other time periods.

Is there any chance that the SRHA archives has data on the shop locations and codes that the Southern would use for reweigh and repack stencils in any era, but particularly in 1934? I'd be very happy to see that list.  I suspect the shop codes changed somewhat over time.

Has such a list already been shared/published and I just missed it?   If not, where would such information (accurate by time period) be found?

If no such list or data source exists, here's what the latest STMFC data sheet has for Southern.  Anybody have suggestions (please indicate WHEN the info is appropriate if you can):


SYMBOL LOCATION STATE NOTES SOURCE
ALX Alexandria VA
Hendrickson
AUG Augusta GA
Hendrickson
CHAT Chattanooga TN
Hendrickson
CIN Cincinnatti OH
Hendrickson
FN Finley Yard AL Birmingham Hendrickson
HE Hayne Shops SC Spartanburg Hendrickson
IN Inman Yard GA Atlanta; also INM Hendrickson
INM Inman Yard GA Atlanta; also IN Hendrickson
JS Jacksonville FL
Hendrickson
K Knoxville TN
Hendrickson
MDN Meridian MS
Hendrickson
MN Macon GA
Hendrickson
N Norris Yard SC
Hendrickson
SR Spencer NC
Hendrickson

Richard Hendrickson was a fine historian, but he was not directly interested in the Southern, so I suspect there would be some improvements to be made by this group.

Thanks,

Dave Bott

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