locked Chip Car

Tom Holley


I grew up in Columbus, GA, and have seen many Southern chip hoppers. I haven't seen one of these, though. Any information on them would be appreciated. I know the cars show up in videos of the Graham County shortline, and some were used on the old Georgia and Florida. Where were they loaded to?


Tom Holley

Jim King

Graham County shipped chips to Champion Paper in Canton.  I’ve heard, but not verified, 16 of these cars were assigned to this service.  Honestly, I find this number to be higher than “logic dictates” since the GC rarely loaded more than 2 cars at a time (based on photos).  Even cars in-transit and in-process at the paper mill wouldn’t add up to 16, IMO.


Jim King



George Eichelberger


Those (converted wood rack) chip cars were discussed in a TIES article years ago. Maybe someone (Bill Schafer) can tell us which issue?


PS They never would have traveled to Columbus, GA. Unloading them required special equipment, a hydraulic ram that traveled beside the car and pushed the chips out of the other side. As ex wood racks, they had a solid floor. A chain hoist was used to open the lower sides of the car. Because of the way chips pack, when the side doors were removed, very few fell out. (That is why "modern" chip hoppers are wider at their side sills than at their top cords.) 

The operator rode the end of the ram as it moved along the car and pushed the chips out. Only Champion Paper in Canton (and Savannah?) had the equipment so they would never have gone to Columbus.