Locked [ModelingTheSouthern] Southern 70T Woodchip Hopper

George Eichelberger


Here is a reduced size SF-21598 showing the bracing that sat inside the box car wood chip conversions.  You’ll understand my reference to looking like a child’s swing set. (I’ll look to see if Southern did something similar for the hopper conversions?)

I’ve attached a rather poor scan made from microfilm years ago. We just put the new 48” scanner in service in the archives and I spent this past Thurs-Sat scanning the full size drawings…there are thousands more to do!. (We spent $7,000 on the new scanner but it’s worth every cent as far as we are concerned…of course donations to the archives are always welcome!)

With more help at the work sessions, we can get more done and work to make copies available, more to TIES articles, etc., etc. The Nov. session dates will be the 3rd weekend (Fri & Sat) of the month.

I mentioned we will be starting the “Southern News Bulletin” email to SRHA members every month TIES is not published next year. It’s not a PDF version of TIES as it will include modeling articles, “the Southern Today”, “From the Archives”, etc. We are looking for SRHA member volunteers to edit different sections, send a note to archives@... if you are interested. (A formal announcement will come out shortly.) Not every section will be in every “issue” and we expect it will only be a few pages to start. How it grows is “TBD”.



On Oct 17, 2021, at 11:04 AM, Daniel Bourque <deltabourque@...> wrote:

Ike, Fenton, David,

Good info on the shakers! I didn’t have any photos of the inside, so the cross bracing was a guess based on the extra panels on the outside reinforcing this section of the car as well as the example of bracing used in the modified boxcars. I’m making a removable load from foamcore that has slots to accommodate the bracing. 

The “rust” on the sides is just some paint stippling with a mostly dry brush. 


On Oct 17, 2021, at 7:35 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

 PS Re car shakers to unload wood chips.

For some genuine trivia (described in the pulpwood to chip car articles in TIES years ago), wood chips compact themselves straight down when loaded so opening doors on the bottom doesn’t do much. The modified hoppers and box cars had straight sides as you’d expect. All later purpose built chip cars were wider across the side sill than the top cord. Not by much but the extra width at the bottom counteracted the chip compressing themselves (!?)

The answer was to rotary dump chips. Some mills were slow to add dumpers but the cost and time savings were too big to ignore.


On Oct 17, 2021, at 9:25 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Nice work!

I see you have the internal bracing so the car could be rotary dumped. I don’t know if the same arrangement was in the hoppers but we have the drawings for the framework that sat inside the box cars modified for wood chip service. I describe the thing as looking sort of like a child’s swing set welded to the floor that went from side to side and end to end.

I have one of the box cars mol done but I have not decided how much effort to put into the doors. My thought is to load the car with sawdust wood chips but not cover up the bracing completely.


On Oct 16, 2021, at 11:57 PM, Daniel Bourque <deltabourque@...> wrote:

Finished a few models today. This one’s been sitting on the shelf built but unpainted for several years, so it was good to finally complete it! It’s a kitbashed Southern homebuilt woodchip hopper from a 70T coal hopper.
It started as an Atlas Trainman hopper. I removed the top chord and built the side extensions from sheet styrene. The toughest part was building the new ribs to include rivet patterns to match the lower ribs (though I tried to capture the rib extensions being slightly wider as they are on the prototype). According to the Southern Freight Car book, the strange panels on the sides were for some sort of shaker mechanism for helping to dislodge chips.
Now I just need an excuse to run a woodchip car on the St Charles Branch… 😊
Dan Bourque
Sent from Mail for Windows
<SOU 132404 70T woodchip hopper.jpg>