1. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

    Two of the loadouts here often have coal cars stored in a siding in case extra cars are needed while loading a train.

    I'm wondering who makes the decision to place those cars there. By that I mean does the coal company request extra cars be stored there? Does the crew just decide to tie some spare cars there? Or is it someone in management that decides, because someone has to know where those cars are at.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

    It would almost certainly be managements decision if RR owned/leased trackage. Sometimes utilities and mines, to a much lesser degree, own their own cars, and depending on contracts will store or put into service cars as needed to fulfill the requirements. Also some may be stored to replace bad order cars before loading, (like open dump doors or the like). But in any case management like you elude to in your post, need to know what kind of equipment is where on the RR.
    However, if the trackage is privately owned the RR has no say what goes where, but management will usually have a general idea just to keep it all straight. All this is a rather complicated dance between the RR's, the shippers, train management, consignees, and marketing.
    I know around here there are literally miles of Aluminum coal MT's stored, and I still see 40+ year old RR owned cars from 3-4 different predecessors roads, loaded and still rolling along.
    It doesn't make sense sometimes to me.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I wonder if they could simply be using of the remaining time on older cars, before they need to be removed from service?

    Around here, there are tons of cars stored. I was told how many trains Montana Rail Link has at present, but cannot find the email right now. Coal, well and tank cars in the thousands, just by MRL alone. And none are MRL owned. The same for BNSF and the Watco short lines. A few of the cars appear to have never been used.
  4. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

    I am editing a video for YouTube of which this is a stillframe. Ca. 1980. Port of Corpus Christi occasionally received shipments of iron ore from overseas to go to northern Mexico smelters. Handled by Southern Pacific. Took 300 hopper cars, which needed to be brought to port to be there when ship arrived. SP did not have 300 shorty ore cars. Used regular hoppers, that normally hauled coal or crushed stone. I filmed from overpass to show that cars filled to weight capacity only looked about a third full by volume. Old news video shot on 3/4" U-matic tape (1980s format), transferred to 1" tape for editing a railroad feature using TV station eqpt (1990s format), transferred to VHS so I could show on home eqpt (1980s format), digitized to DVD for editing on computer (2005 format)...
  5. BnOEngrRick

    BnOEngrRick TrainBoard Member

    I'm guessing those cars are filled with iron ore/taconite pellets.
  6. fordv10

    fordv10 TrainBoard Member

    Illinois Railway Museum in Union Illinois stored a bunch of coal hopper cars for UP this past winter.

Share This Page