Do you know what this car is?

Discussion in 'Boxcars' started by renapper, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. renapper

    renapper Passed away March 8, 2013

    I ran across this car taken in Dallas, TX in 1963 by Joe Hughes on www.rrpictureachives.net. I had never seen such a car, so I looked them up in the January 1963 O.R.E.R.. They are coke boxcars with open roof and six side doors. They are #1000-1003 but there are only three of them. Joe Hughes said the car # is 100 but the end sill says this car #1001. Does any one know any more about these cars? My guess is they were used in Birmingham, AL steel mills.
     

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  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Wow ..... quite a critter! Thanks for posting it.

    The 1/1/61 Frisco booklet of freight cars published by the marketing department (seems to me it is posted on frisco.org somewhere) notes that on 11/1/60, the Frisco had three "coke gondolas". They are described as follows: "The coke cars have high sides, 8 feet 4 inches, inside length measures 40 feet 7 inches, width 8 feet 8 inches. Sides are equipped with doors for unloading. These are special cars assigned to the Birmingham area."

    I was able to find the car diagram in only one of my SLSF Freight Car Diagram booklets. See the attached. Note it shows only two cars left. They look to have been built by cutting down older box cars, 1930's era ACF & Pullman Std cars.

    Ken
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2012
  3. mvtelegrapher

    mvtelegrapher Member

    We've got slides of these cars in our collection at Carona. I've always been told they were for coke loading.

    John Chambers
     
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Yes, the cars were used as coke supply cars to the Birmingham, AL steel mills. Coke, a low volatile form of carbon, is used as a reducing agent in the steel furnace process.

    Ken
     
  5. renapper

    renapper Passed away March 8, 2013

    John, Would you please post the slides of the cars that you have, thank you.
     
  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The diagram of these cars indicates that the doors open to the left, but these doors do not use the same hardware that one would expect on a box car. In fact, if these cars used “standard” door hardware, if would be difficult, if not impossible to slide-open the door. The outward pressure on the door caused by the coke load would be high enough to make the task difficult. It is the same reason that it is impossible to roll-down the window of a submerged automobile.
    Based on the photo, it appears that the top and bottom guides are steel rods. It also seems that the top of the door is “attached” to the top guide by means of a single “hook”, which is centered at the top of the door. The bottom of the door is “attached” to the bottom guide with two chains, whose length seems to be on the order of 18” to 24”.
    I am guessing that when closed, there is a means to secure the bottom of the bottom of the door snugly to the car side. To unload, this “locking” mechanism is released which allows the door to swing open at the bottom thus allowing the coke to fall from the car. As the car is emptied, it becomes easier to slide the door until it is possible to open it fully. It may even be possible to slide open the door fully once the doors are swung open. Coke (average) has an angle of repose 28-32 degrees, and so with all the doors open, very roughly 10-15% of the coke by volume would remain in the car. Coke’s density is approximately .45-.51, and a little “light” shovel work would be required to finish the unloading process.
     
  7. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Here is my model of Coke car #1001, in service at Birmingham delivering coke to various small foundries in the area.

    Ken McElreath
     

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  8. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Nice. Did you scratch or bash that? Looks good.
     
  9. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    This car was a Train Miniatures outside-braced boxcar, exactly right for the 163,000 series Frisco boxcars. I did the same bashing as the prototype, removing the roof and adding two smaller doors and then painting and decals, plus a load and weathering.

    I love the car.

    Ken McElreath
     
  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Nice work Ken. You have correctly captured the "filth" of anything associated with coke handling. I was responsible for a subsidiary business in Wyoming that made coke from local Wyoming coal using German technology. The coke was a raw material for a downstream plant process. You could not visit that plant, even just to the office, without having fine coke dust get all over everything, including the inside of your shirt collar. Fortunately the plant was out in the middle of nowhere. We shipped the coke in UP covered hoppers as we needed to keep it dry. The gray UP LO's quickly became dark gray covered hoppers that looked like your model.

    That plant is still running. It makes a very high quality coke product, but not without the fine dust every time you move the coke no matter how much you try to contain it. That just comes with the territory.

    Ken
     
  11. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Nice modeling result, very nice.
     
  12. kenmc

    kenmc KenMc Frisco.org Supporter

    Thank you for your comments, Ken.

    When I built the car, I didn't have a photo of it in actual coke service, but I am very familiar with the filth of coke handling, so I weathered it that way. The 1963 photo in this thread looks quite clean, so I was wondering if I had overdone it. Obviously, this car hadn't carried coke in a while, I would surmise.

    Isn't it fun to get off on little rabbit trails in modeling, such as how much filth to put on a car to make it appear prototypical? We must be nuts! On the other hand, look at all that we get to learn, that the rest of the world couldn't care less about.

    Ken McElreath
     
  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Amen Ken. Regarding the unique features of model railroading, I would always tell my friends an example of that is "what other hobby besides model railroading would have about a dozen HO scale outhouses available for modelers?" Yes, indeed, we get down to even the most basic things!

    Ken
     

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