Gould/Tichy 22-ft wood ore hoppers (HO kit #4012)

Discussion in 'Hopper Cars' started by meteor910, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. meteor910

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

    When Gould (now Tichy) first introduced their excellent line of HO freight car kits a few decades ago, I bought at least one of each of their releases. One of the earlier ones was kit #4012, which is two HO 22-ft wood ore hoppers. This was a very neat kit, but the Frisco did not have any ore hoppers, so the kit sat on my shelf for a long time as I wondered what I would ever do with it.

    Well, a few weeks back, I pulled out the kit, and decided to build them. It is a very nice kit -two identical 22-ft HO wood ore hoppers, riding on really nice archbar trucks. As with all (but one!) Gould/Tichy kits, it went together like a Swiss watch.

    Now, FYI, a heads up! - from this point on, much of the background I will offer is fantasy, bogus, pure BS ..... FYI. You have been warned.

    In the early half of the 20th century, high quality iron ore was mined in the area around Sligo, Missouri, in Dent County. Sligo is a few miles south of Cherryville, a few miles west of Dillard. The Sligo Iron Works was established there to mine and process the ore, and was initially very profitable. The Sligo and Eastern narrow gauge RR hauled the ore and finished pig iron out to market. Among their customers was the Knotwell Iron Furnace Co. just west of Newburg, at Alhambra Grotto, on the Frisco Eastern Division. All of this iron related business came to an early halt during the depression, as did the Sligo and Eastern RR.

    But, the Sligo ore was unique - because of the significant Missouri Ozark chigger dung content of the ore, some 0.03%, it had valuable properties not seen in other iron ores, allowing unique specialty iron alloys to be made from the pig iron so produced. During and after WW-2, the ore was still mined at Sligo, and one Knotwell furnace was quietly kept on line to make specific cast iron plugs for top secret US military use, for NASA, and for the new Chevy Volt. Thus, movement of the ore was still needed and continued between Sligo, on the now standard gauge Sligo & Eastern via the Frisco Salem Branch, to the furnaces on the Frisco at Alhambra west of Newburg. This wonder metal is known as Rearden Metal, a form of stainless steel that is stronger and more corrosion resistant than any other. This movement continues to this day. But, it does have its problems.

    It is a small volume ore movement, so the Sligo & Eastern, with the full endorsement of the Feds, and the Sligo Iron Works, decided to continue to use their ancient wood, 22-ft, single-bay ore hoppers from the narrow gauge years, but now riding on standard gauge archbar trucks ..... which are allowed under DOT exemption because they are in dedicated service on the S&E and on the SLSF to Alhambra, and back to Sligo. The Frisco agreed to this under DOD pressure - providing that the ore hoppers had an air line added such that the Frisco local that moved them could still use its brakes (the air line on the ore hoppers is a straight through pipe, the brakes on the ore hopper are mechanical and hand operated only), and that the ore hoppers would be repainted and clearly marked for the Sligo line, and that the ore hoppers would also be clearly marked with a bright yellow square, indicating that the hopper was approved for movement from Sligo to Alhambra and return, only. The ore movement is such a specialty that only two ore hoppers would be needed, S&E #8 and S&E #14. All this was done, and under cover of darkness, this highly valuable and necessary movement is made weekly.

    Attached are two pics of S&E #14, taken at great risk by yours truly at an undisclosed location on the Salem Branch, and smuggled out on my iPhone. Enjoy. I'll try for a similar pic of #8 as soon as I lose the RR flatfoot types that are on my tail.

    BTW, who is John Galt?


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  2. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Nice story. I also have these two cars and often wondered what I would do with them. If you would like them just PM me.
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Ken, thanks for taking the risk -the pictures are pretty good; the work on the cars is great.

    Glad that a company flatfoot didn't chase you away from the premises.

    Best Regards,
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Now I understand why chiggers are red....
  5. rc2477

    rc2477 Member

    I am working on two of the ore cars as I write this, the question I have is what did you do about weight? These cars weight nothing, I've been adding A-line moldable weight and fitting it into the car as I'm building them but I'm afraid they are still gonna be light. I'd like to find a few more of these kits if anyone has one to spare.
  6. meteor910

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

    Craig - The ore load provides the weight. The hopper is full, all loose. I hope the SLSF never derails these things, I'd have Sligo ore all over the place!

    Jim - Thanks for the offer, but I only need two of these. go ahead and build yours - very nice little kit, fun to build. I'm sure you could find something to do with them on your period layout.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  7. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Very well done! Some where I have some photos of what looked like old DM&IR shortie hoppers painted Big Red Line (or something close to that) in sand service in Monett. Sooo, ya can't be that far off.
  8. meteor910

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

    Back down to Cuba to snap a pic of the S&E movement, once again, of the highly classified shipments of Sligo Iron Works iron ore for Rearden Metal production at the sole remaining Knotwell Iron Furnace still operating at Alhambra, just west of Newburg, Mo, on the Frisco Eastern Division. See my earlier posting above for the details of this highly classified movement.

    Rearden Metal demand is booming. Everybody marvels at it, but everybody complains about it, yet everybody wants to buy some. Right now, the Feds, and one railroad, are getting it all. Knotwell, and Sligo, both love it.


    ps - The caboose is my attempt years ago to create a Frisco three-window cab. This is from a Silver Streak kit, and was built by me in 1965, a real oldie but goodie!

    ps#2 - See my disclaimer in the earlier posting above!

    ps#3 - The Feds have an armed escort riding in that Frisco cab. Rearden Metal is serious stuff! Notice how the local with the ore is getting priority over SLSF #3.

    ps #4 - Who is John Galt?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
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  9. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    I have no idea how I somehow over looked this thread when it was first posted!

    Ken, very nice models - both the ore cars and caboose! Back in 1965 my modeling skills were nowhere near your Silver Streak cab.
    What a good story about the iron works and ore too! Growing up in southern AR, I am very familiar with the properties and chemical makeup of the chiggers in that part of the world. There was some iron ore and lignite deposits in the area, but I don't think that it was of a commercial amount to be mined. SSW local freight movements were an occasional box car of local merchandise at the depot, pulpwood loading, a cotton gin, and a casket factory. The depot is now gone, the gin burned down my senior year, and the casket factory closed a few years later. There may be some pulpwood loading left and I am sure the chiggers still remain.
  10. meteor910

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

    Too bad Rearden Metal was not around when they built that gin.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2013
  11. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I had terrible modeling skills in 1965. I was 2.:)
  12. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Me thinks that you have improved quite a bit? :)

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