Monday, March 13, 2017

Household Fuel Part II: Operations

So I've established that the primary supplier for Household Fuel is the Glen Alden Coal Company of Ashley, PA, with locations in several other Pennsylvania towns. The largest breaker of the company is serviced by the CNJ, and the others by DL&W.

The CNJ and DL&W have two primary entry points to the New Haven via established routes. Specific trains vary by year.

By Car Float via Oak Point
CNJ at Jersey City > car float > NH at Oak Point
  • GN-4 > Bridgeport > EA-2 > New Britain
  • HN-2 > Cedar Hill > NY-2 > New Britain
  • HN-4 > Cedar Hill > NY-2 > New Britain
  • HN-2 > Cedar Hill > NY-4 > New Britain
  • HN-4 > Cedar Hill > NY-4 > New Britain

By Rail via Maybrook
DL&W > NYO&W > NH at Maybrook
CNJ > L&H > NH at Maybrook
DL&W > L&H > NH at Maybrook
  • OA-2 > New Britain
  • OA-4 > New Britain
  • OA-6 > New Britain 
Car service rules indicate that when an empty car is requested, that all attempts should be made to load a car from the destination road, or a road that is along or beyond that route and will share in the revenue. But I think hoppers are a unique class. The New Haven had 993 hoppers in 1950. I believe most of these stayed on home rails. Something like 60% of bituminous coal entered CT by water. Much of this was for railroad use. But many industries relied on this coal as well, and I believe the coal that came in by water was delivered to such businesses in NH hoppers.

On the other hand, anthracite was shipped to the NH almost entirely by rail.

The New Haven didn't originate any coal, and other commodities like trap rock were heavy and tended to not be shipped very far. So I think that the chances that there were empty NH hoppers on the DL&W or CNJ is low.

While one could make a case the B&O, NYC, or PRR had plenty of free roaming hoppers and could be loaded, none of these roads were in the established routes from any of the Glen Alden collieries. So my guess is that most of these loads would be delivered in CNJ or DL&W hoppers, depending on their source. Furthermore, in pictures of collieries, the cars waiting to be loaded (or with loads ready to ship) tend to be primarily those of the home road.

So on the New Haven, there is a good supply of hoppers from other roads, especially the B&O, CNJ,  NYC, PRR, RDG, and others, and I think they would primarily be in hoppers form the home road where the colliery is located.

That being the case (accurately or not), for Household Fuel I'm looking for CNJ, CRP, and DL&W hoppers. Other industries and coal dealers will receive hoppers from other roads, depending on their origination.

So the 1947 rosters with suggested models are:

62000-62999 1905 Common Design (812) (Bowser is close)
63000-64999 9-Panel Hoppers (1198) (F&C)
65000-65499 USRA Hoppers (345) (Accurail, MTH, Tichy)
66000-66999 9-Panel Hoppers (640) (F&C)
67000-67999 Welded Fishbelly Hoppers (765) (Bowser/ex-Stewart with modifications)

I'll be building two 9-panel hoppers (one from each series), and a welded fishbelly hopper (along with some Reading hoppers of the same design).

10001-10500 AAR Standard 50-ton Hopper (500) (Kadee undec with wine door locks)
62500-62999 1905 Common Design (174) (Bowser is close)
63000-64999 9-Panel Hoppers (771) (F&C)
65040-65499 USRA Hoppers (150) (Accurail, MTH, Tichy)
66000-66999 9-Panel Hoppers (349) (F&C)
67000-67999 Welded Fishbelly Hoppers (232) (Bowser/ex-Stewart with modifications)

I'm planning on an AAR Standard hopper, and have a USRA hopper. I might do a 9-panel hopper as well.

The DL&W fleet is a little harder to model, unfortunately. Any help is appreciated!
76000-77599 (69 + 23) Standard Steel 1903 Design Twin Hopper (similar) (modified Westerfield)
78100-78599 (299 + 62) 10-panel Standard Steel Twin Hopper
78600-79949 (847 + 199) 12-panel Standard Steel Twin Hopper
79950-80949 (20) (?)
81000-81799 USRA Twin Hopper (704) (Accurail, MTH, Tichy)
81800-83299 (1249 + 234) 10-Panel Standard Steel Twin Hopper
83300-83799 (498) Enterprise-Design Twin Hopper
84082-84949 (821) Enterprise-Design Triple Hopper
85000-85499 (499) Enterprise-Design Twin Hopper
85500-86499 (500) PS-3 Welded 50-ton Twin Hopper (built 1947) (Train-Miniatures, now Walthers)

I'll need to figure out more options, but I'll start with a USRA hopper.

Modeling Notes
For the USRA hoppers, I have settled on the MTH model. The dimensions are accurate (unlike the Tichy model) and they have separately applied details (unlike the Accurail model). They all have K-series brakes, despite the review in Model Railroader years ago, and either horizontal (stemwinder) handbrakes, or the USRA lever-style.

I've refitted a CRP hopper with AB brakes and an Ajax handbrake to experiment. I'll need to do the same for the NH hoppers, and a CNJ one as it appears based on the ORER the CNJ cars had geared handbrakes. Most of them I'll leave with the K-series brakes to make things simpler. Accurail and Tichy detail parts are both available

The downside to the MTH models is that either the paint schemes are too early for my era, or they don't have the correct schemes. So I'm stripping and redecorating them. I've disassembled one to do this, but I'm going to try leaving the next one intact other than removing the trucks and couplers.

Builder's photo from the 1940 Cyclopedia

The DL&W Enteprise-Design Twin Hopper is similar to the later AAR Standard twin, but about a foot longer. Several other roads had hoppers built to this design in the '20s and '30s. I might use one of Resin Car Works models for this, or perhaps I can convince Frank to do this earlier, larger version.

Pictures of the DL&W 10-panel and 12-panel hoppers are in Martin Robert Karig III's Coal Cars: The First Three Hundred Years. I am not aware of any models of these, even though they are the largest classes on the road in 1947. Perhaps I can persuade Steve Funaro to make them...

The DL&W Enterprise-Design Triple Hopper is another tough one. I don't know if it's an ARA triple or just similar yet. It has the "chisel taper" like the other cars of this design. There isn't a good model for this that I'm aware of. MDC/Roundhouse and Athearn both have cars that superficially resemble it, but the ends, sideframes and number of posts are wrong. The Accurail and Bowser cars have a different taper and are of different cars altogether.

What it really comes down to is that the DL&W had an unusual hopper fleet, either unique, or of less common designs that only resemble the much more commonly built cars. So I'll have to settle for the USRA cars for now.


  1. Really impressive freight car & industry analysis - as always!

  2. Hey Chris, Do you have a track plan you can share ? Thank you, Phil Stead

    1. As it turns out, Randy sketched most of my plan which can be found at my site:

  3. Rereading these posts....NH originated zero coal from the docks according to the 1950 Freight Commodity Stats report. 2M plus tons of each of Anthracite and bituminous were terminated plus a little bridged. Both came in at about 58 tons per car which suggests a 3:2 ratio of 50 to 70 ton hoppers.

    1. Fascinating info. Thanks! I’ll have to see if I can find those reports.

    2. I want to apologize, Mike, for not seeing your comments earlier to approve them. Digging a little deeper, from a report titled “Origins and Destinations of New England’s Rail Traffic, 1949” it states “Since New England produces no coal, the 1,344,500 tons of coal originated in New England were mostly trans-shipments from ports in the region.” This is one of the source reports for the book, “American Commodity Flow” which reports that “Boat receipts of coal... (to Connecticut) ... are almost one and one-half times the rail receipts (approximately 3,500,000 tons) and this would add about 350 dots to West Virginia and Virginia on the Mines map.”

      “The Economic State if New England” from 1954 indicates that 6,740,000 tons of bituminous comes via boat vs. the 5,145,000 by rail. What I find even more interesting is that there’s a net EXPORT of 2,400 tons of crude oil from New England, with a net import of 908,000 tons by water from domestic sources and 4,218,000 tons via water from foreign sources.

      It appears asphalt is a product of New England (from the crude oil would be my guess) with a net export by rail of 49,000 tons. Imports via water mean there is still a net import of 4,000 tons to New England, though.

      I’d love to see the reports you’ve got, because it’s interesting to see the different ways they parse the data. For example, the Economic State book seems to be primarily concerned with net export/import, and doesn’t always provide the raw numbers, like the other report does.