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  • Wood Chip Service Cars

    Above: Ashley, Drew & Northern SW900 No. 907 handles a cut of wood-chip hopper cars on a spur at Crossett, Ark., on Oct. 15, 1981. AD&N owns 100 similar cars, 100-ton types with a capacity of 7000 cubic feet.

    Right: One of the cars specially designed for wood-chip service was Seaboard Coast Line 190980. It has a 75-ton, 5850-cubic foot capacity. Note the service designation on the car side.
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    Distinctive rolling stock used in timber regions nationwide

    BY WARREN CALLOWAY

    PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE AUTHOR

       Wood products are a major commodity hauled by southeastern railroads as well as those in certain other parts of the country. For years, the southeast product was in the form of six-foot lengths of wood carried on special flat cars known locally as "wood racks." In the early 1960's, a new form of wood traffic was being shipped to paper mills in the south. These were wood chips, which required a new type of railroad car because of the large volume and light weight of the product.

       Initially, local roads modified standard 50- and 70-ton hoppers by adding side extensions to increase cubic capacity. Examples of this approach were found on Seaboard, Norfolk Southern, Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, Georgia and others. Southern Railway built a series of wood chip cars - used also by the Central of Georgia - from 40-foot boxcars. Southern removed the roof, sealed the door openings, extended the sides and added bottom doors for unloading. As we've said, the specially designed cars for wood-chip service appeared in the south in the mid-1960's. These cars were built specifically for large capacity/low weight wood chip business. The car lengths grew to 50 and 60 feet, and some cars had drop bottoms (SAL), while others had hopper doors (NS, CG, ACL). In the 1970's, some 70-foot cars were placed in service (SR, SCL).

    Atlantic Coast Line No. 84210 was photographed at Raleigh. N.C. in 1984-still wearing its pre-merger paint scheme. The car is equipped with four unloading bays.

    Right: Seaboard System 431216 shows off its new paint scheme in this 1984 view. Also a four-hatch, bottom unloading hopper, No. 431216 is one of the wood-chip hoppers specifically built for such use.

    Below: One of the larger wood-chip cars used. Central of Georgia No. 235 held a hefty 77 tons and 5800 cubic feet. Chip service was denoted on the car side.

    Left: South Central Tennessee Railroad RS11 No. 29 drags a train of wood chips through the verdant Volunteer State countryside. SCTR owns 80 wood-chip hoppers, all 6000-cubic foot capacity cars.

    Right above: Seaboard No. 36477 was one of the wood-chip hoppers having drop bottoms for unloading. Note the lack of hopper-type bays under the car. No. 36477 held 75 tons of wood chips, one of 300 similar cars on the railroad. Right below: SAL No. 36381 was a 77-ton car, renumbered into SCL series by adding an 8 in front of the Seaboard digits.

    Left: Seaboard 36117 was one of several wood-chip hoppers built from regular coal service hopper cars. The railroad simply added new, higher side panels to increase the capacity of the car No. 36117 is a 77-ton, 4626-cubic foot hopper
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    Louisville & Nashville owned 100 of this type of wood-chip hopper, a somewhat unusual six-unloading-bay design.

    This Southern wood-chip car was converted from a regualr 40-foot boxcar. The car held only 55 toms (4474 cubic feet) of wood chips. Note the unloading gate control equipment on the car side.

    Southern No. 133718 was designed and built specifically for wood-chip service. It was one of the largest wood-chip cars ever built, and differed from most with its waffle-sided construction.
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    Western Railway of Alabama owned only 35 wood-chip hoppers, but they were practically the largest ones around. No. 26028 had a capacity of 100 tons.

    The heritage of Georgia Railroad No. 15710 as a coal hopper is obvious. The car was one of 51 similar types on the road, and it held 77 tons, 4800 cubic feet.

    Four-bay hopper No, 190042 was a 70-ton, 5400-cubic foot car. A popular style, it was one of 1130 similar types on the SCL.

    Yet another style of wood-chip car is this Seaboard Coast line rotary gondola. There were 300 of these cars on the SCL roster.

    ne of the more massive types of wood-chip hopper, SCL 196261 is a 7000-cubic foot, waffle-side car with six unloading bays. Note the Family Lines paint scheme.

    Norfolk Southern (the original NS) No. 8200 was their first wood-chip car, seen here at Raleigh, N.C., in 1963. It was converted from a coal hopper.

    Also on the Norfolk Southern roster back in the 1960's was this specially-built wood-chip hopper, a six-bay affair holding 77 tons, 5825 cubic feet.
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    WOODCHIP CARS PARTIAL ROSTER
    APALACHICOLA NORTHERN ST. LOUIS-SAN FRANCISCO
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 93000-93054 92  6940  HTS  55  
      4000-4054 100 7000 HTS 55   93100-93154 92 6940 HTS  55  
    ASHLEY, DREW & NORTHERN   SEABOARD COAST LINE
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty.   Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes
      4100-4199 100 7025 GTS 100   180000-180219 77  5877  GT  220   
    ATLANTA & ST. ANDREWS BAY 180220-180319 77  5877 GT  100   
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 180320-180419 95  7100 GT  100   
      1601-1609 50 2721 HM 9   180420-180519 100  7112 GT  100   
      1611-1614 50 2721 HM 4   190000-190179 70  5400 HTS 180  
      1615-1639 55 3100 HM 25   190180-190579 70    5400 HTS 400  
      1665-1680 77 4332 HTS 26   190580-190929  70  5400  HTS 350  
      1699 55 4438 HTS 1   190930-191029 75  5850 HKS 100   
      1750-1779 89 7526 HTS 30   191030-191229 70 5400 HTS 200   
    ATLANTA & WEST POINT 195000-195389 90  7000 HTS 390   
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 195390-195399 90  7000 HTS 10   
      46000-46034 100 7000 HTS 35   195400-195599 90  7000 HTS 200   
    CENTRAL OF GEORGIA 195600-195974 90  7000 HTS 375   
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 195975-196174 90  7000 HTS 200   
      151-250 77 5800 HTS 100   196175-196274 90  7000 HTS 100   
      20000-20299 55 4474 HTS 300   684200-684299 70 5400  HTS 100  1
    CHATAHOOCHEE INDUSTRIAL 684300-684499 70 5400  HTS 200  1
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 684500-684699 70 5400  HTS 200  1
      5000-5039 90 7000 HTS 40   684700-684899 70 5400  HTS 200  1
      5200-5149 100 6810 GTS 50   684900-684999 70 5400  HTS  100 1
      5201-5206 70 4800 HTS 6   836000-836199 77 4626 HTS 200  2,3
      5207-5208 70 4350 HTS 2   836200-836399 75   5850 HKS 200  2
      5209-5210 70 4800 HTS 2   836400-836499 75  5850 HKS 100 2
      5300-5339 100 7000 HTS 40   SOUTH CENTRAL TENNESSEE
    GEORGIA RAILROAD Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 1201-1280   6000 HTS 80  
      15700-15750 77 4800 HTS 51   SOUTHERN
      16000-16124 90 7000 HTS 125   Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes
      GULF, MOBILE & OHIO 131950-131999  77 5825  HTS  50   
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 132000-132399 55 4507  HTS  400   
      82000-82199 55 3546 HMS 200   132400-132449 77  4448  HTS  50   
      82200-82399 55  3500 HMS 200   132500-132597 77  5800  HTS  98   
      82400-82449 77 4760  HTS 50   132600-132893 55  4474  HTS  294   
      82550-82699 77 5748 HTS 150   132900-132979 55  4507  HTS  80   
      82700-82799 77 5748 HTS 100   133000-133199 89  7526  HTS  200   
      866300-866399 77 5748 HTS 100   133200-133449 89  7526  HTS  250   
      LOUISVILLE & NASHVILLE 133575-133724 89  7526  HTS  150   
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes 134225-134499 89  7526  HTS  275   
      30620-30699 75  4720  HTS  80    139725-139874 92  7526  GTS 150   
      30700-30799 77  5750  HTS  100    139875-139999 92 7625 GTS 125  
      30800-30849 77  4746  HTS  50    TEXAS, OKLAHOMA & EASTERN
      31000-31099 92  7000  HTS  100    Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes
      31900-31999 92  7000  HTS  100    800-861 77 4677  HTS  62   
      32000-32029 94  7000  HTS  30    1200-1395  94 7500  GB  195   
      32030-32111 92 7000  HTS  82   1500-1574 100 7000 HTS 75  
      NORFOLK SOUTHERN WESTERN RAILWAY OF ALABAMA
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes
      8200-8229 70  4268  HTS  30   26000-26034 100 7000 HTS 35  
      8250-8269 77 5825  HTS  20   1 . Ex-ACL cars. Renumbered into SCL series by adding digit 6 i n front of old ACL numbers. 2. Ex-SAL cars. Renumbered into SCL series by adding digit 8 in front of o ld SAL numbers. 3. These cars had their extended sides removed and were returned to coal hopper service. Renumbered to 8 83800-883997
      8270-8299 77 5825 HTS  30  
      NORTH LOUISIANA & GULF
      Nos. Cap. (Tons) Cap. (Cu. ft.) AAR Class Qty. Notes
      4001-4040 77 5500 HTS 40  

    Article Details

    • Original Author Warren Calloway
    • Source Prototype Modeler
    • Publication Date December 1986

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  • Dave Jones likes this
  • Dave Jones
    Dave Jones Great to see an article like this. Modelling 3 southeastern railroads I had acquired a couple of the old T-M 2-bay wood chips and sure was glad to see Athearn release those 3-bays. See that Walthers is re-releasing the old T-M cars, but as is typical, t...  more
    June 26, 2012