Covered Hoppers

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Sun Mar 19 13:24:16 EST 2006

In reviewing the N&W's freight car fleet one notices that it acquired a rather large number of covered hoppers well prior to the 1964 merger with NKP, WAB, etc. These acquisitions start in the 1940s or so and continue through the steam era on the N&W.

Does anyone know why N&W began to acquire covered hoppers? A lot were built in Roanoke Shops by N&W itself.

What traffic did N&W have that required covered hoppers? Most of the early covered hoppers, contrary to popular model railroad belief, did not haul grain; the larger capacity grain hoppers didn't really make an appearance until the early 1960s and following.

So what was so important for N&W to obtain covered hoppers? I understand that some of these would be used in company service to haul sand for the various locomotive servicing facilities.

Were the sources for cement along the N&W? Were these used at the Norfolk Terminal Piers for bulk shipment of materials that were previously shipped in boxcars?

Anybody know?

Jim Brewer

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