Covered Hoppers

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Sun Mar 19 15:19:38 EST 2006

Jim - some of them were assigned to off-line grain and other commodity loading. I don't recall that any N&W covered hoppers were used to haul sand for locomotives except maybe the ten first HC cars. There were a lot of covered hoppers in cement service; one of the places was Lone Star cement, not too far from Roanoke up your Shenandoah Valley. They used the 70-ton twin covered hoppers like the ACF open-side HC5 cars.

There was an assignment sheet produced periodically showing all the covered hoppers and their assignments. I never thought to liberate one of them to add to my library . . .

----- Original Message -----
From: nw-mailing-list at
To: N&W Mailing List
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 1:24 PM
Subject: Covered Hoppers

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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