Early woodchip cars

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Can anyone tell me about the Central's woodchip cars from the late 40's to mid 50's? I have a copy of a photograph taken in Perry, Georgia that shows several open top cars which resemble a picture in the Central of Georgia Railway Album that says it is a woodchip car. It appears to be constructed from an older boxcar or gondola with some type of drop-bottom. I'd like to find cars in HO or build them for my layout of the Perry District(Ft. Valley to Perry). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- michael breeden (mickie@mosquitonet.com), October 23, 1998


I remember Southern Ry had many converted box cars made into chip hoppers. they had brake wheels on the side to appearently open the bottoms. I would like to find plans for these cars so they could be modeled. I don't remember Cof G having any but they could have.

-- Tom Clark (duckee@pineland.net), June 07, 2004.

Before the Central had real chip hoppers, they did use some three bay hoppers for chip service. A 1958 issue of the Right Way employee magazine shows one of these regular cars being loaded at the new Fulguhm chip mill in Columbus, GA. Regards, Tom Holley

-- Tom Holley (TH498@aol.com), August 13, 2001.

I once met a guy who worked in the Columbus Shops around the '59 period. He recalled some stuff that might be of interest to y'all. He was one of the guys who welded that steel to the top of the hoppers. He said the CofG was in some money trouble in 1959 (Dave Payne once told me the CofG made no money at all from 1958-63 if I remembered that right). The welder guy said he'd get a call from the Central to come down to the shops and do some welding...then he'd get laid off as soon as he got it all done (so much for work incentives, huh?) He said the welds didn't hold up too well and he'd later get called again for some "temp" work to re-weld. Since the Central bought quite a few chip hoppers not too long after that, I guess the converted hoppers were sold off or scrapped. As could be expected, the genuine wood chip hoppers the Central owned held up much better in day-to-day use, so much so that they continued in service long after the Southern takeover. In fact, I saw quite a few of them still in use a few years ago on the Georgia & Florida (I think that's the right shortline) at Adel.

About the only "trouble" I've ever heard about with the genuine- article chip hoppers was that they were a little too "big" for some customers. There was one shipper in the Arnco/Sargent area on the Griffin-Chattanooga line that Dave Payne told me about that ran a small chip mill and could not fill the as-bought chip hoppers in time to prevent being charged "rent" by the Central.

-- Bud Leggett (leggettd@dartnet.peachnet.edu), August 13, 2001.

There is a picture in the Central of Georgia Railway Album (Beckum/Langley) of car #101, a triple hopper converted by the Columbus shops in 1959, as well as one of the boxcar conversions, #20151, and the then newer jumbo Greenville built cars, #175.

-- Russell Underwood (Jay611@home.com), November 08, 1999.

Todd, Thanks for the information. Would you happen to have a copy of the article or know how I might get one? Maybe coal hoppers with extended sides were used, as I have seen pictures of other roads using this practice. Might be interesting to model and learn about!! Michael

-- michael breeden (mickie@mosquitonet.com), October 24, 1998.

Michael, the July 98' issue of Mainline Modler has an article on the CG wood chip cars that they got after the merger, they were made from old 40' box cars, in the CG railway album this is car # 20151. But they would have delivered after the 63' communist take over! I'd be curious as to what the Central had for this service during the 40's and 50's, possibly they shipped this product is coal hoppers? Todd

-- Todd Horton (Centga@aol.com), October 24, 1998.

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