"Mated hoppers"

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A friend in my NRHS chapter has a slide that he took here in Richmond in the 1960s of two SR hoppers (supposedly) permately joined (welded, ?) together. The first is lettered in huge letters "SOUT", and it's mate is lettered "HERN". The large number on the first (SOUT) hopper is 102054. Quite an unusal sight. Does anyone know anything about these hoppers....history, usage, any other 'mated' pairs? I can email the picture file to anyone who is interested. Greg Hodges

-- Greg Hodges (ghodges@smpsfa.com), June 19, 2001


The "mated" or articulated (as local railroaders called them) hoppers that I saw were all 50 ton two bay types drawbared together in pairs. They were used extensively in the Charlotte NC area, primarily in ballast rock loading from the quarries at Arrowood and Kings Mountain. They were marketed as one high capacity car. They were used around here in the late 60's and into the very early 70's. Occasionally they would have trouble with the drawbar breaking between the two cars. Back then they were running very long and heavy trains, and train handling was critical. Some of the "old heads" said that those articulated hoppers were just worn out to begin with. They did look good and innovative with a fresh coat of paint and that unique lettering. I understand there were some drawbared 40 foot boxcar pairs too, but I never saw any.

Ben Lee

-- Ben Lee (Bengineer7@aol.com), June 23, 2001.

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