Monday, October 27, 2014

Cement Hopper Fleet Attrition

One disadvantage of modeling current era 2013-2014 is equipment eventually reaches its retirement age or as traffic bases or trends change so does the equipment mix of the railroad. 

2960/70 Cu. - 2 Bay Cement Hopper Fleet
This fleet is comprised of second hand cars built in the late 70s and 80s acquired for a new cement plant, but after being in cement service for some time were beginning to show their age. Based on industry attrition of railroad owned cement cars to private or lease fleets it was decided by management to retire the fleet through sale and scraping by the end of 2014. Roughly 60% or 30 cars went to the scraper while 40% or 20 of the cars were in good condition for sale to other roads. A few captive 2000 cubic hoppers rounded out the entire fleet at 55 cars.

MCIS Cement Hopper Fleet
Size: 50 (2960/70 cubic)
           5 (2000 cubic) 
Customer: LDM Materials (fictional)

While I model 2013-14, Shannon Crabtree and his Virginia Midland represent the 90s. If you follow his posts you saw the addition of a sand facility on the Virginia Central line and needed more sand cars. The two railroads worked together and in short order 6 of the good condition hoppers and parts were on their way to Virginia. Upon arrival they will time warp to the 90s but still have a unique history from the previous railroad owner - the fun of proto-freelancing.

Cars lined up at Bay Yard awaiting pickup by the Q-PHGR-27 for interchange to the CSX at Wyoming Yard in Grand Rapids.

This segment of cars 7 total came out of storage on the Port Belle Branch last week and were mechanically inspected and in the case of the 2000 cubic cars given waivers for one time interchange movement. The one car on the flat is a parts source car to help keep the fleet rolling on its new home.

Any idea who the previous owner of this car was......?

With the cement fleet no longer on the MCIS roster, LDM Materials has struck a deal to lease 3281 cubic hoppers from Trinity Industries. (Coming soon from American Limited Models).

Hope everyone enjoyed a little MCIS history and prototypical fleet planning. Have a safe Halloween!


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