SPng 200 series gondolas

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John Coker
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SPng 200 series gondolas

Post by John Coker » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:47 pm

This might be a good question for Brian Norden. I scratchbuilt a model of SP 218. These cars were used to handle perlite. As far as I know the entire interior of these cars were lined with sheet metal. Were they all lined? I could find only one photo, in Joe Dale Morris' book, and the car looked like the sides and floor has sheet metal liners.

Perlite was notorious as a mineral that could slip or shake out of rolling stock. They had some problems with this loading at the mills in Antonito. I heard if the sliding doors on hoppers were not closed very tight, the car would be totally empty when it reached its destination! BTW perlite is a main ingredient in drywall.

Brian Norden
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Re: SPng 200 series gondolas

Post by Brian Norden » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:34 pm

Research required.

The SP was to convert box cars into "poor man's cover hoppers" to carry Perlite.

One or both of the gondolas at OERM has the removable side section. The cars may have carried a different commodity. As I recall there are several more photos in the Mel Ferrell book -- need to get out my copy.
Brian Norden

Brian Norden
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Re: SPng 200 series gondolas

Post by Brian Norden » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:29 am

No real answers from me. But, after making the previous post, I recalled one item of interest.

Later this year, there is expected a book about the freight cars of the Southern Pacific narrow gauge. This is being authored by Robert "Bob" Bader. Joe Dale Morris is involved with the preparation of the book. I have heard that the initial goal has been to have the book done for introduction at the annual SPH&TS meeting/convention; but more information was discovered that could delay the book.
Brian Norden

Brian Norden
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:40 pm

Re: SPng 200 series gondolas

Post by Brian Norden » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:46 pm

I did some asking around.

The gondola cars with the side panel were used to haul gypsum -- not perlite. The converted box cars hauled the perlite.

Still need information to answer about the interior treatment (lining) of the cars.

The following is a description of perlite that was provided in the recent issue of Journal of the Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge Historical Society. The Society recently obtained the body of perlite box car #73 for restoration and eventual display in the Owens Valley. "After the rebuild of #73 it is most likely she will be donated to one of the museums in Owens Valley for display."
What is Perlite?

Perlite is not a trade name but a generic term for naturally occurring siliceous rock. The distinguishing feature which sets perlite apart from other volcanic glasses is that when quickly heated to above 1600°F (871°C), the crude rock pops in a manner similar to popcorn as the combined water vaporizes and creates countless tiny bubbles which account for the amazing light weight . It is an industrial mineral and a commercial product useful for this light weight after processing.
This expanded Perlite is ultra-lightweight, inert, sterile, permanent, incombustible, asbestos- free, non-toxic, rot and vermin proof and has a neutral pH. It also resists thermal transmission and is used for insulating. In the construction and manufacturing fields, it is used in lightweight plasters and mortars, insulation, ceiling tiles and filter aids. In horticulture perlite can be used as a soil amendment or alone as a medium for hydroponics or for starting cuttings. Perlite is also used in foundries, in protection materials, in ceramics, and also by the explosive industry.
Brian Norden

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