Looking for info on loading/hauling Gypsum
#1
Hello! I am researching my freelance short line and could use some wisdom. Specially, I would like to put a cement plant at one end of the line and a supplier at the other. Research has suggested gypsum as a good candidate, as the cement plant would probably contain its own aggregate pit. Gypsum is also a little cheap for a Class 1 to bother with it, but a short line might haul it less than 10 miles in captive equipment.

My first question is rolling stock in a late 70's/early 80's era. I have spotted a few rare models lettered for gypsum companies and they tend to be 2 bay covered hoppers. Any idea if this is correct versus an open hopper?

Second question is the loader. An open hopper would surely use a conveyor or flood loader, but what about closed hoppers? Is it a structure more like an elevator?

Thanks!


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#2
Some resources:

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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://trn.trains.com/locomotives/2009/08/the-freight-hauling-locomotives-of-us-gypsum">http://trn.trains.com/locomotives/2009/ ... -us-gypsum</a><!-- m -->

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#3
You don't make cement using gypsum. You make wallboard (drywall) and plaster using gypsum.

Cement is made using lime.

Also you may be confusing a cement plant and a concrete plant. A cement plant takes lime (and other ingredients) cooks and grinds it to make cement. A concrete plant takes cement, adds sand and aggregates and makes concrete.
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#4
Wow! So small world, it turns out that I have met the former motive power from that line.

[Image: 2d676807773d75d12abfd3102514e8d9.jpg]

So maybe this a silly question, but I know gypsum is water soluble. Would you have to worry about it getting wet if you're not in the desert?


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#5
dave1905 Wrote:You don't make cement using gypsum. You make wallboard (drywall) and plaster using gypsum.

Cement is made using lime.

Also you may be confusing a cement plant and a concrete plant. A cement plant takes lime (and other ingredients) cooks and grinds it to make cement. A concrete plant takes cement, adds sand and aggregates and makes concrete.

Portland cement's mix uses gypsum to help it flow. The bulk material is still limestone or the like. I lived near Austin for a long time and saw the GRR in operation hauling limestone. It's a larger scale commodity than I want to model. I think I read that gypsum is high single digits in the final mix so it would be a few cars a day.


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#6
This seems like a nice idea to fill in some space near my quarry on my layout. Not sure about getting a short line or 3 foot scale modeled but I can try to get a business in place.

Thanks for the ideas.

Dave
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#7
I would like to put a cement plant at one end of the line and a supplier at the other. Research has suggested gypsum as a good candidate, as the cement plant would probably contain its own aggregate pit. Gypsum is also a little cheap for a Class 1 to bother with it, but a short line might haul it less than 10 miles in captive equipment.
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I'm not sure if a cement plant would bother to use a once a day local with possible car shortages due to loading and unloading time versus a contract shuttle truck company that could haul several loads per day.

The reason for a delay during the loading/unloading process is the type of car being used- 2 bay covered hoppers because gypsum needs to stay dry since its a powder and even a few cars a day would take a lot of time to unload and would require a lot of storage silos and should the silo warning buzzer sounds signaling the silos is full all unloading stops.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#8
Reading more stuff, I think I am confusing concrete and cement plants. I started a lot of this research on model railroading forums rather than prototype research which isn't really the best approach. Oh well, that's why I'm asking questions I guess.

Maybe it's best to just say what I am looking for. I would like a bulk commodity which could reasonably be moved in captive equipment on a short line. I would like a reasonable excuse for my small railroad to own a few cars of their own. Gypsum stood out as it seemed likely to move in a closed car, so operationally it can be empty or load. Maybe the answer is just to ship the gypsum to a wall board factory.


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#9
I think gypsum to a wall board factory would be a better choice and you could ship the wall board out in boxcars or in wrapped loads on bulkheads. Now you have a industry with several spots. Big Grin

My thoughts.

Inbound gypsum would be spotted Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Outbound empty covered hoppers would be picked up as released.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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#10
There is a cement plant right up the valley about five miles from us, served by the Red Rocks shortline, a contract outfit that handles all hauling and switching chores between Pueblo, Florence, Canon City and other close by points. They bring in everything by closed hoppers loaded from a tower arrangement except the limestone, which is taken from the immediate area and brought to the plant by open hoppers loaded by a large front loader.

The gypsum quarry is at the other end of the Royal Gorge, and originally used open hoppers for ease of loading.

You can Google Earth both locations quite easily.
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#11
MountainMan Wrote:There is a cement plant right up the valley about five miles from us, served by the Red Rocks shortline, a contract outfit that handles all hauling and switching chores between Pueblo, Florence, Canon City and other close by points. They bring in everything by closed hoppers loaded from a tower arrangement except the limestone, which is taken from the immediate area and brought to the plant by open hoppers loaded by a large front loader.

The gypsum quarry is at the other end of the Royal Gorge, and originally used open hoppers for ease of loading.

You can Google Earth both locations quite easily.

Is that Rock and Rail? I heard about them recently but the last time I was through Canon City I was in such a hurry I only really had time to figure out that the address they list is a boring office. I think I will be near Salida on Friday though. If I get some extra time while the sun is up I'll go check out the gypsum quarry and see how they load it.

Thanks for the tip!


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