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Dec 28, 2005


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The Conrail Cyclopedia - Serving Conrail fans world-wide since 1998.

Most of us think of ballast cars dumping their loads on tracks, but Kevin DeGroff shows us another use for the cars. This easily modeled facility is a ballast transfer pit.
Location: Olean, NY   8-19-89
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
Ballast Pit
Ballast Pit
Kevin DeGroff (184K)

Most were originally built in 1992, most likely by Trinity Railcar. The 43' H1K stands out as a hopper firmly associated with Eastern Pennsylvania. Conrail purchased 200 cars, placing them in series CR 493000 to 493199. The cars have a capacity of 2300 cubic-feet or 201,000 pounds.
Location: Unknown   10-8-97
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 493045
CR 493045 H1K
Rob Russell (57K)

During the 1990's, the H1K was often associated with Wimpey Minerals just outside Palmyra, PA. The limestone quarry started operations in the 1950's for Bethlehem Steel, which had plants in nearby Lebanon to the east and Harrisburg to the west. It began as Millard Quarry, but when Bethlehem Steel began down-sizing in the early 1980s, shutting down many operations in Eastern Pennsylvania, they sold the company to Wimpey Minerals. Fortunately, Wimpey continued shipping large amounts of ballast using the H1K for many shipments.
Location: Unknown   10-8-97
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 493071 H1K
CR 493071 H1K
Rob Russell (68K)

It appears that all 200 H1K's remained in service until 1997, when the entire class was transferred to Norfolk Southern. By 2004, however, only 197 remained in Conrail reporting marks. Orginally painted the H1K in a bright, almost-white gray that quickly gathered a coating of grime and grunge that the trucks kicked up through the open foot boards.
Location: Wyomissing, PA   5-96
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 493132 H1K
CR 493132 H1K
Robert Waller (65K)

Conrail usually used the Ortner H1K in unit ballast trains (symbol BAL) originating at Millards/Wimpey. The cars have air-line couplings between the cars, allowing a crewman to remotely open the bay doors, spreading the ballast onto the track below. However, they also saw other service hauling ore and limestone to construction companies and utilities.
Location: Unknown   10-8-97
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 493197 H1K
CR 493197 H1K
Rob Russell (48K)

CR 50989 was originally built as PRR 258491. It went straight from PRR paint to Conrail, without passing through PC.
Location: Unknown   2004
Photo Online: May 3, 2005
CR 50989 H43D
CR 50989 H43D
Kyle Mulligan (102K)

A former PRR car in nasty shape.
Location: Allentown, PA   [no date]
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 51528 H34B
CR 51528 H34B
Lon Godshall (60K)

A rather typical ballast car, which had been repainted from it's PC colors into Conrail on 10-78.
Location: Middleboro, MA   6-26-91
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 51782 H34
CR 51782 H34
Dave Santos (86K)

One of many former Erie Lackawanna ballast cars that Conrail inherited.
Location: Unknown   2004
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 52820 H34E
CR 52820 H34E
Kyle Mulligan (77K)

A former Erie Lackawanna car showing its abused nature.
Location: Buffalo, NY (Frontier Yard)   10-3-01
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 52866 H34E
CR 52866 H34E
Mike Rose (102K)

A two-bay, side-dump "Ortner" ballast hopper from series CR 53100-53249. Conrail built them in Hollidaysburg from Bethlehem Steel kits.
Location: Altoona, PA   6-22-00
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53114
CR 53114 BH1D
Mike Rose (113K)

A nice overhead shot of the car. Notice the lovely rust, a feature common to all hopper cars.
Location: Altoona, PA   6-22-00
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53114
CR 53114 BH1D
Mike Rose (104K)

A close-up of the brake rigging.
Location: Altoona, PA   6-22-00
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53114
CR 53114 BH1D
Mike Rose (153K)

A side view of the side-dump car..
Location: Unknown   1998
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53155 BH 1D
CR 53155 BH1D
Stephen Agostini (64K)

An BH1D located at the end of a train.
Location: Oak Island, NJ   3-16-05
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53193 BH 1D
CR 53193 BH1D
Jeff Lubchansky (135K)

Though similar to a Difco side-dump car as pictured below, this is a former Delaware Lackawanna & Western car #97019 built in 1956.
Location: Altoona, PA   10-98
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53276
CR 53276
Paul Tupaczewski (91K)

Difco side dump.
Location: Wyomissing, PA   6-97
Photo Online: July 17, 1998
CR 53516 SO42A
CR 53516 SO42A
Robert Waller (58K)

An SD24A side dump car hauling rip-rap. CR53535 and several others of its kind were in Mifflin PA in the summer of 1981. The stencils are fuzzy, but I can make out a 1978 built date.
Location: Mifflin, PA   Summer 1981
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53535 SD24A
CR 53535 SD24A
John Sieber (86K)

Painted Conrail in January 1979, this hopper is dumping its ballast onto the track.
Location: Unknown
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53822
CR 53822 CC71B
Wes Reminder (45K)

I really know nothing about this class of ballast car at the moment.
Location: Buffalo, NY (Frontier Yard)   10-3-01
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
CR 53858 CC71B
CR 53858 CC71B
Mike Rose (89K)



Penn Central:

Another of those about which cars I know little.
Location: Selkirk, NY   6-98
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
PC 51543 H34
PC 51543 H34
Mike Rose (79K)

Penn Central (Former PRR) ballast hopper. Built 11-55.
Location: Reading, PA   6-18-98
Photo Online: June 3, 2005
PC 51636 H34D
PC 51636 H34D
John Schodowski (69K)

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