Carbon Black Covered Hoppers - They're Everywhere!

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E-mail your original 1970s 5750cf, 1980s 5750cf, and/or 4727cf Carbon Black Covered Hopper photos to Sales@ScaleTrains.com by Friday, July 7th for your chance to win a Carbon Black Hopper model of your choice.  Please include your name, location, date, and railroad where the image was captured.  If you'd like your photo added to this article, please let us know.

-by Mike Hopkin

Since the announcement of our HO and N Scale Carbon Black Covered Hoppers, there have been questions about these unique cars in regard to era and usage. To help gain a better understanding, we've created an article about the era and usage of these cars.

Carbon Black is a material that is made by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products. It is a powdery material similar in look to soot. The major use of the material is in the manufacturing of tires. However the material is also used in printer toner, and other inks and paints. The material is also used in belts, hoses and other non–tire rubber goods. Carbon Black is also used in the electronics industry. Carbon black is a good conductor of electricity and as such is a filler mixed into plastics, films, paints and other materials. See this link for more detailed information on Carbon Black.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_black

 

The Models

In HO Scale, we offer three versions of Carbon black Cars. First is a late 1970’s era built Thrall 5750 Cuft car. The second is a 1980’s era built Thrall 5750 Cuft car and the third is a Early 1990’s built Thrall 4727 Cubic Foot car.

In N-Scale we are producing the 1970’s era built Thrall 5750 Cuft car and the 1990’s built Thrall 4727 Cuft car. You can take a look at the photos on our web page to see the great lengths we went to in the level of detail on both the HO and N-Scale cars.

 

The Prototypes

ERA:

As noted in the descriptions that we use for these cars we describe them based on the era built. Since the cubic capacity on the two different 5750’s is obviously the same using that alone does not completely describe the cars. This being said all three of these car variations are still in use today and typically are run in groups when then are seen. The 1970’s and 1980’s era 5750’s as delivered typically had large billboard lettering. Subsequent to that when repainted the billboard lettering was not reapplied during the repaint. When the FRA mandated the conspicuity striping on railcars, that was added as well. You will see that on our models of the 5750’s we offer versions in all three variants. On the 4727’s due to their later build date most did not receive any kind of lettering past the necessary data and reporting marks and again with the FRA mandate the conspicuity striping was added. We offer models of the 4727’s in both variants as well.

 

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Newton KS.  5-13-15.

1970’s built 5750.  Shane Wilson.  Etowah, TN on the CSX.  2015.

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Newton KS.  5-13-18.

1970’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  9-8-15.

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Newton KS.  5-13-18

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Stanta, KS  11-22-14

So as evidenced by these photos the 1970s era built cars are still running today. Also, to show how long some of these cars kept their original lettering, the photo above was captured in 2014.

Operations:

There have been comments made that these cars are very regional. No doubt that with the predominate usage of Carbon Black being tires and other automotive rubber related parts you would probably see these car near or on routes for tire plants. Keeping in mind that primary usage, the carbon black is not necessarily manufactured near these locations. Hence the reason for the rail car. In a basic search for the reporting marks of these cars on the webpage Railcar photos here are the locations that photos have been shot of these cars.

 

CABX (Cabot Corp)

Here is the search link 

http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=cabx&Search=Search

 

Cars found in 

Chamblee, GA
Shenandoah Junction, WV
Doraville, GA
Atlanta, GA
Cartersville, GA
Duluth, GA
Bellevue, OH
Muncie, IN
Folkston, GA
Watervliet, NY
 

Here are a couple of photos from our company archives showing some other locations for CABX. 

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Newton KS.  5-13-18

1970’s built 5750.  Chris Butts.  Colton, CA on the Southern Pacific.  12-89

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Newton KS.  5-13-18

1970’s built 5750.  Shane Wilson.  Etowah, TN on the CSX.  2015

1970’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Newton KS.  5-13-18

1980’s built 5750.  Shane Wilson.  Etowah, TN on CSX.  2015.

1970’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  09-0815.

CCX (Columbia Chemicals)

 Here is the search link

 http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=ccx&Search=Search

 

Cars found in 

Etter, TX
Tulsa, OK
Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC (Canada)
Hamilton, ON (Canada)
Atlanta, GA
Whitby, ON (Canada)
Granite City, IL
Alorton, IL
Harriman, WY
Shenandoah Junction, WV
Alorton, IL
Wichita, KS
Dodge City, KS
Aldershot, ON (Canada)
Chamblee, GA
Doraville, GA
Pittsburg, PA

 

Here are a couple of photos from our company archives showing some other locations for CCX.

1970’s built 5750.  Chris Butts.  Colton, CA on Southern Pacific.  2015.

1980’s built 5750.  Matt Martin.  Stanta, KS.  11-22-14.

 

CTNX (CCC Transportation Co.)

Here is the link

http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=CTNX&Search=Search

Cars found in

Wichita KS
Deshler, OH
Wichita Falls TX
Tulsa OK
Little Rock AR
 

 From our archives

1990’s built 4727.  Mike Hopkin.  Aurora, IL.  2010.

1980’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Gurley, AL.  11-27-15.

 

DCBX (Degussa Engineered Carbons)

Here is the search link 

http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=DCBX&Search=Search

 

Cars found in

McWillie, OK
Little Rock, AR
Schriever, LA
Chamblee, GA
Enid, OK
Erwin, TX

 

From our archives 

1980’s built 5750.  Chris Butts.  Raleigh, NC.  05-01.

1990’s built 4727.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  9-27-16.

 

ECQX (Degussa Engineered Carbons)

Here is the search link 

http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=ECqX&Search=Search

 

Cars found in

Folkston GA
Chamblee GA
Tulsa OK
Brooklyn IL
Enid OK
Little Rock AR
Lincoln NE
Alorton IL
Kansas City KS

 

From our Archives

1980’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  9-5-16.

1980’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  9-5-16.

1990’s built 4727.  Shane Wilson.  Etowah, TN.  2015.

 

FURX (First Union Rail)

Here is the search link

http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=FURX&Search=Search

 

 

Cars found in

Shreveport, LA
Carrier, OK
Little Rock, AR
Tulsa, OK

 

From our archives

1980’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  7-22-16.

GACX (GATX Corp)

Here is the search link
http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=GaCX&Search=Search

 

Cars found in 

Shenandoah Junction, WV
Chamblee, GA

 

From our archives

1980’s built 5750.  Patrick Harris.  Cartersville, GA.  7-7-16.

 

1980’s built 5750.  Shane Wilson.  Etowah, TN.  2015.

 

HTCX (GE Rail Services)

Here is the link
http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=htcx&Search=Search

 

Cars found in

Los Angeles, CA

 

JMHX (JM Huber)

Here is the link
http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=Jmhx&Search=Search
 
Railcar photos currently has no photos on their site.

 

From our archives

Joliet, IL
Topeka, KS
 

 

SRCX (Sid Richardson Carbon Co.)

Here is the link
 
http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=srCX&Search=Search

 

Cars found in

Alorton, IL
Tulsa, OK
Kansas City, MO
Wichita, KS
Roseville, CA
Ludlow, CA
Blue Island, IL
Galesburg, IL
Buford, GA
Carrier, OK
Catoosa, OK
Little Rock, AR
Shreveport, LA
Chamblee, GA
Altoona, PA
Lincoln, NE
Enid, OK
 

 

And from our archives

1990’s built 4727.  Matt Martin.  Kansas City, KS.  7-25-15.

1990’s built 4727.  Mike Hopkin.  Champaign, IL on CN.  2012.

1990’s built 4727.  Matt Matin.  Wichita, KA.  05-30-14.

TCMX (The CIT Group / Equipment Financing)

Here is the link
http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=TCMX&Search=Search

 

Cars found in

Folkston, GA
Placedo, TX
Doraville, GA
Chamblee, GA
Shenandoah Junction, WV
 

And from our archives

1990’s built 4727.  Mike Hopkin.  Champaign, IL.  2012.

1990’s built 4727.  Mike Hopkin.  Texas.  2014.

1990’s built 4727.  Patrick Harris.  Etowah, TN on CSX.  2015.

 

THRX (Transportation Corporation of America)

Here is the link
 
http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=Thrx&Search=Search

 

Cars found in

Tulsa, OK
Shenandoah Junction, WV
Marshall, VA
Fleetwood, PA
Manassas, VA
Gary, IN

 

From our archives

1970’s built 5750.  Brendan Kelly.  Tulsa, OK.

 

WITX (CCC Transport Co.)Here is the link

http://railcarphotos.com/Search.php?SearchReportingMark=witx&Search=Search
 

 

Cars found in

Tulsa, OK
Wichita, KS
Ponca City, OK
Winfield, KS
Galesburg, IL
Lincoln, NE
Columbus, OH

 

From our Archives

1980’s built 5750.  Chris Butts.  Etter, TX.  6-98.

1980’s built 5750.  Mike Hopkin.  Tulsa, OK.  2014.

 

In conclusion, Carbon Black cars travel across North America and into Canada.  So even if your railroad does not have an industry that would require these unique cars there would probably be some bridge traffic across your railroad as these cars move between the manufacturing plants to their customers. We hope that you find this information helpful and informative.

To preorder our HO or N Scale Carbon Black Hoppers, please follow these links:

HO Scale

N Scale

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