During the 1970s, Thrall Manufacturing Co. introduced a new railcar designed for handling carbon black. These 3-bay, 70-ton capacity covered hopper cars boasted a volume of 5750 cubic feet, and measured 51’ over their ends. Unlike traditional covered hopper designs, where the end slope sheets are plainly visible, these cars featured an enclosed, boxy design, which was a necessity due to a special design feature to aid in the unloading of carbon black.
At the inside ends of the car are special inflatable bags, called “granuflators”. When the car is loaded, they lay flat inside the car. When inflated with pressurized air, the granuflators expand, and push the carbon black towards the outlets. And as typical with cars designed to haul carbon black, they featured tight-sealing 16” round roof hatches (22 hatches on most, but some customers specified 28), sampling spigots on the car sides, and “butterfly” type outlet gates.
The “1970s” 5750 represents Thrall 5750 production from approximately 1977
until 1979. These cars featured ten column-style posts per side, and a unique
roofline. While the ends are peaked, and the end roof panels feature a single
slope, the remaining roof panels feature a dual slope and a steep shoulder where
it meets the side plate. Several “1970s” 5750s are still in service today.
Road Number Specific ScaleTrains
- From series CCX 820-858, built September-October 1977
- White, yellow, and orange Columbian Chemicals logo
- 22 roof hatches
- Four (4) different road numbers
- 10 column-style posts per side
- Unique dual-slope roof with single-slope ends
- Separate granuflator plumbing
- Factory-applied sampling spigots
- Separate end and roof vent piping
- 22 or 28 roof hatches per prototype
- Photo-etched metal outlet valve handles
- Factory-applied end “I” beam posts
- Photo-etched stainless-steel see-through running boards
- Factory-applied ladders
- Finely-detailed underbody brake detail
- Durable die-cast metal semi-scale Type E knuckle couplers
- ASF Gould-cast 70-ton Ride Control Trucks with finely rendered raised foundry data, rotating bearing caps, separate brake beams, and side bearing detail
- 33” machined metal wheels
- Minimum radius: 18”
- Recommended radius: 22"
All Rivet Counter Freight Cars Feature
- Fully assembled
- Factory-applied metal grab irons, coupler cut levers, and trainline hoses
- Intricate brake plumbing
- Photo-etched stainless-steel see-through end crossover platforms
- Printing and lettering legible even under magnification
- Accurately profiled .110" wide wheel tread
- Weighted to Industry standards for reliable operation
- Operates on Code 70, 83 and 100 rail
- Packaging safely stores model
- Color matched to existing Tru-Color Paint colors whenever possible
A byproduct of the petrochemical refining industry, carbon black is a fine, powdery substance with a consistency sometimes described as being akin to soot. Deep black in color, one of its major consumers is the automotive industry, where it’s used as filler in tires, belts, and other rubber products. It also sees usage as a pigment in inks, paints, and plastic products, all of which make it a popular commodity with a variety of industries. Hauling it, however, can be a challenge thanks to its physical properties. Covered hoppers are typically used to handle carbon black, with designs dating back to the 1920s specifically for hauling it.
Reference: Carbon Black Cars: Freight Cars Journal Monograph #15 by Eric A. Neubauer, ISSN 0884-027X, 1990
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