• Bakelite Industry

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by Piyer

I have been trying to locate information about the railroad operations side of the Bakelite industry for a modeling project, but I keep reaching dead ends. There's a lot of information about what Bakelite is and what it has been used for, and even a bit about how it is made. However, I've not yet located specifics about raw material shipments, or whether Bakelite was made onsite at factories, or if there were primary Bakelite plants (like the one in Bound Brook) that made the Bakelite material which would then be shipped to customers who would turn this material into radio cases, phones, etc.

Any assistance or leads you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  by Desertdweller
I don't know about Bakelite specifically, but if it is like most casting resins, the resins are produced at a plant that produces resins, not finished products. The resin is then shipped to manufacturing plants where the actual molding takes place.

Casting resins are generally shipped in cardboard drums lined with plastic, or in differential pressure covered hoppers. I have worked both in plants that produced casting resins, and also on train crews that delivered casting resins to production plants.

A casting resin plant would receive both covered hoppers and tank cars of chemicals (some might arrive in boxcars), and empty cars for outbound loading.

I think Bakelite was the first commonly used plastic resin. I remember it being used for gearshift knobs, telephone and radio cases, and ashtrays. It was also used (and probably still is) as insulators in electric components.

  by rogruth
There was/is a Bakelite plant along Ohio route 7 between Belpre and Marietta,Ohio that had railroad service and an in-plant railroad.
I do not know if it still works,has been closed or sold.I have not been to that area in @ 20 years.