• Sand Car Unloading

  • 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 CSX Sand Man
New member and 1st post. If this isn't the right forum I apologize and would appreciate being directed to the correct venue. My question: We get foundry sand delivered in cars loaded to 200,000 lb. which are unloaded down onto our sand transport conveyor. The guys currently are having to get down under the edge of the car to try to turn the discharge hopper spindle or shaft using a long pry bar to start the sand unloading.... very slow and not too safe. Is there some kind of tool already designed to fit in the square socket in the end of the spindle that would extend out a couple of feet so the guys wouldn't have to get down under the car?... something that would facilitate opening and closing the discharge hopper. Thanks for any input.
  by UPRR engineer
Not that i care about the RR cars, but the loadout guys i use to work with use to complain about getting empties with the teeth off track to where they would have to kick it out as bad order because someone used a powered tool to open the gate. Since the mine owned the cars they put soda ash in i dont know if they payed the cost to the Union Pacific to fix it for them or they sent a bill to the customer for the damage.
  by BR&P
Nolan and Aldon sell various ratchets, cranks, etc
  by toolmaker
I would contact the car builder and ask them what tool(s) should be used. They would be the best source in my opinion and may provide you with the work instructions for unloading their cars.
  by BR&P
Re-reading the OP I see no indication the poster's company owns the cars delivering the sand. Thus they may be railroad supplied cars and may not even be from the same maker one car to the next. So contacting the car manufacturer likely is not the best option.

Also, many discharge gates are identical or close to it. Suppliers of industrial equipment such as the ones shown in his link, or Nolan and Aldon in my post above, specialize in such applications. Beat up discharge gates by the way are a common bane of receivers of covered hoppers.

By the way, I have seen units similar to the ones in that link in use, and while not cheap they seem to do a good job.