• BNSF Trough Train

  • Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM
Discussion related to BNSF operations. Official site: BNSF.COM

Moderator: Komachi

  by TB Diamond
This had to be the ultimate in bottom dump coal hopper trains. It was brought forth by the BNSF back in the 1990s and consisted of 19-20 articulated aluminum hopper cars, each over two-hundred feet in length. The cars featured automatic bottom dumping doors. Was called out of the Gillette Loading Pool one day to load a test train consisting of three or four of these cars. We loaded it at Jacobs Ranch Mine and it took quite some time to do so. The mine loadout facility was simply not geared to load cars of such length.
Saw this train depart one of the mines. It grossed about 20,000 tons and had three SD70MAC units on the point and two more shoving on the rear. Quite a sight.
Does anyone know if this train remains in service? It was taken o/s in the late 1990s account cracks forming in the aluminum frames, or so I was told. Never saw it again up to late 2000 when I left the Gillette terminal.
  by westr
I have no idea if they are still in service today, but back in Summer 1999 I saw a BNSF coal train in Vancouver, WA that had at least 3 Trough Train sets in BN paint, so they lasted at least that long. Here's a picture. For the record, the train also had conventional 3-bay hoppers in it.
  by fredcrope
The trough train was sold I believe, but eventually scrapped in the early 2000's. I work at Havelock shops, where it was built and I know they tried to make it work, but it was always in for repair. It was a headache.