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Discussion Starter #1
I have added a Flour Mill to my layout, with some grain bins.
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When I am in the 1950's/60's: I kind of think of this youtube video (though it's in 1980):

I have a grain elevator on another section of my layout. I can imagine using boxcars to get the grain the the mill. I even have a boxcar that is labelled for "flour and cereal only" so I can imagine using boxcars to take away the milled grain. My question is, on the prototype, how would the grain get out of the boxcar into the storage grain bins?

When I am running things in the 1980's, I use covered hoppers like this to ship grain from the grain elevator to the flour mill:
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I presume there is some kind of grate at track level and a below ground bin where the grain is dropped out of the hoppers. I'll try to model something like that so there are not ties or ballast at that location by the grain storage bins.

The information with the flour mill kit mentions that "airslide hoppers" are used to take the milled grain/flour away. I presume I can use the same hoppers to carry the milled product away. I also have some 2 bay covered hoppers that I can use, one is specifically a Lancaster and Chester hopper that looks like an actual airslide hopper, but I currently only have one of them, and I'd like to use the other hoppers, and some boxcars, too, to take milled grains to other consignees.

Any advice or comments would be welcome.

Cheers, Ted
 

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That's a great looking structure. I'm not not an expert at mill operations, but there's a pretty wide variety of hoppers you can use for grain service. Lots of 40' boxcars carried grain, even late into the 80's. I've got an Athearn grain service boxcar that has little hatches near the top the door for this exact purpose.
 

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My understanding is that boxcars were used before covered hoppers were invented, so it's more likely to be seen in the 1800's and maybe early 1900's? Perhaps this method was still used by smaller railroads though?

With that in mind, the grain was loaded into the boxcars through the doors, and as it was filled up workers would place wood planks across the inside of the doors, with the weight of the cargo holding the planks in place. The facility for unloading the boxcar would be a covered structure to keep out rain, and workers would remove the planks from the doorway one at a time to let the grain fall out. As you mentioned grates in the floor under the track would collect grain and an auger would move it from the collection bin into a storage facility (could be wooden buildings or silos). After the last plank was removed from the doorway, workers would sweep or shovel out the remaining grain.

As you can see, this was a very labor-intensive process, so the advent of hoppers with their sloped sides greatly reduced the man-hours needed to load and unload a train.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<My understanding is that boxcars were used before covered hoppers were invented, so it's more likely to be seen in the 1800's and maybe early 1900's? Perhaps this method was still used by smaller railroads though? >

In the first youtube video boxcars are being used in 1980 at a small grainary in central Canada. The grainary used about 150 boxcars a year.

Cheers, Ted
 

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The reason that 40' boxcars continued to be used for grain service, long after the big covered hoppers came around, was because many of the branch lines on which the grain elevators were located had rail that was too light to handle the loaded weight of the covered hoppers.

So... they ran the boxcars that the track could handle...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all for the feedback. I did some imagineering, and this is what I came up with that should serve to unload both boxcars and hoppers at the grain mill. I still need to add some sort of grating. Cheers, Ted
20200620_145717.jpg
 
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