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On ballast cars they have a different hatch. does the rock come out of the sides so it falls on both sides of the rail, or does it come out in the middle of the hatch right on to the rail??
I have not see it in action of looked inside of a car
 

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Ballast cars can drop ballast on both sides of the rail and in the middle. The flow is separately adjustable.
 

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The chutes swing to the inside or the outside to dump. If they're straight up & down, the gate is closed. Make sense?
 

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Why not just use a coal car and put a tie in front of the wheels? UP did this a lot, before ballast cars. As the ballast fell out ,the train would move along and the tie would spread the ballast.
 

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The ballast cars shown have here looks like they have been modified with the MK doors. ballast can be side dumped or center dump by moving the door inward for center dump or move the door out ward for side dump. Railroad did have cars for dumping ballast but were a lot harder to use. You could also do inside or out side dumps but very difficult to unload and very time consuming. And yes they even put ballast in coal cars but made it very difficult to unload . When MK came out with there new doors RR retrofited a lot of there older cars with the new door.

When unloading ballast from the older cars a cross tie was always used to spread the ballast as it was unloaded and was called a plow tie. If you made a heavy dump it was a must to use when unloading the MK style cars also. The purpose of the plow ties was to keep from derailing the car. Later RJD
 

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Dumping ballast is a dirty, dusty job! Anyone up for the challenge of making a functioning ballast car? I know that Burl made a static model that was in GR, but wouldn't it be neat to have a ballast car that actually worked? But then if you dumped ballast in outside, then you would have to build a working ballast regulator, tie tamper, etc.... Humm get those modeling ideas ready!
Side dump cars would be also interesting to model as a way to dump the large rip rap.
Craig
 

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The prototype RhB hopper cars use individually controlled gates, and can discharge to sides or center. Here is a picture of my LGB hopper car, dumping into my conveyor. If your ballast is the right gradation, these LGB cars work beautifully to discharge ballast along the rails:

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the info, I have only seen the MK hanging, never in use.
Don
If I used ties it would take away from bashing my shiny ,clean ,new cars..

Ok, so the top of it is rounded to keep ballast in, then they take the bars and it pivets to let it flow either or.. got it...
Wonder if I can make a working model of that????
 

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yep know you can Marty. Pick up an HO scale car as they made the ballast car with the MK doors. Use it for references Later RJD
 

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Marty a good candidate for a car would be the Aristo covered hopper as it has the two bay doors and the MK would silp in pretty easy. Later RJD
 

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Marty,
If I remember correctly I think that the ballast doors not only rotate inside/outside of the rail independently and then they also have a lever that controls the amount of ballast that dumps. The MOW crew sticks a pry bar into the gate to control the flow. The key to dumping ballast is not so much on the MOW crew, but the hoghead running the train. If the hoghead goes to fast or to slow ballast doesn't get dumped right.
If you ever look at a newly ballasted line you can notice the unevenness of ballast dumping. When I worked a work train we dumped ballast for 30+ miles one day, and the foreman in charge kept yelling at me to slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up, etc. The next day when we went over the tracks were we had dumped I noticed big piles of ballast in certain areas, and lightly ballast in other areas. Oops! My bad!
Craig
 

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http://www.freepatentsonline.com/3654872.html
Here's an outline of the patent for ballast dump.
Craig
Edit:
The link to the official US patent office and the patent number from above. I couldn't get the pictures to come up, but maybe someone could get them working.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=3654872.PN.&OS=PN/3654872&RS=PN/3654872

Edit #2
I just figured out how to view the images on the US patent office. You have to download a free software program that allows you to view the images. Once I got the images working I could figure out how exactly this thing works! It would also be a easy way to get started on a model.



The plug-in you use cannot be just any TIFF image plug-in. It must be able to specifically display TIFF files using ITU T.6 or CCITT Group 4 (G4) compression.


The only free, unlimited time TIFF plug-ins offering full-size, unimpeded patent viewing and printing unimpeded by any advertising on Windows® x86 PCs of which we are aware are:
[*]AlternaTIFF: http://www.alternatiff.com/ (tested: IE, Netscape, Opera) [*]interneTIFF: http://www.internetiff.com/ (tested: IE, Netscape) [/list]
 

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Unloading ballast is an art. got to have a good hog head and a good track foreman to coordinate the unloading of the ballast. With the MK doors it got easier to do as working the doors was much simpler to increase or decrease the flow of ballast and not the speed of the train. When you had a good engineer that could maintain a constant speed it make it so much easier. Depending on what type of track work was going to be preformed determined the amount of ballast to be unloaded per mile. If your just going to do a skin lift surfacing job then 5 cars to the mile if your doing a tie gang then it will talke somewhere around 10 cars to the mile.

Just for info now days it only takes one man to now dump ballast as its done with radio controled cars and GPS positions of Road crossing and switchs to know when to stop the dumping aproaching and leaving these area's a 50 car train can be unloadeed in several hrs if track time is good. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #20
RJ
I have 4 coming. I need to find the 1:1 photo that I want to copy from. very easy for us newbies.
 
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