Name: B&O No.23001
Railroad of Record: Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Type of Car: Iron Pot Hopper
Class: B&O Class Q
Manufactured by: B&O
Date Built: c. 1883
Car Weight: 8 tons
Load Capacity: 20 tons
In 1842, the B&O reached the base of the Alleghenies which increased the railroad's coal shipments east. In order to keep up with the increasing traffic, the B&O created a circular hopper made of iron.
Most railroads used wooden gondolas to haul coal. The new iron hopper was a large pot that tapered at the bottom, so it could dump coal on an open trestle. These hoppers were built of a thin iron plate and could handle the harshness of the coal.
When the B&O received their first iron pot hoppers in 1844, they were four-wheeled cars that carried seven tons in one pot. Over the years, the B&O developed larger versions of the original car. The No. 23001 was built around 1883 and was considered one of the largest and heaviest of the pot hoppers. The No.23001 was capable of carrying 20 tons and featured link and pin couplers and hand brakes. The eventual downfall of the pot hoppers was attributed to the fact that the cars could not be re-fitted with new equipment. The No. 23001 and its sister No. 23002 were displayed at the B&O's 1927 Fair of the Iron Horse.
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