One of the key features that will be incorporated into the Louisiana Central is a pair of ‘loads in-empties out’ scenarios. On the Willis end there will be a plywood plant that will generate a significant amount of wood chips. Behind the plywood plant will be a pulpwood dealer (Marcel’s) where loading of pulpwood onto railcars will take place. Most of these chip and pulpwood loads will travel down to Monterey, where they will be consumed by a kraft paper products plant.
Marcel’s will generate 8-10 cars of pulpwood per day. I will need this many loaded cars, along with an equal number of unloaded cars for this operation. I have a nice fleet of Atlas pulpwood cars (known as woodracks on the Louisiana Central) that need loads built (the cast plastic loads are just terrible looking IMHO). Earlier this year, while at Lou Schultz’s C&O Railroad, I was admiring the loads on his woodracks. These were built up by Bill Williams using Azalea bush clippings, a slow and tedious process I’m sure, but one that produces an outstanding looking load.
Last weekend I was raking up a zillion River Birch branches that had fallen during a recent storm. I noticed that the reddish-grey color of the tiny twigs wasn’t that far off from the color of the pine trees in this region, and from which my pulpwood will be harvested. I clipped a few “logs” using a Chopper and was pleased with the resulting pulpwood it produced. I spent a couple hours gathering small branches for this future project. Actually, I have estimated that a woodrack will likely hold 1200-1400 logs, so if I’m going to fill 8-10 cars, plus a couple big piles on the ground, I’d probably be wise to start building these loads very soon. It should make a nice leisurely project that can be done in evening spurts, utilizing a TV tray while watching the tube.
If you’d care to chime in on any of the ramblings I present here, please feel free to do so. I’m hoping this new blog will generate some conversation.