Sunday, December 23, 2018

Grand Coulee Cement Boxcar Unloading Machine-NP Inspection Tour

Excerpt of a longer piece explaining the inspection of Northern Pacific related lines.

Saturday-April 27,1940

Our party, with the exception of Mr.Neish and accompanied by Mr. L.J. Gallagher and Mr.J.A.Clark, drove in Mr. Clark's car from Spokane, Wash. to Pasco, way of Coulee Dam, leaving Spokane at 7:30 A.M., arriving at Pasco at 9:00 P.M.

The Northern Pacific Railway Company handles considerable traffic for the Coulee Dam project, which consists princpallyat this time of cement in bulk loaded in box cars. This operation is carried on from Coulee City to Mason City (Coulee Damsite) by contractor over approximately 30 miles of railroad constructed by the United States Goverment from Odair to Damsite. 

Many units of freight train cars loaded with cement were inspected. An item of particular interest was noted at the unloading platform at Damsite, wherein a remote control electrically driven pneumatic
cement unloading device is used, which works directly onto the boxcar and picks up the cement by a screw conveyor and raises it to the air chamber and then into the near-by silos through an 8-inch
rubber conduit. The device is, in fact, a robot, which moves either forward,backward, or to the right or left as desired by the operator who remains on the platform. It is presumed that this device was especially devised for this job,as box cars only are available and has greatly improved since it was first used.

Cement unloading area at the dam.

Photo courtesy of Jay Kemble.

Photo courtesy of Jay Kemble.

Photo courtesy of the Rufus Woods Collection.