Facebook Page
Foodliner and pneumatic tube rail cars .

Foodliner and pneumatic tube rail cars

For over a year, there has been a transload between hoppers and Foodliner trucks on the east side of Plover, behind the old bakery.
The bakery used to get pneumatic unloading hoppers, and their equipment was stationary and indoors.
But this transload is all outdoors.

Now there's another transload, a mile away at the Plover yard.
It's easy to model these, just have a driveway next to a quiet rail siding.
Except it might be hard to find or make a model of this particular trailer for dry products.

I didn't search who is getting the product or what is in the hopper.
It's for someone in the food business and without a rail siding.
Sometimes these transloads happen in Chicago and the stuff is trucked all the way to central Wisconsin.
I don't know how that is guided by freight rates, or if that's where the cars are 'stockpiled' or laid up as a 'no bill' car until it's needed.

A 100-ton pneumatic unloading hopper can fill a few trucks. The tractor supplies air to pressurize the hopper, about 12 psi.
A 60-hp Roots blower is driven by power-take-off. One 4-inch hose carries air to the hopper, and another carries the product to the truck.
It takes about 2 hours to fill a truck. Unless you have to move the truck and the hoses to a fresh hopper if one goes empty.


These are pneumatic tube unloading hoppers, there's a pipe and valves on the bottom.
The product stays clean and dry inside a pipe or flexible hose at all times during the transfer.



There is a Y-shape outlet pipe that is stored upwards in the shipping position. On a plastic model, you should glue it there.
It is chained up to be sure it stays in a safe place during transit. Otherwise it could stick beyond the car side or drag on the ties.
During unloading, It is rotated down near to the ground during so the flexible hose to the truck can lay straight and not kinked.

If the outlet isn't on the best side for unloading, the driver can loosen the clamps and roll it to the other side.
But when the outlet is rotated under the center of the car to take product from the off-side,
you have to duck under the car further to connect the hose.
And it's further to reach the valve handles that contol the flow from each hopper.

If I had my choice, I would prefer the car turned so the piping is always on the best unloading side.
Turning cars is easy in Plover with a wye, but other places might not have it that easy.

On a model railroad, you could have 'customer service' check if your car is staged in the train ready to set out for easy unloading.

See the hoses crossing between the truck and rail car.


A different day, another load. . . . . . .

Here's a good modeling detail, the BLUE FLAG between the rails, warning that men are working on cars, don't move them.

There's also paper mill traffic in Plover, I don't know if food or something else is in this pretty hopper.


You can look at the Foodliner official web site.

Here is an advertising pdf of American Rail Car pneumatic tube unloaders.

And hoses and equipment are at DAIS Global

American Railcar Pressureaid and see their good pdf data sheet with dimensions.

Here's a picture of a model of a HO Walthers 60-foot Trinity Power Flow TILX 5-Bay Covered Hopper.
TILX 5000 Demonstrator big orange hopper, by Walthers, #932-5807, 1994

Also see ACFX 51011 Demonstrator Atlas 2000 stock-model white ACFX Center Flow PressureAid 15 psi hopper


From a web search, I suspect it's a lot easier to get Atlas models. See Atlas HO Pressureaide

The cars shown above are pneumatic tube unloaded. They are for free-flowing material, such as sugar. The hopper bays have about 45-degree angles.
The driver uses a rubber mallet to bang the hoppers to hear if a compartment is empty. The material is not expected to stop flowing.


I don't have a model of a pneumatic tube unloading hopper, but I do have airslide hoppers.

They have the long low-angle sloped floor with the plastic screen plate inside, where air is distributed and can break up bridged material.
They would typically be used for flour or starch, products that can pack down or bridge over the outlet.

To my index page, Bruce's RailRoad Pictures

This page was wrote in December, 2013.