Vulcan Materials #711

Side Dump Car, Koeppel Ind. Car, Builder Date Unknown

#711 at North Freedom, c.2001.

#711 at North Freedom, c.2001.

#711 in use, 1974. Jim Neubauer photo

#711 in use, 1974. Jim Neubauer photo

This work service car was designed to haul material such as ballast or larger rocks (called riprap) and dump them alongside the tracks to help stabilize the roadbed. It could also be used to dump other materials along the track. Side dump cars first appeared about 1900 and grew in capacity through the years. A more modern version is still used today by railroads.

When in the closed position, the car resembled a traditional gondola. Large air cylinders underneath the car could tilt the floor of the car to either side. As the floor’s incline increased, the carsides raised up to separate from the floor, allowing material to flow out the side. Air was provided from a locomotive via its air brake line.

#711 was donated to Mid-Continent in 1970. It is occasionally used to haul and dump material for the Maintenance-of-Way Department.