Alumina Unit Train
I was familiar with unit trains as Alcoa used them from my childhood company town, to transport alumina (alumina is aluminum oxide powder which is refined from Bauxite ore and used to feed an aluminum smelter to make the metal) from the alumina refinery in Point Comfort, TX to the aluminum smelter in Rockdale, TX. We loaded and shipped 25-30, 100 ton covered hopper cars each day, 365 d/y by unit train.
I thought it would be neat to have a unit trains for common commodities on my railroad layout. So I made and collected some covered hopper cars used for alumina and they can be run on the layout even though I do not have an alumina refinery to load them.
The Alumina cars are from right to left, White Ormet car from Burnside, LA, two Alcoa Silver cars from Point Comfort, TX or Bauxite, AR, and Blue Reynolds car from Sherwin, TX or Bauxite, AR. The Ormet car was homemade, the second Alcoa had a homemade individual 8 covers, and the Reynolds car has homemade cover with three hatch covers. I have worked for these three companies (Alcoa bought Reynolds) and also Kaiser Aluminum in Baton Rouge and plant in Gramercy,LA. I need to make a Kaiser Alumina car to complete my Alumina Unit Train.
I made an ORMET alumina covered hopper car although they leased their cars.
I bought a Reynolds Metal covered hopper car without the 12 roof hatch covers. I made a more modern, easy to use center fill cover for the car.