Roadtrip to 2014, to none other than…Delaware! (Part IV-a)


A pair of C40-9Ws pose under clear skies in Harrington. –photo by Scott Harris. A lot of Delaware rail action can be found on his great website —

In Parts I, II and II of this series, we have visited numerous industries who use rail service in southern Delaware.  In this post and the next, we will look at the types of rolling stock that frequent these industries. The diversity is impressive.  We will look at it by category of industry.  This post will focus on traffic related to poultry feed supply.


Norfolk Southern local has arrived in Harrington and is seen on the Indian River Running Track with a pair of SD40-2s in March 2008. Note covered hoppers likely for poultry feed business in consist. –photo by Scott Harris

Poultry feed supply

This is one of the larger sources of traffic. A wide variety of covered hoppers service this need.


CEFX 72929 in Dover, DE June 9, 2013. –photo by David Nutter (David Nutter is a prolific photographer who does an excellent job covering action in Delaware.) To see more of his great work see –

This is typical of modern rolling stock that serves this industry–gray, plain and largely non-descript.  However, if you look more closely, the variety is enormous–different reporting marks and manufacturers, different colors, occasional bright colors, graffiti, etc.  Through weathering and careful acquisitions, you can build a very diverse roster of cars to serve on your layout.  David Nutter’s work gives you great information on what types of rolling stock would realistically appear in southern Delaware.


CEFX 11277 in Dover, DE on April 12, 2014. –photo by David Nutter

Just another CEFX car?  Well not exactly.  You have to look closely, but there are numerous design differences between these two cars.  The ends in particular have numerous differences (framing).  The color of course is a bit different and the reporting marks are white on black.  This car has been re-lettered to denote CEFX ownership (CIT Group/Capital Finance).


GACX 7408 in Dover DE on June 19, 2013. –photo by David Nutter

On the GACX (General American Marks Company) car, one obvious difference is the fact it is brand new with almost no weathering.  It is so clean that some modellers would resist running it on their layout for fear of it not looking realistic.  Again, look at the ends.  It has numerous differences from the two above cars.  For instance, the ends flare out toward the end of the car (just above the small red rectangle).

Now let’s look at some real variety.


CRDX 8359 in Harrington DE on June 30, 2013 –photo by David Nutter

This CRDX (Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company) appears to be a former Ann Arbor RR car.  It may be dirty, but its orange color would certainly add color to any consist.


NS 297445 in Harrington, DE on June 30, 2013 –photo by David Nutter

Sometimes you see cars with actual railroad logos and reporting marks.  Norfolk Southern cars similar to the one above are frequent visitors to poultry feed suppliers across southern Delaware.


ITC car in Harrington, DE, 2013 (road number indecipherable)

Sometimes, you see a “a heritage” car.  This Illinois Terminal car was once an attractive bright yellow with red ends and bottom.  The ITC was purchased by the Norfolk Southern in 1989.

Here is a photo of a similar car in 1989.


ITC 1876 in March 1987 –photo by Mark Hoeller

In the above 1989 photo, you can still detect the original yellow and red colors.


AEX 10902 in Dover, DE on April 12, 2014 –photo by David Nutter

Through interesting rust patterns, graffiti and patches, you can also diversify the appearance of your covered hopper fleet.  The above AEX (The Andersons) car reflects a distinctive rusting pattern and patches.

We will wrap up this post with something that is a bit of a novelty car.


CGAX 9537 0n April 12, 2014 in Dover DE. –photo by David Nutter

I like these Cargill cars.  They look like a cross between a coal hopper and a covered hopper.   Built by Johnstown American Industries (now FreightCar America), the Grainporter 2000 was an aluminium covered hopper first built in 1995.  It may not be produced any longer.  The company’s website no longer lists this product.  It has a very distinctive appearance.

The next post will feature rolling stock associated with the other industries we visited in parts I, II and II of this series–aggregates, fuel dealers, lumber and building supplies and others.


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