Originally Posted by Lizbetbathory
jos3ph.... what are the cars called that were almost like tankers but had an odd space on one end? A small hole that goes into a small open space just big enough for a teen ager?
You are referring to a covered hopper car Liz. Products such as beans, corn, grain, powdered chemicals, roofing granules, and a host of other dry, bulk products area carried in covered hopper cars. The covered hopper car design allows companies to ship bulk items which must remain dry and be free from any contaminants.
While this image does not depict a real-life railroad car (it's a model), it accurately represents the end of a covered hopper car. As you have mentioned, people that hop trains sometimes ride in these openings. Note the second image. That image was made by someone who WAS
riding inside that opening! There have been incidents where bodies have been found inside these openings after a major train derailment. Some older transients (generally those in poor health
) will sometimes succumb to the elements and die inside these openings. Often, their bodies won't be located for months. The bodies are usually discovered by workers loading or unloading these particular types of railroad cars, or they are found by railroad employees in railroad yards where trains are broken down (classified) and made-up into new, outbound trains.