Monday, December 26, 2022

Corrugated box factories are still rail served

Corrugated box factories receive big rolls of paper. 

Chris Engstrom posted
Spur that ends inside a cardboard box factory. Nothing special really, but might be interesting to the folks who haven't seen them from the inside.

The comments on the above post taught me of four paper factories that are still rail served.

The Royal Group has an enclosed unloading dock and is served by the BRC. 
3D Satllite

The Case Paper Co. does not have an enclosed unloading dock, and it is served by NS/NYC/Chicago Junction. (Case makes a lot of different paper products. I don't know for sure that this one makes corrugated boxes. In fact, I think I read a comment years ago that this plant cuts and packages paper.)
3D Satellite

The International Paper Co. has an enclosed dock. It is next to a remnant of an Illinois Central route. That remnant is now an industrial spur to UP/GM&O. Again, I don't know if this location does corrugated boxes. But it is an example of unloading paper with an enclosed dock.
3D Satellite

Liberty Carton Co. has an enclosed dock. It is served by Canadian Pacific/Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern. I noticed that they share the building with Liberty Plastics. I wonder if this plant receives plastic pellets as well as paper from the railroad.

Chris provides three more photos of the paper roll unloading operation as comments on his post.
[When I saw Chris' first photo above, I was surprised that the boxcar was not a hi-cube boxcar since they were developed for the paper industry. But this photo shows why they are using plain boxcars. The extra height still would not allow them to stack the rolls double-high.]



I further researched the corrugated box industry.

The boxes are made with corrugated paper.
Staunton I. Cottrell comment on Chris Engstrom's post
The rolls of paper are run through a massive machine that corrugates them first. Three, sometimes five of those 3,000 pound rolls running on that corrugator at the same time to make corrugated paper.
[Another comment indicates that some plants recieve 6,000 pound rolls.]

Part of a Georgia-Pacific corrugator.
13:33 video @ 0:24

Here is part of the corrugator in the Royal Group in Cicero, IL.
Chris commented on his post, cropped

Digging deeper into the rail service. Here is what Chicago used to look like in the vicinity of Case Paper.
1953 Englewood Quad @ 24,000

And this is what is left today. I would not be surprised if some of those industrial spurs are no longer used.

When the Liberty Carton plant was built, an industrial spur was built from the Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern to serve that plant. Canadian Pacific now has that route.
1967 Minneapolis South Quad @ 24,000

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