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Little glass balls???

Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by deformatron, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. deformatron

    deformatron Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 496 Likes Received: 0
    This is a thread for some of the more expereinced freight heads. A friend of mine, who happens to be a railfan of sorts and his father who is also one, as well as myself, have found these small marble sized balls of what looks to be glass at yards and layups throughout the years. None of us know what they are from or what they do. Most of the ones I've found are the size of a larger "shooter" marble, although I've found a few that are the size of normal marbles. They are rough on the outside and are probably glass. Any clues?
  2. HAL

    HAL Guest

    Yard --> Trainspotting

    My guess is hoppers in your area are loaded with marbles for some customer. They don't have any in our yards. When they hump the lines together, the hatches on the bottom sometimes spill a little and create piles of grain, sand, or whatever the hopper is loaded with.
  3. deformatron

    deformatron Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 496 Likes Received: 0
    yeah, ive seen the piles of various stuff (sand, dirt, coal, etc.), but this is definitley not piles of marbles. they're very sparsely distributed. somebody had suggested they are mixed in with the loads to break apart piles of sand and stuff in the hoppers so they dont get stuck together, but im not sure.
  4. va_MisFit_01

    va_MisFit_01 Member

    Joined: Apr 13, 2001 Messages: 800 Likes Received: 2
    ive found some of those glass balls to..
  5. When

    When 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: May 4, 2000 Messages: 10,294 Likes Received: 3
    hobos like to play marbles, simple as that
  6. RaiD

    RaiD Guest

    ever break open a spray can and look at the marble inside? see if they are the same.
  7. ~KRYLON2~

    ~KRYLON2~ 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 13, 2001 Messages: 10,493 Likes Received: 211
    theres always little purple/red balls the size of marbles by my yard
  8. sectorTVA

    sectorTVA Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 8, 2000 Messages: 1,272 Likes Received: 1
    i would figure it as cargo that has fallen out...things like that happen, and if they are sparsely distributed then maybe they fell out a long time ago and got mixed up...perhaps the hoppers that used to haul glass marbles no longer haul glass marbles in your area anymore and the glass marbles that are there are from the 70's or early 80's...just a guess...
  9. Cracked Ass

    Cracked Ass Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 24, 2001 Messages: 7,898 Likes Received: 47
    Sector's guess is as good as any. No magic answers here.
  10. TEE_rase_war

    TEE_rase_war Senior Member

    Joined: Dec 6, 2001 Messages: 1,717 Likes Received: 1

    They are usually little metal ballbearings, but then again...

    about the glass balls...they are probably used to separate and keep things from glueing together...but then again, how the fuck would that work...all the shit in the bottom would compress and do that anyway...

    ASK KABAR...thats my answer
  11. fr8burner

    fr8burner Elite Member

    Joined: Jun 4, 2001 Messages: 2,576 Likes Received: 2
    actually the balls in a can are not metal....try sticking a magnet to it...as far as i know there glass marbles in cans.......ive found large metal balls laying around in my yard but i jsut figured it was shit from the local junk yard....they haul that shit in gondolas..i figured shit just fell out
  12. deformatron

    deformatron Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 496 Likes Received: 0
    As for the balls in aerosol cans, ive cracked open a few, and they are not like these. For the most part, the balls in cans are the size of a normal marble, and they are plastic. The ones that i am talking about are usually bigger, almost twice the size of a normal marble, although i have found the smaller ones. i also doubt that these balls have anything to with marbles. another guess is that they are the left over ends of some type of glass in the same way that slinkys are a by-product of extruded metal tubing or something.
  13. KaBar

    KaBar Senior Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 1,397 Likes Received: 28
    Recycled glass?

    I'm just guessing, but it sounds like they might be recycled glass being bulk shipped that escaped from their transport car somehow.
  14. deformatron

    deformatron Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 496 Likes Received: 0
    kabar....i hadnt thought of that but its very likely. the surfaces are rough and pitted, so that could be the result of a ton or so glass balls smashing up against each other in a hopper or something.
  15. Average White Railfan

    Average White Railfan Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 2, 2001 Messages: 1,120 Likes Received: 0
    ive see these too. along with piles of crushed glass, not near here though. and i'll tell you right now, if cracked, kabar and ese dont know you might have to approach a worker to find out for sure what they are. my guess would be what someone else already said. prolly some sort of recycled glass product that spilled out from a hopper.