Monday, June 23, 2014

More about hoppers

So in the course of getting the LNE hopper project going, I've been doing some research on hoppers in general. I won't pretend to be an expert on hoppers, and there has been a lot published online and in various magazines and books, although I would start with Bob Karig's "Coal Cars: The First 300 Years", John Teichmoeller's "Pennsylvania Railroad Steel Open Hopper Cars", and the various Railway Prototype Cyclopedias, particularly Volume 25. Of course, the RPI Railroad Heritage website should be a primary source for any freight car modeling as well.

I haven't looked into books on the hopper fleets of the B&O or NYC which were both substantial and they would be helpful. But I've been able to find enough online information for now relating to them. The B&O is a particular challenge because there aren't a lot of accurate models for their hoppers. At least not yet.

Based on information provided in several resources, I believe that while hoppers for C&O, N&W and other more southerly roads would have travelled occasionally on the New Haven, I suspect they were in far fewer numbers than the roads I'll cover here. This was largely because coal from these fields came to CT primarily by water. And while NH hoppers have been photographed offline, I suspect a large number of them were used to ship coal from waterborne loads to their final destinations on the NH.

As a starting point, I've been looking at existing models that are available either only in (resin) kit form or simple projects like the LNE one which is primarily upgrading a shake-the-box style model. Initially this is covering twin hoppers (HM), but I'm already looking into triple and quad hopper (HT) projects.

More extensive kitbashing projects will wait. I have already purchased RTR cars that are appropriate and meeting my modeling standards (BLI, Intermountain, Kadee, etc.).

As for the roads that I think are most important for my (and Chris and Pete's) layout are coal hauling roads with direct NH connections:


Secondary sources are the other large roads that have service connections (based on published schedules), photos, and anthracite roads:

Several roads have been bumped up in priority due to the identification of specific brands of coal handled by local New Britain industries:
Stanley Svea - Old Company's Lehigh (D&H, DL&W, LNE)
Household Fuel - Glen Alden Coal Co (CNJ, DL&W, RDG)

So then there's the question of how many of any given hopper I need. For box cars I settled on 1 car per 1,000 rostered for a foreign road car. But then what about cars like the PRR X29 or NYC USRA Design steel box car, each of which rostered over 25,000? I don't really need 25 of each do I?

Probably not. So I think a reasonable goal is around 10 of each. But hoppers aren't as free roaming as box cars. However, I also think that for a bulk commodity it's common to see a string of 2-3 cars, even if it's a road with a small roster. That doesn't mean they'll all be the same prototype.

So I know I'll do at least two cars for each of the target roads, but typically more. I've settled on 1 car for each 500 rostered to try to get the mix right for each road that has multiple prototypes available. But I think 3 to 4 of a given prototype will probably be sufficient, with more for particularly large rosters (PRR, basically). I may make exceptions for roads that serve mines that I know are selling to New Britain industries.

For retail industries I haven't determined a specific brand of coal (Shurberg & Sons,) I'll focus on anthracite roads, and the large industries (Stanley, Russell & Erwin, etc.) will receive bituminous, often in triple and quad hoppers, from B&O, NYC, PRR, etc.

 As noted, the first project we're starting is the LNE AAR Standard cars.

Fishbelly Hoppers
Next will probably be cars based on the Bowser (ex-Stewart) fishbelly hoppers, and as long as we can find the proper decorated cars, these won't require decals.
CNJ 67000-67999 (1)
CRP 67000-67999 (1)
D&H 4701-6100 (2-4)
LV 25000-25499, 25500-25939 (2)
RDG 65000-65999, 67000-67338, 80000-80999 (4-6), plus 1-2 of the F&C War Emergency variation (66000-66999)

USRA and USRA Clone Hoppers
I've got Accurail, Tichy and MTH USRA hoppers, and I've settled on making some modifications (modernizing) the MTH model, primarily upgrading to AB brakes. These will definitely need painting and lettering.
B&O (2-4)
CNJ (1)
CRP (1)
D&H (1, plus one Tichy panel side rebuild)
DL&W (2)
NH (2-4)
NYC (4, plus two Tichy panel side rebuilds)
RDG (2-4)

GL hoppers (Westerfield and/or F&C) - mostly GLca class, and the majority (if not all) will be the excellent F&C one piece body kit.
PRR (5-10)

GLA and 1905 "Common Design" (Westerfield and/or Bowser)
Note: while individual roads had some specific variations, the main difference was apparently the angle of the center slope sheets. PRR had a 30 degree angle, and most others a 45 degree angle. I'm not sure if I'll be able to modify the interior, but the Bowser car is the PRR 30 degree angle so it may be possible (since it's less than 45 degrees). Otherwise, along with the detail upgrades the rivet line in the middle of the car will be modified.

Chris has a photo of a PRR H21 at Wethersfield coal, and found that Bowser makes a model (yay!) but it has molded on parts (boo!). I pointed out that they had over 25,000 H21's c1947 and that he had a choice - build a half-dozen or more Westerfield kits, or start shaving Bowser cars. He's ready to shave. The same thing applies for the PRR GLA class.

PRR (5-10)
CNJ/CRP (1-2)
LV (4-6)

Berwind-White Mini Project
A few years ago Laura and I went to Newport, RI and one of the mansions we visited was The Elms, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind. So at the very least I'm sure that Berwind coal hoppers would be seen on the New Haven on the Shoreline servicing their home. In addition, there are models available that covers the entire Berwind roster in 1947. So that's kind of fun. One of those kits, now available from F&C, was originally manufactured by Funaro for Yankee Clipper Models, which were produced by Bill Dulmaine, the current President of NHRHTA and he and Cosette are responsible for publishing the Shoreliner.

Mount Vernon Shops makes a set of decals that letters 4 GLca, 6 GLa, and 2 BW-1 hoppers so that will give us enough for the group to split.
GLa (Bowser) 1501-1900, 3351-4980
GLca (F&C) 2001-3000, 4981-5000
BW-1 (F&C) 5001-5050, 5051-5160

Resin Kits
In addition to the GLca and BW-1 hoppers, I'll need several of the F&C CNJ/CRP 9-panel hoppers (the model that started this study, actually), and RDG Channel Side hoppers, also from F&C.

That will get me (us) started, and will provide a solid foundation for the hoppers that I think would represent a proper mix, recognizing that there will be too few B&O and probably DL&W hoppers, among others. Beyond these, I don't have a problem with an occasional visit from other hoppers that would be less common. But we've now found three photos with C&I hoppers on the New Haven so it's clear that there are always interesting cars to include.

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