Now Available, 70 Ton 3-Bay Hoppers in THREE DIFFERENT BODY STYLES in N Scale.
Bluford Shops has N scale 70 Ton 3-Bay Hoppers in three different body styles. These ready-to-run cars feature: diecast slope sheet-hopper bay-center sill assembly; injection molded plastic sides, ends, and hopper doors; fully molded brake tank, valve and air lines; slope sheet braces; separately molded vertical brake rod and lever assembly (a first on an N scale open hopper!); body mounted brake hose detail; coal load; body mounted magnetically operating couplers; close coupling; friction bearing or roller bearing trucks as appropriate for each road name. All road names are produced in multiple road numbers.
70 ton 3-bay offset side hoppers first appeared in the late '20s and by the late '30s had become an AAR standard design with cars being delivered from a number of builders in large quantities to railroads across the country. The last of these cars were delivered in the mid-'60s and many remained in service through the '80s.
The AAR had a standard 70 ton rib side hopper as well, however New York Central made changes to the AAR design in 1956 and their variation became popular with more railroads than the AAR stock standard! These cars were lower and shorter than later 90 and 100 ton cars but had more ribs (making for 14 full length panels.) Thirteen of the fifteen ribs were welded in place instead of riveted. These cars were built by a number of builders from 1956 through the late 60s with many serving through the 1990s and perhaps beyond...
The Offset Side car features the corner pleating design most commonly seen on the prototype.
Adjustable height, removeable coal load.
Bluford Shops products are not intended for children under 14.
4 versions of converted wood chip hoppers.
As the timber industry discovered new uses for wood chips (they had been burning them as waste,) the railroad industry hurried to develop a means to haul them economically. By adding extension boards to standard 70 ton coal hoppers, many roads were able to take on this traffic. Some railroads preferred flat side extensions made from steel or composite (steel and plywood) while others preferred rib-sided extensions.
Offset side hoppers with flat side extensions have been relelased in: Boston & Maine, Canadian National, Kansas City Southern, Dimi Data Only, Chattahoochee Industrial, Seaboard Air Line, Gulf & Mississippi, Frisco, and Undecorated.
Rib side hoppers with flat side extensions have been released in: Georgia Railroad, Seaboard System, and Undecorated.
Rib side hoppers with rib side extensions have been released in: Norfolk Southern, Louisville & Nashville, Gulf Mobile & Ohio, and Undecorated.
Note: All hopper runs originally released LATER than June, 2014 are equipped with Fox Valley Models Metal Wheels.
... 2-Bay Rebuilt War Emergency Hoppers...
...and 8-Panel 2-Bay Hoppers.
Now available in N Scale: USRA 30'6" 2-Bay Hoppers and Panel Side Hoppers.
Bluford Shops also has N scale USRA 30’6” 2-Bay Hoppers and Panel Side Hoppers. More than 55,000 of these cars were built making them one of the most prolific freight car designs of the twentieth century. These ready-to-run cars will feature: diecast slope sheet-hopper bay-center sill assembly; injection molded plastic sides, ends, and hopper doors; fully molded brake tank, valve and air lines; body mounted brake hose detail; coal load; lever-style hand brake; body mounted magnetically operating knuckle couplers; close coupling; and Fox Valley Models metal wheels. All road names will be available in multiple road numbers.
Bluford Shops has four 33' hopper body styles for your N scale freight car fleet: 2-Bay Offset Side Hoppers, 2-Bay War Emergency Composite Hoppers, 2-Bay Rebuilt War Emergency Hoppers and 8-Panel 2-Bay Hoppers. These ready-to-run cars feature: die cast slope sheet-hopper bay-center sill assembly; injection molded plastic sides, ends, and hopper doors; fully molded brake tank, valve and air lines; body mounted brake hose detail; load; body mounted magnetically operating knuckle couplers; close coupling; and Fox Valley Models metal wheels.
A 2-bay hopper design with offset sides was first proposed in the 1920s and first appeared in the form seen here in 1934. The AAR adopted it as a standard design the following year. The offset design permitted greater interior capacity than a rib side car with the same outside dimensions. It was thought this more than made up for the car’s higher cost of construction. The last new 2-bay offset side hoppers were built in 1960.
The story of these 2-Bay War Emergency Hoppers begins in 1942 when the War Production Board directed car builders to substitute wood for steel wherever possible in car superstructures. The familiar 2-Bay War Emergency Composite Hopper was a result of this directive. Those cars had wooden side sheets and end slope sheets (although the middle slope sheets remained steel.)
The wood siding was thicker than comparable steel sheeting and this reduced the capacity of the cars. While you could build ten composite cars with the steel from nine all-steel cars, it took more composite cars to move the same amount of coal. This combined with the more frequent repairs required by the composite cars soured the War Production Board on the design.
During 1944, the directive was set aside and cars that were on order were delivered with the familiar diagonal bracing but with all steel construction. After the war, as composite cars came due for serious maintenance, the wood side and slope sheets were replaced with steel. A large majority of the composite cars were rebuilt in this manner sometime during the 1950s.
While a few railroads were quick to try out the 8-panel design as early as the 1930s, most 8-panel cars were the result of rebuilding fleets of offset side hoppers in the 1960s. Cars with the 8-Panel design were much cheaper and easier to fabricate than cars with the offset side design. The relatively smooth interior faces also resisted corrosion better.
All road names will be available in multiple road numbers. For instance, order a single, a 2-pack and a 3-pack to get all six road numbers on a run. (Some road names will be available in just three road numbers.)
The first runs of 8-Panel hoppers are AVAILABLE NOW!
Offset side hoppers with rib side extensions have been released in: Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western, Ashley Drew & Northern, CP Rail, Missouri Pacific, Illinois Central, Soo Line, Grand Trunk Western, and Undecorated.
...2-Bay War Emergency Composite Hoppers...
N Scale 2-Bay Offset Side Hoppers...
Many (but not all) 3-Bay Offset Side Hoppers built for Canadian railroads had their middle hopper bays reversed so that the doors faced the "B" end of the car. Note the C&S and ONT hoppers shown at right both have their brake equipment on the right while the middle hoppers face in opposite directions.
Offset Side - Canadian Version
Our friends Kim Saign and Joe Cox have developed a 3D printed roof for our USRA and Panel Side hoppers. Combined with a modified Gold Medal Models (or other brand) running board, you can convert your hopper into a company service sand hopper. This one is based on a Northern Pacific/BN prototype but similar cars were used on many roads. You can get them from their Shapeways page here: