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Just shipped to dealers: New N 3-Bay Offset Side Hoppers.
This month Bluford Shops is announcing a new group of runs on our N scale Offset Side 70 Ton 3-Bay Hopper. This body style returns after a four year break. 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.

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.)
Baltimore & Ohio thought very highly of this style of hopper car and continued to order them through the 1960s. This paint scheme is thought to be the final version applied by B&O prior to the adoption of the Chessie System image. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73891 Baltimore & Ohio post-1970 single $24.95
73892 Baltimore & Ohio post-1970 2-pack $49.90
73893 Baltimore & Ohio post-1970 3-pack $74.85
Click to go to the Next N Scale batch...
Products bearing Missouri Pacific, Chicago Great Western and Chicago & North Western marks are made under trademark license from Union Pacific Railroad Company.
Burlington Route had been painting their hopper cars Chinese Red since the late 50s but by the end of 1962, they had decided that hoppers should receive a nice hard-wearing black instead. As CB&Q’s large fleet of 3-bay offset side hoppers came due for repainting, they received this paint scheme. Note the slogans below the rectangular logo are different on each side of the car. One side has Way Of The Zephyrs and the other has Everywhere West. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73901 Burlington Route black single $24.95
73902 Burlington Route black 2-pack $49.90
73903 Burlington Route black 3-pack $74.85
Missouri Pacific built this group of hoppers in their own De Soto Shops. They adopted this large buzzsaw paint scheme in the early 1960s. If you weren’t from the region, you might think MP would not be much of a coal hauler. In fact, MP moved considerable amounts of coal from Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Colorado and maintained a fleet of many thousands of hopper cars. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73921 Missouri Pacific large buzzsaw single $24.95
73922 Missouri Pacific large buzzsaw 2-pack $49.90
73923 Missouri Pacific large buzzsaw 3-pack $74.85
Canadian National had a whopping 4,655 offset side 3-bay hoppers making them one of the most common cars on CN. They were built in several batches between 1949 and 1958. Eastern Car Company, National Steel, and Canadian Car & Foundry all built cars to this same design for CN. Beginning in 1961, cars were repainted with the newly adopted “noodle” logo as they went in for servicing. For this run we present them as they appeared from about 1973 onward. Above the road numbers, it says CANADIAN NATIONAL (English spelling) on one side and CANADIEN NATIONAL (French spelling) on the other side. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73931 Canadian National post-1973 single $24.95
73932 Canadian National post-1973 2-pack $49.90
73933 Canadian National post-1973 3-pack $74.85
Grand Trunk Western received 500 of these hoppers from American Car & Foundry in 1952. GTW moved coal from connecting roads to power Michigan’s voracious auto industry, and also loaded significant quantities of gravel (for use in construction across the Industrial Midwest) on their Saginaw Subdivision. This road name will be available in singles, and 2-packs, each in different road numbers.
73941 Grand Trunk Western block lettering single $24.95
73942 Grand Trunk Western block lettering 2-pack $49.90
The Rock image was adopted by the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific in 1975 as they sought to re-invent their image as part of a lengthy reorganization. The round mark under the road number is the logo for Rock’s El Reno, Oklahoma car shops who serviced and repainted these cars. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73951 The Rock single $24.95
73952 The Rock 2-pack $49.90
73953 The Rock 3-pack $74.85
The Union Railroad serves the steel mills of the Monongahela River Valley south of Pittsburgh. The Union is just 31 miles long but very busy. In 1951, they hauled 74 million net tons making URR the busiest freight railroad per mile of track in the world. Today, Union serves the USS Edgar Thomson Works which includes blast furnaces, a basic oxygen processor producing molten steel and a continuous caster. They also serve the USS Irvin Works which includes rolling mills and finishing lines and USS Clairton Works which converts coal into coke. Union Railroad received this group of hoppers in a trade with their sister railroad Bessemer & Lake Erie. This road name will be available in singles, and 2-packs, each in different road numbers.
73961 Union Railroad single $24.95
73962 Union Railroad 2-pack $49.90
Blue Coal was a retail brand of anthracite sold in the Northeastern U.S. Blue was probably a reference to the high temperature blue flames emitted from this fuel. Anthracite is a pure, dense form of coal known for its clean burning properties and high-BTU output. Anthracite is usually identified with Eastern Pennsylvania although large deposits have also been mined in Colorado. Several railroads serving anthracite mines in the Keystone State such as Lehigh Valley, Lackawanna, Reading, CNJ, D&H, O&W and others are often collectively referred to as “The Anthracite Roads.” While Blue Coal didn’t have their own hopper fleet, this paint scheme became a staple of the trainsets of our youth and is presented here as a nod to our own early days in this hobby. Six road numbers will be available, each with the reporting marks of a different “Anthracite Road.”
73971 Blue Coal single (DL&W) $24.95
73972 Blue Coal 2-pack (LV, ERIE) $49.90
73973 Blue Coal 3-pack (RDG, D&H, CNJ) $74.85
This group of hoppers was built in 1948 for Chicago & North Western affiliate Chicago St. Paul Minneapolis & Omaha (The Omaha Road) by Pullman Standard. During this period, open top cars on the greater C&NW system received only odd road numbers while enclosed cars received even numbers. The CMO had some degree of autonomy from C&NW until the latter leased the former in 1957. In 1972, the two were officially merged. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73981 Chicago & North Western-Omaha Road single $24.95
73982 Chicago & North Western-Omaha Road 2-pack $49.90
73983 Chicago & North Western-Omaha Road 3-pack $74.85
Illinois Central was quite a fan of 3-bay offset side hoppers and continued to build them into the late ‘60s. In 1972, IC merged with the largely parallel Gulf Mobile & Ohio creating Illinois Central Gulf. The combined railroad was immense with 9,500 route miles (about 60 more than Union Pacific during the same period.) Mileage would fall by about 20% as duplicate routes were abandoned over the years. ICG retained the orange and white diesel scheme of IC with “Gulf” added to the name. The IC “split rail” logo was modified with the split closed up and the dot moved over the center of the rail. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
73991 Illinois Central Gulf big-i single $24.95
73992 Illinois Central Gulf big-i 2-pack $49.90
73993 Illinois Central Gulf big-i 3-pack $74.85
This specific group of Southern Railway hoppers was assigned to the Appalachia Division for coal loading and was marked for this service. This prevented them from being “confiscated” by freight agents along the way needing hoppers for stone, sand or other services. Southern delivered much of their coal traffic to connecting roads at terminals in St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New Orleans, and Memphis. This paint scheme will be available in six road numbers.
74001 Southern Railway-Appalachia Div. single $24.95
74002 Southern Railway-Appalachia Div. 2-pack $49.90
74003 Southern Railway-Appalachia Div. 3-pack $74.85
Chicago Great Western used their fleet of 3-bay offset side hoppers to haul petroleum coke (as presented here) and low grade iron ore when it was in season. CGW had actually sold these cars to Chicago Freight Car and immediately leased them back. This was not a case of seller’s remorse. The arrangement, which was pretty common, had certain tax advantages at the time. This road name will be available in singles, and 2-packs, each in different road numbers.
74011 Chicago Great Western 2nd version single $24.95
74012 Chicago Great Western 2nd version 2-Pack $49.90
Some of the above pictures show the cars with track, scenery and even other cars for a bit of context. Obviously the cars in question don't include that stuff - but you knew that already.