This week Bluford Shops is announcing the next group of runs on our N scale USRA 30’6” 2-Bay Hopper. 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; 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. 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.) Pre-orders are now open on this group and will close on March 1. Delivery is expected in autumn of 2018. MSRP is $24.95 per car.
Pittsburgh & West Virginia had 1,830 of these hoppers. Just 132 miles long, P&WV formed a vital link in the Alphabet Route. Nickel Plate Road picked up traffic at Chicago or St. Louis and forwarded it to the Wheeling & Lake Erie who passed it to Pittsburgh & West Virginia thence to Western Maryland for Baltimore or they could pass it on to Reading for Philadelphia or Reading’s eastern connections such as Jersey Central for the New York metropolitan area, or Jersey Central could hand it off to Lehigh & Hudson River who would hand it over to New Haven to cross the Hudson and take it to Boston. Rather than trying to write all of those reporting marks for the car routing instructions, agents could just write “Alphabet Route.” This run will be available in three road numbers.
60431 Pittsburgh & West Virginia 2nd version single car $24.95
60432 Pittsburgh & West Virginia 2nd version 2-pack $49.90
Penn-Dixie Cement was born from the 1926 merger of four cement companies with plants in New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Georgia. Over the years, Penn-Dixie operated fleets of secondhand hoppers to move coal and limestone to their mills. These PDSX USRA hoppers were assigned to haul limestone to the mill.
60441 Penn-Dixie Cement single car $24.95
60442 Penn-Dixie Cement 2-pack $49.90
Peabody Short Line was launched in 1956 when the Peabody Coal Company purchased the St. Louis & Belleville Electric Railway, a common carrier that linked Peabody’s River King Mine in Freeburg with East St. Louis. The jaunty yellow and green paint followed soon after. While the PSL would ultimately be sold to Illinois Central, Peabody would go on to run 10 more railroads scattered from Kansas City in the west to central Kentucky before the last one was sold in 1993. This second run of Peabody Short Line hoppers consists of six all new road numbers.
60451 Peabody Short Line 2nd run single car $24.95
60452 Peabody Short Line 2nd run 2-pack $49.90
60453 Peabody Short Line 2nd run 3-pack $74.85
Best known for their narrow gauge operation, the vast majority of the Colorado & Southern consisted of a standard gauge line from connections at Wendover, Wyoming south to Cheyenne, Denver, Pueblo and a connection with their subsidiary Fort Worth & Denver on the Texas-New Mexico border. Together with the FW&D, parent company Chicago Burlington & Quincy and the CB&Q’s parents Great Northern and Northern Pacific, C&S became a vital link between the Pacific Northwest and ports on the Gulf of Mexico. Colorado & Southern had 300 of these USRA hoppers.
60461 Colorado & Southern single car $24.95
60462 Colorado & Southern 2-pack $49.90
60463 Colorado & Southern 3-pack $74.85
Though not often associated with hoppers, Southern Pacific had a sizeable and varied fleet over the years including nearly three hundred 30’ 2-bay hoppers. Hoppers on the SP were used for coal, coke, gravel, limestone, and various metallic ores. For this run, coal/coke loads are included.
60471 Southern Pacific single car $24.95
60472 Southern Pacific 2-pack $49.90
60473 Southern Pacific 3-pack $74.85
Toledo Peoria & Western picked up this fleet of USRA hoppers on the secondhand market in the 1950s. Many shippers liked to use the TP&W as a bridge between the Santa Fe in the west and the Pennsylvania Railroad in the east, avoiding congestion in Chicago. In 1960, the M&St.L attempted to gain control of the TP&W. Santa Fe stepped in, easily outbidding M&St.L for shares of the company. Santa Fe then sold half of their stake to PRR, solidifying the TP&W’s status as a bridge road for many years.
60481 Toledo Peoria & Western single car $24.95
60482 Toledo Peoria & Western 2-pack $49.90
60483 Toledo Peoria & Western 3-pack $74.85
The Montour Railroad served 27 coal mines with just 50 miles of railroad in southwestern Pennsylvania. This required a fleet of 1,500 USRA 2-bay hoppers along with another 500 hoppers of other designs making them a common sight across the Industrial Midwest. Montour was jointly owned by Pennsylvania Railroad and Pittsburgh & Lake Erie.
60491 Montour silver and black single car $24.95
60492 Montour silver and black 2-pack $49.90
Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis had 325 of these USRA 2-bay hoppers. NC&St.L ran from Memphis east to Nashville, Chattanooga and Atlanta. For a time, they had a route to St. Louis by way of Evansville but in 1879, L&N bought a 55% stake in the NC&St.L and transferred that line to themselves. The NC&St.L finally merged into L&N in 1957.
60501 Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis single car $24.95
60502 Nashville Chattanooga & St. Louis 2-pack $49.90
The Morgantown & Kingwood was established in 1899 and over the next 8 years built a 48 mile railroad from a connection with the Baltimore & Ohio in Morgantown, West Virginia to Masontown, Kingwood and Rowlesburg where they connected with another B&O route at M&K Junction. The line was busy with traffic including coal, lumber, building stone and sand for glass making. After the war, M&K received 1,000 of these USRA hoppers from Standard Steel Car and Ralston. Morgantown & Kingwood was later acquired by B&O.
60511 Morgantown & Kingwood single car $24.95
60512 Morgantown & Kingwood 2-pack $49.90
The Central Vermont ran from the Atlantic coast port of New London, Connecticut north to the Canadian border. From the outset, they had been controlled by Grand Trunk Railway and their successor Canadian National. This group of 200 hoppers had received panel sides beginning in 1937 but as they came due for their second rebuilding, they again received flat side sheets as you see here.
60521 Central Vermont single car $24.95
60522 Central Vermont 2-pack $49.90
Pennsylvania Railroad had 300 of these cars in their GLd class. They had originally been part of the Long Island Rail Road fleet but were transferred to parent PRR after about a decade of service. The PRR was a leviathan in the steam era. With 6,152 locomotives on the roster, PRR had more engines than most railroads had freight cars. As for the freight car fleet, they had well north of a quarter of a million cars – so many that a mixed through freight on nearly any railroad in the U.S. was statistically likely to have at least one PRR car in the mix. This 2nd run features six all new road numbers.
60531 Pennsylvania Railroad 2nd run single car $24.95
60532 Pennsylvania Railroad 2nd run 2-pack $49.90
60533 Pennsylvania Railroad 2nd run 3-pack $74.85