Covered Hoppers used for Carbon Black Transportation

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Trucklover

BNSF SD70MAC's
Hello everyone, been a little while since I was last one here. Got back into modeling a little bit lately and started some work on my Tire Plant Facility. had bought some of the Rail Shops Carbon Black Covered Hopper kits but hit a "snag".

1) They are kits that I thought I would enjoy building. I apparently was wrong and got 3/4 of the way building the first one and realized, i dont want to continue. I just dont have the patience, specifically drilling and mounting all the tiny grab irons... LOL Ive realized real quick that paying 2-3 times more for a fully factory detailed freight car is well worth it in my opinion. Ill stick to building structures and detailing scenery lol

2) The Rail Shops kits are of models that are dated and too old for my taste. Im building a "modern" era Tire Plant with modern era rolling stock, trucks and equipment. Im sure that some of these older 1940's and 1950's cars are still around somewhere being used in the real world, but I am thinking that I would like to have the modern Carbon Black Hoppers for my models.

Did a bit more research, and from what I can gather, the 90's and early 00's Carbon Black Hoppers were mostly built by Thrall in the range of around 4727 Cu.Ft. Found this one that is pretty fresh and must have recently had a re-paint
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=82501

Looking at more recent pictures it appears that they are now using a version based on a CenterFlow Covered Hopper with the typical Carbon Black bottom gates that have been used throughout the past 50+ years. Ive seen quite a few pictures of Carbon Black hoppers with ARI CenterFlow logo (American Railcar industries) who I guess build several specialty variations of CenterFlow Hoppers. Ive also seen Carbon Black Hopper pictures with ACF CenterFlow, which im guessing started out as regular CenterFlow Hoppers and were at some point converted to Carbon Black Hoppers. This is what im looking to do with my hoppers for my models... Here are several pictures of modern ACF and ARI Carbon Black Hoppers

CCX Reporting Marks:
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=77985
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=33998
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=77658

FURX Reporting Marks:
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=79306

MBKX Reporting Marks:
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=77273

SRCX Reporting Marks:
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=77273
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=34446
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=21959
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=57960
http://www.railcarphotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=51887


Atlas is releasing some new Master Series ACF 4650 Cu.Ft. CenterFlow Hoppers with the SRCX (Sid Richardson Carbon) that do have the ARI CenterFlow markings on them but im disappointed to see that from the artwork (no photos yet) they are using the regular CenterFlow Hopper bottom gates and not the correct Carbon Black Hopper bottom gates. Why release a model that is supposed to be used for Carbon Black service and not make it correct? It does appear that they will have several round hatches on the roof, but not nearly enough. Im hoping that the model will actually have the correct bottom gates and more hatches on top, but im not holding my breath... Here is the link to the Wathers Site for these hoppers, due out in March of 2016 (click the pic on their site to see a large pic) SRCX Carbon Black Hopper

Assuming that Atlas is NOT going to have the correct bottom gates on these new hoppers, what would you guys suggest for replacing bottom gates with? Carbon Black Covered Hoppers use a pretty basic looking gate, but im thinking that the entire bottom discharge bays are going to need to be replaced? Maybe not? Maybe I can just cut the gate part off and replace it with a round piece of styrene and add a brass rod to resemble the ratchet assembly arm?
And what about the top Hatches, does anyone make round hatches that can be added in between the factory hatches on the roof? Atlas's model shows 6, the pictures ive seen have 7+ and the majority appear to have 11 roof hatches

Thoughts, suggestions, opinions greatly appreciated :cool:
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Josh, when I saw that Atlas announcement I immediately thought of your tire factory. rrpicturearchives.net has 4 pages of pics for SRCX cars from the earlier rib side to the round side (Trinity?) hoppers, all 3 bay. I had a bit of a look through them http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rsList.aspx?id=SRCX&cid=4, but couldn't find much that gave a good view of the discharge chutes. Car #706 had some close-ups but being black and shaded beneath the car doesn't help. There's a lot of pics to look at, so if you have a few hours to spare...................................

I have the same problem with MRL's sand hoppers, no close detail and also the shutes on their ballast cars. From what I've seen of the sand cars, the "cone" is a square (top) to round (bottom) and appears to have a very similar discharge port to the carbon variety. The late model SRCX seem to have a larger flange, which may be square, where the port bolts on. (your eyes will be too by the time you're finished)
 

Trucklover

BNSF SD70MAC's
Hi Josh, when I saw that Atlas announcement I immediately thought of your tire factory. rrpicturearchives.net has 4 pages of pics for SRCX cars from the earlier rib side to the round side (Trinity?) hoppers, all 3 bay. I had a bit of a look through them http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rsList.aspx?id=SRCX&cid=4, but couldn't find much that gave a good view of the discharge chutes. Car #706 had some close-ups but being black and shaded beneath the car doesn't help. There's a lot of pics to look at, so if you have a few hours to spare...................................

I have the same problem with MRL's sand hoppers, no close detail and also the shutes on their ballast cars. From what I've seen of the sand cars, the "cone" is a square (top) to round (bottom) and appears to have a very similar discharge port to the carbon variety. The late model SRCX seem to have a larger flange, which may be square, where the port bolts on. (your eyes will be too by the time you're finished)
Thanks for the link, ill have to spend some time and have a look through some of those to see if I can get some more shots a little closer to the bottom sides and roofs. Thats alot more pictures then I had originally looked through, so I greatly appreciate the link!

I know all too well about Ballast Hoppers, I had looked about making a fleet of some RRMX (Robertsons Ready Mix) hoppers, but that quickly fell off the project board, mostly because Im just not willing to try and kitbash or scratchbuild the fleet of hoppers that i wanted LOL. Maybe with the Shapeways 3D Printing I can attempt to create one and have a detailed hopper shell printed up. But that in itself would take a large dedication of time of which I just dont have much of right now lol
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Had a look through the pics on pages 3-4 of the rrpicarch.net site concentrating on the newer ones such as Atlas are offering. The numbers they are doing are all from the 4000 series cars (Atlas post 1971), whereas there is a 4100 (1 pic only) a 4200 series and the newest 4300 series, with differences in the end frame/ladder styles in the 4200/4300 and extra gusseting along the sides at the bottom on the 4300's. The 4000's are the same cars as MRL has in their 5100 series. The Atlas models differ as far as the SRCX cars go in the top hatches, #4066 shows 8 small round ones, whereas Atlas's only have 6 larger but can't tell what shape from their pictures of the models. All the SRCX/MRL cars have 2 step rectangular shaped corner stirrups, whereas Atlas has a single step with 1 dropper angled. I have some of these models from the previous run, but with the full length top hatch covers and the stirrups as described. The discharge shutes are also full width, rectangular rather than a centralised square as I would expect the carbon type to be because of their small round discharge port.

#4072 and 73 show that the shutes are square inverted pyramid shaped and 4073 has the sun shining on them (hooray!). #'s 4230, 4240 give good views of the discharges and #4243 has 5 closeups of the writing on the sides. #4248 has a good general side on view of a new car in which it clearly shows the weldseams in the side panels. Neither Atlas or the latest Athearn release Trinity models feature this, both are very smooth sided. (only ones with this I've seen are the Accurail kits). I haven't found any models that have the correct stirrups.

So I guess it's do a lot of bashing or put up with some (or a lot of) inconsistencies.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Athearn's Trinity models do have the correct 2 step stirrups (just rechecked) but don't have the top edge with the 2 slim ribs that all the SRCX cars have and the 5100 MRL's do also. The Atlas cars have that feature. How many prototype makers are there of this style car??
 




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