[N&W] Re: hoppers

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Thu May 6 22:14:12 EDT 2004

[Ed King answers:]

Maybe I can help with one and three . . .

 >1.  On the N&W SIG website is a topic heading, "What VGN freight car
 >classes survived the merger?"  Prominently absent is any mention of
 >VGN hoppers. Is this became VGN hoppers retained their VGN Class
 >designation (except in the event of duplication of an existing N&W
 >hopper class designation)?

All VGN cars were given new numbers and new classes after the merger; if I
remember correctly, N&W added 20 to the class numbers of the cars.  In other
words, a Virginian H-14 car became an N&W H-34; a VGN H-8 became an N&W
H-28.  N&W's own hopper classes had gotten into the two-digit range; there
were about 8000 N&W H-10s around and they were to begin the H-11s in

 >2.  [snip]
 >3.  Did all N&W Class HL cars feature peaked ends?

I saw one or two HLs and/or H-2as with flat ends.  The story was that they
had been wrecked on foreign railroads and their arches (N&W didn't call them
peaks; they called them arches.  The "peaked" reference started, I believe,
when Ulrich brought out an HO HL in the fifties) had been cut off so they
could be loaded upside down on a flat car.  But they all did feature the
arched ends when they were built.  Other roads had hoppers with similar side
designs and flat ends.

Hope this helps.


I wonder why Lifelike hasn't come out with an HU or HUa style hopper to go
with the Y3's?  I'd sure like 60-90 of 'em for my fleet mixed in with 55 tone

Mark Lindsey

[Marty Swartz takes his turn:]
 >1.  On the N&W SIG website is a topic heading, "What VGN freight car classes
 >survived the merger?"  Prominently absent is any mention of VGN hoppers.  Is
 >this became VGN hoppers retained their VGN Class designation (except in the
 >event of duplication of an existing N&W hopper class designation)?

All of the VGN car classes that survived had 20 added to their class
number, I would assume to avoid overlap with existing N&W classes.
Thus VGN hopper class H-14 became N&W class H-34.

 >2.  Which commercially available HO scale hopper models are closest to VGN
 >and N&W prototypes?

(sigh) Oooooh, a question of religion you are asking now. "Closest"
and "best" depend on your tolerance for "good enough". For -my-
once-and-future layout, a reasonably priced reasonably close
reasonably detailed shake-the-box hopper car will win out over a
highly detailed relatively expensive urethane kit, or extensive
kitbashes. Here's what's in -my- collection, your mileage may vary.
(I'll even extend this to gons.)

H-6 by Accurail (Accurail limited run for Roanoke Rails, sold out
unfortunately. Another run, Sam?)
	Tichy USRA hopper kit is excellent H-6 unless you want a
quantity, then $$$$
H-8 by Springhaven Shops, another limited run that's probably all gone
H-12 by Walthers, quality so-so
H-14 by MDC  (this item available in a 12-pack+1: a big plus)

G-5 low-side gon by Sunshine Models is excellent .

At the current time, there are (IMHO) -no- good commercial models of
VGN battleship gons. Two models have been produced. Some years ago
Nickel Plate Products brought out a really.... um...  imaginary
model in brass. Too short in length, too tall, way heavy, crummy
trucks, modest detail. (A curiosity for the shelves of collectors.)
Furnaro and Camerlengo brought out a flat-parts urethane kit some
years later that appears to have been mastered from Athearn hopper
bodies, based on a concept by the Society's own John Munson. Another
um,...... interesting effort. For my money I'd rather kitbash the
hoppers themselves. I have heard rumblings that F&C may remaster the
kit to more contemporary standards and with a one-piece body.

I'll let the N&W fellows tear each other to shreds over the question
of "closest to prototype" on that side of the tracks.


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