Bowser 55 Ton Fishbelly Hopper

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Sat Nov 10 07:38:24 EST 2018

The H-9s underwent a shop program at Princeton in 1960 or so.  I was assigned to inspect some of them and it was determined that the bodies were generally in good shape but some of them were working on their underframes (an unplanned cushion underframe, if you will) and part of the program consisted of heavy gussets welded between the inside of the body bolsters and the underframes on each end.  I was charged with working up a bill of materials for the program.  Nothing was done about the T-61 trucks which, as Gordon notes, had no spring snubbers.  

N&W didn’t seem to take to the idea of putting snubbers in hopper car trucks.  None of the 12,000 H-3s had them, nor did the H-2s or the wartime H-4s.  Of course, none of the smaller 50-ton H-5, H-7 nor H-8s had them either, but none were as bouncy as the H-9s.  If I remember correctly, some of the H-9s received trucks which had the spring snubber bolsters.  Beginning with the H=2a cars, new hoppers got modern ride-control trucks with the spring snubber bolsters.

Ed King

From: NW Mailing List 
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2018 10:18 PM
To: NW Mailing List 
Subject: Re: Bowser 55 Ton Fishbelly Hopper

I recall that the H-9s had unsnubbed trucks, which made them "bouncy."  I also recall hearing Engineer of Tests Bob Pilcher tell of a derailment caused by an H-9 that bounced off the rails at a highway grade crossing where the road bed under the track just short of the crossing was somewhat softer than the support of the track in the crossing, and the weight of the loaded car deflected the track downward at the soft spot creating a bump upward when the car entered the crossing.   The springs in the unsnubbed H-9 trucks would have been compressed on the bump more than those in a snubbed truck and would consequently have had more rebound, which apparently was enough to derail it.

Gordon Hamilton

On 11/9/2018 2:58 PM, NW Mailing List via NW-Mailing-List wrote:

  If you're modeling N&W 1973 and after, be sure you
  comply with Norfolk Div. Timetable #5 (eff. 11/11/1973)
  speed restrictions.  4 (i) reads "Trains handling LOADED
  50 - ton hoppers in series given below must not exceed
  a speed of 25 miles per hour:
  N&W 58500 - 65814
           72500 - 73999
           79500 - 83999
           87500 - 87907
         111000 -114099
         263650 - 264399

  Such cars must not be forwarded in through trains for
  movement of which will hereby be restricted without
  permission of the Division Superintendent.  "

  Loaded H-9s had a tendency to "rock and roll".  It was
  a practice to store the H-9's until coal loadings soared.

                                                      Harry Bundy


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