BLI N&W H-2a hopper cars

nw-modeling-list at nw-modeling-list at
Tue Jun 22 01:48:30 EDT 2004

Here are some of my observations regarding these models that I posted to another list:

Overall, the dimensions of the car seem to be fairly accurate, including the
truck centers and length over strikers; the coupled length is a little long.
Height from rail to top of side and top of the arched end is a few scale
inches too tall.

Inside width and length are a little short, probably due to the thickness of
the side and end castings; the ECW kit is a little better on these

The side and end ladder rungs do not match up; although
I don't have a lot of photos of these cars, the photos I do have indicate
the rungs should line up.

The ends are nicely done and the vertical angles are spaced correctly,
unlike the ECW offering.  The slope sheet bracing and "B" end detail is very

The rivet pattern on the side ribs closely matches the photos I have in
which I can see this detail; the ECW rivet pattern is incorrect.

There is no grab iron on the interior end sheet; nor are there any steps on
the interior end sheet nor slope sheet; the model has gusset plates to brace
the sides instead of angle bracing (see p. 121 of the Dow book).

Model comes with McHenry couplers.

The trucks feature three springs visable across the front; the photos I have
that show this detail only show two springs in the front, with other springs
set further back; the prototypes  rode on either Barber Stabilized or ASF
Ride Control trucks; the spring pack simulated on the trucks on the model
does not look like the trucks in the photos I have to study.  The model
trucks have metal wheels on metal axles.

The car is painted a nice, flat black; the lettering follows N&W stenciling
practices; the 17" N&W looks a little too heavy; the 24" N&W looks better,
at least compared to my photos.  The class stenciling is H2a rather than

There is no NEW or reweigh date on the cars; there is a built date that
appears to be appropriate for the number series; there is repacked
stenciling on the cars.

Overall, the model captures the feel of the N&W H-2a pretty good.  Having
waited so long for these cars I am a bit disappointed that they didn't get
some of the details a little bit better.  On the other hand, having built
more of the ECW kits than I care too, I'm glad to have the Broadway cars.

Jim Brewer
Glenwood, MD

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