Pullman Standard 3 bay covered hoppers by zephyr1934

Image of Pullman Standard 3 bay covered hoppers by zephyr1934

Builder: zephyr1934

About Pullman Standard 3 bay covered hoppers by zephyr1934

Earlier this year I had been train watching and after about a half dozen trains, each led by a couple of black locomotives pulling a mile long monochromatic string of cars, it got me thinking about an underappreciated heyday. Between 1960 and 1990 American freight cars were a burst of color, while a few hints of the old school railroad pride shone through, e.g., Milwaukee Road spending the extra dollar to weld a plate on the side of their covered hoppers declaring themselves "America's Resourceful Railroad." The freight cars were 100% utilitarian in design, but they went a little further and said, "look at me," with each car taking a different hue. Since then, freight cars have drifted back to browns and grays only flashing a random tag after a night of hanging around with the wrong crowds. I wanted to capture that era in the days just after KarTrak Automatic Car Identification's failure showed how dirty railroading in America can be.

These Pullman Standard 3 bay covered hoppers are 6 wide, featuring custom decals. With their weight they need roller bearing trucks, to ensure the trucks match the width of the car they use custom truck sides from TrainedBricks.com. At this scale it is impossible to get all of the details, so in this design I focused on capturing the essence, e.g., a continuous slope for the bins from the end of the car to the bottom of the chute, using thin vertical and horizontal members on the ends of the cars. Several of the cars have prototypical placards 1/2 plate out from the ribbing. A couple of the cars consumed almost all of the double convex inverted slopes available on bricklink in the given color. As with most of my designs, these cars are designed to negotiate R40 curves, and in turn, replicating the form of the prototype gave me a true appreciation of the design of the actual cars. I've been a fan of the distinct shape of the PS 3 bay hoppers for a long time, I built my first attempt at this car in 2006. I even bought parts for the yellow Milwaukee Road hopper at that time, it just took me all these years to actually use these parts.

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