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New Intermountain Alt. Std. Twin Offset Hoppers

Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:31 pm
by Tom Davidson
Hey gang:

Every model railroader east of the Mississippi has offset twin hoppers on their model railroads. The cars produced by Athearn, Kadee, Atlas, and Accurail are just fine, but all of them represent the AAR standard offset twin hopper. There are a few differences in them, especially in the ends and the detail level, but all of them represent the same basic car. What has ben ignored is the ALTERNATE standard car, which was about the same size and shape, but had different side stakes (which were on the inside; but you could see their tops just below the bulb angle), and a different pattern to the corner creases. The standard car was the most numerous, but the alternate standard had a lot of enthusiastic purchasers, especially among the Van Sweringen railroads. The biggest purchaser was the C&O, which had well over 20,000 of them! Erie, NKP, P&WV, W&LE, and others also had sizeable fleets. Notably, the C&O, Erie, NKP, P&WV and W&LE did not own a single one of the regular standard cars. The B&O had a lot of the standard cars, and never bought a single alternate standard new; but in the 1960's they bought some alternate standards from the C&O.

I've seen the new Intermountain cars, and they're really nice, although a bit pricey. They are available with several different optional ends, and it appears that Intermountain is releasing the ready-to-run cars with ends that are correct for each particular prototype railroad. The W&LE, P&WV, and some of the NKP cars may present a bit of a problem for nit-pickers, although I haven't actually seen those cars and measured them. The prototype W&LE and P&WV (plus some NKP) cars were 5" taller than most of the cars built for other lines. This is just enough to be noticeable IF YOU LOOK FOR IT. Whether that difference is important enough to you is a question you can answer for yourself. It might be possible to get the right look by placing a 1/16" shim washer between the truck and bolster.

Since the C&O had so many, it should be no surprise that they showed up on the AC&Y, most likely interchanged directly from the C&O at Carey. Photos have shown them at Silver Street in Akron, most likely delivering home heat coal to the dealers in that area. Coal from the C&O was also shipped to power plants on the west end. The C&O cars also had at least five end variations. Two of those variations are currently available with C&O lettering. Two more variations are available in other road names, and will probably be available in C&O in the future.
Of course, Erie, NKP, W&LE, and P&WV cars would not look out of place in an AC&Y train.