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Of course, one of the most specialized freight cars in use with the american railroad companies, is the hopper cars. Built to carry and to move coal, coke and anthracite throughout the history of US railroads (first coal hopper was put in service by Delaware & Hudson Railroad in 1820), this freight car was used then, for the carriage of many other materials, such as gravel, ore, sand, and in more recent times with the variant "covered" (covered hopper), also grain, cereals and other bulk products.
The open hopper car is an evolution of the gondola, a simple freight car used to transport every type of materials that they had no need protection. Their have sides of greater height and have some unloading bay on the bottom to facilitate unloading of the materials transported. Covered hoppers has the roof with loading doors to the load, with round or square shape.
The classification is varied, but generally, these types of freight cars are identified using the letter H and numbers that indicate the type of configuration. The latter, can be with two, three or four bay (the most common variants). Very few models were built with five bay, particularly in more recent times. Railroads and production companies identified always every version with the number of bay.
The Pennsylvania Railroad classified its hopper cars with the following classes:
GG, GLA (USRA two-bay hopper), GLB, GLC, GLD, GLE, GLF, GLG, GLH, GP, GQ, GV, GW, H2A, H21 (four bay hopper class built in the large number of units), H22, H24, H25, H26, H27, H30 (three-bay covered hopper with capacity of 70ton), H31, H32, H33, H34, H35, H36, H37, H39, H40, H41, H42, H43, H44, H45, H46, H47, H48, H49, H50.
For PRR, the variants H21d was the first type of covered hopper produced for cement transport. In 1957, PRR had in service several thousands of hopper car.

At left, a GLA two-bay coal hopper of PRR. At right, a 1942 built covered hopper of FRISCO.

An HTr open hopper built in 1944 by Reading (right) and an H30 covered hopper to haul send used by Penn Central (left).


Total AT Collection ho scale models: 11.
Note: railroad, type with class and serial number (built date), general informations, manufacturer model and notes.
Click on thumbs to view each single photo in large format.
All models are modified and weathered as the prototypes by ATF.

Pennsylvania Railroad

USRA 55ton two-bay hopper GLA class #220149, #220158 (1919)
Over 22.000 units of this hopper car were delivered by the U.S.R.A. to 23 railroads. This familiar car is the most long lived and successful USRA design. Many were in still service into the "sixties" and some even into the "seventies".
M.T.H. HO Trains - Weathered.

USRA 55Ton two-Bay "outside braced" hopper H31 class #159108  (1942)

Bachmann Silver Series - Weathered and improved (scale whisker couplers, air-hoses, true coal load).

H21a four-bay hopper #135500 (1915), #197319 (1916), #177060 (1916)
In 1911 thru 1917, the 70ton H21 "quad" hoppers were introduced for coal and coke services, by PRR and others railroads. During 1922 and 1923, all early H21 hoppers were converted to H21a's by replacing the 50ton trucks with 70ton trucks, equipping them for coal service and bringing the total to 36,000 H21a hopper cars.

Bowser RTR series - Weathered and improved (scale whisker couplers).

Four-bay hopper car PRR H22a class #410435 (1930)
The H-22a was a converted H-22 coke car, beginning in 1923. The H-22 was originally built with clam shell doors but were converted to saw tooth doors as shop repairs were required. Carrying capacity was increased to 140,000 pounds of coke. 3671 H-22A's were converted by 1930.

Bowser RTR series - Weathered and improved (scale whisker couplers).

PS2 two-bay covered hopper car PRR H34a class #257156 (1955)
This variant of the original H30 class was built at Altoona Shps from Pullman Standard supplies parts, between May-June 1955. Following variants were the H34b and H34c, with the same features. A total of 1.400 PS2 covered hoppers have been produced in PRR colors.

Kadee - Weathered and improved (scale whisker couplers).
ERIE Railroad

70ton four-bay hopper car #39187 (1930)

M.T.H. HO Trains - Weathered and improved (scale whisker couplers, air-hoses, true coal load).
New York Central

50ton AAR "standard" two-bay open hopper #867336 (1945)

- Weathered (with true coal load).
Illinois Central Railroad

34' Wood-sheathed war hopper #73012 (1944)

Walthers Proto - Weathered and improved (air-hoses, scale whisker couplers, true coal load).
Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway

USRA 55ton two-bay hopper #5339 (1923)

M.T.H. HO Trains - Weathered.
Penn Central

H30 class 3-bay covered hopper #32349 "sand service" (built 1936 PRR, rebuilt 1969 PC)
The PRR started building 70-ton H30 class covered hoppers around 1935. During the '60's, the capacity of the remaining cars was increased to 77tons from 70. At the time of merging between Pennsylvania and New York Central Railroad, with the creation of the Penn Central company, remained in service around 1.000 H30.

Bowser - Weathered and improved (Sergeant Eng. couplers).
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