HO Atlas Covered Hopper Question

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 01:53:33 -0400, Byron Lane posted in article


Just curious -- who manufactures the sore thumb 4650s, and what are their lengths?
--
OvC

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I model the Southern Pacific in the '70s. Generally, most of my ACF 4650s are Accurail. They measure 53'9" corner posts, 54'3" over strikers, and 58'0" pulling faces, about three and one-half scale feet too long in all three measurements. Of course, the pulling face measurement is dependent on the type of couplers used. I went back to all Kadee #5s. I started to use McHenry's but they tended to droop too much. I swap out the scale couplers on the new cars also, too hard to couple and too sensitive to track problems. In addition, the Accurail SSW ACF 4650s are numbered incorrectly for the 9 roof walk support version and both the SP and SSW versions have incorrect stirrups. That's the main reason I started looking for a better 4650. The Front Range 4650s measure 50'3" corner posts, 51'4" over strikers, and 55'3" pulling faces. The first two body lengths are close and a hair smaller than Atlas, but due to the way the couplers mount, the pulling face measurement is almost one foot longer, and it gives the appearance of being longer than the Atlas car when strung together. When things get crowded they will be the first to go. I don't have the Intermountain 13 roof walk support version. Although correct for some roads, they are incorrect for the SP and SSW. I hear they are close but visibly longer than the Atlas cars. The Athearn 4 Bay ACF car is 55'0" for both the corner posts and over strikers, and 58'0" over pulling faces. I'm not sure what this car represents or how big it is suppose to be for the SSW, but I use it for my Class H-100-19 even though the color is way off. I coordinate the road numbers and discharge gates and give them an all over thin coat of gray paint and weathering. They look huge. Since the Atlas cars have the right measurements and are correct for the SP and SSW, I guess I will use them for my standard 4650.
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...

The only 4650's I know of in HO are Atlas and Intermountain. The Accurail is a plate B 4600 cu ft (if I remember correctly)
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Hi, Guess what? Some of the Accurail cars have written 4600 cu ft and some have ACF Center Flow 4650 cu ft. The Front Range have 4650 cu ft. Man, I have a long way to go with this hobby! I found the spec sheet on the SSW 4 bay (H-100-19) and the Athearn model appears to be the exact coupled length 58'2".

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On Thu, 27 Jul 2006 14:51:16 -0400, Byron Lane wrote:

So buy wichever kind is closest, sell any you have that don't appear to fit, or just don't sweat it - looked at your flanges lately? Now THAT is GROSSLY off scale!!
--
Steve

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Byron Lane wrote:

Not necessarily. Different batches of nominally identical hoppers from the same mfr can vary quite a bit. So can the "same" hoppers ordered from different mfrs.
If you go trackside and study (photograph) a few dozen hoppers, or any other type of car, you'll find an amazing variation in dimensions and miscellaneous details. I've even seen cars with two different style trucks! No doubt the result of a "minor" repair.
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In other words even inaccuracies, errors and screw ups may have a prototype. That makes me feel better about my models for sure. I pretty bad about using whatever is on hand to build something so exact fidelity to the prototype is often lacking especially if one gets out the scale ruler. Bruce
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Bruce Favinger wrote:

Unless your couplers, wheels, track etc are exactly to scale, why does it matter whether anything else is?
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