Covered Hoppers, which is which?

Inkaneer Oct 29, 2022

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    How can you tell whether a covered hopper is used for grain or plastic pellets. I used to go by the loading hatches where loading troughs were for grain while round hatches were for pellets. But some of my Canadian grain hoppers have round hatches. So, is there a way to tell the difference or are the round hatch grain cars a foob? These are four bay hoppers not two bays.
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  2. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    Not an expert but I think its the gates, not the hatches. Food grade cars have covers under the gates to keep out contamination and separate handles for cover and gate.
    M&E Alco likes this.
  3. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    Okay, I got my answer, well sort. . . of. Actually, it was neither the loading openings nor the discharge gates as these are options and can be specified by the buyer.
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Recently I posed a similar question to a fellow modeler. He has quite an interest in freight cars. I have a couple of dozen of the so-called Atlas "PS2" hoppers. My inquiry was concerning a best use for them. A few emails exchanged led me to assigning these cars in cement service.
    DeaconKC likes this.
  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    The PS2 was an older design (1950's?) although there were other covered hoppers before the PS2. It was a 2 bay 50 ton hopper which was typical load weight for cars of that era and is usually associated with heavy commodities such as sand and/or cement. They were also used for grain as they were a big improvement over using boxcars. But grains were not as heavy as sand or cement and the cars would be filled before they reached their maximum tonnage capacity. Newer larger designs came on the scene and the increased efficiency of these designs relegated the PS2's to the heavy materials. Newer designs of 2 bay one hundred ton hoppers are now seen in these parts to service the gas well fracking industry.
  6. dti406

    dti406 TrainBoard Member

    Plastic Pellet cars tend to be larger cubic feet as the pellets are very light and you need a lot a cubic feet to get a full load based on weight. The first pellet cars were like the 4 bay Athearn and now Atlas 5250 CF cars. Larger cars were needed and Pullman Standard, NSC, and Procor came up with 5820 CR cars. The Pullman Standard car will be coming from Scaletrains in the next year, the Procor car is coming from Rapido right now (I have three of them shipping today), and Walthers makes the NSC car for a number of years now.

    Here is the Walther's car that I painted and decaled, they usually have very little lettering any more although the early 5250's by Dupont were quite colorful.


    Sorry I just noticed these are HO Scale, but I believe the Rapido cars will be coming in N scale this coming year.

    Rick Jesionowski
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  7. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    I asked the same question on a different forum years ago.

    I never got a straight answer.

    Same with tank cars (petroleum? chemicals? corn syrup?).

    Basically as a modeler, you're on your own, fake it 'til you make it, and use your imagination.

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