Re: B&O wagon top covered hoppers
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Answers to questions....
1. All B&O N-34 wagontop covered hoppers seem to have all been built with wood running boards.
2. No hardware differences between two lots. There were shop and lettering differences.
630300-399 built at Keyser lettered in wartime Kuhler scheme, dome herald on right.
630400-499 built at Dubois lettered in transition Kuhler scheme, dome herald on left over reporting marks.
3. All my photos, all eras, show wood running boards, even into the 1960's. No information on metal running boards. It would not surprise me if there were none.
4. All N-34 had Duryea underframes. All B&O Duryea underframes were different. The Duryea designs evolved as each B&O freight car program specified them. I have little information on these, no knowledge of surviving drawings..
Your N-34 model with wood running boards is good for 1948.
Many N-34 were in a pool for steelmaking dolomite (limestone) from the Shendoah Valley line, cars based out of Brunswick, Md. My 1952 assignment sheet puts 53 of 200 N-34 in this pool alone. This quality dolomite was sought after by eastern steel mills some distance away, so N-34 got around the rust belt before it rusted, and were interchanged with other railroads.
Atttached is a lettering scorecard for offset side twin hoppers, valid for the N-34 schemes.