Re: Western Maryland hoppers

Eric Hansmann

While it is unknown, I’m going with black on WM hoppers for my late 1926 focus. Here’s a Bowser model in factory paint that I updated. 

The WM received their first channel side stake hoppers in 1926-27. They also began rebuilding their 1916-17 Pullman built hoppers with these channel side stakes starting in 1926. If there was a moment to change car color, that would be it. Ownership changed in 1927 when the Rockefeller’s sold their interest in the WM. 

Another possible car color change could be in the early 1930s when their circular emblem began showing up on WM freight cars. 

This emblem would be modified with “Fast Freight Line” added to the center when the first 8-wheel, steel cabooses came into service in the mid-1930s. Up until this time, the WM only had 4-wheel cabooses in service. 

For the majority of modelers on this list, WM hoppers would be red and weathered. Black hoppers are possible before the rebuilding years noted above. I do not have definitive data for the early color. It is my opinion. 

Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

On Sep 4, 2022, at 5:08 PM, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:

Ed Mines wrote:

Were Western Maryland hoppers ever painted black?
There's a steam era photo in one of the all color books (Don Ball?) which shows a train full of these hoppers, some painted freight car red, some painted bright (caboose?) red & some in between.

That's a long-standing debate, and to my knowledge never settled. I heard it hashed out many times, by knowledgeable people, when I lived in Pittsburgh. Some WW II WM photos sure look like fresh black paint, but as I say, nothing certain. The "standard” WM hopper color certainly was a slightly reddish BCR.

Tony Thompson

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