Re: PRR H21e quad hopper with riveted side stakes

Gatwood, Elden J SAD


In my digging, I have been unable to find documentation on the actual
differenes between H21G and H21E, probably due to late date of rebuilding.
The obvious differences are not easily trackable, as some seemed to have hat
section side stakes, and others pressed shapes like the earlier H21E and late
H21A. They show a similarly frustrating mix of riveted and welded, also.

We do know that the H21E had a revised center sill, however, and a
flat-topped interior center sill cover. This flat-topped "A"-framed sill
cover got really beat up, and other than the deletion of cross-stake
reinforcement plates on the outside, and revision of rivet patterns like the
late H21A, there are not many other obvious differences.

Most folks would not know to look for them, so this may all be

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 1:39 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: PRR H21e quad hopper with riveted side stakes


It appears you may be confusing the H21B with the H21E.? I have checked the
July 1933 ORER from Al Westerfield's CD of PRR ORERs and found no H21E's.?
There are a number of series of H21A and H21B cars without any
differentiation as well as number series with both H21A and H22A class cars.

From the ORER's, which are not necessarily the most reliable source, the H21B
was first listed in 1931; the H21e in July, 1947.? The H21D (covered hopper
conversion) was first listed in 1935.? It does not seem reasonable that the
H21E would pre-date the H21D.? There was no H21C as far as I have been able
to determine.

Rich Orr

-----Original Message-----
From: proto48er < <> >
To: <>
Sent: Mon, Aug 17, 2009 9:41 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: PRR H21e quad hopper with riveted side stakes

Bruce -

Thanks for the reply! I have really enjoyed the PRR Project group!

First, about ten number series of H21a's in the July, 1933 ORER have the
notation "H21a, H21e" but do not differentiate one type from the other. These
number series have several thousand cars in them. The H21e notation is not
present at all in the January, 1931 or May, 1932 ORER's. Later, starting in
about 1946, additional numbers were added to the front of several of the
number series, and I presume these were also newly converted H21e's, but they
could just as easily have been renumbered H21a's from other number series.
Some other number series had the "H21e" notation added in 1947 that only had
"H21a" before.
There were also some H21b's in there, and I have one of them too! No photo
for it either!

Steve Grabowski had an import business called Keystone Models, and it brought
in "O" scale brass models of the H21, H21a, H21b and H21e from Korea several
years ago. I am not certain that he imported any of the H21e's other than the
pilot model, because his Korean builder dissolved, I think, while the cars
were being made. His website (now dissolved into the ether) stated that the
H21e's were first converted from H21a's in 1930. That was the first I ever
heard that!
However, upon checking the ORER's, he apparently was correct.

Grabowski's website showed photos of PRR #727129, a welded car, but his pilot
model photos showed a riveted car exactly like the Parri car. I am certain
that the Parri car is correct - for how many prototype cars, I have no clue -
because I saw a photo SOMEWHERE on the web of a riveted car! I did not save
the photo because I thought that I would never see one of the six Parri cars
for sale again, but there one was two weeks ago on Ebay!!

The interior of the Parri car has two pair of curved side braces and no
crossbraces. The slope sheets also have the correct pair of longitudinal
support angles under them running from the body bolsters to the ends of the
The only H21a's with these angles were apparently in iron ore service (I have
one of those also.) The centersill is identical to the H21a, which I would
expect of an early 1930's era rebuild (the H21b has the AAR centersill.)
However, the H21e has a flat centersill coverplate somewhat similar to, but
more narrow than, the H21b (a PSC import.) There are triangular reinforcing
plates on the sides of the car at the braces centered on the body bolsters.

My "research" on number series is at home. I tried to determine whether the
Parri car was part of a large series of H21e's or just a few converted in
1930 before the depression hit. I followed the various number series through
the ORER's up to 1949, but all the H21e's were mixed with H21a's and H21b's
in each ORER. I will post the numbers tomorrow. Incidentally, PRR got lax
about putting the class designations in the ORER's by the mid-1950's. No
H21g's listed.

Thanks for the help!

A.T. Kott

--- In <> , "Bruce Smith"
<smithbf@...> wrote:

On Mon, August 17, 2009 6:02 pm, proto48er wrote:
It is my assumption that the cars converted to H21e's in 1930, which
show up
in the 1933 ORER, were cars with riveted side stakes. Is this correct?

What's the total number of cars listed as converted in the 1933 ORER
and what
their number series? I find no such cars in the 1943 ORER and no
mention of
earlier group in Teichmoeller's book, which has the H21E appearing in

Am I correct in assuming that the 1946 and later conversions were
all welded
stake cars?
AFAIK, yes.

I want a riveted side stake car for my March 15th - April 15th, 1948 era.
What's a
modeler to do??
What does the interior look like? Are there triangular crossridge braces?
Does it
have a flat center sill cover plate? If so, then you may be stuck, if
got an H21A, not an H21E.

Bruce Smith
Auburn, AL

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