Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

A. Premo <armprem2@...>

Yah but,Bill a hopper doesn't need a roof,a running board (roof walk) laterals etc.Just think of the savings..Not that I would opt for an alternate standard I have yet to see a hopper that I didn't like ,even some of those less than handsome NYO&W and D&H Seleys.There are many other hoppers that have yet to see the light of day like the nine panel B&O nee CRP and a multitude of quad hoppers.While I am thankful for the fruits of the Horn of Plenty there is a market for more and different hoppers.'nuff said.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Schneider
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?

OK, going to stick my neck in here...

The “Alternate Standard Hopper” has been suggested and discussed to me numerous time by several people in at least two different business lives. From a manufacturer’s point of view (well, this one’s at least), there are several issues with the car that make this project problematic.

1) Modelers that would appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs also tend to demand high levels of detail and correct design variations, which equates to high R&D, development, production and (therefore) retail costs. The Kadee car priced at $42.95 is pretty much the cost level where any well detailed hopper of this type will end up these days at current costs, here or abroad. Even if they all (on average) bought one or two that would not be enough to pay for the project.

2) Modelers who do not appreciate the differences between the “Alternate” and “”Standard” designs will look at them and ask what the heck makes them worth that much more money than the cars that they already own on droves from Atlas, Accurail and “A-Thearn “and will not buy them because they “cost too much.”
3) The fact that Kadee HAS done the “standard” version and already therefore has many parts usable for the “alternate” cars would hang like a lead weight over the heads of any manufacturer tooling up from scratch. Kadee could (it would seem) have the “alternate” car into production before if they decided to long before anybody who had to start from scratch. Doesn’t make this a great sounding project to sink limited capital into.
Finally, to Tim’s numbers from Frank at Intermountain... Even Frank said “those days are long gone” when giving his talk at Cocoa. Today’s market is vastly different than it was just a few years ago. At one point not too long ago, 50,000 units for a freight car project was an achievable target (don’t ask how I know). Now its likely about 1/10 of that.
As for the Athearn box car, yeh they sold a lot, but surely that’s not the target level of accuracy for this project, is it Tim? )

Swing away....

Bill Schneider
Rapido Trains
From: Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 1:10 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: AAR Standard twin offset side hopper with oval ends?


I'm pretty sure the IRC Canadian cylindrical and the 40' PFE ice reefer
are pushing pretty close to those production numbers.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that Athearn has sold 2 million
or more of its 40 ft box cars in the last 50 years.

I'm not saying that a new AAR hopper would sell like that. But Kadee made
a model of an unusual prototype, built in relatively small numbers if you
make a numerical comparison with the giant fleets of the major carriers.
Some of us were dumbfounded (well, I was) that Kadee did that car and not
an alternate standard car. (By our definition based on appearances, not the
AAR's definition based on underframe castings.)

Tim O'Connor

>> Note that at Cocoa Beach, Intermountain presented production run numbers, and
>> IIRC none reached the 250k unit example you give.

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