Re: Necessary Freight cars (UNCLASSIFIED)

Andy Harman

On Thu, 14 Apr 2011 07:57:57 -0400, Gatwood, Elden SAW wrote

This is the inevitable answer:
One thing I've learned about pat answers is to take them with a tub of salt.

There is a lot of speculation on why, including: RTR open hoppers are
extremely costly to assemble, don't sell as well as other car types, and have
big differences between RRs that render them applicable to only a handful of
roads. Open hopper kits are "hard to assemble", and other reasons above.
I'm not sure why an open hopper would be harder to assemble than a covered hopper. My
H10 doesn't have any parts that, say, Intermountain's 1958 doesn't have and the 1958 has
things the open hopper doesn't have like a roof, roofwalk, and hatches.

Manufacturers that ignore Professor Pat Paradigm and institutionalized sayings about
what does and doesn't sell, and the ridiculous numbers quoted to the public for "tooling
costs" will make me happy by finding ways to do new things. From my experience the
things that do NOT sell are "signature" or "ethnic" cars that are botched to the point
that even most loyal followers of that road won't buy them, although even for something
that bad there may be salvation in the Holy 13 road names.

A major manufacturer has just put out a new tool freight car (not steam era) admitting
up front that it "combines cool features from different prototypes" or some such
nonsense. This from a toolmaker that should know better. I'm told from several dealers
they can't keep it on the shelf. It's not a cheap item. Producing an unusual prototype
that existed in small numbers is like a broken clock, it's right twice a day. A clock
that reads 37:0#P:UG is wrong, always - but apparently there's still a market for them.
And it's a whole lot easier to make than it is to build a precision clock that keeps
accurate time.


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