S: AM quad as H21

Earl Tuson

George Courtney asked on the S-scale list:

I was just wondering if there were any SPF's or freight
car specialist who would comment on the possiblity of
converting one of those AM 4 bay hoppers by slicing off
the two center bays and reversing them. How close to one
of the Pennsy H21 versions, as a stand in model? (Hope
H21 is correct)
George, I purchased a undec AM quad to explore the
possibility of the same conversion you are contemplating,
or alternately, to a PRR H25. For resources, I use John
Teichmoeller's PRR Hopper Car book. I am not sure how
close you want the car to be, so for now I will just cover
some basic aspects.

The AM car and the H21 both feature <rather> equally
spaced, 12 panel sides. The AM car sides are 7' 5" from
the bottom of the sill to the top of the side, while the
H21 measured 7' 3" at the same spot. The AM car is 10' 5"
on the outside width; H21's were 10' 3". Outside length
for the model is 42' 3", while the prototype had a 40' 2"
inside length.

The end sills and end supports aren't remotely close.
Since work would be needed there (a H21 without a heavy end
sill just wouldn't be an H21,) you could probably fix the
length issue simultaneously. All the side stakes require
shaping to resemble the "standard" PRR tapered stake, and
as you already know, the two center hoppers much be
reworked to face the opposite direction.

Want more than that?

If fairly close would such a hopper show up in s.w.
Virginia in the late 1950's. Hauling limestone or gravel
or salt for highway depts?
I'll let someone else tackle that question.

Last does the AM 4 bay hopper represent any prototype?
Not a complaint, just curious. Of course I wouldn't
consider doing stand-in's for the NYC or the SP, or the
DT&I, etc. >G<.
It appears that the "ribbed" quad was tooled using the AM
offset quad as a starting point, and thus is not strictly
accurate for anything. However, there are other roads
besides the PRR who received 12 panel ~40' quads that these
cars could be used as a starting place to model (B&O W-1's
cmoe to mind.)

The offset quad, on the other hand, is a fair
representation of a 1928 ARA design quad hopper. See
Railway Prototype Cyclopedia Vol 5 for an excellent 16 page
article covering those prototypes.

Earl Tuson

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