C&IM 6554

Clark Propst

I was gifted this Accurail USRA hopper. Asked about it’s accuracy on the this list and a photo of one was posted. Thank you! With that big hurdle jumped it was time to consider the amount of time I wanted to put into this project. I could go full Monty ala Bill Welch or cut back a bit like Stan Rydarowicz. Stan’s approach to hoppers stuck in my head so that path was taken. Stan liked to replace just the long left end (left end on the sides, right end on the ends) with wire. So I did that. In doing so, as I center punched the corner support I pushed hard enough to break it. With my heavy handedness replacing the grabs was out. I looked through the photos in Richard Hendrickson’s article on these cars and the accompanying one on how to upgrade them in RMJ. One detail I thought would be nice to add was the train line along the side. I also added a couple air pipes to the brake component cluster on the B end. I noticed there were angled step supports, so I glued on some scrap styrene strips. The steps were getting pretty flimsy from handling these strips strengthened them. Also added pulling loops (formed from J shaped wire), Yarmouth Carmar uncoupling levers, some Archer rivets on the air line brackets (styrene strip), a route car holder from my scrap parts drawer, Tichy Andrews trucks (they look closer to the real ones than the Accurail truck), semi-scale wheel sets and Kadee 153 couplers finishes the deal, I think?
Here are a couple photos of the completed car after paint touchup, decals and Pan Pastels. I faintly remember load ghost lines on the insides of hoppers after unloading. Going from old age memory I tried to copy (poorly at that) what I recall the insides of coal hoppers looking like. Beings I only spend about 5 minutes weathering with Pan Pastels this is what you get...I do like the car, fits in well on the layout.
Clark Propst

Brent Greer

Great looking finished product Clark !    On black hoppers, it is certainly difficult for my eyes to pick out the cast-on ladder detail vs. wire in most cases.  The Stan R. method is certainly a good compromise.

One question, is that a lever type brake handle on this car?  It is difficult for me to see.

Sincere regards,

Dr. J. Brent Greer