Western Maryland hoppers


ed_mines
 

Were Western Maryland hoppers ever painted black?
There's a steam era photo in one of the all color books (Don Ball?) which shows a train full of these hoppers, some painted freight car red, some painted bright (caboose?) red & some in between.


naptownprr
 

I was curious about that myself at one time.  The answer is no, it is just coal dust and weathering that makes them look black.

Jim Hunter

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Were Western Maryland hoppers ever painted black?
There's a steam era photo in one of the all color books (Don Ball?) which shows a train full of these hoppers, some painted freight car red, some painted bright (caboose?) red & some in between.


Tony Thompson
 

Ed Mines wrote:

Were Western Maryland hoppers ever painted black?
There's a steam era photo in one of the all color books (Don Ball?) which shows a train full of these hoppers, some painted freight car red, some painted bright (caboose?) red & some in between.

That's a long-standing debate, and to my knowledge never settled. I heard it hashed out many times, by knowledgeable people, when I lived in Pittsburgh. Some WW II WM photos sure look like fresh black paint, but as I say, nothing certain. The "standard” WM hopper color certainly was a slightly reddish BCR.

Tony Thompson





Eric Hansmann
 

While it is unknown, I’m going with black on WM hoppers for my late 1926 focus. Here’s a Bowser model in factory paint that I updated. 

The WM received their first channel side stake hoppers in 1926-27. They also began rebuilding their 1916-17 Pullman built hoppers with these channel side stakes starting in 1926. If there was a moment to change car color, that would be it. Ownership changed in 1927 when the Rockefeller’s sold their interest in the WM. 

Another possible car color change could be in the early 1930s when their circular emblem began showing up on WM freight cars. 

This emblem would be modified with “Fast Freight Line” added to the center when the first 8-wheel, steel cabooses came into service in the mid-1930s. Up until this time, the WM only had 4-wheel cabooses in service. 

For the majority of modelers on this list, WM hoppers would be red and weathered. Black hoppers are possible before the rebuilding years noted above. I do not have definitive data for the early color. It is my opinion. 


Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

On Sep 4, 2022, at 5:08 PM, Tony Thompson <tony@...> wrote:

Ed Mines wrote:

Were Western Maryland hoppers ever painted black?
There's a steam era photo in one of the all color books (Don Ball?) which shows a train full of these hoppers, some painted freight car red, some painted bright (caboose?) red & some in between.

That's a long-standing debate, and to my knowledge never settled. I heard it hashed out many times, by knowledgeable people, when I lived in Pittsburgh. Some WW II WM photos sure look like fresh black paint, but as I say, nothing certain. The "standard” WM hopper color certainly was a slightly reddish BCR.

Tony Thompson





Philip Dove
 

Until l saw the Eiffel tower in reality l had always assumed it was black, but it is actually a sort of freight car red. My brother who vhas visited Paris many times in the last 30 years says it's been that colour all the times he has seen it. Even on photoes l took with my phone often look black, perhaps the same phenomenon is happening with WM cars. Are no Western Marland workers still alive to be asked? 


Adam Chilcote
 

I'm 95% sure WMRHS has found documentation of cars painted black in the teens and 20s. Of course you could still argue that maybe they were supposed to be black on paper, and turned out red, but that's highly unlikely!


Eric Hansmann
 

There is another possible reason for black car color on the early WM hopper fleet.
 
The WM was owned by the Gould Syndicate for several years in the early 20th century. The W&LE and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Terminal (predecessor of the P&WV) were also Gould properties. The Syndicate was planning to connect the WM with the W-PT as part of a transcontinental connection with their western lines. As far as I know, the W&LE and W-PT hopper and gondola car color was black. Why would the WM cars be painted differently from other Gould owned lines?
 
The discussion time frame of the realSTMFC list runs from 1900 to 1960. Black Western Maryland hoppers would have been running for one third of our discussion period.
 
 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN
 

On 09/05/2022 9:50 AM CDT Adam Chilcote <achilcote94@...> wrote:
 
 
I'm 95% sure WMRHS has found documentation of cars painted black in the teens and 20s. Of course you could still argue that maybe they were supposed to be black on paper, and turned out red, but that's highly unlikely!
 

 


naptownprr
 

I agree with Chilcote; it would be a good idea to contact the WMRHS about the hopper cars.  Eric is a good moeler, but he models an era much earlier than most of the folks who follow this list.  For example, I model 1951.

Jim Hunter

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Subject: [External] Re: [RealSTMFC] Western Maryland hoppers
 
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There is another possible reason for black car color on the early WM hopper fleet.
 
The WM was owned by the Gould Syndicate for several years in the early 20th century. The W&LE and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Terminal (predecessor of the P&WV) were also Gould properties. The Syndicate was planning to connect the WM with the W-PT as part of a transcontinental connection with their western lines. As far as I know, the W&LE and W-PT hopper and gondola car color was black. Why would the WM cars be painted differently from other Gould owned lines?
 
The discussion time frame of the realSTMFC list runs from 1900 to 1960. Black Western Maryland hoppers would have been running for one third of our discussion period.
 
 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN
 

On 09/05/2022 9:50 AM CDT Adam Chilcote <achilcote94@...> wrote:
 
 
I'm 95% sure WMRHS has found documentation of cars painted black in the teens and 20s. Of course you could still argue that maybe they were supposed to be black on paper, and turned out red, but that's highly unlikely!
 

 


Eric Hansmann
 

FYI, the original post and question did not mention an era. Ed Mines asked,

"Were Western Maryland hoppers ever painted black?"

He continued with the following.
"There's a steam era photo in one of the all color books (Don Ball?) which shows a train full of these hoppers, some painted freight car red, some painted bright (caboose?) red & some in between."
 
I focused on sharing the info I follow about black WM hoppers. I think I know the color image Ed has referenced. It was discussed quite a bit on the WM Ry YahooGroup about twenty years ago. The general consensus on a darker color hopper in the photo was that it was painted in the WM red car color, but weathered heavily to seem black.
 
Another photo discussed on that group was a B&W image of the Elkins car repair area taken during WW2. A few freshly shopped hopper cars were a distinctly different shade than all the other cars in the image. The group generally agreed that the WM may have painted some hoppers black during WW2, but quantities were unknown. As no all black WM hoppers have appeared in color images, the number of cars painted in that color may have been very small.
 
Also at the time, the most preferred model paint for WM hoppers was Floquil zinc chromate primer.
 
YMMV.
 
 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN
 
 

On 09/05/2022 12:10 PM CDT naptownprr <jhunter@...> wrote:
 
 
I agree with Chilcote; it would be a good idea to contact the WMRHS about the hopper cars.  Eric is a good moeler, but he models an era much earlier than most of the folks who follow this list.  For example, I model 1951.
 
Jim Hunter
 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Eric Hansmann <eric@...>
Sent: Monday, September 5, 2022 11:57 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: [External] Re: [RealSTMFC] Western Maryland hoppers
 
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There is another possible reason for black car color on the early WM hopper fleet.
 
The WM was owned by the Gould Syndicate for several years in the early 20th century. The W&LE and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Terminal (predecessor of the P&WV) were also Gould properties. The Syndicate was planning to connect the WM with the W-PT as part of a transcontinental connection with their western lines. As far as I know, the W&LE and W-PT hopper and gondola car color was black. Why would the WM cars be painted differently from other Gould owned lines?
 
The discussion time frame of the realSTMFC list runs from 1900 to 1960. Black Western Maryland hoppers would have been running for one third of our discussion period.
 
 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN
 
On 09/05/2022 9:50 AM CDT Adam Chilcote <achilcote94@...> wrote:
 
 
I'm 95% sure WMRHS has found documentation of cars painted black in the teens and 20s. Of course you could still argue that maybe they were supposed to be black on paper, and turned out red, but that's highly unlikely!