SPECIAL COVERED HOPPERS
DRY-FLO COVERED HOPPERS
BLMA and ATLAS
In 1959, General American Transportation Corporation introduced the Dry-Flo covered hopper. With a capacity of 3,500 cubic feet, it was one of the largest covered hoppers of its day and could be equipped for either gravity or pneumatic unloading. Dry-Flow hoppers were not built in large numbers, as they were soon overshadowed by ACF’s Center Flow and Pullman Standard’s PS-2.
BLMA Models produced an N-scale model of the Dry-Flo hopper, which is now offered by Atlas. Tangent Scale Models produced the Dry-Flo in HO scale, and their website contains detailed information on them. The chart below is a comprehensive listing of Dry-Flo hoppers for those who’d like to decal their own or lobby Atlas for their next run.
FLEXI-FLOW COVERED HOPPERS
AHM and EASTERN SEABOARD MODELS
In 1964, the New York Central received a lot of 25 cylindrical pressure differential covered hoppers for hauling cement from American Car & Foundry. The cars were successful and two more lots were delivered in 1965 and 1966 for a total fleet of 220 cars. The cars remained in service with Conrail until the early nineties, when the cars were sold to Merchant’s Despatch and a few other private owners. A few cars were transferred to non-revenue service as scale test cars as early as 1969, lasting well into the 2010’s. The Conrail Historical Society now owns the sole surviving car, numbered 80019.
Roco produced a model of this car for AHM in the early seventies. It was offered in a variety of road names which did not include New York Central. Fortunately, Eastern Seaboard Models re-issued the model in several New York Central, Penn Central and Conrail schemes. However, the model differs from the prototype in having two elongated roof hatches instead of three round hatches and a lack of piping along the bottom of the car. In addition, the vertical ribs along the bottom of the model appeared only on the first batch of 25 cars; as the two subsequent lots had two large square horizontal ribs.
The chart below lists the Eastern Seaboard Models and AHM models separately, as the AHM models are stand-ins for two other prototypes; the early ACF 3500 cubic foot Center Flow cars and the later 5250 cubic foot Center Flow. Of the three railroad names offered by AHM, all three had 3500 cubic foot cars, though none of the number series match. The Great Northern Scheme is probably spurious, as the large goat logo was adopted with the big sky blue paint scheme. All of the private owner schemes offered are numbered for 5250 cubic foot Center Flow series. Finding dates and quantities for leased cars is difficult, but all of the numbers were listed in the April, 1966 Equipment Register. A few of the schemes appeared on both types of cars.
NORTH AMERICAN 3000PD COVERED HOPPER
North American developed a pressure-differential hopper in the 1969 for hauling cement or other dense, powdered commodities. The cars used a difference in pressure (usually 5psi) to fluidize the load to facilitate unloading through a hose connected to the car. The vast majority of these specialized “3000pd” cars remained in North American Car’s “NAHX” lease fleet, though Penn Central bought 110 cars to supplement the fleet of Flexi-Flow cars it inherited from the New York Central.
Trainworx produced a nicely detailed model of the North American Car 3000pd covered hopper. In addition to the detail, some of the road names offer variations; the Conrail model, for instance, was produced in three different Penn Central “patch” schemes. These variations are not listed in the chart below, unless they represent different time periods.
Accurately dating many of these paint schemes was difficult, as the reporting marks are not listed in any of my Equipment Registers and many of the road names are repaints or “patch” schemes. Many of the paint schemes offered by Trainworx are later paint schemes with only two lines of data (LD LMT, LT WT) under the road number, which dates them to 1985 or later. Though outside the scope of this website, they are included in the chart below.