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First Look Review
N scale
N Trainman® 90 Ton Hopper
N Trainman® 90 Ton Hopper, Chesapeake & Ohio No. 82621
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Atlas N 90 Ton Hopper
Series: Trainman®
Item: 50 000 967
Road name & number: Chesapeake & Ohio 82621

Popular Atlas N Trainman® 90 Ton Hoppers are in their seventh run with six new paint schemes and 12 road numbers! We evaluate Chesapeake & Ohio No. 82621.

90 Ton Hopper
By the turn of last century numerous hopper designs utilizing different materials flourished to ship coal to markets big and small. Following the First World War the USRA 50-ton car was the standard hopper. However, both Chesapeake & Ohio and New York Central decided upon a USRA 70-ton design.

Those designs dominated the American rail scene until unit trains edged out single car delivery marketing in the 1950s -1960s. Demand for unit train efficiently lead to hoppers ranging from 85 tons to 100-ton capacities. A short history of hoppers is listed in references.

According to :
    According to Jim Eager's article in the July '96 Railmodel Journal, in the late '50's, the Pennsy, N&W and C&O jointly worked on a common triple hopper design. Their mechanical departments went back to a design with the ribs on the outside. They also raised the slope sheets from 30 degrees to 40 degrees.

    However, in 1960, the N&W stretched the H39 design to 45 feet, but the other dimensions were retained. This design was designated as the N&W's H11. The N&W built 6,500 cars to this design and the C&O got another 4,000, both with peaked ends. Cars almost identical but with flat ends, were acquired by the RDG, Soo, and UP.*

Atlas N Trainman® 90 Ton Hopper
Atlas packs this hopper in a formed plastic cradle held in a jewel case. Plastic sheet keeps it from scuffing.

The model is of a 14-panel ribbed triple hopper car with flat ends. All detail is molded on. Quality of molding is good with sharp rivets and other details. I did not notice any flash, ejector circles, mold seams, or sinks. Key features are listed as:

* Colorful painting and printing
* Equipped with AccuMate® operating knuckle couplers (AccuMate® couplers are made under license from AccuRail, Inc.)

A plastic coal load is included. The hopper rides on brown plastic wheels in Barber S-2 100-ton roller bearing trucks. The hand brake wheel is separately attached. The hopper bins have door lock detail molded on. The car lacks underbody and air brake detailing. The molded ladders and stirrup steps are, not surprisingly, oversize. They could be made smaller yet that would entail retooling which would, in turn, drive up the price from this economy model.

This model is 45 scale-feet long and weighs 0.6 ounces. According to NMRA RP-20.1 Car Weight it should weigh a full ounce.

Finish is very good. You can read the printing on the model. This run of models feature six roadnames with two road numbers per railroad, and an undecorated model:
    1. Chattahoochee Industrial (Black/White/Blue/Red)
    2. Chesapeake & Ohio (Black/White)
    3. Chicago & North Western (Green/Yellow)
    4. Norfolk Southern (Black/White)
    5. Pennsylvania (Black/White)
    6. Santa Fe (Brown/White)
    7. Undecorated

This N scale hopper is a nice economy basic RTR model. Colored plastic wheels and knuckle couplers are a nice touch. The printing is excellent. It is way too light but perhaps the coal load can be removed and weight added. I recommend it.

* Rensselaer Railroad Heritage Website. NEB&W Guide to 14-Panel Ribbed Triple Hopper Cars - Introduction. [Web.] 25 August 2011.

Thompson, David. A Brief History of Coal Hoppers. Appalachian Railroad Modeling. (appalachianrailroadmodeling.com.) n.d.
Highs: Knuckle couplers, sharp printing, coal load.
Lows: Light weight.
Verdict: A nice RTR N heavy hopper.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 000 967
  Suggested Retail: $16.95 ( Undec $12.95)
  Related Link: Atlas N Tm Hopper
  PUBLISHED: Feb 26, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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