Bluford Shops products are not intended for children under 14.
This week we are announcing the next group of runs on our brand new N scale USRA 30’6” 2-Bay Hopper. These ready-to-run cars feature: die cast slope sheet-hopper bay-center sill assembly; injection molded plastic sides, ends, and hopper doors; fully molded brake tank, valve and air lines; body mounted brake hose detail; coal load; lever-style hand brake; body mounted magnetically operating knuckle couplers; close coupling; and Fox Valley Models metal wheels.
All road names will be available in multiple road numbers. For instance, order a single, a 2-pack and a 3-pack to get all six road numbers on a run. (Some road names will be available in just three road numbers.) Pre-orders are now open on this group and will close on April 29. Delivery is expected by late 3rd quarter of 2016. MSRP is $23.95 per car.
New N Scale USRA 2-Bay Hoppers!
While the pre-order period for this group has closed, your favorite dealer can likely still place
an order with one of our distributors: Walthers, Portman Hobby, or Heartland Hobby.
Akron Canton & Youngstown picked up 200 of these cars that had just been refurbished by Greenville Steel Car in 1953. Another 100 were purchased secondhand from L&N. AC&Y ran from the greater Akron, Ohio area 171 miles west to connections at Delphos. They were a small railroad but vital, particularly to the area’s tire and rubber industry. N&W purchased the AC&Y in 1964 but the company remained separate until finally merged in 1982.
60171 Akron Canton & Youngstown single car $23.95
60172 Akron Canton & Youngstown 2-pack $47.90
Buffalo & Susquehanna took delivery of about 600 of these hoppers in two batches. The B&S was born in 1893 when Frank and Charles Goodyear consolidated their railroad properties in New York and Pennsylvania. The brothers had considerable timber interests in the area and needed the B&S to serve them. By 1905, B&S ran from Addison and Wellsville, New York southwest to Sagamore (not too far from Pittsburgh) a total of 254 miles. By this time, coal had become the chief commodity on the southern half of the railroad. The following year, B&S built a 90 mile extension to their Wellsville line going all the way to Buffalo. The Buffalo line was abandoned after just 10 disappointing years. Baltimore & Ohio purchased the B&S in 1932 and the Buffalo & Susquehanna’s sizeable hopper fleet went to work side by side with their new owners.
60181 Buffalo & Susquehanna single car $23.95
60182 Buffalo & Susquehanna 2-pack $47.90
Charleston & Western Carolina had at least 360 of these hoppers which appeared to have mostly been used to haul stone. C&WC was born from an 1896 merger creating a 341 mile route from the Atlantic port of Port Royal, South Carolina (between Savannah and Charleston) to cities in the northwest corner of the state. The line ran along the Georgia border, crossing it to reach Augusta, then back into South Carolina to fan out and reach Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg. Their connection in Spartanburg with sister road Clinchfield and Clinchfield’s connection with C&O created an important through route from the Industrial Midwest (particularly Ohio, Indiana and Michigan) to the ports of South Carolina. Atlantic Coast Line held stock control of the C&WC since 1897 but it remained a separate operation until it was finally absorbed by ACL in 1959. We will be including “stone” loads on this run in place of the usual “coal” loads.
60191 Charleston & Western Carolina single car $23.95
60192 Charleston & Western Carolina 2-pack $47.90
Chicago & Eastern Illinois picked up 260 of these hoppers from a used (freight) car dealer in 1940. The new additions received this paint scheme including the distinctive “For DEPENDABLE HEAT AND POWER, ILLINOIS AND INDIANA COAL” logo to the left of the reporting marks. C&EI ran south from Chicago before separating into three distinct routes. The eastern line ran to Evansville where they interchanged with L&N for points in the Deep South. The middle line served the extensive coal fields of Southern Illinois before crossing the massive Thebes Bridge to reach Cotton Belt, Frisco and MoPac connections in Chaffee, Missouri. The third line ran to St. Louis, partially on a line shared with Big Four.
60201 Chicago & Eastern Illinois single car $23.95
60202 Chicago & Eastern Illinois 2-pack $49.90
60203 Chicago & Eastern Illinois 3-pack $71.85
Lehigh Valley received 940 of these hoppers from Bethlehem Steel just seven months after America’s entry into the Second World War. Anthracite traffic was still relatively strong during this period and LV was pressed to feed the wartime demands for raw material by the steel mills of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Despite their diminutive size, these hoppers earned their keep and more than a dozen were still in service on the first day of Conrail, 34 years after they were first delivered.
60211 Lehigh Valley single car $23.95
60212 Lehigh Valley 2-pack $49.90
60213 Lehigh Valley 3-pack $71.85
Northern Pacific bought a modest fleet of these hoppers on the used freight car market. Mines along the NP in Montana and the Dakotas produced lignite, also known as sub-bituminous or brown coal. Much of the NP steam locomotive fleet was designed to handle this grade of coal. For reasons lost to the years, these cars appeared to have received their “NORTHERN PACIFIC” lettering using stencils meant for NP’s flat cars rather than those usually used on hoppers and gondolas. About half of NP’s USRA 2-bay hopper fleet was still in operation in the 1960s.
60221 Northern Pacific single car $23.95
60222 Northern Pacific 2-pack $49.90
60223 Northern Pacific 3-pack $71.85
Pere Marquette had 1,500 of these hoppers. The 2,200 mile PM blanketed Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, connecting it with Chicago, Toledo, and cutting across Ontario to reach Buffalo, New York. They found themselves in a fine position to serve the growing automobile industry. Control of the PM was acquired by the Van Sweringen brothers who also controlled C&O, Nickel Plate, Erie and Wheeling & Lake Erie. In 1947, the PM became the Pere Marquette District of the Chesapeake & Ohio. The two connected only in Toledo and Chicago and since steam was still king, locomotives tended to stay close to home. As a result, there was little outward evidence of the merger for many years to come.
60231 Pere Marquette single car $23.95
60232 Pere Marquette 2-pack $49.90
Seaboard Air Line had about 700 USRA and similar design 2-bay hoppers in their extensive fleet. The term “Air Line” meant a straight, fast route and its use pre-dates the invention of mechanical flight. The SAL system ran from Virginia south to the tip of Florida and west into Alabama. Following the Second World War, SAL began gaining strength and traffic increased. In fact, SAL was one of the few railroads to have more freight cars in the 1960s than they did in the 1920s – a testament to the growing economy of the region it served. SAL merged with rival Atlantic Coast Line in 1967, creating Seaboard Coast Line.
60241 Seaboard Air Line single car $23.95
60242 Seaboard Air Line 2-pack $49.90
60243 Seaboard Air Line 3-pack $71.85
Virginian Railway had about 330 of these hoppers split between two groups. Virginian was built to move West Virginia coal to the docks at Norfolk but in 1925, they bridged the Kanawha River and connected with the New York Central System. This allowed the Virginian hopper fleet to spill out across the Industrial Midwest, fueling industries large and small. Virginian hoppers were such a common sight that they became a staple in trainsets for decades to come. Virginian merged into Norfolk & Western in 1959.
60251 Virginian single car $23.95
60252 Virginian 2-pack $49.90
60253 Virginian 3-pack $71.85