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Thread: Repurposing Broadway Limited's H2A Hopper

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    Default Repurposing Broadway Limited's H2A Hopper

    I recently purchased a 6-pack of the Chicago & North Western BLI H2A hoppers. Before I bought, I didn't research and have since found out those cars were not a part of the C&NW roster. They're 40' long and have 70-ton capacity. A little too small for my liking for coal hauling, but oh well I got them at a good price. Any chance I could get away with removing the coal loads and replacing with gravel loads and essentially have them be my gravel/ballast haulers? Just checking to see if anyone thinks this is a reasonable re-purpose of these cars.


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    It seems reasonable to me, and in fact might have even happened in the real world! 70 tons was the standard weight for a while in the 1960s but then as 90 and 100 ton hoppers were developed in the 1970s, the fleets began to run the older 70-tonners less often. Some may have been scrapped, but I would not be surprised if they were sold off for cheap to a railroad that needed hoppers for non-coal loads or for M-O-W service.

    Iron/Taconite is more dense than coal and hence the hoppers used in this service tend to be smaller, or else a "regular size" hopper gets only partially loaded. I have to wonder, too, whether an old 70-ton coal hopper might have been refit with modern 100-ton capacity trucks and then placed back into iron ore service.

    Wood chip service is another possible afterlife for coal hoppers that are past their prime. Since it's less dense, the sides tend to get extended by about a foot or so, for greater capacity.

    Will you be repainting or decaling these to give them a non-CNW road name?

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