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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been picking up multiples of K-Line and Lionel diecast hoppers in both Erie and B&O roadnames. They are beautiful cars with excellent details, including coal loads, metal everything and sprung trucks. The K-Line versions seem to be almost exactly the same as the Lionel cars.

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Now, besides being a major PITA to remove from the their foam cradles in the factory packaging, except the K-line versions, why do they seem unpopular?

Some are on eBay for $60-$70 each, but most are in the $30-$35 dollar range. I bought a number of them from one dealer and paid a very low shipping cost.

They are very heavy, probably a bit too heavy, but they seem pretty rugged. Just curious…

Tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I figured the excessive weight had something to do with them being inexpensive, in general, on the train market.

I have a couple trains of Erie and B&O in these models. I am figuring around ten would be the limit for a large steamer or multiple diesels. Mixed with some MTH plastic cars, I hope to run a train of about 20 cars…

Tom
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You say all metal, are the coal loads metal too?
They might be. I was going to try and remove one to see. I could run an empty coal train if they are lighter with out the loads…

You might be surprised. A large articulated steamer can haul a lot of cars, probably at least 20-25 diecast cars. My Vision Line Big Boy pulled 70 cars around the layout at Harry's place without breaking a sweat, and that includes several grades. I'm pulled a dozen diecast cars with my upgraded Phantom locomotive.
I have a couple big Erie engines, the 0-8-8-0 and a Triplex that could handle them. I will just have to experiment when I have the grades figured out to see what can pull what…

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I did some exploratory surgery today.

I removed the coal load from a K-Line diecast hopper. It is a plastic base with the same type of coal used in steam engine tenders, glued to the base.

i weighed the load by itself…2.8 ounces…

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The car, empty weighs 1 pound, 15.6 oz.

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According to a weight chart for O scale cars, 5 ounces plus 1 ounce per inch (6“) equals 11 ounces, the optimal weight for a car of that size. These hoppers with their load are just over two pounds!

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
It looks decent, but real coal loads are not piled that high, they don't come up over the top of the hopper walls.
Generally true. Most hopper loads from mines were “peaked” with a fairly uniform ridge down the middle of the load. Some hoppers were designed to peak the loads right to the end wall of the cars to allow for more capacity…

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Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I work in a rail yard that was once a major coal storage site for the Lackawanna Railroad. The site was abandoned and then reclaimed for a new passenger yard in the 1990’s. There are always chunks of coal rising up to the surface in the weeds. Mostly anthracite. There are many “klinkers” laying about near the site of the old round house…remnants of partially burned coal as well as old coal cinders, once used as roadbed…

Tom
 
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