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Discussion Starter #1
Iron rainbow
Ore types & colors vary with region of origin.


The loads that came in my Athearn RTR Southern Pacific ore cars are apparently meant to simulate Limonite... also called "bog iron".
Limonite was mainly indigenous to the New York area, extending as far south as Pennsylvania.
Athearn renders it a pale tan in color, which IMO looks awful in a model ore car.

Other ores... Hematite, Banded Hematite, Goethite, Magnetite, and Taconite range in color through black, gray, brown, purple, red, and even orange.
Magnetite & Goethite can resemble coal.

Examples:

Limonite:
Limonite.jpg

Magnetite:
Magnetite.jpg

Hematite:
Hematite.jpg

Goethite:
Goethite.jpg

Banded Hematite:
Banded_Hematite.jpg

Taconite pellets:
Taconite_pellets.jpg
 

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For my iron ore, I use red screening gravel, (moon dust), sold as concrete sand, and commonly used as a base for paving brick or stone. The first photo is for an HO hopper representing only a partial fill due to the weight. The other two are O gauge. For other colors of iron ore, there are powdered dyes that can be dry brushed. I used crushed limestone to make a limestone load, and yellow oxide powdered dye for the sulfur load. I imagine experimenting with other powdered dyes, or ground up chalks could produce other types of iron ore, except for the one with the stripes.

HO Iron Ore Load 003.jpg

DSCN1086.JPG

DSCN0719.JPG

DSC_0664.jpg

DSC_0655.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's puzzling to me, that Accurail hasn't produced an ore car. There's a considerable demand to be met there.
 

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When I think of iron ore, I think of reddish-brown Hematite. So that would be my color of choice. I didn’t realize there was such a variety of colors. Thanks for the post!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have a few each of MDC, Walthers, AHM, and Athearn RTR ore cars.
Until a few years ago, they were all fairly plentiful on LHS shelves, but they seem to have gone extinct... except on eBay.

I want to pull an ore drag, but I've only got a dozen or so cars.
If Accurail produced them, (with number decal sets) the supply-line would basically be endless or unlimited.
 

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To be clear, Accurail does produce 2 and 3 bay open hoppers that can carry ore.....true, they do not make the smaller, shorter ore car.....

And perhaps they don't make one because of the popularity of the ones that others do make, as they were very plentiful at one time, as has been mentioned.....

Accurail doesn't make tank cars, flat cars or cabooses either; how they determine what they will make has always been a matter of conjecture.....
 

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I have made several dozen ore loads for various manufacturer's HO hoppers, but it is a PITA notching for the molded gussets as can be seen in the first photo of my post above. If loose material is being used, it no problem, but for removable inserts, it requires precision measuring and cutting of the base I use to bond the material to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There's a serious pipeline drought in HO scale 70-ton ore cars... both in kit form and RTR.
The affordable ones are all but extinct, and high-end stuff like MTH 3 & 4-car sets are way too expensive to create a righteous drag.
I've found a few cars on eBay, but they're nowhere near as common as they used to be.
Walthers, Athearn, Roundhouse, and AHM were plentiful on LHS shelves until about a year ago.
Suddenly... proof!

All I have are twelve. A far cry from the drag I'd planned on.
And crazy bids on eBay are driving prices up.
 

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The train store I work with has scads of ore cars in stock....albeit used and from collections that were purchased....all kinds of road names, all the different manufacturers....we have them packaged as singles and in sets, but they have been sitting on the shelves; apparently there is no interest in them in this area....

And I have no need for them either.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Then maybe it's a regional thing.
 
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