Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Manitoba Covered Hopper Car in HO Scale!

Tangent Scale Models has just made an astoundingly amazing announcement for Canadian rail enthusiasts and HO modellers! The first Manitoba covered hopper in scale! Tangent's David Lehlbach photographed CRDX 7216 in 1995 on the Union Pacific in Rochelle IL. Whaaaa? I had a couple of report of such survivors still out there. David's photo is another concrete example:
David notes that "many of these photos [of the leased Manitoba covered hoppers] are not on the internet, but in private slide collections, since they are from pre-digital cameras" and that the Pullman-Standard 4750 cu ft covered hopper is the most relevant freight car of the 1970's. David kindly shared prototype and model photos with Trackside Treasure. Post-product release discussion has taken off on the Atlas Rescue Forum and Trainorders.com, including links to some obscure Ontario blogger's posts on these unique cars! Crest close-up:
Tangent is producing plain grey CRDX 7203, 7209 and 7219. I had the good fortune to observe the first two cars in Manitoba in June, 1980. While the CRDX scheme is less showy than some of the other far-flung leased cars that the crest was applied to, it's a good choice to show how many grain trains at the time included plain-jane cars. Remember that this was a year before the specially-built Saskatchewan and Alberta cylindrical covered hoppers were built. Pre-digital 110-format photo I took in Portage la Prairie, June 1980:
Coincidence? In October 2012, when Tangent first released the P-S 4750, I suggested here that two of the schemes would be prototypically-correct for Manitoba covered hoppers: Pillsbury and Tri-County Grain. Tangent is also producing the crests separately, for application to these schemes or others. A far cry for the first hacky provincial road map logos I snipped and glued to an Athearn Pillsbury P-S in the early-80's! Manitoba's more well-known grain cars were CN 40-foot boxcars with 8-foot doors and the one-of-a-kind Transcona Shops articulated covered hopper CN 398000 built for Churchill service. CRDX 7219 was crest-less at Belleville in 2004 (below), one of many survivors of the 1980 Manitoba lease still running the rails. If you doubt that Canada is moving to the forefront of the American model railway universe, doubt no longer! (Even if it is one little quarter-inch logo at a time!)

Running extra...

Hash tag #outofthisworld. Since I'm 'over the moon' about this announcement, it's seems to pertinent to announce the discovery of a new planet, the so-called Godzilla of planets. This thing is 17 times as big as Earth. It may support life. As Father Guido Sarducci broadcast in 1979, there was some evidence of a parallel planet, at the time named SS-433. It was thought to be exactly like Earth, except the inhabitants hold their corn-on-the-cob up and down to eat it, not side-to-side.

Hash tag #ontopoftheworld - Briton Les Thompson takes a very cool selfie from atop the 124-foot Christ the Redeemer state in Rio de Janeiro. I've often wanted to visit this distinctive statue, but had not thought of making it to the top!
Hash tag #topoftoronto.Though I miss the amazing variety and easy accessibility of Spadina roundhouse back in the 1980's, it's interesting to note that 25 years ago, the Skydome that elbowed Spadina aside opened. Performers included Glass Tiger (1980's = Big Hair), Alan Thicke and Andrea Martin, and my distant cousin, impersonator Andre-Philippe Gagnon. The first Blue Jays (lost to the Brewers) game was two days later, with the first home run hit by Jay Fred McGriff!


Anonymous said...

Eric, thank you for your enthusiasm about our new PS4750 covered hoppers. It is this sort of research that makes blogs like yours, and a company like Tangent, a bit different from the pack! So you know, the Manitoba placards can now be ordered as separately available parts here: https://www.tangentscalemodels.com/product-category/unique-and-useful-parts/

Thank you again Eric!

David Lehlbach
Tangent Scale Models

Eric said...

Well, how can I contain myself when 34 years later, these unique cars are seeing the light of day!!

Those crests will indeed be unique and useful.

Thanks to you for not employing typical manufacturer's boosterism "Now you have to buy a whole trainload of them" and letting the car's detail, craftsmanship and uniqueness speak for itself.

A fine Canadian-prototype product is hitting the shelves!

Thanks for your comment and assistance,

Jason said...

This is awesome! Now I'd like to see it in N-scale!

Eric said...

Thanks for sharing my enthusiasm, Jason. Does Tangent produce N-scale models?

I think every piece of rolling stock should be produced in every scale, but I don't run such a business!


Anonymous said...

Receive my 3 Tangent Models CRDX-Manitoba Herald covered hoppers yesterday. My first Tangent purchase, and I'm really impressed. These will be used along with my Intermountain, Trains Canada, Athearn/MDC and Accurail grain cars to serve a feed mill.

Eric said...

Glad to hear it, James. Nice to see these cars not only hitting the hobby shop shelves, but also modeller's layouts.

Having seen a large cut of cylindrical and non-cylindrical grain hoppers on a CN freight here on the Kingston Sub just now, things have changed somewhat in the last 34 years since the Manitoba cars were in use: a mix of CN(WX) Coke cans, Alberta, and now IC, renumbered AEX, SMW and NDYX cars in grain service. Quite a mixed bag, though no less unique than the Manitoba covered hoppers in their heyday!

Thanks for your comment and happy modelling,