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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 60302 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton - Minneapolis and St. Louis - 65073, 65305

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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 60302 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton - Minneapolis and St. Louis - 65073, 65305 Image Courtesy of Bluford Shops


Brand Bluford Shops
Stock Number 60302
Original Retail Price $47.90
Manufacturer Bluford
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Bluford Open Hopper 2-Bay USRA
Prototype Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton (Details)
Road or Company Name Minneapolis and St. Louis (Details)
Reporting Marks M&STL
Road or Reporting Number 65073, 65305
Paint Color(s) Black with White Lettering
Coupler Type Generic Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Multipack Yes
Multipack Count 2
Multipack ID Number 60302
Announcement Date 2016-06-01
Release Date 2017-04-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety USRA
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Minneapolis & St. Louis bought 468 of these USRA hoppers on the used freight car market between 1941 and 1943. This was in response to the opening of large strip mines in northwestern Illinois and southwestern Iowa a few years before. The cars had originally belonged to Chicago By-Products Coke Company and Westmoreland Coal. Chicago & North Western bought the M&St.L in 1960 and merged into their system.

Model Information: 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.

Prototype History:
The USRA 55-Ton hopper was designed by the United States Railway Administration during World War I as a standardized hopper to be used by all railroads in order to aid the war effort. After WWI many railroads continued to use the USRA 55-Ton hoppers, as well as build many thousands more clones. The USRA hopper was in use on North American railroads from 1918 until the 1970’s

Road Name History:
The Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway (M&StL) (reporting mark MSTL) was an American Class I railroad that built and operated lines radiating south and west from Minneapolis, Minnesota which existed for 90 years from 1870 to 1960.

The railway's most important route was between Minneapolis and Peoria, Illinois; a second major route extended from Minneapolis into eastern South Dakota, and other trackage served various areas in north-central Iowa and south-central Minnesota. The M&StL was founded in 1870, and expanded through line construction and acquisition until the early 20th century. Most of the railway's routes saw only relatively light traffic, and consequently the company's financial position was frequently precarious; the railroad operated under bankruptcy protection between 1923 and 1943. The M&StL was acquired by the Chicago and North Western Railway in 1960, and much of its former trackage was later abandoned.

In 1956 it reported 1550 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 2 million passenger-miles on 1397 route-miles and 1748 track-miles operated; those totals don't include the 117-mile Minnesota Western.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
Bluford Shops began in 2007 as a side project of two model railroad industry veterans, Craig Ross and Steve Rodgers. They saw a gap between road names available on N scale locomotives but not available on cabooses. They commissioned special runs of Atlas cabooses in Atlantic Coast Line, Central of Georgia, Monon, Boston & Maine and Southern plus runs on Grand Trunk Western and Central Vermont on the MDC wooden cabooses. While these were in process, they began to develop their first all new tooling project, 86' Auto Parts Boxcars in double door and quad door editions in N scale. By January of 2008, Bluford Shops became a full time venture. Along with additional N scale freight cars and their own tooling for new cabooses, they have brought their own caboose line to HO scale. They also have their popular Cornfields in both HO and N. The future looks bright as they continue to develop new products for your railroad.

The town of Bluford in southern Illinois featured a small yard on Illinois Central's Edgewood Cutoff (currently part of CN.) The yard included a roundhouse, concrete coaling tower (which still stands) and large ice house. Reefer trains running between the Gulf Coast and Chicago were re-iced in Bluford. Things are more quiet now in Bluford with the remaining tracks in the yard used to stage hoppers for mines to the south and store covered hoppers. Intersecting the IC line in Bluford is Southern Railway's (currently NS) line between Louisville and St. Louis. Traffic on this single track line remains relatively heavy.

Item created by: gdm on 2016-06-24 16:52:31. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-24 07:35:53

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