Hopper & Coal Dump Cars
A railroad hopper car is a freight car used to transport loose bulk commodities such as coal, ore, grain, and track ballast. There are two main types of hopper cars: covered hoppers, which are equipped with a roof, and open hopper cars which do not have a roof.
Covered hopper cars are used for bulk cargo such as grain, sugar, and fertilizer and must be protected from the weather. Open hopper cars are used for commodities such as coal or ore which are not impacted by the Mother Nature. To this day, both variations are common and remain in use throughout the United States, including short line and local railroads.
Lionel created two basic hopper styles during the postwar era. The first was a two-bay hopper introduced in 1948. Originally produced with the number 2456, it remained in the Lionel product line, under different stock numbers, until the end of production in 1969. The 2456-style hopper is generally considered and 027 freight car, usually with the Lehigh Valley roadname and was always the open top design.
Lionel second hopper was introduced in the mid-1950's and was a larger, more prototypical looking hopper. This second variation is a four-bay hopper, sometimes referred to as a quad hopper. Lionel's quad hopper is was marketed as an O gauge hopper and unlike the two-bay hopper, included many different road names during the postwar era. Additionally, Lionel's quad hopper was produced as both and open and closed hopper.
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