Long Story Short

So today I decided to visit the local hobby shop and get myself a pair of  new 3800cu ft cylindrical hoppers from Rapido Trains Inc. I have to say they did a good job on these models. Finally!! A fully accurate 3800 that isn’t a 4550cu ft grain car prototype with round hatches. (ITS A LONGER CAR!!) These models look great out of the box however there are some minor issues with the roof walks warping but that can be fixed with a little CA. Kind of a downer for the price but something that can be easily fixed in my opinion.. Plus what’s the point of a hobby if you’re just buying RTR stuff without actually doing anything to it. Back to the models. Below are examples of two different styles of cylindrical hoppers that CN had on their roster from the early 70’s to present day. The one on the left was built by NSC and the one on the right was built by Marine Industries both have small variations that set them apart such as air reservoir placement, roof walk support bracket size and weld seem lines.

The NSC car on the left is painted in generic CN grey representing a car built circa 1974 and the marine industries car on the left built in the late 60’s is part of the CN billboard car circa 1971 railway promotion campaign. Or as my girlfriend calls it. “The rainbow car..” There are a couple of details to add to these cars not to mention weathering. Some of the details I’ll be adding are ACI labels, Kadee #158’s and material data labels as per prototype.

So as you probably already know if you regularly read this blog. I’m working on a new modular mid 70’s layout project that hosts two small mining operations on it. These operations one being based off of a mine in Uhthoff near Orillia Ontario and the other a generic open-pit aggregate quarry that is loosely modeled after the Lafarge pit in Uxbridge Ontario. Having a bunch of 3800’s was and is a must. These two mines will generate most of the traffic on my layout and that means more 3800’s will be needed but for the time being they will be mixed into my fleet of LONGER Intermountain cars that I am slowly replacing as time goes on.

This 1960’s hopper  or “billboard car” was part of a series of cars used to advertise how the CNR at the time was a leader in transporting various resources across Canada. It was one of 4 cars that where painted to represent the commodities that they carried and ran in a short 4 car consist across Canada. the cars later went into regular service and were seen mixed into regular freight consists. They where NOT part of the EXPO 86 ads.

Back to the models. They run great out of the box with no issues negotiating my network of hand laid track. The only issue I could find in terms of running was that they should be a couple of ounces heavier. Though that’s a personal opinion due to the fact that a large portion of track on my layout is covered with static grass made to represent deferred branch line maintenance. Other than the weight issue and roof walk warping issue I couldn’t really find anything else to complain about. Great job Rapido! Also these cars are hand-built so hats off to the workers at the LRC factory for building these near perfect representations. I’m pretty happy with them. Hope there will be a second run in the near future EH..

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