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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 60161 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton - Cambria & Indiana - 3856

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N Scale - Bluford Shops - 60161 - Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton - Cambria & Indiana - 3856 Image Courtesy of Bluford Shops


Stock Number 60161
Original Retail Price 23.95
Brand Bluford Shops
Manufacturer Bluford
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Bluford Open Hopper 2-Bay USRA
Prototype Vehicle Open Hopper, 2-Bay, USRA 55 Ton (Details)
Road or Company Name Cambria & Indiana (Details)
Reporting Marks C&I
Road or Reporting Number 3856
Paint Color(s) Black with White Lettering
Coupler Type Generic Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Release Date 2016-06-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Open Hopper
Model Subtype 2-Bay
Model Variety USRA
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: The Cambria & Indiana dates from the 1911 re-naming of the Blacklick & Yellow Creek Railroad serving Cambria and Indiana Counties in Pennsylvania. Originally intended as a lumber hauler, coal quickly took over as the top commodity. C&I began to order far more hopper cars than they could possibly load on their own rails (they had a thousand cars just of this one design as well as thousands of others.) The purpose of the hopper glut was to provide a pool of empties available for other railroads to load and collect the car rental fees. For decades this practice made the C&I the richest railroad per mile of track in the country and made the Cambria & Indiana hopper a common sight around much of the country.

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 Cambria & Indiana was born in 1911 with the renaming of the Blacklick & Yellow Creek Railroad. The line ran in its namesake counties in Pennsylvania. Built as a lumber hauler, coal quickly took over as the primary commodity. In the 1930s and 40s, the C&I was the richest railroad per mile of track in the country but when oil and gas became more popular for home heating, some of this traffic disappeared. C&I had always owned many more hoppers than they could possibly load on their own line. This large fleet was rented to other railroads to load where needed. In 1950, the railroad was sold to Bethlehem Steel who could then keep their own freight car production lines busy between orders building hoppers for the C&I. Those hoppers could then be rented out. In 1963, Bethlehem Steel opened a new coal mine on the line which fed considerable traffic to the C&I for the next 31 years. The closure of this last mine on the C&I led to the closure of the railroad in 1994. Like the Conemaugh & Black Lick, C&I eventually adopted the yellow and black paint scheme used for all of Bethlehem Steel's shortlines.

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 16:32:05. Last edited by gdm on 2018-01-24 07:35:53

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