H2 Canton hopper car, Mineral Red
HO kit with trucks and magnetic couplers.
Great Northern Railway purchased two identical lots of 100 two bay hopper cars manufactured by the Canton Car Company of Canton Ohio, one lot in 1929 and one in 1930. Cubic capacity was 1622 cubic feet level full and 1850 cubic feet with a 10-inch heap. Original truck side frames were cast steel Bettendorf T-section design. See Reference Sheet 309 for further details.
The “Canton Hoppers” cars were the first steel hoppers that Great Northern purchased for coal service. By 1929 most GN coal tonnage originated at Allouez, Wisconsin, where it arrived as back haul cargo from iron ore carriers. Prior to obtaining these cars the GN, like many other western railroads, supplied drop bottom steel gondolas 40 feet long dumping outside the rail for coal loading, a design introduced in 1906. As of January 1942, GN had 1,699 steel drop bottom gondola cars, 200 Canton hoppers, and 492 other hopper cars, all of 50-ton nominal capacity, except that 249 of the gondolas were of 70-ton nominal capacity.
Canton Car Company was acquired by Standard Steel Car Company before 1934, and probably before 1929. Pullman acquired stock control of Standard Steel Car Company in 1929 and merged with it in 1934 to create Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company.
GN’s 1968 Equipment Diagram book shows the 1929 lot had seven vertical posts per side with the side sill visible for the full length of the car. The 1930 lot is shown with four vertical posts per side and the side sill was not visible for the full length of the car. A photo of 73010 from the 1929 lot shows that the Equipment Diagram book for the 1929 lot is in error as the car has four vertical posts. Cars from both lots had four vertical posts and were identical.
Canton cars enjoyed a long service life and many of them received one of three major modifications. Sometime after January 1942, sixty-five cars were modified with a steeper slope sheet, which reduced the cubic capacity a bit. These cars were renumbered to 73700 to 73764. Starting in 1952 and continuing into 1965, a total of 50 cars were modified, in small batches, to become sand cars by adding a roof with hatches and modifying the hoppers to allow the cars to be unloaded pneumatically. These cars were renumbered to X-2950 to X-2999. The sand cars are covered extensively in Reference Sheet 114 and Ted Fandel described how to kitbash the Canton model into a sand car in Modelers Pages Number 38 of March 2007. Another 35 cars were modified to transport zinc concentrate by cutting down the side and adding a roof with hatches. The zinc concentrate conversions were done in 1957 and 1964. Ted Fandel described how to kit bash the Canton model into a zinc car in Modelers Pages Number 37 of December 2006.
Accurail’s four post model is correct for both the 1929 cars, numbers 73000 to 73099, and the 1930 cars, numbers 73100 to 73199. These Canton hopper models are accurately rendered except that ends are from their USRA hopper. In side view there is a small triangle outside of the outer post under slope sheets. Prototype Canton cars did not have this side triangle and the plates under the slope sheets were vertical rather than slanted outward as on the model.
These models are painted mineral red, including the weights. The artwork on both cars was created by Digital Fox specifically for the Company Store. Cars with a 1943 paint date, side facing goat and “See America First Glacier National Park” herald represent the paint and lettering applied from 1941 into 1948. These cars have never been offered to Great Northern modelers.
Cars with a 1949 paint date, side facing goat with and “Great Northern Railway” herald represent the paint and lettering applied from 1948 into 1956, and feature upgraded lettering created specifically for these cars in consultation with the GNRHS Modelers Committee.
Both paint schemes are available in three road numbers that include both the 1929 and 1930 lots.
Photos in Reference Sheet 309 show the random cars photographed the early 1940’s equipped with the original equipment Bettendorf T-section trucks, which were then being replaced as the weakness of this design had long been apparent. Our models all have later design trucks which are appropriate for the time period the cars represent.
The car bodies used to create these models were left over unpainted stock at Accurail and we got them all. There will likely be no more Canton Hoppers produced for quite a long time, so get your collection of these unique cars now!