Note: Penn Central Committee Design Hopper is on sale through December as an Advanced Order from Arrowhead Models. The model is leaving our factory now, and it ships to customers and dealers in early February. Afterward, M.S.R.P. will be $64.95.
About the Prototype:
The Committee Design hopper is the most important open hopper on the Penn Central railroad. The car was developed as a joint effort between the Pennsylvania, Norfolk & Western and Chesapeake and Ohio railroads. Production was between July of 1958 and September of 1962. Although it happened to be the case that all three of these railroads owned a version of the Committee Design car, the Pennsylvania Railroad married it.
Across 15 lots and 5 builders, the PRR rostered 16,160 hoppers. These cars passed through Penn Central in massive quantities–such that: when Penn Central became Conrail in 1976, 15,087 Committee Design cars went into Conrail ownership! The magnitude of this lot was so large that Conrail abandoned early attempts to standardize around 100-ton conveyances. If you model the railroads of the Northeast from 1958 through the 1980s, the Committee Design Hopper isn’t an important hopper car–it is THE important hopper car.
If you want to learn more about this prototype, read Arrowhead's / Blaine Hadfield's article in the 2nd Quarter 2018, Volume 17, No. 2 edition of The Prospector, the official publication of the Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society. Also, see the book Pennsylvania Railroad Steel Open Hopper Cars by John Teichmoeller, and the article in the September 1990 Mainline magazine by Andrew Dow entitled 'The 70 Ton Standard Car of 1958'.
About the Paint Scheme:
Arrowhead Models is offering the Penn Central Committee Design hopper in 14 road numbers and 4 unique paint schemes–all of which are a subtle variation of the standard diagram: black cars with standard reporting marks, road numbers and PC emblem. The difference between these schemes is that they have different Hollidaysburg shop dates and small variations in the COTS, ACI and capacity data.
The skus / road numbers from this paint scheme set are organized so that each have: single COTS, ACI and Hollidaysburg 9-72 Shop stencils.
Penn Central's Committee Design cars are of Pennsylvania Railroad heritage, and each car bears the correct PRR road number near the trust stencil per the Penn Central’s practice of documenting original ownership.
Official lettering diagrams were procured, and then we didn't rest on those laurels, we compared data against our own field notes of extant PC Committee Design cars. Additionally, we worked with the Penn Central Historical Society and procured our own photographs and data of PC cars over a period of 4 years!
About the Model:
The design of every part of this model is driven by dimensional data. There is no part where the designer looked at a photograph and "eye-balled" it. No part of the design is scaled from a photograph. There is no guess work and no derived measurements. We had fabrication prints; we had the actual parts in hand, or we meticulously field measured it.
Arrowhead’s Penn Central Committee Design hopper consists of 187 parts per car. It is the most detailed, part intensive open hopper in HO Scale. We have matched the specific details of the Pullman-Standard built cars, including the obvious details, like: Miner gate appliances, Miner hand brake and brake layout, and less obvious details, like: the combination 1942-design hand brake and 1955-design brake wheel, the unique retaining and release rod configurations, and the Pullman defect card holder.
That’s right: everything down to the correct styles of defect card holders are accurately matched.
We are unique in that we don't use contract designers domestically or abroad. The individual who leads the research for Arrowhead Models is also the individual who sits behind the computer and does the design. This means that there are no translation errors in the process. There is no gap between the massive research effort and the thousands of design decisions. Because the researcher is the designer, he knows how to research so to no lay compromises in the design path. Because the designer is the researcher, hundreds of research hours hone his eye for the design.
70 individual injection molded parts per car, including: multi-part Keystone Monoloc hopper door locks, Keystone hopper frames and gate doors, 4 piece Miner 1942 hand brakes (and check out the release lever!)
10 individual etched brass parts per car, including: gate door L-braces, ABD valve and brake cylinder mounts.
49 individual wire parts per car, including: air lines, release and retaining valve rods, grab irons, train lines, brake lever hangers and more.
70-ton ASF Ride Control Solid Bearing Trucks, including: the only 21 piece truck! We traveled over 1800 miles to ensure that our trucks didn’t just match the print specifications in 2D–but, our interpretation of that data matches the curf, the draft, the filets and patterned parts of complex sand casting. We spent 3 days adjacent to the prototype doing the actual design on site. No one does product development like Arrowhead. Brake beams to be installed by the modeler; Patents pending.
The Definitive HO Scale Wheelset: In 2018, Arrowhead launched the industry leading wheelset from which a wave of followers have trailed. Design of Arrowhead's Definitive HO Scale Wheelset follows our brand's unique investment into informed development--including a site visit to the production facilities of the prototype in Kansas City, KS. See our video (below) to learn more about this project (or just to review).
Additionally, Arrowhead Models is the only brand to offer scale tread wheelsets on all cars! No additional dollars on aftermarket upgrades are needed here. We ask more manufacturers to get on board with this standard so that industry can move forward from precedents established in the 1960s.
The Penn Central Committee Design hopper is the first delivery from our new factory. We have been developing this new partnership for over a year, and it helps address issues of consistent product flows and timely deliveries that have troubled our previous supplier in the post-Covid era. For you, it means more product and outstanding product quality.
The Penn Central Committee Design Hopper is available now from Arrowhead Models as an advanced order or any select Arrowhead Models dealer. It is leaving our factory now, and we will be shipping to customers in late January-early February. If you have an interest in this car, please note that the previous advanced order, the CNW ACF 4600 Covered Hopper, sold out in the advance order stage.
Raise the glass as we raise the bar.
ARR-1011-1: Penn Central #443591
ARR-1011-2: Penn Central #443878