About the Prototype:
In 1960, the Denver & Rio Grande Western purchased its first lot of Committee Design hoppers. These were built by Bethlehem Steel Company and assigned the number series #17500-17699. Up to 1957, the D&RGW had a well-established history of using drop bottom gondolas for coal service. Although the Committee lot was not the first 70-ton open HT class hoppers for the Rio Grande, it was perhaps the most important pivot towards HT class cars. From here forward, the Rio Grande never looked back–both in terms of the Committee Design and its builder, Bethlehem Steel. Every new HT AAR class car that the D&RGW purchased was from Bethlehem, and every new, 70-ton HT class car the Rio Grande acquired was of the committee design. In total, D&RGW would own 800 Committee Design hoppers. This car comprised 44% of the total 70-ton hopper fleet. The remainder of the fleet was divided among smaller lots of varying designs.
If you want to learn more about Rio Grande’s Committee Design hopper, read 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.
About the Paint Scheme:
Meticulously researched, industry leading paint and graphics.
This release represents the original October 1960 delivery. The paint scheme differs from our previous offering, and typically of an Arrowhead model, the artwork is spectacularly rendered with completely accurate lettering styles and colors.
In total, 18 road numbers are available through Arrowhead Models; 12 road numbers are available from Arrowhead Models or any Arrowhead Models retailer. An additional 6 road numbers are available only from Spring Creek Model Trains. See www.springcreekmodeltrains.com for more information on these cars.
About the Model:
Arrowhead’s Rio Grande Committee Design hopper consists of 167 parts per car. This family of hoppers are the most detailed, part intensive open hoppers in HO Scale. We have matched the specific details of the Bethlehem Steel built cars, including the obvious details, like: Wine gate appliances, Wine 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.
How does the Bethlehem Rio Grande model differ from our Pullman-Standard Penn Central model, you ask?
70-ton ASF ‘Ride Control’ roller bearing trucks
L-shaped AR/BL superior grab iron
Wine double door locks
Wine hopper doors and frames
Miner 1942 handbrake
Retaining valve location
Retaining and release valve rods
Brake rod and lever arrangements
Bethlehem defect card holder
Arrowhead Models doesn'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 as not to compromise the design path. Because the designer is the researcher, hundreds of research hours hone his eye for the design.
The design of every part of this model is driven by dimensional data. 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.
70 individual injection molded parts per car, including: multi-part Miner double door hopper door locks, Miner 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.
Kadee #156 couplers are factory equipped to each model. These whisker couplers are Kadee’s scale head. All couplers are installed into near scale draft boxes.
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. 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 and Rio Grande Committee Design hoppers are 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 Rio Grande Committee Design Hopper is available now from Arrowhead Models or any select Arrowhead Models dealer as an advanced order! It has already shipped from our factory, and we will be shipping to customers in 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-1020-13: 17628 - Available only from Spring Creek Model Trains
ARR-1020-14: 17639- Available only from Spring Creek Model Trains
ARR-1020-15: 17640- Available only from Spring Creek Model Trains
ARR-1020-16: 17654- Available only from Spring Creek Model Trains
ARR-1020-17: 17666- Available only from Spring Creek Model Trains
ARR-1020-18: 17678- Available only from Spring Creek Model Trains