In late 2006 Bachmann released its 2 bay hopper in 1:20.3 scale.
The Bachmann hopper is a model of one of four two-bay hoppers built by the EBT in 1930 for hauling ganister rock to the firebrick plants in Mt. Union. These cars replaced older wood cars and apparently used the Vulcan trucks off these cars. While some of the EBT 3 bay steel hoppers found new homes in later life, all 4 of these 2 bay cars apparently still exist on the tracks in Mt Union. A full roster of all the EBT cars can be found at http://www.spikesys.com/EBT/proster.html. The Bachmann Hoppers come unlettered and have a paint scheme used later in the hoppers life. The correct EBT numbers for these hoppers are 618, 633, 636, and 638. Thanks go to Kevin Strong from the Friends of the EBT for providing this background research.
The Bachmann model weighs 3 lbs with no load. This compares with the LGB hopper at under 2 lbs even with metal wheels. The dimensions of the Bachmann 2 bay hopper are: Length 14", Width 5", and Height 5". The same LGB car is Length 14 3/4", Width 4 1/4", and Height 4 3/4".
Note that the real difference is the width of the car. What makes a 3'
narrow gauge car look like a narrow gauge car is the way it hangs over its
wheels and the width of the car is the key distinguishing feature. Note also how
the wheels of the Bachmann car are tucked into the car. Just makes the car
really look right.
The details on the car are great with working hopper doors with prototypical locking devices. The break wheel even turns and produces the clicking sound.
The most important aspect of a model designed for outdoor garden railroad use are its wheels and trucks. How well they work on uneven track, how well the wheels roll and how well they track are key . Bachmann has raised the bar in this respect.
The trucks on the hoppers are Vulcan trucks with a 4' 2" wheelbase and 24 inch wheels which is accurate for the prototype modeled. (note most other EBT cars had Vulcan trucks with a 4' 8" wheelbase.) The metal wheels have a 0.1 inch flange that has a great filet. This allows the wheels to track and not derail in an outdoor environment. The trucks are die cast and sprung. The springs are compressed as you might expect in a hopper that is full with coal. Of particular note is how free rolling the trucks are. The journal lids can be raised allowing easy oiling as in the prototype.
Bachmann currently produces four paint paint schemes for the 2 bay hoppers. While only the EBT scheme is correct for this particular car, all the other paint schemes represent good renditions of what the paint scheme would have been had these other railroads had steel 2 bay hoppers. The size of these hoppers makes them an excellent addition to any outdoor railroad.
Click on any image for a larger photo.
East Broad Top
Midwest Quarry and Mining Co.
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