Hawker Siddeley Canada 4550 Cubic-Foot Cylindrical Hopper

In the early seventies, a joint Canadian National/Canadian Pacific team came up with a standard concept for a 4550 cubic-foot 4-bay cylindrical hopper for hauling wheat and similar density grains (with trough hatches) and potash, chemicals and fertilizers (round hatches). National Steel Car (NSC, Hamilton, Ontario) and Hawker Siddeley Canada (HST, Trenton, Nova Scotia) both developed their own designs based on the joint concept while Marine Industries Limited based their design on a mixture of NSC and HST details.

Over the life of the design, a number of variations to the designs were produced by the three manufacturers (HST produced seven phases, including both trough and round hatch designs), resulting in changes to minor details (such as the length of the side sill notch at the side ladders, the number of welded side panels, the number of running board supports and the position of the brake reservoir, etc.

The first car that North American Railcar Corporation (NARC) has chosen to produce (in N and HO scales) is the “phase 6” car as built by Hawker Siddeley Canada between approximately October 1979 and October 1982. Intermountain Railway Company (IMRC) has produced a scale model (also in both N and HO scales) of National Steel Car’s 4550 cubic-foot car, which is similar to the HST version, but with subtle detail differences. The NARC model is not intended to replace the IMRC model, but to compliment it as these are two distinct versions of 4550 cubic-foot cylindrical hoppers. The following explains those differences between the HST 4550 (phase 6) and the NSC 4550 (phase 5) as well as a similar car built by MIL (phase 6).

The phase 6 HST cars have an elongated, 4-piece trough hatch (like cars built by the other two manufacturers), a wide triangular running board extension support and 11 running board supports (narrow intermediate supports and wide supports at the running board panel joints). The cars are equipped with truck-mounted brake cylinders, so the brake reservoir is mounted to the shear plate (the end platform between the side sills) parallel to the coupler end of the shear plate. The side sill notch at the side ladders is short (the width of the ladder stiles) and the upper edge of the side sill rolls in to meet the car body. At the bolsters are jack pad/pulling faces which are perpendicular to the ground with a rectangular hole in the face, there are nine welded side panels (wide and narrow) and the end panels are narrower at the side sill than at the top.

The end slope sheet is mounted at an angle that matched the angle of the end panels. The slope sheet is reinforced with a pair of channels that are attached to the slope sheet in a splayed or “V” shape, close together at the shear plate and wide at the top (aligned with the running board support mounting angle near the roof line). The splayed supports are thicker at the base than at the top and there is a section of channel between the splayed supports approximately 36” from the roof. To the outside of the splayed supports a section of angle approximately xx inches tall have been welded to the slope sheets with a hole in the end sheet near the upper edge of the angles (between the supports).

The phase 5 NSC cars also have elongated 4-piece trough hatches, a narrow triangular running board extension support and 13 running board supports (narrow supports at intermediate locations and a pair of narrow supports at the running board panel joints). The brake reservoir is also mounted down on the shear plate (truck mounted brake cylinders as on the HST cars) but it’s mounted parallel to the side sill along the right side of the car. The side sill notch at the side ladders is longer than on the HST-built cars and the side sill rolls out where it meets the car body (rather than rolling in as on the HST cars). The jack pad/pulling faces are the same design as the HST cars, there are ten welded side panels and as on the HST cars, the end panel is narrower at the side sill than at the top.

The end slope sheet is mounted at an angle that matched the angle of the end panels. The slope sheet is reinforced with a pair of channels that are attached to the slope sheet in a splayed or “V” shape, close together at the shear plate and wide at the top (aligned with the running board support mounting angle near the roof line). The splayed supports are thicker at the base than at the top and there is a section of channel between the splayed supports approximately 36” from the roof. To the outside of the splayed supports a section of channel approximately xx inches tall have been welded to the slope sheet (no holes in the slope sheet).

The phase X MIL cars appear to be a cross between the HST and NSC designs. Like both the HST and NSC cars, the MIL cars have a 4-piece, elongated trough hatch. The running board extension support is the wide, triangular design (like the HST cars) and there are 14 running board supports (single narrow supports at the intermediate locations and a pair of narrow supports at the panel joints, similar to the NSC design). The brake reservoir is mounted to the shear plate (once again, truck mounted brake cylinders), this time along the left edge along the side sill. The side sill notch is short (as on the HST cars) and as on the HST cars, the side sill rolls in to meet the car body. The jack pad/pulling faces are different from the HST and NSC cars of this time frame as the face slopes in towards the side sill at the upper edge. There are nine welded side panels (as on the HST cars there are wide and narrow panels) and the end panel is narrower at the side sill than at the top.

The end slope sheet is mounted at an angle that matched the angle of the end panels. The slope sheet is reinforced with a pair of channels that are attached to the slope sheet in a splayed or “V” shape, close together at the shear plate and wide at the top (aligned with the running board support mounting angle near the roof line). The splayed supports are thicker at the base than at the top and there is a section of channel between the splayed supports approximately 36” from the roof. To the outside of the splayed supports a section of channel approximately xx inches tall have been welded to the slope sheets with a hole in the end sheet, between the short supports and the side sheet.

SKNX 397234 is a phase 6 car built by Hawker Siddeley Canada 3/81 and it was repainted into the striking new Saskatchewan Grain Car Corporation livery by GE Rail Services at their Regina, Saskatchewan facility during May 2007.

ALPX 628149 is a phase 5 car built by National Steel Car 1/81 and was repainted into the “Take an Alberta Break…” livery 5/91 by Procor.

CN 382078 is a phase x car built by Marine Industries Limited in April 1981 and was repainted 3/00 by CN.

 

*Prototype Data provided by Darrell W. Sawyer/Freight Cars Illustrated. All photographs copyright Darrell W. Sawyer/Freight Cars Illustrated and are used with permission. All rights reserved.


image