Saturday, May 11, 2024

NAHX Leased Covered Hoppers - Pullman PS-2 & Greenville Prototype

Kadee PS-2 NAHX Trona & Potash shipping covered hopper model.

I've been mentioning leased covered hoppers on my SP Jawbone Branch (Part 46) blog of late, so I wanted to look a bit more into the prototypes and how viable it would be to put any effort into modeling them for use on the Jawbone Branch.

American Potash & Chemical Corp leased NAHX Greenville Cars

These cars certainly fits my modeling era of pre-1954, but these cars were assigned lease to American Potash & Chemical Corp, which sub-lettered these cars to be returned to Trona, Calif. when Empty. Certainly. As such, they would be a prime prototype to model if I was modeling the Searles Turn side of the Jawbone Branch.

NAHX 30229 - American Potash & Chemical Corp, Trona - NEW 5-51 - Pullman-Lib,smugmug,com

These photos are from Pullman-Library on, no infringement is intended, but to discuss the modeling possibilities.

NAHX 30229-Side - American Potash & Chemical Corp, Trona - NEW 5-51 - Pullman-Lib,smugmug,com

Notice the slight tapered side-sills just inboard of the bolsters, which makes these cars unique from the AC&F-built cars.  These cars all seem to have had black trucks and light gray body, which is a nice looking scheme, but would obviously get weathered somewhat in service.  These builder's photos don't reflect what they'd look like after a few trips in the dusty alkali desert environment.

Pacific Coast Borax Leased Greenville NAHX Cars

Pacific Coast Borax was the inheritor of the 20 Mule Team brand of Borax, and included the operations out of the Death Valley, Tonapah & Tidewater, to the Santa Fe at Ludlow and the Calico Mountains near Yermo, interchanging to ATSF at Daggett, Calif..  Processing plants were at Alameda, Calif. and Bayonne, New Jersey.

NAHX 30230 - Pacific Coast Borax Co - NEW 5-51 - Pullman-Lib,smugmug,com

The NAHX 30230 is also a product of Greenville Steel Car Co, in 1951, so this car is certainly within my era, but these cars physically wouldn't have been likely to come up the Jawbone Branch in any form of regularity.  Unless Columbia-Southern Chemical was selling Borax to PCB, but I don't have any evidence of this.

Pullman PS-2 by Kadee

NAHX 31235 - American Potash & Chemical Corp, Trona - NEW 11-55 - Pullman-Lib,smugmug,com

The PS-2s from Pullman are somewhat signature with the round hatches, and were put into production in 1954, which really pushes my cutoff year's boundaries for era.

Kadee's PS-2 model lettered for NAHX's leased cars to AP&CC for Trona/West End service.

The Kadee model's very nice model, but it's really a couple years too new for me to use.  The trucks use their new 'bolster centering wedge' design, which keeps the body bolster screws from being properly tightened without binding up their rotation.  I understand why they fashioned the wedges, to align the trucks with straight track to make it easier to rerail the car, but it goes against the LMRC mechanical standards that I've built all my cars to for the last 28 years.

In Closing

While there's some great models out there to model this sort of traffic, I don't really need any of these cars for my Jawbone Branch layout.  So I'm not sure if I'll keep the Kadee PS-2 car, outside of lettering reference to come up with decals to make the earlier Greenville, and I'd have to figure out what manufacturer makes a Greenville Covered Hopper.

My not quite complete SP 165000-series H-70-8 (iirc) class with side sheet cut-outs by Bowser.

I know that Bowser and Kato's models are more like the AC&F prototype, which were straight silled, so these cars aren't really 100% accurate to model the NAHX Trona/West End cars.  I was hoping that I could re-purpose Bowser or Kato models to make the earlier series of NAHX Greenville cars, I don't think they'd really work given the clearly tapered side sills.  At this point, I'm probably not going to worry much more about doing any more covered hoppers for the Jawbone Branch.given my prototype research for both the Jawbone's industries and the modeling starting options.

Jason Hill

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