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Seeing the 2-bay hoppers in the new catalog reminded me of how much I wish the die-cast offset hoppers would come back around. In my view, they are some of the best pieces of rolling stock made by Lionel. Great details and die-cast bodies. Their size allows them to work with either scale or semi-scale consists. I have a bunch of them. I assume they were expensive to make, so maybe we’ve seen the last of them, but I would love for them to show up again.  It’s been about five years, so maybe we are due....


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      I was also a big fan of the die cast hoppers that Kline and Lionel have issued in the past. The problem I discovered is a simple one.......they are too darn heavy. Yes they are very nice and detailed and feel great in your hands but once you put ten or more on a train and if you have say a 2 1/2% grade on your layout they will lift the front of even your biggest steam engines up so if you go over a switch or go into a turn your steam engine will derail. 

     I now stick with the new Lionel plastic body 2 bay hoppers (GLa) and the derailing problem never happened again.

    However if you still like the die cast hopper you probably can pick them up for a good price at train shows or auction sites as I think a lot of modelers have discovered the weight issue with die cast.


Rider Sandman posted:

Hello Paul. I have a couple of the Rock Islands. I like the gray “rock” load as a fun alternative to the coal loads in the other cars. Like you, I hope they come back around. 

Yes indeed.  I painted over the limestone rock load with pretty much the same flat color, then applied a grimy-black wash to help accentuate the rocks.

I managed to find 2 single cars a few years ago, so they both have the same road number.  I know Lionel also offered a 3-pack in these, hopefully I can find a set of these someday.

They are fantastically detailed.  Due to their weight though, I probably would want to run much more than 6~10 or so at the very most.  And that's on level track! 



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Paul, the stones look great with the black wash. It really makes the contours come out. Like all things, you’ll eventually come across the three pack if you keep enough lines in the water. I collected a bunch of mine used - that was half the fun. 

Pat, I suspect you are right. My guess is they would be very expensive to do today given the cost of the current plastic hoppers. Fortunately, they did a bunch of road names before they disappeared. 

@dorfj2 posted:

Did Lionel ever make these in a Pennsy paint scheme ??? - just curious


Yes they did. I have three of them. And to the surprise of many of us, Lionel did commence to manufacture die-cast hoppers again, just the two bays,  commencing a few years ago. I did not buy any of them, and it is likely that they are no longer made with articulated couplers, like many other of the newer Lionel freight cars.


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