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@RailRide posted:

Do coke hoppers ever travel in manifest freights? Been looking at some as I was buying examples of MTH freight equipment I hadn't had in my collection, but wasn't looking to build an entire unit train of 'em.

---PCJ

As far as CSX coke trains are concerned (because I see them locally) I’ve seen trains with a long block of Coke up front followed by mixed freight. I have not seen any trains with singles or small blocks sprinkled in, but with PSR perhaps anything is possible these days. Lately I’ve only seen unit trains, however.

Last edited by NSPhil
@irish rifle posted:

For those who purchased these new hoppers, are the couplers articulated? Thanks.

Pat

The couplers are not articulated, however the great thing is they don't have a toilet plunger and they have rotating bearing caps which look very nice. Very smooth running.  I have no issues with a 6-car train on my 0-36 curves. I am very happy with them.

I really want to see photos of the B&LE versions because I like my CSX cars so much I am considering getting some of those, anyone have any pics of theirs?

I run the electrified Port Road and surrounding areas, so the PP&L sets are very appealing.  I'm just not sure I'd ready to spring $100+ per car, (I thought the $50-60 was high enough for the last runs).  But still, PP&L stuff is rare (especially scale with the right paint), and I might go for them at some point.  I saw 3 dealers so far that have them in stock.

@NSPhil posted:

The couplers are not articulated, however the great thing is they don't have a toilet plunger and they have rotating bearing caps which look very nice. Very smooth running.  I have no issues with a 6-car train on my 0-36 curves. I am very happy with them.

I really want to see photos of the B&LE versions because I like my CSX cars so much I am considering getting some of those, anyone have any pics of theirs?

Phil:

Appreciate the response. I suspected that this was the case. I will never buy any Lionel freight cars that have these fixed couplers. Incredible that Lionel is making any of their Standard O freight cars with these crappy, substandard couplers and charging exorbitant prices for them to boot.

Pat

@Pantenary posted:

I run the electrified Port Road and surrounding areas, so the PP&L sets are very appealing.  I'm just not sure I'd ready to spring $100+ per car, (I thought the $50-60 was high enough for the last runs).  But still, PP&L stuff is rare (especially scale with the right paint), and I might go for them at some point.  I saw 3 dealers so far that have them in stock.

Living in NE Pennsylvania, PP&L has been my power Company for over 25 years - very reliable IMHO. I picked two sets of their die-cast hoppers the other day from Grzyboski’s. I’ll try and post some picks tomorrow.

@Apples55 posted:

Living in NE Pennsylvania, PP&L has been my power Company for over 25 years - very reliable IMHO. I picked two sets of their die-cast hoppers the other day from Grzyboski’s. I’ll try and post some picks tomorrow.

Ha, that's exactly who I was looking at getting them from.  The stock pics look pretty good, but I;d still be curious.  I have the four cars with the 'Ready-Kilowatt' logo, (which is prototypical BTW), and I'd love to add these 6 to it.  I run real coal (rice coal from Tractor Supply), which makes for an awesome electric-powered coal drag under wire.  The coal tends to make a mess, but that's part of doing business on my system.

Here are a couple of pictures of one of the new PP&L die-cast hoppers. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with them. The cars come well packed, the graphics are crisp, the coal load is realistic, the trucks are sprung, and there are no thumbtack couplers. The couplers do not appear to be the problematic ones used on the recent milk cars.

49B37255-2277-4CC4-BDA5-7A0965F5E0F749F276D9-7FA3-4243-AB8F-2FE43AADBBED131DAD37-D4C5-409E-A8E1-FADBE74715747362D0E4-8D9A-456D-884F-14750755C22074336FBE-367B-444F-BFA4-3FFADB167F68

One word of warning... these cars are quite hefty, weighing in at nearly two and a half pounds!!!

968A9661-690C-4169-A7A3-F2B18ABE5ED1

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Last edited by Apples55
@Apples55 posted:

Here are a couple of pictures of one of the new PP&L die-cast hoppers. Overall, I’m pretty impressed with them. The cars come well packed, the graphics are crisp, the coal load is realistic, the trucks are sprung, and there are no thumbtack couplers. The couplers do not appear to be the problematic ones used on the recent milk cars.

One word of warning... these cars are quite hefty, weighing in at nearly two and a half pounds!!!

968A9661-690C-4169-A7A3-F2B18ABE5ED1

......holy moly!

Mark in Oregon

@Apples55 posted:

Precisely... I picked up 4 of the cars which will give me 10 pounds to pull. Nate is thinking of getting all 6!!!

Greetings Paul:

Thank you for those pictures, I appreciate it.  I am planning on grabbing at least one set of these, as they fit my operating time frame perfectly.  I will get them from Grzyboski’s as well.

As far as weight goes, I know very well; I have 25 of the Lionel scale die-cast hoppers already, (the only freight rolling stock I own).  After making sure the wheels are lubed, I ditch the fake coal and load cars to the brim with rice coal from Tractor Supply.  The full train fully loaded is over 100lbs.  Two MTH E44s on the point and one E33 / E44 on the rear pull the train with no problem, (at 1.5-1.8A draw).  Such a long and heavy train rolling slowly over jointed Atlas flextrack makes for delightful nap-inducing sound, especially when combined with the fans on the electric motors.  I'll shoot a video at some point when I get the PP&L cars.  Thanks again.

Turns out that I have one of these 3 bay die cast hoppers! I was removing some hoppers from the storage track in the shop to make room for one more 2 bay hopper, and it was on the track. I compared it to the Lionel plastic 3 bay hopper, and there are some significant differences.

The inside dimensions are just a bit different, and the inside profile is different. The sides on the die cast car are shorter, and the ladder detail is much better on the die cast car. The trucks are a different style too. Both have operating hopper doors, but the hoppers are deeper on the plastic car. There is also a slightly raised circle embossed in one end near the top. Not sure if that is on all cars, or just specific to the road I have.

I guess it's time to make an inventory list!

I have a bunch of the 2 and 3-bay scale hoppers from prior Lionel runs. They are terrific, and IMHO, superior to the current run, as they have diecast metal sprung trucks and couplers, and the couplers are also articulated and have hidden uncoupling tabs. Their coal loads are outstanding as well. No need to replace them with different coal loads. There are plenty of these new old stock hoppers that are still available from dealers like Grzyboski's Trains at very reasonable prices. I believe that Lionel is using the same dies for the bodies of their current run of scale diecast hoppers as they used for their earlier runs, but someone from Lionel would need to confirm that.

Pat

Last edited by irish rifle

Greetings all:

So I went all out with the PPLX set from Grzyboski's Trains.  They had the very best price by far, and I figure once they are gone, I won't see them again but for exorbitant prices on eBay.  Theyare simply fantastic cars.

However, issues arose with the trucks; they were disappointing to say the least.  Most of them (would have) required oil in the coupler release and some even in the couplers themselves.  They took some force to actually couple, and the uncouple tab is very flimsy.  Worst of all, most of truck is plastic, and do not articulate as the old Lionel 100-ton trucks did.

I replaced them with Atlas 100-ton trucks.  The quality is a world above the Lionel trucks.  They are almost fully metal, roll smooth as silk, and couple with ease.

I'm not too inclined to complain much as I had the Atlas trucks already.  However, for ~$90 a car, I at least expect the older Lionel metal trucks.  Well done on the cars themselves.  I could not be happier with them, and they will look great with the PPLX, Conrail, Penn Central and Pennsy 100-ton diecast cars.  Shame on the trucks though.

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Last edited by Pantenary

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