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ScaleTrains.com HO scale Thrall carbon black covered hopper

Read this review from the May 2018 Model Railroader
MRRPR0518_30
ScaleTrains.com HO scale Thrall carbon black covered hopper

A Thrall 4,727-cubic-foot capacity carbon black covered hopper is the latest addition to the ScaleTrains.com Rivet Counter line of superdetailed models. The injection-molded plastic model features roadnumber-specific details, photo-etched stainless steel running boards and crossover platforms, and Barber S-2 70-ton trucks with rotating bearing caps.

Carbon black is a byproduct of the petroleum industry and is most commonly used as a reinforcing filler for rubber vehicle tires. Thrall was a longtime manufacturer of covered hoppers specifically designed to haul this material. The Chicago Heights, Ill.-based freight car builder dabbled in carbon black cars in the mid-1950s. By decade’s end, the company began manufacturing carbon black cars on a larger scale.

Thrall’s first 4,727-cubic-foot-capacity carbon black covered hopper was built in 1964. The ScaleTrains.com model is based on a 4727 design that Thrall debuted in 1992. Some of the features on the high-side covered hopper include nine exterior posts, 22 or 28 roof hatches, and open end cages. Examples of these cars can still be found in service today. Trinity Industries purchased Thrall in 2001.

The ScaleTrains.com carbon black covered hopper features a one-piece body with a separate roof, end cages, body bolster assemblies, center sills, and stubsills. The hatch covers, ladders, brake appliances, and sampling spigots, among other details, are also separately applied. A steel weight is secured inside the body with two ring-head screws.

Our sample is decorated as Orion Engineered Carbons no. 47046, built by Thrall Car under job number 928 in June 1996. The car is part of Orion’s 47001 through 47050 series of carbon black covered hoppers.

The black paint is smooth and evenly applied. The placement of the yellow simulated reflective stripes matches prototype photos. The printing is all legible, including the “Job 928” stencil under the blue Thrall Car label. Nice attention to detail!

I compared the model to data published in the January 2016 Official Railway Equipment Register (R.E.R. Publishing Co.). The dimensions are accurate or within scale inches of the prototype.

The body-mounted die-cast metal Type E semi-scale couplers are painted a rust color and mounted at the correct height. If you use uncoupling magnets on your layout, be aware that the couplers don’t have trip pins. The 33" machined metal wheels are correctly gauged. At 4.8 ounces, the covered hopper is .3 ounce too heavy based on National Model Railroad Association Recommended Practice 20.1.

I tested the covered hopper on our Wisconsin & Southern and Eagle Mountain project layouts, where the model performed without incident.

The carbon black car will negotiate 18" radius curves, though the manufacturer recommends running the car on 22" radius curves.

ScaleTrains.com has done an excellent job on the HO scale Thrall Car 4,727-cubic-foot-capacity carbon black covered hopper. The Rivet Counter line car would look right at home on a model railroad set between 1996 and today.

Price: $39.99
Manufacturer
ScaleTrains.com Inc.
7598 Highway 411
Benton, TN 37307
www.scaletrains.com
Era: June 1996 to present (as decorated)
Road names:
Orion Engineered Carbons, Columbian Chemicals, DeGussa, and
Sid Richardson. Four road numbers per scheme.
Features
• 33" machined metal wheels, in gauge
• Painted metal couplers, at correct height
• Prototype-specific details
• Weight: 4.8 ounces

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