Large Scale Central

C.V.S.Ry. aquires vintage wood hopper

I’m quite a fan of the Aristo Delton Classics wood hopper car. They are very close to the 1800’s vintage wood hoppers used on the East Broad Top. I’ve not yet been motivated to create a correct EBT model from them yet, but Kevin Strong has. A cut and move of 4 braces and changes to hardware details is really all that is needed. This photo found on the web is of a model of an EBT car. It might be Kevin’s, but there was no photo credit…
EBT Hopper

Compare that to the stock Delton design…

With this in mind, I just can’t pass up a bargain on these cars. Last week someone listed a Delton version with no trucks or wheels really cheap. I snapped it up since I have plenty of trucks and wheels that can be used. I was shocked when it arrived at how pristine it is. Not a scratch or spec of dust! The difference to the Aristo version can be seen quite easily. Aristo cleaned up the molds and changed the grabs and brake wheel shaft from plastic to brass.

Here is the newly arrived hopper on a flat with a set of trucks ready for wheels. I will body mount couplers like I have on my others…

I’ll probably get these in service this weekend. Then I need to find some open track to put it on! I’ve already used up all of the new ‘fiddle yard’ storage I built a few years ago.

Looks good. I didn’t manage to cut mine to make the outside bracing correct, but I did acquire a couple of Hartford Q&T gondolas and I moved things around as I was building them to get a more accurate model. I have the Ed Collins drawing that shows all 4 wooden hopper types (and I also have the photo of ‘hopper18’ so I bet it came from Kevin.) Here’s the Delton next to the Hartford. Note the Delton is 1/24th and the Hartford is 1/20.3. Not much different in size.

Hi Pete - That Hartford car looks good.

Did you get the most recent FEBT Timber Transfer? There is an article on the wooden hoppers (EBT called them Coal Dumps) and there are several variations on the Billmeyer & Small car with lots of new to me photos. Later in life, EBT added truss rods to correct sag. They were unusual. Located on the outside beams!

In Ed’s drawing, does he show the planks making up the hopper side as running horizontal or vertical? The model shown above has horizontal planking where the Delton design has vertical planking.

Delton cars are supposedly a model of Quincy & Torch Lake cars. Interesting how similar the designs of two companies can be so similar.

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I am enjoying this thread! The Timber Transfer article you referred to Jon got me going on my fleet of Delton hoppers (9 at this point!) I just love those cars. So I found a photo on the web that shows the remains of a Quincy and Torch Lake car that Phil Jensen used as a model for the Delton car. Have you read the story of that gentleman and his role in Delton trains? Great story!


I measured the Delton car and found it was very close to the 23 ft 6" of the EBT cars, so it could actually be 1/20, 1/24, or even 1/29 if you wanted to. And yes the bracing is not correct, but they are find looking cars. It was interesting to see the EBT cars had a brake staff at each end with a simple handle instead of a wheel. All great stuff.


I just read the FEBT Timber Transfer article for a third time and finally have a pretty good understanding of why the design of the Z-Braced cars has so many discrepancies. There were no less than three variations of the 20,0000 pound capacity cars. At least two of them featured open ends like the Delton design and a number of the open end cars had side truss rods added during their service life.

I’m still not yet motivated to modify the Delton design to a model of an EBT car, but the side truss rods on one or two might be cool. Seems like a pretty easy addition.

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My drawings are the ex-Hancock & Calumet ore cars, which are all externally planked (sorry for misleading you.) This etching is the earliest EBT hopper known, I think:

Note that Kevin’s hopper (hopper18, above) also has horizontal planking! I took a look at the Delton and decided it was way too much work to correct the planking and external wood uprights, as they are all molded together. Kevin did write an article about them, probably on his TRR blog. Want me to ask him?
A quick google turned up this GR article, which references the hopper18 photo.

This came out of an EBT book:


Here’s a Quincy & Torch Lake hopper rotting away in Hancock, MI.

And finally, an On3 scale hopper made by Bill Adams for the FEBT museum. I have his construction article but it is just text.

I made a model of the last wooden hoppers with the steel lining and tall sides entirely from the photos, (before Bill Adams sent me the drawings that I didn’t know existed.)

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Thanks Pete.

Many years ago, when Kevin built his conversion, we were conversing about it quite regularly, so no, I don’t need you to ask him!

Today was truck & coupler day.

I have been body mounting Bachmann Large Scale metal couplers on my hopper fleet. This one is no exception. I chop down a Kaydee draft gear box so it doesn’t interfere with the truck swing…

A 6MM PVC board block is painted and glued to the frame to provide a mounting surface for the draft gear…

Some Aristo metal wheels are painted. Being cold and windy outside today, these didn’t turn out quite as nice as they usually do, but they will pass…

Masking is removed and axle ends lubed…

These Aristo/Delton trucks had been modified for use on skeleton log cars. The pivot block was sawed off. I have stock ones on hand, but these were already painted so I made do with some washers…

Mounted and ready for road trials…

In-Service and delivered to Brunt Coal…

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Neat thread! There are two “steals” in here for us:

  1. Those neat external truss rodss
  2. Using rubber gaskets to mask the wheels.

Both have been filed away for the 2023 build campaing…but first the Mik!


Thanks Eric.

Some work better than others. In the photo are round stock O Rings. I also have a few circular gaskets made from thick flat stock with square edges. They work a lot better as there is no paint leakage.

The axle ends are masked with wire insulation with the outside end plugged with a short piece of copper wire.

Don’t copy my jig. It doesn’t work well as it hides half of the wheel. The look much better if painted in one pass rather than two.

Thanks, Jon, for the extra tips. I am still pondering my 2023 goals list, and giving something “the works” as an exercise in painting may be part of it, so this is very timely.