Re: Cotton belt open hoppers

Jim Ogden

I think the Cotton Belt favored drop-bottom gondolas for these sorts of commodities. A self clearing hopper car was preferred by coal operations East of the Mississippi (especially West Virginia or Kentucky) whereas gondolas were favored in the west. They were more versatile and weren’t going to be unused if the coal operations were idled.

Their line shared with the MoPac East of the Mississippi to Illmo missed the coal fields of southern Illinois. MoPac did serve coal mines (especially via the Missouri-Illinois) as did the IC and the bought hoppers pretty much for the exclusive use of the coal conglomerates.

At the time he passed away, Martin Lofton at Sunshine Models wanted to do a resin kit for these. As luck would have it, the SSW cars were not USRA and not like the Details West or Intermountain car, nor the older Ulrich zamac car. However he was having issues finding enough data to do one.

Jim Ogden

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