Bluford Shops N Scale: 2-Bay Offset Side Hopper - Cambria & Indiana
Cambria & Indiana was a shortline linking its namesake counties in Pennsylvania. C&I had always owned many more hoppers than they could possibly load on their own line. This large fleet was rented to other railroads to load where they were needed. In 1950, the railroad was sold to Bethlehem Steel who could then keep their own freight car production lines busy between orders building hoppers for the C&I which could then be rented out. This group was built in 1952.
A 2-bay hopper design with offset sides was first proposed in the 1920s and first appeared in the form seen here in 1934. The AAR adopted it as a standard design the following year. The offset design permitted greater interior capacity than a rib side car with the same outside dimensions. It was thought this more than made up for the car’s higher cost of construction. The last new 2-bay offset side hoppers were built in 1960.