HO Scale: Magor 4948 "Big John" Covered Hopper - Southern - NO&NE 'As Delivered Orange'


SKU Road Number Qty
EP-81703-1 8260 Sold Out
EP-81703-2 8264 Sold Out
EP-81703-3 8271 Sold Out
Add to Wishlist
​ ​

ExactRail HO Scale: Magor 4948 "Big John" Covered Hopper - Southern - NO&NE 'As Delivered Orange'

In the late 1950s, the Southern Railway believed that new methods would allow for a reduction in shipping rates for grain and feed traffic. The Southern proposed a strategy to create large, lightweight, 100-ton covered hoppers. At this time, railroads shipped grains in 50-ton boxcars. The Southern projected that this strategy would allow for a 60% rate reduction under boxcars.

However, the concept was met with resistance, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) appealed with the ICC, who had approved of the Southern’s proposed rates. The TVA operated Alabama and Tennessee lock, dams and water transportation. They viewed the reduced rates as a threat to barge traffic. In the litigation that followed, the Supreme Court heard two cases, and Congress was encouraged to review rate regulation.

The Southern “Big John” Covered Hopper took on the Supreme Court and changed the industry!

In addition to car rates, avoiding interchange fees was a strategic component of the Southern’s competitive strategy. As such, the Southern was strict about service routes. In the early years of Big John service, the cars remained on Southern system so to avoid interchange charges. Big Johns were primarily operated to gateway points in the Midwest. There, mid-western railroads and river barges would offload lading into elevators, and then, the Southern Railway would reload the same lading into Big Johns—all to keep cars on home rails. Additionally, there were virtually no single car movements—common for grain traffic in the early 1960s. Instead, the Southern moved these cars in large blocks—a notion well in advance of the unit train concept.

ExactRail’s Magor 4948 “Big John” Covered Hopper has been developed in close association with the Southern Railway Historical Society. The Southern Railway Historical Society gave ExactRail’s Magor 4948 “Big John” Covered Hopper the absolute highest praise! Thank you to the Southern Railway Historical Society for their help with this project!

The Magor 4948 “Big John” Covered Hopper includes:

  • 10 paint schemes! 9 Southern paint scheme variations!
  • Extraordinarily accurate lettering styles and placement.
  • ExactRail’s equalized 100 ton ASF Ride Control Trucks
  • Machined metal wheel sets and axles
  • Kadee ® #58 “scale” couple
  • Narrow-style draft box, featuring:
    • Key detail
    • Shank wedges
    • Striker castings
    • Full nut and bolt detail
  • Wire coupler cut levers, grab irons, brake rods and lever hangers!

About Southern ‘As Delivered’ Orange, sub-lettered for NO&NE subsidiary: 

Available in three road numbers, the Southern ‘As Delivered’ Orange paint scheme represents the Magor 4948 “Big John” Covered Hopper as it was delivered to the subsidiary New Orleans and Northeastern Railway in 1962. The ‘Big John’ logo was applied to these cars post delivery. So, if you model the early 1960 time period, this is the car for you. Otherwise, we think that these cars would look great interspersed among other “Big Johns.”

Related Items

Welcome to

Now that you're here we want to make sure you know all that we offer. Join our mailing list to learn all about the TrainLife.com advantage!


Welcome to the Loyalty Points Demo Store :-)

Sign up and receive 5000 pts to test out in our Store.

Earning and redeeming Points

Earns you
Redeems to

Ways you can earn

  • Product Purchase
  • Refer a friend
  • Share on social media

Learn more about our program