During the 1950s, Pullman-Standard began to develop a “standardized” line of freight car product types that were marketed in “families”. Starting with the PS-1 boxcars and PS-2 covered hoppers, the PS-3 was rolled out with several offerings, the most prolific being this 70-ton, 3-outlet coal hopper with a cubic capacity of 2750 cubic feet. First purchased in 1957, Pullman-Standard not only had an effective marketing message with the “PS” series, but developed simultaneous production capability at both its Bessemer AL and Butler PA manufacturing plants, providing customers with a rapid response for coal hoppers that were produced at a rate of more than 13 cars per weekday during peak supply. Such rapid-production was made possible by new welding techniques that arose from the World War II period, although this was a relatively new innovation for open hoppers at the time.
Buyers for the PS-3 hoppers varied widely across US freight car buyers – in other words Class I railroads. The largest purchaser of the PS-3 was Louisville and Nashville, who settled on Pullman-Standard produced 2 and 3 bay hoppers as their fleet standard for coal originations prior to the 1970s. While they placed several orders for PS-3 hoppers, for a total of more than 8,000 cars(!), here is an example of one of the cars from the L&N 1959 order wearing fresh factory paint, where the cars from that period carried the “Dixie Line” paint that lasted into the 1980s.
During the 1970s, L&N began to repaint the PS-3 fleet into the slanted L&N scheme. These repaints were mixed in with the many original paint Dixie Line cars, so a “mixed” appearance was the rule if you model the 1970s.
While the Southern Railway was a prolific buyer of PS-built cars, American Car & Foundry (ACF) built Southern CNO&TP a fleet of 500 “PS-3 clones” that were very similar to the PS design. These cars fit in with Southern’s coal train appearances, where hopper cars were sourced from many divergent sources and the fleet had an “every car is different” sort of appearance. Here is one of the Southern cars, offline on ACL.
Moving to the Northeast, Boston & Maine originally purchased 300 PS-3s in lot number 8321, built in 1957. These cars endured many hard years of service and were appropriately painted black in color. In the 1970s the cars were restenciled with new marks and numbers and data as they saw shop time. Here is an example of one of those. These cars are still running around by the way: in scrap tie service to Mattawamkeag, ME on Pan Am Railways.
Finally, moving to the west, Great Northern acquired and built a fleet of coal hoppers and gondolas to move coal from online sources and for special customer applications. The PS-3s were a favorite of Great Northern’s with several hundred on the roster. The cars wore several different paint schemes with time and were repainted when they became too ratty in appearance. Here is how they looked after their 1960s repaints.
These Great Northern repaints lasted well into the BN years, where BN shops added ACI labels and COTS panels, as well as reweigh stencils.
Additionally, BN shops repainted a small number of PS-3s. On the rails, mixes of red GN and black BN cars were common.
Our newest production of these coal hoppers is shown at right. Click on the images to see model photos, pricing, and to order!
The Tangent Scale Models PS-3 is a state of the art, dimensionally-accurate scale replica with highly accurate “true-to-life” colors and precise lettering stencils that match the intricacies of the prototype. Our PS-3 coal hopper was designed from genuine PS spec documents, and includes body variations with or without end heap shields, three different styles of door mechanisms, and several handbrake variations so that your car properly matches the variations found on the prototype. Also included is our fine “near-scale” draft gear box with side “key” detail. Our ready-to-operate replica is finished with coupler lift bars accompanying Kadee® scale couplers, CNC-machined wheels, and sufficient hidden weights to ensure the model operates as good as it looks, whether running as an empty or as a load (removable coal load IS INCLUDED). Tangent Scale Models continues to bring unparalleled scale replicas to the HO scale market with every new product, and we thank you for spending your hard-earned dollars with our family-owned company.
Don’t miss out on the Tangent Scale Models Pullman-Standard PS-3 2750 coal hopper! Just like its prototype, this car will stand out extremely well on any layout situated from the 1950s to the 1980s!
Please click on the images at right for pricing, SKUs, high resolution photos, prototype photos, car number options, and/or to order!