This set was produced to introduce a more comprehensive set for these classes, which hadn't been done by previous manufacturers.
In 1923 the N&W ventured away from 2-bay hopper car design by creating the HU class, a 4-bay 70 ton hopper design. By 1928 14,000 HU and similar HUa’s were in regular service on the N&W and its design and structural efficiency would set the standard for hopper design into the late 1950’s. Significant rebuilding of the remaining fleet of over 13,000 HU and HUa’s into the H3 class began at the Roanoke Shops in 1941. These were rebuilt with 3 hopper bays, 9 side stakes, heap shields notched at end ladders and power brakes. The rebuild program continued through 1944. Increases in coal traffic demanded additional cars so the N&W contracted building of an H2 class, with all delivered between 1941 and 1942. Some of the more robust cars lasted into the late-1960’s.
This sheet contains enough data to 2 cars, 2 H2 or 2 H3. There are 7 different reweigh/repack dates cover locations system wide and multiple re-weigh dates ranging from 1941 through to the late 1950’s. The cars initially had 17” N&W initials applied to their sides, which was changed to 24” tall letters in 1952.
The H2 and H3 have been done in plastic as a kit by Eastern Car Works, however both can also be modeled by bashing a BLI H2a.
For references in regard to the N&W's H2 and H3 Open Hopper Car fleet and modeling it using the ECW kit please consult The Arrow, Vol. 19 No. 4, Pages 12-17 published by the N&W Historical Society.
A thank you for assistance in creating this set goes to James Brewer and the Archives personnel of the Norfolk & Western Historical Society.
Artwork is shown in black for clarification purposes. Actual decals are white for applying to a black/gray colored car.