NARC - N Scale - NSC Potash Service 4275 Cu. Ft. 3 Bay Covered Hopper - Version 1 - Canpotex (PTEX) (Gray w/Black Lettering, Green Logo, Yellow Visibility Stripes) 24 Road Numbers Available In 4 Different 6 Car Sets (A-D) (SKU 11-12001002)
Available On: February 1, 2016
Version 1 Car
Early Version Cars - Sets A & B
Late Version Cars - Sets C & D
Introduced in 1999 by National Steel Car, this car is seen in large numbers across Canada and the United States. It was developed specifically to address the need for additional rail transport capacity caused be the growing Potash market.
Previously, the majority of Canadian Potash rail transport was accomplished with the larger Hawker Siddeley 4550 cu ft Cylindrical Hoppers and similar cars from National Steel Car and Marine Industries.
Though the car is a newer design, it has less capacity than the Hawker Siddeley style cars. However it makes up for this in a shorter car length of only 47 feet versus the Hawker Siddeley style cars at 59 feet. This allows a train of these cars to carry more Potash then a train of comparable length made up of the Hawker Siddeley style hoppers.
These car operates at a gross rail load of 286,000 pounds, the current maximum limit. However, they are actually designed for a gross rail load of 315,000 pounds. They are currently produced with 100 ton nominal capacity trucks to suit present 286,000 lb. gross rail loading. If the maximum weight limit is increased, these cars can be upgraded with 125 ton trucks allowing for maximum cargo capacity going forward.
These cars are currently operated in large numbers by both Canpotex and the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, and in smaller numbers by other operators. To date, over 7,000 have been produced in six versions. These cars are seen on a daily basis traveling across the Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, BNSF, CSX, NS and Union Pacific rail networks.
The first version of this car was developed and built by National Steel Car beginning in 1999. These cars were operated by Canpotex and were originally owned by GE Rail Services and had PTEX reporting marks. Three groups of cars were produced.
These were distinctive with their alternating white and red reflective tape along the entire length of the cars sill. This paint scheme of the car was seen from 1999 to 2004 when the last of these cars were updated with yellow visibility marks instead of the red and white reflective tape.
Since that time, some of these cars have been sold to Agrium. These cars have been repainted in the current Agrium scheme and have NAHX reporting marks.
Modeling use for prototype accuracy:
Version 1 Car Prototype Features:
For more information about the National Steel Car Potash Service 3 Bay Covered Hopper and their use by Canpotex & PotashCorp, including prototype videos & modeling notes, click on the links below:
NSC Potash Service Hopper Guide
Canpotex Hopper Reference Page
PotashCorp Hopper Reference Page
(Photo by: PWRS)