ACF Center Flow Covered Hoppers

Discussion in 'Covered Hoppers' started by yardmaster, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    See Rich Lawler's photo from Lindenwood, 1984:

    SL-SF 78707

    Anyone running any models of these in SL-SF reporting marks? While digging through some of the oldies in the workshop, I ran across the disassembled remnants of one of these from a kit I purchased years ago. Not even sure who the manufacturer is?

    Can anyone provide build date and series numbers? I think some cleanup and reassembly and some finer details might turn it into a fine little model to go with my one SW1500 dismal.

    Best Regards,
  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    In HO, the Intermountain kit is your best bet.

  3. pensive

    pensive Member Supporter

    According to Molo's Frisco/Katy Color Guide to Freight Equipment, page 100, the Frisco received 250 0f these hoppers from ACF in February, 1975. They were numbered 78500-78749. In addition to the Intermountain model, Ramax also made one long ago.

  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The Ramax kit makes into a nice car, but it is an early version of the ACF CenterFlow and has some detail differences vs the Frisco's 78500 series cars. The Intermountain car is your best bet for the SLSF version.

  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Thank, Ken and Rich. I'm wondering if I have the bits/pieces of the Ramax kit? The box is long gone. Keith R., I think I may have purchased it from TJ's at the William St. location near St. Mary's.

    Ken, a good question for you may be: "what type of trucks?" I know a wee bit about steam era trucks but am only a little better than thoroughly ignorant on later-era trucks!

    Best Regards,
  6. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    The trucks are definitely going to be a 100 ton design, probably a Barber S-2 or Ride Control truck. I'm no expert, but after looking through some photos, I'd go with the Barber S-2.

    The old Walthers standard modern freight truck is pretty close once you add 36" wheels. The old Proto2000 freight truck, such as what you'd get with their covered hoppers, has a flatter top than what's on this series of Frisco hoppers. I mention that because now that Walthers owns the Proto2000 line I'm not sure what truck they include with a given model or what they sell separately.

    Exactrail makes a beautiful 100 ton ride control truck that's equalized. Not an exact match, but a beautiful model in its own right. Not that it matters because I don't see it for sale on their site right now. However, be assured it does exist because it's under some of the covered hoppers I have from them.

    The old self-exploding Intermountain equalized trucks and the revised one-piece trucks seem to represent a Barber S-2, but the old ones fall apart and the new ones have a pretty beefy section above the journals that doesn't look right for many models, especially this one.

    Athearn Genesis makes a 100 ton truck (G4595 and G4599) that's fairly close to these trucks, but they are a bit pricey. The plain old Athearn RTR truck (not to be confused with the atrocity they sold with blue box models) doesn't have the detail that the Genesis trucks have, but it looks the part better than the the more expensive trucks, at least for this prototype.

    Accurail makes a very nice ride control truck with a very similar sideframe to the trucks on the Frisco hopper, but it must be a 70 ton version because the axles are spaced a bit closer together than any of the other 100 ton trucks I mentioned above.*

    If it were me, I'd probably go with the Walthers trucks. It's got some nice axle end and spring detail, nice proportions, and Intermountain wheels roll well in them once they are tuned with a Reboxx tool. If I could glue the old Intermountain trucks together (they're a slippery plastic that doesn't like glue) and count on them to stay together, I'd go with them.

    And if none of these options work and I obsess about it long enough, I'll 3D print some correct trucks!

    * 100 ton trucks have a 70" wheelbase and 36" wheels while 70 ton trucks have a 68" wheelbase and 33" wheels.
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I'm on the road, so I don't have my files to check.

    But, I agree with r c h; this was primarily designed to be a cement car, so a heavy load rating is logical - 100 ton trucks.
    either ASF A-3 Ride Control trucks (Frisco's favorite!), roller bearing, or the same truck as a Barber S-2, also roller bearing.

  8. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Thanks to you both, Ryan and Ken. I appreciate the insight and information. Ken, I'm starting to recognize mentions of the ASF A-3 Ride Control Trucks. Maybe I'll eventually start to pick up a thing or two in few years, truck wise!

    Best Regards,
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    The SLSF also found satisfaction with the Barber S-2, but the ASF A-3 was their favorite.

  10. r c h

    r c h Ft Worth - Tulsa Engineer

    I didn't know that, Ken. Thanks for the insight.

    Given that information, and the fact that the only real evidence I have making me lean toward the Barber S-2 is the shape of the holes on either side of the spring pack as seen in a photo on railcarphotos, I would recommend the Exactrail 100 ton ASF Ride Control trucks, if you can find them. They are gorgeous.
  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    You can usually tell it's an ASF A-3 as you can see the wedges above the spring package.


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