Need help with identification of an N&W hopper photo curiosity

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Mon Aug 7 08:49:55 EDT 2017

It’s an early H3. Brent.  In the early diesel era, H3s were being scrapped rapidly, and this one won’t last much longer.


From: NW Mailing List 
Sent: Monday, August 07, 2017 6:56 AM
To: NW Mailing List 
Subject: Need help with identification of an N&W hopper photo curiosity

In the N&W facilities in color book, I found a photo that had a couple of hoppers in the background (huge surprise there, right?).  However, at the bottom of page 88 one of the cars caught my attention and has me now scratching my head, so I turn to this august body for assistance in identifying it.  (partial copy of photo attached here)

The hopper number is 4389 which should put it in the H3 class of hoppers.  From looking at the side panels, it is clearly a 3 bay car.  But the end sheets do not have the notch in the peak, although it does have a powered brake wheel.  I had always been of the understanding that the rebuilding of the HU to H3 was where the introduction of the notched end peak originated, and although some wartime limitations resulted in the retention of the vertical shaft brake system, all of the pictures of those that I have seen still had the notched end peaks.   This end does look like the end used on the HU, but with the power brake wheel, so I am puzzled...

Sincere thanks,



Dr. J. Brent Greer


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