The operating hopper car has been featured recently in HO Collector. Co-editor Tony Lucio covered several operating hoppers and accessories in his “The First and the Famous: HO’s Operating Hoppers” article in our 3rd Quarter 2020 edition. Coverage of Ulrich Models in HO Collector‘s 4th Quarter 2020 and 1st Quarter 2021 included that company’s operating hopper cars and related accessories.
Reader Jeff Lee of Plainfield, N.J., shared an image of a curious hopper car with operating characteristics and asked who made it, what was it, and shouldn’t it be included in the roster of this type of HO-scale rolling stock. Indeed this model does deserve inclusion in the operating hopper club. Produced by Model Die Casting/Roundhouse in the mid-1970s, this sand & gravel hopper car is a plastic kit with operating doors. The kit boasted snap-together construction, came decorated in a variety of road names, and sold for $3.75 when introduced.