Jan 31, 2002
The H42 and H44 are nearly exact duplicates. The H42 is a 3510 cuft car built by American Car & Foundry around 1963 and 1964. PRR purchased their H42's during October-December 1963. The EL purchased their 25 cars in October 1964. NYC also purchased the ACF CF3510 but I don't know the dates yet.
These cars eventually found their way into Penn Central and Conrail, and some still survive today. From what I can tell, there are no variations between any of these roads' cars other than paint schemes, so the Atlas model should work fine for any of them. Conrail considers these cars to be 3500 cuft cars.
Between 1964 and 1965 ACF built a variation of their 3510 using a 50 degree slope sheet instead of the typical 45 degree sheet. This resulted in a few inch increase in car length and an increase in capacity to 3700 cuft. The PRR purchased this model between August and September 1964 and assigned it the class H44. They were the only predecessor to purchase the CF3700.
The main spotting difference between H42 and H44 covered hoppers, from what I can tell, is that the H42 has 11 roofwalf supports on the hopper section, while the H44 has 9.
Conrail: There are three major H42/H44 CR paint schemes I know of: oxide with large logo, gray with medium-sized logo, and gray with very small logo. Sometimes placement of logo varies, as on CR 884690. Generally speaking, the large logo is the original CR paint scheme since 1976. The small logo scheme has been applied since at least 1986. The medium logo has been applied since at least the mid-80s as well.
Predecessors: If you model the period from 1976 to the late 1980s, then you would find H42s and H44s running in original schemes from PRR, NYC, PC, and EL, along with various CR 'paint-outs.' By the late 1990s, however, the number of cars in original schemes has drastically dwindled. For example, in 1996 there were only two PRR H44s still in service. Check the photo of PRR 240397 for one of the survivors!
The detailed rosters below are based on a January 1977 and an October 1991 Official Railway Equipment Register and reflect those roadnames that were in service at that time. I have made every effort to check them for accuracy, though cars that were taken off roster might still appear in service several years later. Plus many errors crept into Conrail rolling stock fleet over the years. Please use these rosters only as a guide for your modeling efforts, combining them with photographic evidence.
During the early years of the railroad, as reflected in the 1977 rosters below, Conrail had higher priorities than repainting their massive freight car fleet. As a result, there were usually more freight cars still numbered and lettered for the predecessors than for Conrail. If you model these years, as I do, knowing the ratio of predecessor to Conrail lettered cars is essential if you're striving to be as prototypically accurate as possible.
At the end of every line in the rosters below is the total number of cars in that series that were lettered and numbered in that particular roadname. Often we do not know which cars these were, nor do we know if they were total repaints or simply stencil jobs. This applies primarily to Conrail and Penn Central cars since they had cars belonging to their predecessor roads.
If you compare the following series of Conrail numbered H44's (CR 884665-884843) in the 1977 roster to the same series of cars in the 1991 roster, you will notice that during the 1980s and 1990s numerous H42's were placed in it. This made creating an accurate 1991 H44 roster nearly impossible to create. Instead of making mistakes, I have opted not to include CR numbered H44's in the 1991 roster. I have also found the H44 roster published in the February 1997 Railroad Model Craftsman article is also wrong. You will need to rely on photographic evidence if you are modeling the 1980s or 1990s and wish to have H44's on your layout.
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