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NARC - N Scale - Great River Valley System (GRVS) N-Trak Club Car - NSC Potash Service 4275 Cu. Ft. 3 Bay Covered Hopper - Version 1 - GRVS (Gray w/Black Lettering, Green/Black/White Logo, Red/White Visibility Stripes) (SKU 11-12001004)

Available On: February 1, 2016

North American Railcar Corp. will produce the 4257 Cu Ft. National Steel Car 3 bay (Based on the Canpotex (PTEX) first version) potash hopper (in GRVS livery) for The Great River Valley System (GRVS) N-Trak club of Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota area.  The club has about 50 members and meets monthly in various locations around the Twin Cities.

The GRVS is one of the most active N-Trak clubs in the country with 12 to 18 shows a year promoting model railroading and supporting various charities.   GRVS recently joined with “Choo Choo Bob” (Medcraft) to sponsor an annual model train show in St. Paul, Minnesota, drawing over 4,000 attendees in its second year.

The profit from the sale of these highly detailed potash hoppers will be used by the club to further model railroading in the Upper Midwest.

This would be a fantastic addition to any train and supports a great N-Trak Club!

Special Notes: 

  • This car will have space to add 4 additional MicroScale numbers (after the "3") that the end user can apply.  Now you can have multiple GRVS Club cars with different numbers.
  • The other side of the car has "T-Traking at its best" replacing "N-Traking at its best"

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.

  • 600 cars were built between March 1999 and June 1999 with road numbers PTEX 20000 to PTEX 20599
  • 1320 more cars were built between November 1999 and April 2000 and have road numbers PTEX 20600 to PTEX 21919
  • 95 additional cars were subsequently produced and have road numbers PTEX 21920 to PTEX 22015 

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:

  • The early Canpotex PTEX scheme was by phased out by the end of 2004, so these cars are suitable for modeling from late 1999 to late 2004.

Version 1 Car Prototype Features:

  • Car length of 47 feet
  • Car capacity of 4275 cu. ft.
  • Diamond roofwalk tread pattern
  • Short cross roofwalk panels between full length side roofwalk panels
  • Flat roof hatches
  • 11 running board supports
  • 6 side panel sheets
  • Full length side sills
  • Oval shaped opening in sill floor plate over outer end of trucks
  • A car end configuration 1
  • B car end configuration 1
  • Wraparound ladder rungs
  • Rounded shape gaps between hopper bays
  • Barber S2 DH braced trucks

Model Features:

  • Fully researched and prototypically accurate details
  • Many separately applied detail parts, including photo etched brass and lost wax metal castings
  • Accurate painting and lettering, including correct graphics, fonts and locations per prototype
  • Micro-Trains couplers
  • High performance trucks and metal wheelsets for reliable operation
  • Properly weighted for smooth tracking and superior performance
  • Each 6 car set includes 6 unique road numbers that will never be produced again.
  • 4 different 6 car sets A - D

Road Numbers:

  • Set A: 20016, 20024, 20029, 20036, 20054 & 20055
  • Set B: 20060, 20068, 20075, 20082, 20084 & 20090
  • Set C: 21000, 21003, 21053, 21058, 21068 & 21077
  • Set D: 21093, 21150, 21159,  21164, 21175 & 21189

More Information

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

$30.00 US