Road Number Specific ScaleTrains
HO GATC 4180 Airslide® Covered Hopper, WP
- Billboard “Western Pacific” lettering
- Era Late 1970’s to early 1990’s
- Morton Roofwalk
- Phase HC
- 4” side column post
- Square tube style horizontal End Braces
- Low corner grab iron ladders
- Low mounted handbrake
- Roping eyes integral to bolster plates
- Gravity outlet gates
- Officially licensed by GATX
- GATX provided original blueprint copies
- All-new model
- Four (4) different road numbers
- Correct phase details per roadnumber
- Apex (slotted) or Morton (round-hole) roofwalk per specific prototype
- Photo-etched stainless steel see-through running board with plastic grab irons
- Photo-etched stainless steel see-through end crossover platforms
- End details, bracing, grab irons specific to body phase
- Body side post style (shape) different depending on body phase
- Gravity or Gravity-Pneumatic outlets
- Factory-applied trainline piping
- Brake plumbing with separate air reservoir, control valve, and retainer valve details plus separately applied wireform plumbing.
- Fully detailed brake linkage system with multiple wireform brake rods and photoetched brackets.
- Durable die-cast metal semi-scale standard Type E couplers
- Highly-detailed Barber S-2 100-ton trucks with finely rendered raised foundry data, rotating bearing caps, side bearing detail, and truck-mounted brake beams
- 36” machined metal wheels
- Minimum radius: 18”
- Recommended radius: 22”
All Rivet Counter Freight Cars Feature
- Fully assembled
- Factory-applied metal grab irons
- Factory-applied coupler cut levers
- Trainline hoses
- Intricate brake plumbing
- Semi-scale draft gear box
- Printing and lettering legible even under magnification
- Color matched to existing Tru-Color Paint colors whenever possible
- Accurately profiled .110" wheels
- Machined metal axles
- Weighted to Industry standards for reliable operation
- Operates on Code 70, 83 and 100 rail
- Packaging safely stores model
In 1963, GATC introduced the 4180 Cubic Foot Airslide covered hopper to their catalog. Designed for shippers of such commodities as flour, starch, and sugar, these two-bay cars featured ten round loading hatches, and four outlets. As with their other Airslide designs, it featured their patented “Airslide” unloading system, which used pressurized air to aerate the special fabric lining of the bays, effectively fluidizing the commodity and allowing it to flow more easily during unloading.
As with most any locomotive or rolling stock, the 4180cf Airslides underwent production changes over their production span. These changes, typically the result of improvements in fabrication, changes in railroad regulations, or changes in vendor components, are unofficially termed as “phases” by railroad enthusiasts. Per noted freight car historian Eric Neubauer’s definitive work on Airslide covered hoppers, 4180cf Airslide production broke down as follows:
Phase “HAT” – These Airslides featured full-height ladders at the side corners, hat-section side posts, high handbrakes, and “Z” section horizontal end braces, and wire-loop roping eyes. Built from 2/63 – 5/64.
Phase “TZH” – This evolution to the 4180cf design was similar to the previous HAT cars, but with a change to the truck centers, and a change to bolster jacking plates with integral roping eyes, in place of the wire loops. Built from 6/65 – 3/66.
Phase “TZL” – Outwardly identical to Phase “TZH” cars, these Airslides featured low-mounted handbrakes and half-height ladder grabs at the side corners, to comply with changes to freight car appliance regulations. Built from 9/66 – 1/69.
Phase “TZC” – This phase introduced notable changes to the 4180cf design, mainly the change of the side posts (except those at the bolsters) to a fabricated square-column style. The posts at the bolsters remained “hat-section”, as on previous production. This phase was produced during the first half of 1966.
Phase “HZ” – This phase progression from Phase TZC saw the posts at the bolsters change from hat-section posts, to “I” beam style posts. Produced for a brief period from 8/69 to 1/70.
Phase “HC” – The final 4180cf Airslide variant, this version featured square tube-style horizontal end braces, in place of the “Z” style of previous versions. They were produced from 10/70 until 10/80.
Production of the 4180cf Airslide would continue until 1980, when it was superseded by the larger 4566cf Airslide design (also available from ScaleTrains.com). Most of the 4180cf Airslides built would continue in service into the 2000s, until age, and obsolescence thanks to larger Airslides and newer Pressure-Differential designs, slowly thinned their ranks.