Chutes and Cubes: Intermountain’s Latest Rolling Stock Releases

Hoppers and boxcars make up the bulk of most manifest freights across North America, with the PS2 and Gunderson High Cube being some of the most frequently seen types. In this article, we’re taking a look at the new Intermountain release of these cars in HO (and N scale for the High Cubes!). 

The 4785 PS2-CD Covered Hopper

The Prototype

Since the 1960s the Pullman Standard 4785 PS2 Hopper has been a staple of freight consists across North America. Primarily used in grain service, the type was designed to carry loads as varied as chemical and mineral products, in addition to agricultural materials. First rolling off the production line in 1967 at Pullman Standard’s Pennsylvania factory, the 4785 differed to other 3-Bay PS2 models, featuring low side sills and a larger overall design. As with other covered hoppers, various roof hatch styles were available, from full length troughs to three shorter troughs, or much smaller round hatches, and customers were able to choose the option which best suited their needs. While not as prevalent today as other Pullman Standard designs such as the 4750, the 4785 remains in service across the continent, and can still be found on both unit grain consists and in mixed freights.

The Model

Intermountain’s 4785 PS2-CD is one of only a handful of ready to run examples of this car ever to be produced in HO. This release focuses on late style examples produced towards the end of their 5 year production span.

Seven paint schemes are available to choose from in this release, reflecting both railroad and industrial owners spanning the lifetime of these cars, from Penn Central’s vibrant mint green scheme, to the modern liveries of CSX and Norfolk Southern. All examples display accurate colors and sharp printing. Painted and printed details include authentic logos and car information, as well as warning notices and barcodes (on era-appropriate models).

Manufactured with injection molded plastic, the shells demonstrate sturdy, well balanced construction, with an internal weight giving the cars reliable performance on the rails. Small details have been produced in etched metal, and the free-rolling metal wheels allow for excellent rolling performance. Knuckle couplers additionally come preinstalled, allowing compatibility with most other HO scale rolling stock.

All in all, this is a great car which will fit in well on any railroad set between the early 1970s and today!

The Gunderson 50′ High Cube Boxcar

The Prototype

High cube boxcars first made their appearance in the early 1960s, as a way for customers to fit more products or larger bulk items into a single boxcar, thereby reducing the amount of cars they would need to use. Gunderson introduced this particular design not too much later, with the first examples hitting the rails later in the decade. Built to carry a wide variety of materials, these high cubes are most commonly used in the transportation of paper and wood products, and other dry goods. All high cube cars are classified as “excess height cars” which restrict their usage to routes with a certain overhead clearance, without low bridges or other obstacles. Despite their age, these cars remain a common sight on railroads across North America to this day.

The Model

Intermountain’s latest Gunderson High Cube is also the latest model featured in their “Value Line” of affordable rolling stock. Don’t let the title fool you though, these are well detailed cars, and will look great alongside other second generation or modern rolling stock.

This release focuses on Gunderson’s double door model, and comes available painted and lettered for 10 prototypical railroads in HO, and 11 in N scale. Examples range from original operators such as the Cotton Belt or Milwaukee Road, to modern owners including BNSF and the Minnesota, Dakota and Western short line. All liveries have been authentically replicated, and display the same level of paint quality as any other Intermountain freight car, with accurate tones and sharp detail printing. Multiple paint schemes have been replicated for select road names, including patched examples, and early and late representations (such as the Golden West Service cars, which come with either a factory fresh appearance, or with faded paint).

All examples have been built with injection molded plastic construction, with two body styles to choose from. Depending on the road you choose, you can purchase either a peaked roof or flat roof car. Additional separately applied plastic details are also featured on the model, including car end ladders, steps, and underside features. Just as with all Intermountain freight cars, free rolling metal wheels come preinstalled, as well as knuckle style couplers.

Explore our full line of HO and N scale Intermountain freight cars here!