Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rewind: Modelling Spilled Grain on Hopper Cars

(Another in my new rewind series, bringing old posts back to the top, like this one from 2009.)

I was in Nashville, TN earlier this year. Luckily, my hotel was close to Nashville Union Station, and the CSX mainline. I took some time to explore the area, and caught a few trains heading under the Broadway St. bridge.

As one train traveled beneath me, I noticed spilled grain on a number of covered hoppers. I realized, at that moment, that this was something I had never modelled, or seen modelled, for that matter.

So I "spilled" some grain (Woodland Scenics yellow grass, actually) on a covered hopper or two, as below, using a bit of diluted glue to affix it to the car.

It's just a small effect, but I think it does an OK job of capturing a bit of the prototype.

Spilled grain on a model.


  1. Hi John,

    I've seen the act in progress. Quite a few CP 40-foot grain boxcars with a slow leak around the door, slowly depositing their lading on the ballast. Then there are the bears in the Rockies who were attracted trackside by the feast, at great danger to themselves. When a leaking covered hopper car is stationary for awhile in a yard, quite a pile forms.

    While looking for the listing of the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir TV special (to be broadcast starting in 12 minutes on PBS), I found out that a John Longhurst was the organist in Salt Lake City for over 30 years. Any relation?


  2. Sawdust might work well for this application too. The grass seems a bit on the brightly colored side.