Freight Car Friday – 1905 Common Design Hoppers

Lionel Trains

We recently looked at the Pennsylvania Railroad’s GLa hoppers, the inspiration for Lionel’s upcoming new models. These well-designed cars were also the inspiration for many prototype railroads as well.

plans The 1905 Common Design cars came from a variety of builders, but all shared similar traits and heritage. The plans shown here are from Standard Steel Car.

With an urgent need for an enormous quantity of steel coal cars, the Pennsylvania Railroad had to farm out production across several builders. No single company at the time could have produced all of the cars needed fast enough to meet the railroad’s demands. A consequence of these actions was that most of the major steel car builders now had copies of the new design which they were more than happy to repurpose for other customers.

The cars which followed are today collectively referred to as the “1905 Common Design.” 1905 because this was…

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