Would like more info on Whopper Hopper, Please?

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I just returned from a business trip to Rocky Mount, NC and discovered the "Whopper Hopper" without knowing what it was. I would like to know more about the history of this car and last time it was used in revenue service. Also, are there any recent updates on its restoration? What purpose did the end platforms on the hopper serve?And why were the six-axle trucks and end platforms painted orange? Thanks in advance for any answers.

Jeremy Wright Knoxville, TN

-- Jeremy R Wright (jeremyandpenny@att.net), July 20, 2002


A past issue of "Lines South" has an excellent article about the car.

-- Joseph Oates (jlosal@mindspring.com), July 23, 2002.

Hello Jeremy,

The Whopper Hopper was an experiment by ACL in the '60's. It is a large stainless steel hopper that has four internal sections allowing different commodities to be carried in one hopper. It was apparently done to get around some carload shipping regs that were in place at the time. It did not work out in the long run, and was simply used as a large hopper car. CSX retired it this last year, and Allan Paul, our Rail Division Assistant Director for Operations, saved it from being scrapped. However, it needs funds to be restored, and that drive is on. Allan Paul was also the savior of the ACL 501, which now is on loan and display in the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer. Not surprisingly, Mr. Paul was also a driving force behind the restoration of the Spencer Shops as well. The Operations Branch of the Rail Division is also the source for many of the depot restoration projects around the State. We all owe Allan Paul a great debt of thanks for his many efforts in rail preservation. I hope this helps. Marc Hamel, NCDOT Rail Div.

-- Marc L. Hamel, NCDOT Rail Div. (gigsup@aol.com), July 20, 2002.

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