Try this site Greg for prototype dimensions. This hopper has a 100t capacity tho and not be what your after length wise etc but possibly help with the wheel to bolster height which may be standard
It seems quite hard, to my eyes, to relate any of the pictures, model or 1:1 version, to each other.
The 1:1 GN car has a larger capacity than the USAT model and its sides are slab whereas the model has a taper at the top part of the car. The 1.32 MDC, whilst spartan, does seem to resemble the prototype somewhat in body shape more than the USAT one.
I did wonder if they are, in fact, the same thing: is the Colorado USAT model that of a special specification for a mineral line whereas the GN a slightly larger bodied version for a Class 1 railroad. I will be interested in the outcome of this enquiry.
I have just made some measurements of three different pictures of ore cars. I measured a prototype in the site suggested by Gary Yarde, the USAT train site, and your latest picture showing the MDC and USAT cars. My basic conclusion is that the USAT car is either too short, or too high. It doesn't match up well with the other two cars. I have scaled up all of the measurements to real feet. I assumed that each car was 24 feet in length (real or scale).
Rail top to top of car:
Bottom of frame to top of rail :
The area of the rectangle making up the entire side of the car frame:
I also noticed that in your picture, the MDC car is only 1/16 of an inch shorter (real measurement, not scaled). Those two cars are very similar in length. There isn't a 10% difference in length if one is supposed to be 1:32 and the other 1:29.
My guess is that you would have to lower the car body on the USAT by about 1/3 of an inch to make it compatible with the prototype height above the rail.
I have always thought that the USAT cars didn't look quite right, now I know why. They are most likely too tall for the ore cars used in the Minnesota Iron Ranges.
I have the LGB ore cars, great detail and can be close coupled as a set. Railhead height is 4-3/4" and ore box length is 8-1/2". Kevin Strong reviewed these in the March 2006 Garden Railways. I purchased the set $150 for 4, need to replace plastic wheels though. It would be nice to see all the ore cars in a lineup. Looking forward to running my LGB's outside next spring.
I looked at a picture of the LGB ore cars. I am convinced they are different from the USAT and the MDC. The LGB cars appear to have the proper relationship of the wheels/trucks to the body ends, like the MDC and the height looked better.
Right now, they look like the closest for 1:29. Good price for you! I see them for over $200 on ebay most times for the set of 4. I'd buy them all day at the price you got.
the biggest problem with these cars, is that they are the Michigan style ore cars, and the GN as well as the Missabe (DM&IR) had the Minnesota style ore cars. Note how the model has that nasty platform above the couplers, this is common of the michigan ore cars. these were used by railroads such as the milwaukee, and C&NW. Both roads also had some minnesota style cars twards the 1970's and 1980's, most comming from the DM&IR as they sold off excess rolling stock. a good example of mixed ore cars is on the LS&I.
I was think'in, if you placed the gunderson trucks on the hor car maybe it would sit lower? I use the gunderson trucks on many of my LGB items and it sets them about 3/16" lower on the truck.
just a thought.
Posted By chuck n on 12/17/2008 7:45 AM
Can someone please post pictures of the Michigan style ore cars that Sean mentioned. I was not aware that there were differences on either side of Lake Superior.
Here's a link to a Walthers HO scale Michigan Style..Ore Car
I can't remember the part number but Treeman here on MLS is our local club dealer and he knows which ones I use. I 'd just use the steel wheels that come with the car, they are all USAT parts.
Again, I am just thinking here. I have thought about buying one ore car just to work on. Also with that small of car I'd buy 820 scale couplers to set them closer.
In Gregs photo
it almost looks like you could cut the spacer thingy off the top of thr truck to lower the car.