HO Scale PRR H21 Hopper Car 





         Thirty-nine thousand. 

That’s how many H21 class hoppers were built by the Pennsylvania Railroad. To put that in some perspective, that’s more cars in one class than the Missouri Pacific, Nickel Plate or Rock Island had cars of ALL types on their rosters! Put another way, through the 1950s one of every two PRR hoppers was an H21! This is a car that every modeler needs!

The H21 was a four-bay design with many construction cues from the smaller GLa hopper. Designed first as a 50-ton coke car, the H21 class cars were built between 1909 and 1914. Very quickly it was realized that they would make great coal hoppers, and the first cars were converted to H21A with the addition of 70-ton trucks. Additional groups of H21As followed. Early batches were built with clamshell doors, but the design changed to four sawtooth-style traditional bay doors, and all early cars were quickly rebuilt into this configuration with more than half completed by 1932. In the 1930s the PRR added a stiffening chord along the top edges of the car sides on its H21As, but kept them in the same classification. 

Starting in 1948 the PRR rebuilt a number of H21As with strength and center sills and power hand brakes. They were reclassified as H21E. Externally, the H21E could be identified by the longer top stiffening chords (as against the H21A) and their power hand brakes. H21A cars were equipped with Carmer uncoupling levers, while H21Es and H21Gs had more modern underslung cut levers.H21 Hoppers. The various classes of H21 hoppers travelled throughout the country in what the Pennsy termed “mineral service” (coal, ore, gravel, limestone... etc.). They proved amazingly long-lived - there were still more than 3,000 still in service in 1970, and 143 still in service at the advent of Conrail in 1976! Many were also converted into various work cars, including ballast cars and even tunnel clearance cars.

Rapido’s new HO scale model will be available in the two most common versions - H21A and H21E. This is the first time that the H21E version has ever been offered. That sub-class alone included over 8,500 cars! 









   The Rapido Trains HO scale H21 Hoppers features:

  •  Accurately scaled from prototype blueprints and photos
  • K or AB brake systems as appropriate
  • Die-cast chassis for great operating weight 
  • Full inside and outside rivet detail
  • Separate wire grab irons
  • Correct detail variations for each sub-class, including center sill, sides, ends and details
  •  Rapido semi-scale metal couplers
  •  Free-rolling trucks with turned metal wheels
  • Accurate paint and decoration                    


  So what makes ours different?

    Yes, H21 models have been available before. So what makes ours worth the upgrade?

  • First-ever offering of the H21E!
  • State-of-the-art modern tooling with crisp details.
  •  Full and correct interior detail, quite visible on an HO hopper.
  • Full separate grab irons and details (rather than molded on) making them comparable with most current freight car models.
  • All-metal semi-scale couplers provide improved appearance and operation.
  • Free rolling turned metal wheels installed at the factory.




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Order direct or through your favourite dealer.


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