2013-10-28

BNSF Heritage Hoppers

Heritage fleets just keep on getting bigger. This year, BNSF has finally gotten with the program and produced a half-hearted "heritage hopper" harem.

BNSF Heritage freight car?
Photo by John Csoka

It's almost as if they looked at UP and NS and said, "Oh, alright. Here. But don't expect us to paint them snazzy colors or anything."

What? You mean like these?

UP Heritage Hopper Set
UP Heritage Hopper Set
Both photos by Keith Schmidt.

The models were created by MTH, but probably could be adapted by the prototypic Union Pacific. A look at some concepts from the model railroading world might just show us what's possible for BNSF to try, if they're ever so inclined. In particular, Lionel (yes, that Lionel, 3 rails and all) designed some passable heritage designs that would catch anyone's eye.

Burlington 1848

Burlington Northern 1970


Frisco 1876


Great Northern 1889


Northern Pacific 1870


Santa Fe 1996
Above 6 photos Lionel.com LLC. (Catalog)

As with Union Pacific, the road numbers of the locomotives signify a year. In this case, it's based on the year the railroad started (save Santa Fe), rather than the year they joined the system. While there are no prototypical or "real" engines for these models (at least, not yet), I have to admit that when the design is scaled up, they look pretty sharp. To wit:



Which is your favorite? What about a Colorado & Southern locomotive? Do you think UP should start painting heritage hoppers based on the success of the Heritage Fleet?◊