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The development of the hopper car went along with the development of automated handling of such commodities, with automated loading and unloading facilities. There are two main types of hopper car: open and covered. Covered hopper cars are used for bulk cargo that must be protected from the elements (chiefly rain) such as grain, sugar, and fertilizer. Open cars are used for commodities such as coal, which can get wet and dry out with less harmful effect.

USA Trains Hoppers 3 Bay Coal
These 3 Bay Coal Hoppers from USA Trains celebrates the rich history of the icon of the industrial revolution on the railways. These self-clearing, open-top triple hoppers, are typical of such cars, used to carry ore, sand, gravel, and coal.
We offer gift certificates for the model railroader in your family or choose one of our train sets. You can find more of our Bachmann Train sets, including Li'l Big Haulers, by going to the Train Starter Sets section.