Morgantown and Kingwood hopper project.

Since 1990, our group has discussed producing a special run of hoppers painted and lettered for the Morgantown & Kingwood Railroad. The project often stalled because the prototype details have been sketchy. Over time, we accumulated enough information to present the correct car numbers and car builders of the 1000 car fleet of USRA twin hoppers delivered to the M&K in 1920. These may have been the last new cars received by the railroad before the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad bought the shortline.

Our club hosted an NMRA regional convention in April 2006, so the time was right to produce these M&K hoppers as a prototype-inspired offering. Artwork was created by Accurail using details we supplied; a couple of old photographs of M&K hopper cars, a vintage 1911 M&K railroad pass, and lettering guidelines of the 1920 period. After a few early versions and alterations, we agreed on the final artwork, gave approval to Accurail and commenced production.

Thee official name of the West Virginian Railway Company

Final art for the Morgantown & Kingwood hopper project.

As of October 3, 2007, our M&K hopper stock is sold out.

Thanks to all who supported this model project.

Morgantown & Kingwood Hopper Prototype Information
M&K 4000-4399 - built 1919 by Ralston Steel Car Co. - Quantity: 400 cars
M&K 4400-4599 - built 1919 by Standard Steel Car Co. - Quantity: 200 cars
M&K 4600-4999 - built 1919 by Standard Steel car Co. - Quantity: 400 cars

The James Lane article on USRA cars (R&LHS Bull. No 128, Spring 73) reports on page 33 in Table 4, that M&K 4000-4399 were originally assigned to the Lehigh Valley as 27001-27400, and M&K 4400-4999 were originally assigned to the Lehigh Valley as 27701-28300.

There is speculation that the Lehigh Valley refused their USRA hopper car allotment, so these were reallocated to the M&K in the very early 1920's. No written proof has been found to corroborate this possibility.

Special thanks to Terry Arbogast, Richard Hendrickson, Larry Kline, James D. Thompson, and Robert Witt for contributing several prototype details in this hopper car puzzle.

A worn and weary hopper hauling another 50 tons of coal.

Club members have built many of these Morgantown & Kingwood hoppers. The example above was built by Jim Kubanick. An air line was added below the side sill. Jim also weathered the car and added chalk marks.


In the summer of 2002, our club produced a special freight car for our club layout. We contracted with Accurail to custom paint and letter a batch of HO scale USRA twin hoppers for our ficticious West Virginian Railway club railroad. In addition to the image below, these hoppers show up in other pictures on our website. These cars are sold out.

Our first hopper project from 2002.