The Pullman Standard PS-2 covered hopper is one of time most ubiquitous pieces of rolling stock from the 60's, so much so in fact that other companies started making clones of the design. Some say this practice was granted by Pullman Standard, others say it was just competition for business. Spotting differences were subtle, such as a different hopper bays just below the sill, or the spacing of the hatches on the roof. The cars that Greenville Steel Car Company built for the Erie back in the late 1950's were indeed hard to tell from a true PS design. Like many railroads, the Erie had 2 paint schemes on their covered hoppers; one was all black, and the other was a reefer gray.
Conrail 876429 is based on a prototype photo that was taken in 1993 of a similar car in upstate New York, originally owned by the Erie, then the Erie Lackawanna, before being rolled into Big Blue. Looking at photos of Conrail rolling stock from the early 1980's, you'll notice that the paint wasnt of the highest quality, and often the old lettering and/or paint bled through. Often the paint used for lettering and logos was remarkably strong, and can even be seen peeking through on rolling stock today, after 38 years!
Because the Athearn car wasn't quite right in terms of the lettering placement, and because i elected to use a different road number, this is a proto-lanced model. The details are stock, but I did add Moloco air hoses, hand made wire cut bars, and Tangent 70T trucks, as well as some decals to better replicate the prototype. This series of cars is interesting, as records show them being built with roller bearing trucks, and yet the Erie Lackawanna was one of, if not the last, Class 1 railroad in the US ordering new cars with friction bearing trucks.