Author Topic: Modern Era Gondolas  (Read 2077 times)

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Norm P

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Modern Era Gondolas
« on: April 10, 2008, 05:12:53 PM »
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I've seen lots of gondolas, some of which look ancient, so I started to wonder which ones I can pick up that are still running the rails today.  I got an Atlas Evans 52'6" a couple of weeks ago, but without basing my assumption on any fact, it seems a little short compared to alot of what I see around town.  Today I grabbed a 65 footer for a change.  Will both sizes work?

3rdrail

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 05:22:37 PM »
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Ten years ago, when I was still a railroader, the most common gon was the 52'6". Apalachee Pole used them to load utility poles. I suspect they're still the most common.

Railroads often charge more for the use of longer cars, so 65 footers won't be ordered unless the load is over 50 feet long. Many steel shapes are, so they're used in that trade. Apalachee Pole ordered them when they had 55 or 60 foot poles to ship. Some roads had a higher revenue requirement for such shipments.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 05:26:58 PM by 3rdrail »

Virginia Atlantic

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 06:59:05 PM »
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I believe these are still the most common type of Gondola.

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ljudice

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 07:35:11 PM »
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You're right, we are very short on gondolas in N:

- Atlas Evans 52' - still around 
- Athearn/MDC 52' Thrall - still pretty common: steel, scrap, etc.
- Athearn 65 fishbelly gon - probably limited to MOW work today
- Huberts/LBF/E&C - 65' corrugated - not based on a real prototype
- Huberts/LBC/E&C - 65' smooth - pretty nice, though probably not based on a particular car
- Huberts/LBF  52' smooth - not based on a real car, but not too bad
- MTL Gons - all 50' - likely to be only in MOW service today
- Aurora extended side gon - actually based on a PRR prototype which made it to CR

We need more gons!


Norm P

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008, 08:40:28 PM »
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I can make do with only 2-3 different types, I just don't want to have a late 90s-2000s layout running gons that were retired in 1975.  The Atlas Evans just didn't "look right" for some reason, but again, I don't know crap about them, so I wanted to hear the opinions of those of you in the know.

sirenwerks

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2008, 10:38:53 PM »
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You forgot the X-MDC high side gons, carrying lots of scrap these days
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GonzoCRFan

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 10:53:08 PM »
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- Huberts/LBF/E&C - 65' corrugated - not based on a real prototype


Really? Cause these are awfully close:

http://sean121982.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1121098
Sean

ljudice

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 11:29:56 PM »
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Wow - looks like an ex-MP car!  Looks like a series of about 10 or so of them - what a catch!

I should have been more careful - in that it's the smooth side car that supposedly is a composite and the 52' car is based on it and is thus a shortened version of a non-existant car.

But of course as they say, a prototype for everything!

I always thought the 65' cars were close to or exactly like the MP cars....

Norm P

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2008, 11:38:27 PM »
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- Huberts/LBF/E&C - 65' corrugated - not based on a real prototype


Really? Cause these are awfully close:

http://sean121982.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1121098

I see alot of those (or similar) with MoPac markings in the NS yard in town.

ljudice

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 12:43:06 AM »
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Norm, NS itself picked up a large group of MP 52' gons as well...

Lou


GonzoCRFan

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 12:47:34 AM »
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The CR 609100-609204 series is ex-MP...but it's a mixture of cars. Some have a fishbelly side sill, some have the straight side sill like the 609133. They were built by Thrall in 1975, NS got 98 of the 105 cars in the series.
Sean

ljudice

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2008, 09:29:35 AM »
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Sean, did NS get these and stencil them as CR cars, or did CR get them?

I know I've seen ex MP cars restenciled NS...

Thanks,
Lou

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2008, 11:48:42 AM »
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I've seen lots of gondolas, some of which look ancient, so I started to wonder which ones I can pick up that are still running the rails today.  I got an Atlas Evans 52'6" a couple of weeks ago, but without basing my assumption on any fact, it seems a little short compared to alot of what I see around town.  Today I grabbed a 65 footer for a change.  Will both sizes work?

Two factors in deciding which car is right for the job are the 1) weight and 2) cubic requirements. If you're shipping a load of scrap steel or ingots, the load could be quite dense and therefore a gon could "tonnes out before it cubes out". You'd go with the 52-6 car, because you don't need the extra cubic capacity. However, if you're shipping structural steel or pipe where it is less dense, the 65' car would do fine, and you may need the extra cubic capacity. Same reasoning behind the different sizes of covered hoppers, boxcars, tankcars...
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GonzoCRFan

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2008, 12:04:47 AM »
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Sean, did NS get these and stencil them as CR cars, or did CR get them?

I know I've seen ex MP cars restenciled NS...


CR got them, though my source doesn't indicate when they were purchased. It seems CR bought a lot of secondhand gons around 1987-94, so they probably came on-line around that timeframe.
Sean

Walkercolt

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Re: Modern Era Gondolas
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2008, 12:15:00 AM »
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Railroads use gons until they fall apart(I've seen that happen in use) or reach 50 years old when they're used in non-interchange service 'til they fall apart. An old MoPac gon being used on the UP was going thru town with the side ripping off as it went. Must have been rusted to the thickness of a piece of paper. I was about third in line at the grade crossing...being very glad I wasn't at the front of the line. ::) Sparks and ballast and dirt flying everywhere as the side would hit the ground, once in a while. I know they found it when they got to the yard.