Re: Reading USRA Gondola Load

Larry Sexton


This morning I had time to check my files and the drawing I have is for the S. Morgan Smith Company of York, PA. Notations on the drawing also reference car ACMX 415, and indicate the cars were built in 1921 and rebuilt in 1943.There is also a notations that the PRR would not accept these cars for interchange service after 1955 due to age and fatigue. They had a capacity of 80,000 lbs at that time.

These flatcars were called Saddle Boiler Cars in the 1931 ad where B. M. Weiss of Philadelphia offered 3 similar cars for sale, the cars being offered having been built in 1921. The photo offering the cars showed a car with ASB Co X104 reporting marks and a hand written note referred to the cars as a “runner” car.

I have one in-service photo of ACMX 416, date and photographer unknown. Now that I have copies the photos identified in I am inspired to complete the model of this car and write an article on these cars. That is the beauty of the STMFC discussions. Ask enough questions and you have no idea what others are likely to share. The best thing about the Reading gondola discussion has not only been the sharing of information and some clarification regarding Reading stenciling, but the unexpected accidental identification of additional photos of these Saddle Cars in-service and with a load.

Earlier this morning I contacted an fellow engineering colleague who has contacts that worked on various hydro-electric projects in Washington state. He has contacted them and they have been asked whether there are any drawings for the cast piping loads being transported by the Reading gon and the Saddle Boiler Car.

Given the drawings, I should be able to model those loads. After that I’m certain I can find someone to help with the resin castings (limited production). I mean really, why have gondolas and flatcars unless there are prototypical loads to be transported.

BTW. Please contact me off line if you’re able. I have questions regarding accurate decals, paint scheme and stenciling for the Accurail 41’ steel gondola during WWII period. The Accurail choice of the Rightway stencil doesn’t work for 1943 or for me.

Larry Sexton

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Todd Horton
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 10:55 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Re: Reading USRA Gondola Load

Not a Reading car but very interesting to say the least. There's several views of this car but this is the only one that can be enlarged. The name on the side isays "Morgan Smith". Does anyone know anything about this car? <> &Sect6=HITOFF&Sect5=PHOT5&Sect4=AND&d=PHO2&l=1&p=1&u=/~public/phot1.htm&r=1&f=G

Todd Horton

From: Richard Wilkens <railsnw@... <> >
To: STMFC@... <>
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 4:31 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Reading USRA Gondola Load

Not sure what class these Reading cars are: <> &S2=%40date%3E%3D19300000+and+%40date%3C%3D19410000&S3=&l=100&Sect7=THUMBON&Sect6=HITOFF&Sect5=PHOT1&Sect4=AND&Sect3=PLURON&d=PHO2&p=2&u=%2F%7Epublic%2Fphot1.htm&r=190&f=G <> &S2=%40date%3E%3D19300000+and+%40date%3C%3D19410000&S3=&l=100&Sect7=THUMBON&Sect6=HITOFF&Sect5=PHOT1&Sect4=AND&Sect3=PLURON&d=PHO2&p=2&u=%2F%7Epublic%2Fphot1.htm&r=192&f=G

Richard Wilkens

--- In STMFC@... <> , "Larry Sexton" <SSEXTON9@...> wrote:


I visited your webpage and studied the photos that were attached. Can you,
or anyone else on the list, tell me approximately when the Reading gondola
lettering or stenciling changed from the earlier version shown on Reading
21772 and 25020 to the version shown on RDG 23035 and 24198?

I have two of the Walthers 46' USRA gon models stenciled as in the latter
version and with a re-weigh data for 1-55. My question is whether the
stenciling would have been correct for 1943, assuming the reweigh data is
corrected to that period.

I also have two of the Walthers 46' USRA gon models, kits 932-27458, for the
Lehigh Valley with a new date of 5-29 and in a red primer paint scheme. Does
anyone know whether that lettering or stenciling scheme was correct for the
1943-44 period.

Any help would be appreciated.

Larry Sexton

From: STMFC@... <> [mailto:STMFC@... <> ] On Behalf Of
Richard Yoder
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 11:18 AM
To: STMFC@... <>
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Reading USRA Gondola Load

To all interested,
I also produced this model in "O" Scale a few years ago.
There are several good photos on my web site of Reading cars.

Rich Yoder

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... <> <>
[mailto:STMFC@... <> <> ] On Behalf
Of Tom
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 10:29 AM
To: STMFC@... <> <>
Subject: RE: [STMFC] Re: Reading USRA Gondola Load

To all interested in the USRA 70-ton 46' mill gons operated by the Reading,
Pennsy, NYC, B & O, and a few other eastern roads, I recommend the RMC
multi-page article "USRA Steel Mill Gondolas" by Eric Neubauer in the
June, 2000 issue. It includes photos, Reading HO drawings, and history of
this car. Westerfield and Walthers offered this car.
Tom Houle

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... <> <>
[mailto:STMFC@... <> <> ] On Behalf
Of Eric
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 8:15 AM
To: STMFC@... <> <>
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Reading USRA Gondola Load

In addition to the load, I wonder when these USRA mill gons were equipped
with AB brake systems. A recent comment here noting AB brake systems on less
than 25% of the 1940 freight car fleet had me wondering about how quickly
the mill gons would be upgraded. Hoppers tended to be rebuilt more
frequently and many owners of the composite USRA gons rebuilt with steel
sides through the 1930s.

Wouldn't these USRA mill gondolas be candidates for retaining K brake
systems through WWII?


Eric Hansmann
New Paltz, NY

--- In STMFC@... <> <> ,
richtownsend@ wrote:

I have a Walthers USRA gondola painted and lettered for the Reading RR.
I'm trying to come up with a suitable and interesting load for it. My
research on Reading, PA disclosed that the city is or was known for
anthracite coal and for pretzels. I don't like the idea of a coal load, and
while I am confident I could fashion HO scale pretzels from thin wire, I
don't think a load of pretzels would be very realistic. So I am asking the
collective brain of this list for suggestions on what to load in this car.

Richard Townsend
Lincoln City, Oregon

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