Steve and Barb Hile
Rock Island's GS gondolas use what the folio diagrams refer to as a Creeping
Shaft mechanism to control the doors. They had as many as 6700 (1930)
mostly composite GS gons built in the 1920's by ACF, Bettendorf, Ryan and
Pressed Steel Car. There were a few straggling all steel cars from the
teens, but those designs were, apparently, found to be inadequate. The
numbers dwindled to about 4800 by 1940 and 2357 in 1953. By 1953, most had
their side sheathing replaced by steel, too, following WWII. Many of the GS
cars had become GB by then, with solid bottoms.
They mostly hauled coal and gravel.
Some were quite similar to the Details Associates model, EXCEPT for the
opposite angle on the sloping side members (Howe truss.) I cut up and
reassembled one of the DA cars to match the RI prototype and have several
more kits waiting for a similar weak moment. The largest single group of RI
GS gondolas were 48'6" IL with a blank center panel longer that the DA style
car. This makes them much more challenging to model.