W&LE steel gondolas of 1921 - more images

Eric Hansmann

As the W&LE gondola questions have stirred some interest, I've posted images
of two additional Wheeling steel gondolas from the 52000-53899 series. These
were built in 1921 by Standard Steel. The W&LE also received 100 of the same
cars in the R6000-R6099 series. I have not seen any images of these
gondolas, but I suspect they may have been in captured service.

These two images were taken from a larger image noted as Berger Switch br
0.48. The image is from the W&LE archives in the special collections of the
Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. I
scanned a number of images at a high resolution and was able to tweak these
pull-outs for more clarity. I believe the image documents the bridge, but
I'm more interested in the five gondolas sitting there. Four seem to be from
the W&LE 52000-53899 series, while one is a USRA composite gondola from the
W&LE 51000-51999 series. Here's the original image:


The image is undated, but the barest of reweigh dates can be detected on the
USRA gondola. It seems to be a 1929 date, which would mean all the easily
identified freight cars here would be about ten years old. Here are close
ups of two W&LE steel gondolas in the image.



Two other similar gondolas sit at each end of the image, but a full car
number is difficult to determine on the far right gondola. In any event,
here is a string of well used freight cars with original lettering that can
hardly be read. The steel gondolas seem to have lost much of their paint
since coming into service.

I suspect later gondolas acquired by the W&LE would endure a similar loss of
paint, so these images may offer some guidance.


Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX

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