Re: W&LE steel gondolas of 1921 - more images

Ray Breyer

Hi Eric and List Members,
Thanks for the wonderful image you posted. This is of interest to me on two
fronts - in N scale there is an existing model that is a good starting point
for the W&LE 52000-53899 series, and there is a commercially available model
of the USRA composite gondola W&LE 51000-51999 series as well.
Can anyone say, have the sides of the USRA gon in the photo been upgraded to
steel sides? It looks like that might be the case, but difficult to say with
certainty by just looking at the photo. Did the W&LE do such side
replacements on their USRA gons? Some roads certainly did... PRR as one
Claus Schlund
Hi Claus,
Eric and I have discussed these Wheeling USRA gons in the past. I don't have my notes handy, but most of the cars WERE rebuilt to all steel sides. Some, likely the first cars so rebuilt, simply had the wood replaced with steel, and the diagonals left intact. Others had the diagonals removed. To date neither of us have been able to find much logic as to which cars were converted in what way, or exactly when. That's good news for modelers though: just do whatever you like!
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

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