Re: New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color

John Riba

Hello Everybody,

 The NYC USRA gondolas were rebuilt around 1938. They looked like all the other 40' gons with steel sides 4'10" high (no diagonal ribs). After rebuilding they did not look like USRA gondolas. They were lot # 379-G, 381-G,389-G,398-G,399-G,400-G,401-G,403-G. In 1940 they were still lettered for Michigan Central and NYC. This would mean they would be painted black when USRA style. The black paint was begun with new hoppers after 1940.



From: Jeff Pellas To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color

I once read an anecdotal account of how hoppers of the NYC first started being painted red. Take this with a grain of salt but what I read was that, when the NYC began rebuilding their vast USRA hopper fleet in the 1930s, the shops at Avis were where the first red ones originated. The reason for the color change was simply due to a surplus of red paint. Corporate  management had to approve the use of red before it was actually applied but once it was, it was then decided to adopt red as the color of all hoppers new or rebuilt going forward. Whether or not this account is factual, what it illustrates is an adaptive or flexible approach to car rebuilding that was probably necessitated by the greatly increased traffic loads as the US began exporting goods to Europe prior to America officially entering the War. I imagine railroads wouldn't hold up a rebuild program because they were out of a particular color of paint. It is also probable that similar cars (like the USRA gons) were being rebuilt at various locations around the vast NYC system resulting in paint variations.     

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2014 11:44 am
Subject: Re: [STMFC] New York Central USRA 50-ton gondola paint color

    When you figure it out let me know. I'm still convinced that in 48 the panel side hoppers were still black, at least mine is.
Chuck Hladik
In a message dated 1/14/2014 11:28:51 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, eric@... writes:
Thanks Chuck, I have noted that info, which has spurred my question on this model. If black is proper for NYC gondolas before 1941, then why has Intermountain done a few runs of these models with as-built lettering and brown/red paint? Is there something specific to the paint for this car design? Or has Intermountain chosen to paint these in the wrong color (a few times) for the as-built versions? 

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX

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