D. Scott Chatfield
Looking through some of my Color Guides, etc, trying to tind prototypes for various models, I was surprised to find that into the 1950s the C&NW was buying what I thought was an obsolete design, the tight-bottom, fixed-end 41'6" gondola. And in two designs, no less: 9-panel and 11-panel. This explains why so many were still around when I 'fanned the North Western in the '80s and '90s. They weren't as old as I assumed.
I guess my thinking is colored by the fact that the basic design dates at least to Ww1 and the USRA 41-foot composite gon. I just figured that design was dead by 1940.
Tyco once made an 11-panel, and now Accurail makes a much nicer version for what is still basically a shake-the-box kit. These are very close to the common C&NW gons. But when was this design first built?
Roundhouse made a 10-panel 41-footer. Likewise, when was it built? I know the Southern had lowside 10-panels, but how common was the Roundhouse version?
AHM made an 8-panel 41-footer that I'm told has no prototype. Unfortunately they stink up a lot of layouts here in the South because they sell it lettered for the Southern. Someday the Baseball Bat Of Prototype Fidelity will deal with that problem....
Did anyone make a 9-panel 41-footer?