Garth Groff <sarahsan@...>
As I contemplated how to add the piping and brake levers (AB brakes, as upgraded) to my small collection of Ulrich GS gondolas, I thought to look in my collection of Gregg Train Shed Cyclopedias. I didn't find any help with the piping and rod arrangement (poop!), but to my surprise found a builder's photo of the GN car with the heap shield ends. It is on page 239 of the 1940 Car Builders' Cyclopedia, or Gregg reprint No. 5 with the same pagination.
The GN car is numbered 75899, from series 75500-75999 (Pressed Steel Car Co., 7-37). It is similar to the Ulrich cars, with two major differences. The Ulrich models depict (somewhat crudely, but consider the model's age) the proprietary Enterprise link arrangement. This tends to hide the sloped part of the lower car body. The GN car appears to have simple chains winding around a rod, making the visible part of the winding mechanism appear more delicate and opening up the sloped area to view. The second difference is that the GN prototype has a brake gear box and its brake platform is mounted below the lower of the two horizontal stiffening ribs on the end. The Ulrich model has the brake platform mounted above that rib, and it has an upright rod and wheel. The Ulrich GN model thus doesn't look much like its supposed prototype (barring a lot of work with a Dremel). The Ulrich cars with flat ends and the staff brake are much closer to SP G-50-9 through G-50-12 from the 1920s, which is really what I want. The GN car can stay in the hobby store display case.
That still doesn't solve how the brake rods and piping ran. I wonder if there is a wreck photo of one of these cars tipped over. Any ideas?