Re: Southern Railroad drop bottom gondola question

George Eichelberger

Black was the standard body color for open top cars until the standard was changed to Southern freight car brown in 1959/60. Black cars would have all be stenciled with Roman style lettering until that was changed slightly later, but still about 1960.

The new Tangent hopper correctly shows Roman lettering on a red car as was done until the color change caught up with the lettering. For a bit of trivia, the first ”Big John” covered hoppers were stenciled with Roman lettering. Most of the cars sat in storage while the 100-ton rate case was going through the courts. When Southern won the (SCOTUS) case and the cars were placed in service, their serif style lettering was changed to the new block style.


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