Re: New early P&R steel gondola model

Eric Hansmann

I’ve posted Eric Neubauer’s comments from the Early Rail list after my signature. He added quite a bit of history.


Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN





A couple of comments: This isn’t a particularly large car for having 50-ton trucks, so it wasn’t designed specifically for coal. The dimensions suggest it could be used as an alternative for the HS, HP, and HK classes serving  collieries that couldn’t handle higher cars. The P&R did handle a large amount of iron ore and mill products which could take better advantage of the 50-ton trucks. Maybe the intent was to create a multi-purpose car which could be loaded to and from the iron furnaces and steel mills. Actually, an article in the 1/18/01 Railroad Gazette confirms this. It would also provide a reasonable explanation for any cars moving far from home.


Rebuilding the entire fleet into P&R 26001-27499 GAd class took place from 8-09 through 8-17, so they didn’t last long as built. Coincidently, Pressed Steel Car offered a fairly popular side-sill less version of their fish-belly hopper car design, and the P&R had a thousand of them. They were rebodied in the mid-teens. At that time they would have been 15 years old and due for rebuilding.


The P&R design was Cambria Steel’s first major venture into car building and P&R was the primary purchaser. CRRofNJ 38500-35999 (later 88000-88499) might have been a somewhat similar 40-ton version, but I can’t recall ever seeing a photo to confirm. The details of CB&Q 81000-81999 Caswell dump cars built by Cambria in 1903 are also similar to P&R GAc. Cornwall & Lebanon 1100-1199 built 1905 and 1907 had identical overall dimensions and likely used for iron ore. These were absorbed into the PRR fleet.


Cambria Steel was eventually acquired by Bethlehem Steel, and car building at Johnstown, PA ended in about 2008. By that time, the parent company had become Johnstown America, then Freight Car America.


I don’t quite understand the corrugated appearance inside the sides of the model. As far as I know, this class had no lining. Nice model anyway. I scratch built one of these out of Plastruct once. It didn’t have rivets. A solid lead center sill seemed to be the only way to hide the weight.


Eric Neubauer

BFE, Central Texas



From: <> On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 2:45 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] New early P&R steel gondola model




An interesting model. Can you tell us how long they lasted in service? Were any sold off to other roads? Did any go into MW service or other uses?

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆



On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 7:03 AM Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:

A new HO scale model is available for those focused on early 20th Century modeling. A Philadelphia & Reading GAc class steel gondola with drop doors is available as a 3D print through Shapeways. Bob McGlone offers decals and a coal load to finish the models. Details are in the latest post on my blog.




Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

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