Re: coil gondola shipping early problems

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford <mallardlodge1000@...>


While loading over the trucks only was apparently true of 52' and 65' (yes, the latter did carry coil sometimes) gondolas in WP and D&RGW coil service, it didn't apply to the 29' series 6401-6499. The car in the attached photo is loaded down its full length, and I have a photo of another car also loaded beyond the trucks. I suspect that how many coils went into one of the gondolas depended on the size and weight of the coils.

After their 1955-1956 rebuilding, the 29' cars had two parallel ladder-like arrangements which ran the length of the car body. AFAIK, there were no other restrainers, the weight of the coils being enough to keep the load from shifting (at least under normal handling). The surviving car at the Portola museum still has its racks.

These short gondolas were not unique to the WP. Also attached are two that were photographed from Amtrak's California Zephyr at Armco Steel and Mansbach Metals, both around Ashland, Kentucky IIRC. I would be interested to know who owned these cars originally (likely from our period of interest). And no, these aren't WP survivors--the number of ribs is wrong. The Mansbach car appears to have Pullman ends. I also have an even poorer photo of another short Armco car with a slightly downward pointed side sill in the center. Anybody have ideas?

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Fri, Jul 17, 2020 at 4:11 PM Andy Jackson <lajrmdlr@...> wrote:
Western Pacific had 29' gondolas made specifically to haul coil steel. The coils were loaded over the trucks only. They were loaded on their sides in cradles.
Andy Jackson
Santa Fe Springs CA

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