Re: Monon 3639

Mont Switzer



This series of gondolas were built by Thrall in 1952.  They were of composite construction because the Monon was still hauling cut and milled limestone throughout the country.  This product required among other things packing, blocking and bracing cars wood floors, ends and sides.  Uncured cut stone damaged easily.


By the late 1960's there was little cut stone business left due to various changes in building construction and the intrusion of trucking into the business.  The Monon therefore repurposed these cars as follows:


--re-equipped the cars with steel side and end panels for general service

--one car was equipped for piggyback service

--at least 5 cars equipped with coil racks and covers

--the car shown was equipped to handle coke containers

--some cars were equipped with larger containers for handling scrap aluminum

--several cars had their wood sides and ends extended a foot or so and were equipped with diagonal panel roofs becoming covered gons for handling aluminum 


Note that the cars when built arrived in the steam era, but the rebuilding's occurred too late.  There were only 100 cars so as you can see the Monon got a lot of mileage out of them in their first and second lives.  This was typical of the Monon; convert what you had to what your customers needed.  Makes for some pretty interesting modeling.


Mont Switzer 

From: [] on behalf of Rich C via [rhcdmc@...]
Sent: Saturday, July 25, 2020 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Monon 3680

Another shot of those class LG gons

Rich Christie

On Saturday, July 25, 2020, 08:37:29 AM CDT, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


You are right, the builder photo is on page 173 of the 1953 Car Builder's Cyclopedia, in a Thrall advertisement.
Some of these cars remained as built for a long time, as seen in this 1971 photo.

With such LOW SIDES - you're saying they were built for coke?

On 7/25/2020 9:13 AM, william darnaby wrote:
These cars were built as gons by Thrall in 1952 and, except for the covers and wood sides replaced by steel, looked pretty much as you see it in the photo.  IIRC, there is a builders photo in the '53 Cyc, perhaps in a Thrall ad.  The Monon also got a one off caboose from Thrall at the same time that is known by Monon modelers as the ugliest caboose on the roster.  The Indianapolis gas company had a gas production facility on the east side near the Big 4 main to Cincinnati that made gas by coking coal with the by-product of coke.  Some of these cars, as well as some 40' cars, were converted to haul coke mainly to the mills around Gary.  However, I have seen a video of a train on the NYC in Ohio with a coke car returning empty to Indy from the east.

Bill Darnaby

On Saturday, July 25, 2020, 07:59:17 AM CDT, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:

Some of these rebuilt flat cars were classified as LO (!!) at some point and carried a load
of 11 bulk material bins.

On 7/24/2020 7:16 PM, Andy Carlson wrote:
Baby boomers of my age have a special understanding of the letter 'M'. My selection is the Monon with their funky gondola. Half way there!
-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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