Re: Smokey Mountain Southern 1953 54'-5" gondola

Eric Hansmann

Cool models, Ike! Lots of railroads converted cars for specialty uses. It’s more difficult finding details and photos on these.



Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN





From: <> On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, November 5, 2020 5:57 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Smokey Mountain Southern 1953 54'-5" gondola


The gon is one of the cars SRHA purchased from WrightTrak. We will get it back on the market when we finalize an agreement with someone to do the casting for us. (If anyone is interested in helping, pls contact me.)

It is true, the Southern was the only railroad in the southeast that had this car but they had a LOT of them. In addition to straight gondolas, the Southern created many variants including cars for coiled steel (different covers depending on which shop did the modifications), carbon electrodes used in aluminum smelting and maybe the most complex and unusual.. track panel cars first modified when Inman Yard in Atlanta was rebuilt in the 1950s.

Here are two HO examples. The electrode car is about finished except for lettering. The large moveable bulkhead closest to the camera would be positioned against the load of electrodes stacked between it and the fixed bulkhead at the far end.

The second model is almost unrecognizable as a gondola. Several "drones" and a "master" car traveled together. The stack of track panels were lifted in each car so the bottom panel could be moved to the master (the model in the photo) where an overhead carrier moved them beyond the car to set them in place. The Southern track people really hated them because they were so complex breakdowns were common. Good down-on photos of the prototype have been located that show the cars' piping and mechanics so I think I have enough information to complete the car. (All of the structural drawings are in the SRHA archives but the mechanical parts were added at the Charlotte Roadway Shop and no drawings for that hardware have been found.)


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