Re: Okay You Gondola Devotees

Corey Bonsall

<cracks knuckles>

To start with, those are either the big 70k series (46ft IL, b 1922) or it's little cousin 45k series (42ft IL, b 1926) offset gondolas.  Built a bit different (and larger) than almost any other GS gondola of the period.

The low angle lighting, coupled with the traditional wintertime inversion smog of the SLC valley makes those shadows look like a feature or a hole, but if they were, I think we would see a different shade.

Regarding the top feature:  think about how an offset hopper of the same era has the added pressed steel stampings at the top of the bulge of the car outside, in order to continue the stress member rib from the inside of the car to the outside on it's way up to the top rail.  This is the same thing, although much shorter.  These cars had the sides come in towards the center for the last 6 inches or so of height, and needed something to connect the width of the top rail to the inside support rib, in this case a pressed Z shape ,with all of the mind-smashing angles to allow pass-through rivets to connect it all together and make a solid load-supporting member.

All of the early D&RGW GS Gons (36ft 40000-42500, 40ft 43000-43349, 42ft 45000-45499, and 46ft 70000-70699) had interior ribs; the 36ft & 40ft had 3, the 42ft & 46ft offset had 7 ribs per side.  The little cousin 36ft 40k series up in the right hand corner looks like it has one for each exterior rib, because the 10 inch wooden extension boards to increase cubic capacity needed something added to tie it back into the main structure.

And the top corner gussets?  It seems to be hit or miss on a lot of the drop bottom cars I've seen, but considering the inside ribs would make loading anything other than loose loads a challenge (can't stack crates or mill products the full width), that overhang isn't really eating any cubic space above it, and might give the corner some added tension strength if cramming it full of something dense and somewhat fluid.

My two cents, considering the time I've spent studying on those glorious battleships...

Corey Bonsall

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