Erie Gondola with Slope Sheets

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford


Today I was scanning some interurban photos of the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley (Laurel Line). In the background of one I spotted this very unusual Erie hopper/gondola which I offer for your enlightenment, commentary and . . . well, why not say it . . . entertainment. 

The car appears to be about 40', but with sides around 9' above the rail, much lower than the adjacent hoppers (probably around 10' 3" or 10' 4" from the rails). At first glance this appears to be a gondola, but the end in front of the Lackawanna diesel shows clearly that it has sloped end sheets. As bad luck would have it, the fence railing runs right through the car number in this photo! The photo was shot in February 1952, but I see nothing like this in my 1958 ORER.

Bonus: although pretty fuzzy, the second hopper from the left appears to be a Pittsburgh & Shawmut car.

Amazing what you can find in the background sometimes.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

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