L&N 50000-59000 steel gondolas and their rebuilds

Jerry Hamsmith

There is a new kit HO scale for this car that will be released by Resin Car Works within the next few weeks, and I am trying to add to the prototype research that has been done so far. 
These all steel coal gondolas were purchased from Pressed Steel Car during the 1920s.  Originally numbered in the 50000-59999 series, the cars had an inside length of 40’ 6” and an inside height of 4’ 7 ½”.  The 50-ton car had a capacity of 1765 cu. ft.  They were equipped with 6 drop doors and their ends were flat with two horizontal reinforcing ribs.  The cars came equipped with 6 parallel drop doors, KD brakes, and lever hand brakes.  As per most L&N cars, they were equipped with Carmer cut levers.  Most of the first groups of cars came with Dalman two-level trucks and the later groups of cars had a simple ARA cast side frame truck.  Beginning in 1950, a number of the cars had their drop doors removed and were reassigned to general service.  The cars were renumbered at that time and given GB designation by the railroad.

It is known that the rebuilds were placed into the 49000 and 29000 series.  We have some photos of the cars added to the 49000 series but none for the 29000 series. Does anyone have photos of the cars from the 29000 series?  Also, many of the rebuilds had additional side posts added and a horizontal reinforcing plate riveted to the inside of each of the car sides.  We have photos of some cars with the added posts.  Might anyone have inside carbody photos of these reinforcing plates or any information about which cars did and which did not receive them?  We do have copies of the Freight Car Diagram sheets for the cars from the 1940 and 1955 books.

Attached is a builders' photo of one of the cars.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Jerry Hamsmith

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