Re: Sunshine MP gondola

Ed Hawkins

On Friday, December 23, 2005, at 05:02 AM, jerryglow2 wrote:

Does anyone have a pic or information on Sunshine's 70.10 MoP 49-51
company built, Beth, fishbelly gondola?  I was unaware of it until
reading some old posts on new releases at Naperville.
While these cars are labeled as "Bethlehem" gondola cars, they were all
built by MoPac at DeSoto, Missouri. The MP cars are similar to cars
designed and built by Bethlehem Steel, however, the contour of the
fish-belly side sills were not quite the same. All cars had an inside
length of 52'-6" and came with steel floors and fixed Dreadnaught ends.
The prototype cars are as follows (build dates based on earliest
month-year documented by photograph):

MP 5200-5999, 800 cars built 1951
StLB&M 11100-11599, 500 cars built 5-49
StLB&M 11650-11899, 250 cars built 6-51
I-GN 12000-12499, 500 cars built 3-49
I-GN 12550-12799, 250 cars built 1951

Other nearly identical cars followed in the late 1950s and some of
these received covers for steel coil loading:
MP 21000-21899, 900 cars built 2-57
MP 25000-25499, 500 cars 1-58

I saw Martin for a few minutes earlier this week as he made a short
visit to the St. Louis area. He indicated that about a half dozen of
these MoPac gondola kits were taken to the recent train show in
Oklahoma City. The kit has a one-piece body that comprises the sides
and ends. A 3/4 view builder's photo of StLB&M 11721 is published in
the prototype data sheet provided in the kit.

The prototype cars had 30 lading strap anchors fastened to the exterior
of each side, however, there is no provision for these in the kit. Jack
Spencer's techniques for adding these were shown in RP CYC Volume 3 to
a Life-Like P2K gondola car. In addition, each car side had 26 1-1/6"
diameter holes along the top chord that were used for tying down loads.
The top chord of the model is solid, so these holes will require
drilling. The cars' interiors had no lading anchors.
Ed Hawkins

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