Re: gondola interiors

Guy Wilber

Ed wrote:

Were gondola interiors ever cleaned? I think debris would accumulate
for many years before it was discarded.
Dunnage utilized in loading all types of open top loads would most certainly
have been removed in order to prepare the next out bound load. No doubt
scraps were scattered about and left, but the majority of larger pieces would
have to be removed in order for loads to be set correctly and blocked for

Has anyone ever seen a puddle in a gon or a picture of a gon? There are no
holes for drainage.
Though solid steel floor cars may not have been built with and sort of drain
holes you can be sure that shortly into service they were riddled with holes
utilized to secure loads. Torch cut holes in gon floors and sides was
permitted (within reason), though the AAR's Arbitration Committee eventually put
limits on the size of the holes. They were supposed to be less than an inch
and a half but it's a sure bet that was ignored more than followed. By 1947
the Car Construction Committee approved drawings for tie down clips to be
welded to car exteriors to help alleviate some of the hole cutting problems. The
layout for the clips coupled with holes (1 1/16") bored into the top bulb
and "Z" sections was adopted as a "recommended" practice in 1947 followed by an
"alternate" design adopted in 1952.

In the era when most exposed steel rusted I can understand why some
railroads would order wood floors.
The choice had little to do with rust. Wood floors offered shippers an easy
way to secure dunnage. Later came combination steel and wood floors
followed by complete installations of "nailable" steel floors.

Were steel bands used in the steam era?
Steel banding products were patented by a number of manufacturers beginning
in the late 'teens. By the mid 1930s many AAR Open Top Loading Diagrams were
listing steel bands as an "alternative" to high tension or "annealed" wire
stranding. Both the steel and lumber industry were actively involved with the
AAR's Loading Committee. Prior to, and during WWII most of the loading
rules for both industries were revamped completely to utilize steel banding.
Rule 6 for lumber loads secured with steel banding was adopted in 1940.

Kind Regards,

Guy Wilber
West Bend, WI

************************************** See what's new at

Join to automatically receive all group messages.