Re: Boxcar details and paint, series GN 20500-21449

gn3397 <heninger@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Mark Heiden" <mark_heiden@...> wrote:

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for some construction and paint information regarding
some Great Northern 40ft steel boxcars, series GN 20500-21449. A
prototype photo of GN 20971 is available at:

My questions are:

1. What sort of running boards were these cars built with?
Well, the car diagram I have for these cars (dated 1968) lists the running boards as
"metal", which is less than adequate for your purposes. Close comparison of the photo of
20971 as well as the photos of 20918 and 20615 reproduced on page 42 of the GN Equip.
Pictorial Vol. 1 by Thompson seems to indicate the series was equipped with Apex Tri-Lok
running boards. Perhaps other manufacturer's products were used as well, but I can't be

2. What sort of brake wheels were these cars equipped with?
Universal, with what appears to be the model M1602A hand wheel, which is shown
to good advantage in photos in RP CYC, Vol. 10, page 48.

3. Did the entire series have Superior doors?
Yes, that is specified for the entire series on the car diagram. The door on 20971
appears to have been repaired and repainted, but it does match the five panel Superior
doors on 20918 and 20615.

4. Were ASF A-3 Ride Control trucks used on the entire series?

5. When were these cars built? I have seen both 1951 and 1952 listed.
The car diagram states 1952, the photo of 20918 shows "BLT. 9-1952" stenciled on
its side.

6. Having been built in the early 1950s, I am guessing that GN 20971
is still in it's original paint. Is there a good decal set for this
scheme? Right now, Champ BRH-31 looks good.
Yes, the car is in the as built paint scheme. Champ's BRH-31 set will accurately
letter the cars.

Hope this helps, and if anyone else has more definitive information on the running boards,
I would like to hear it as well. Thanks.

Robert D. Heninger
Stanley, ND

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