Re: gondolas w/ cement cannisters


I hate to admit this since time is tight lately and I don't have a slide scanner, but I have photos that will help you.? One is of a DL&W car that's derailed and on its side with the containers in it, and the photographer was looking straight into the top of the car -- couldn't ask for a better shot.? I printed this one from a negative in a private collection many years ago, so I'll scan it next time I'm home and sitting.? It clearly shows four steel supports that bolted to the car sides that supported the sides of the canisters.

I also shot slides of a few rotting DL&W ACF cement-canister gondolas for a presentation to Steamtown and elsewhere to save the cars. My effort led to the corporate lawyers owning the property?and?not wanting to bother to hastily and quietly scrap them.? But I did photograph them thoroughly, and?over the?floors?were flat steel rings about 3" wide that represented a canister?footprint. These gons were ACF-built, but converted at DL&W's Keyser Valley Shops for cement canisters, so these cannot be counted on as a standard for the other roads.

I also have photos of former-NYC fishbelly-side gons?lettered for and in service on the DL&W.? Equipment drawings make no reference as to why these are on the DL&W, so any insight there would be appreciated.? Normally, wrecked replacements are a reason, but to my knowledge DL&W canister cars weren't interchanged to other line-haul roads.? DL&W moved cement from the mills on the Bangor & Portland branch directly to tidewater where the contents were blown into covered lighters.? Cement for interchange was shipped in covered hoppers, and in bags within boxcars.

Lastly, whilst visiting the former ACF Plant in Berwick, Pa., in the 1990s?I was quite suprised to find?a genuine canister sitting next to a building. Painted light blue, it's some sort of storage container for a heating system.? But it's outdoors and easily seen from the road?within the plant and measurable. I wonder how many recognize it for what it was. These photos are slides as well.

Keep hounding me off list 'till I scan at least the overhead photo?????????????????????????? ....Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: proto48er <atkott@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thu, Sep 17, 2009 3:17 pm
Subject: [STMFC] Re: gondolas w/ cement cannisters

Tim & Al -

I have an erection drawing for the 6-cannister NYC cars around here somewhere. These cars had wood floors and four 6" X 6" steel angles, 24" long each, curved to fit the outer diameter of the round air-activated cement containers, attached to the flooring with four bolts each. A "top view" NYC diagram of the 6-container cars can be found here:


The NYC erection drawing came from Bob Parri, who obtained it from Lance Vail back in the late 1980's.

However, the 5-container NYC cars had larger capacity containers. They were taller than the 6-container car containers, but they were the same outside diameter. The NYC USRA steel gons modified to handle these 5-container cars apparently had steel floors installed in them. This was done about 1947 or so. I have no idea what the steel floor looked like in these later cars, and have asked here to no avail. I believe that the LV and D&H cars with air-activated cement containers had these larger (taller) containers.

I believe that all of these air-activated containers were made by AC&F, since they were lettered "The LCL Company, AC&F Lessor". Perhaps the modifications to the gons were also done at AC&F?? If so, perhaps Ed Hawkins might be able to help here!

There are some aerial photos of the Jersey shore areas where these NYC cars frequented, and some of the cars are empty. I have not been able to locate those photos again after exhaustive searching - and asking here!

Al is correct that the NYC USRA gons with (12) rectangular brick containers had small wood dividers in the floors, but they also had guide assemblies riveted to the car sides - making the sides have a sea of rivets!

I have completed brass models of the 6-container cement car and the 12-container brick car, but have not started on the 5-container cement car for lack of information on how the steel floor sheets were arranged. Would love to see a photo of one of these cars with the steel floor!

A.T. Kott

--- In STMFC@..., "Al and Patricia Westerfield" <westerfield@...> wrote:

Tim - Unless you're doing a partial load you would never see them. If the air-activated containers it's 2 semicircles of wood per container. If rectangular ones it's just wood blocking appropriate to the size and quantity. - Al
----- Original Message -----
From: Tim O'Connor
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 2:17 PM
Subject: [STMFC] gondolas w/ cement cannisters

Has anyone seen a good photo looking down on one of the D&H
or Lehigh Valley or other gondolas equipped to carry LCL cement
containers? I want to model a couple and I'd like to know what
kind of bracing was used to hold the cannisters in place.

Tim O'Connor

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