Re: InterMountain HO USRA Composite Gons

Richard Hendrickson

On Jul 2, 2010, at 2:27 PM, behillman wrote:

I was looking through the InterMountain kits at the local hobby
shop and found their HO USRA Composite Gondolas, and just had to
get one. The interior detail looks quite excellent. I've always
liked gondola interiors and the IM detail looks really nice.
(Actual composite, wood & 'plastic')

I got a CB&Q car with a 1-19 build date. I'd guess several roads
still had these cars on the roster in 1950?
A few did, but most did not. The CB&Q cars were extensively rebuilt
in the 1930s with solid floors and cut down sides and ends, and the
last of the modified cars were gone before 1948 (cf. Burlington Route
Historical Society freight car data sheet "Burlington's Composite
Gondola Fleet" by Al Hoffman and Hol Wagner). Many other railroads
rebuilt their USRA composite gondolas in the 1930s with all steel
bodies, and most of the cars that remained were converted to solid
floors. See my article in Railmodel Journal, February 2000. As far
as I could determine, only two railroads still had significant
numbers of USRA gondolas in revenue service ca. 1950: Atlantic Coast
Line and St. Louis-San Francisco. Boston & Maine, Louisville &
Nashville, Minneapolis & St. Louis, and Southern Pacific still had a
few cars on their active rosters, but their numbers were rapidly
dwindling in 1950 and the cars that remained probably did not go off-
line much in interchange service.

Richard Hendrickson

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