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Erie 44'/70T Hoppers/Gondolas
There certainly were solid-bottom conversions (the #45000 series, 529 of them, as memory serves) from the original #44000 drop-bottom gondolas, built in the early 1920's; the 1943 ORER listing (scan courtesy of Ed Bommer) is very clear on that, along with the 749 quad-hopper conversions (and the H- prefix was gone by 1943, which is part of the reason I got confused) in the #37000 series, and even two or three sad #44000 hold-outs with their drop-bottoms.
Another major source of my information is the 1950 freight car diagram book loaded on the Elwood site, and if I had had reason previously to check it for the quads, I would have found the information that the Erie started the quad conversions as early as 1934 (which is why they are in your 1935 ORER), and that the whole series carried the H- prefix from then until the last were entirely renumbered into the the #37000 hopper series in 1939-40 (without prefix). The #45000 solid-bottom (with AB brake equipment at the same time) are indicated as having been done in three groups: 250 in Dec 1937, 200 in March 1939, and 150 in July 1939, for a total of 600 (so more than seventy of them had already expired or been sold by 1943).
The conversion of most of the remaining #44000 drop-bottoms into solid-bottom gondolas (instead of quad hoppers, which seems to have been a successful program, as the view via Chuck Y. comes from the mid-1950's) so late in the Depression still suggests to me that the Erie must have had some specialized traffic in mind, as they were otherwise not very useful as gondolas, as the Erie was already heavily committed to longer gondolas, the majority with mill-type drop ends. A 44' high-side gondola with fixed ends would have been a much less-versatile car.
Second, Bob, you say you have two HO models, but no word onThe Mantua "Heavies" model is the only one I'm aware of, but there may be another one out there.
_________________________________________________________________Last, no reason Al's conjecture about the H- prefix isn'tAh, well, I've been looking at ERIE stuff seriously for thirty-five years, so I'm not sure I can come up with the exact
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may beThe Mantua "Heavies" model is the only one I'm aware of, but there
Though I'm late to this party, there's still something to add. Ianother one out there.
you mean that the Mantua cars are a good starting point for a kit
bash. The H- series cars had an unusual end arrangement. It was
similar to a conventional hopper, with the slope sheet and slope
braces visible. However, the end panels of the sides were sheathed.
Viewed from the side, the cars look like conventional gons. Viewed
from the end, they look like conventional open hoppers.
I don't know if this feature was part of the original design, or
at the time the cars were rebuilt.
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