Southern Gondola 920068

Eric Hansmann

I was in Meadville, Penna., yesterday and discovered an older Southern gondola. The paint and
lettering caught my eye and I circled around for a closer look. The car currently sits behind
the Meadville Area Sewage Authority buildings very near where the old coaling station was on
the former Erie mainline.

The car has eight exterior posts and is about 40-feet in length. You don't expect to see
anything like this in decent shape in 2007.

A few aspects of this car caught my interest. First, the built date is listed as 2-42. Second,
the paint and lettering seems original. In examining the original images under magnification,
it seems it may have received large block SOUTHERN lettering, but it is difficult to tell as
the current lettering is in good shape. Third, there are three small openings along the bottom
of the sill that look like they sported levers for drop doors. I did not examine the car
close-up as there was no one around to ask and part of this rail line is operated by NS. I
stayed on public ground.

The latest ORER I have is the NMRA reprint of the January 1943 issue. The Southern has no
freight cars listed in a number series above 415677. So now there are questions.

Is this car wearing the original paint and lettering?

If not, what was the original car number?

Were the small slots along the side sill for drop-door operations?

Has a model of this car been produced?

I posted three images (side, B-end, A-end) in the folder marked Gondola: Southern 920068 in the
Photo section of our YahooGroup. Approval is pending. I hope members find this of interest.


Eric Hansmann
Morgantown, W. Va.