Wheeling steel gondola questions [leads to completion of kit-bash Triple Play]


Bill Welch
 

Eric--thank you-thank you-thank you-I cannot help you but you have helped me.

A few years ago and soon after Accurail came out with their AAR gondola, I purchased a pair of undec versions at Naperville with no plan for them at the time. Despite the molded on grabs, they have very fine details and the fact that the ends were separate opened up some undetermined potential I thought. When I got home I took a closer look and wondered about the Dreadnaught end in the Accurail kit and whether it would mesh up with the Detail Assoc. GS gon dimensionally. Indeed it does, making modeling an IC GS gon pretty easy. The Improved Dreadnaught ends from the DA kit have been glued to one of the Accurail bodies to model a Georgia RR car delivered in 1951, duplicates of which were also built for the ACL.

Still, there was that pesky unused 2nd undec gon kit waiting for some way to used. Until today however, I had not seen a way to complete the much desired--by me anyway--gondola kit-bash Triple Play. Now that second Acurail kit will become a W&LE gondola w/the DA plate ends.

Bill Welch


Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727-470-9930
fgexbill@...


Eric Hansmann
 

Bill,

I am happy to expose a prototype possibility for the Accurail gondola, but I
must add uncertainty for cars in service beyond 1950. I have reviewed an NKP
freight equipment listing and have not found where these W&LE gondolas fit
into the NKP roster. Here's the PDF I reviewed at the Alphabet Route site:

http://www.alphabetroute.com/nkp/rosterpdfs/NKPFreightClass.pdf

Maybe Ray Breyer will chime in with new details.

The NKP pages from a 1950 ORER are also available on the Alphabet Route
site, but they are a poor, low-res scan and I cannot read the details. It
seems there are double digits under the W&LE listings towards the end of
those NKP pages, but I am not certain. If these gondolas still retained
their K brake system, then they may not have survived in revenue service
beyond 1953. Sorry to temper your enthusiasm, but I know you would feel
worse discovering these details after finishing a model.

BTW, fine decals representing the as-built lettering for these W&LE gondola
were recently offered by Gerry Glow. This spurred my conversion efforts.



I do hope this message posts to the list as it is my fourth attempt today to
respond.

Eric





Eric Hansmann

El Paso, TX


Ray Breyer
 

Hi Eric,
 
None of these cars made it into NKP paint. The class as a whole stayed intact into the Depression years, but the K brake ban doomed them:
 
                            7/1922    12/1930    4/1940    1/1945    7/1950    1/1951    1/1955
R6000-series:        100         100           66            65            1            1                0
52000-series:        1900      1900         1431       1347         11            5                0

The Wheeling's 1947 freight car diagram book shows them with KD brakes, so it's obvious that they didn't feel that these cars were worth upgrading to AB (never forget that not only was the Wheeling the most dangerous road in the USA to work on, but they were exceedingly CHEAP; even stingier than a normal steam-era road). I've got a couple of photos of these cars in the NKP's MOW pool, but as revenue cars they'd have dropped off the roster by 1953.

Hope this helps!
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

 

________________________________
From: Eric Hansmann <eric@...>
 
Bill,

I am happy to expose a prototype possibility for the Accurail gondola, but I
must add uncertainty for cars in service beyond 1950. I have reviewed an NKP
freight equipment listing and have not found where these W&LE gondolas fit
into the NKP roster. Here's the PDF I reviewed at the Alphabet Route site:

http://www.alphabetroute.com/nkp/rosterpdfs/NKPFreightClass.pdf

Maybe Ray Breyer will chime in with new details.

The NKP pages from a 1950 ORER are also available on the Alphabet Route
site, but they are a poor, low-res scan and I cannot read the details. It
seems there are double digits under the W&LE listings towards the end of
those NKP pages, but I am not certain. If these gondolas still retained
their K brake system, then they may not have survived in revenue service
beyond 1953. Sorry to temper your enthusiasm, but I know you would feel
worse discovering these details after finishing a model.

BTW, fine decals representing the as-built lettering for these W&LE gondola
were recently offered by Gerry Glow. This spurred my conversion efforts.

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Bill Welch
 

I think I will proceed with the kit-bash regardless. At the rate I am getting things painted and decaled, maybe another prototype will surface, so I will ask, are there other prototypes for a 10-rib/11-panel 40-foot gondola with plate steel ends?

Bill Welch

--- In STMFC@..., Ray Breyer <rtbsvrr69@...> wrote:

Hi Eric,
 
None of these cars made it into NKP paint. The class as a whole stayed intact into the Depression years, but the K brake ban doomed them:
 
                            7/1922    12/1930    4/1940    1/1945    7/1950    1/1951    1/1955
R6000-series:        100         100           66            65            1            1                0
52000-series:        1900      1900         1431       1347         11            5                0

The Wheeling's 1947 freight car diagram book shows them with KD brakes, so it's obvious that they didn't feel that these cars were worth upgrading to AB (never forget that not only was the Wheeling the most dangerous road in the USA to work on, but they were exceedingly CHEAP; even stingier than a normal steam-era road). I've got a couple of photos of these cars in the NKP's MOW pool, but as revenue cars they'd have dropped off the roster by 1953.

Hope this helps!
Ray Breyer
Elgin, IL

 

________________________________
From: Eric Hansmann <eric@...>
 
Bill,

I am happy to expose a prototype possibility for the Accurail gondola, but I
must add uncertainty for cars in service beyond 1950. I have reviewed an NKP
freight equipment listing and have not found where these W&LE gondolas fit
into the NKP roster. Here's the PDF I reviewed at the Alphabet Route site:

http://www.alphabetroute.com/nkp/rosterpdfs/NKPFreightClass.pdf

Maybe Ray Breyer will chime in with new details.

The NKP pages from a 1950 ORER are also available on the Alphabet Route
site, but they are a poor, low-res scan and I cannot read the details. It
seems there are double digits under the W&LE listings towards the end of
those NKP pages, but I am not certain. If these gondolas still retained
their K brake system, then they may not have survived in revenue service
beyond 1953. Sorry to temper your enthusiasm, but I know you would feel
worse discovering these details after finishing a model.

BTW, fine decals representing the as-built lettering for these W&LE gondola
were recently offered by Gerry Glow. This spurred my conversion efforts.

Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX



David Sieber
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Eric Hansmann" <eric@...> wrote: I am
happy to expose a prototype possibility for the Accurail gondola, but I
must add uncertainty for cars in service beyond 1950 ... BTW, fine
decals representing the as-built lettering for these W&LE gondola were
recently offered by Gerry Glow.

and Ray Breyer wrote: None of these cars made it into NKP paint. The
class as a whole stayed intact into the Depression years, but the K
brake ban doomed them.

Gentlemen, unfortunate that these interesting gondolas didn't last into
my late-'50s modeling era; still, I'm interested in doing one up for my
1949 steam display train. Anyone have a photo link to one of these gons
in the '40s showing the lettering they wore at the end of their service
lives? I'd rather decal from a photo than just apply a generic WLE
roadname and simplified data.

Appreciate any assistance, Dave Sieber, Reno NV


Eric Hansmann
 

Greetings Dave!

I wish I could point you to prototype images of the later 1930s and through the 1940s.

I think Cyril Durrenberger had an article in Model Railroader concerning a W&LE gondola conversion from a Tyco/Mantua car. I don't have the article, but there may be a later image of the Wheeling's 52000-53899 gondolas in that article. It starts on page 96 of the January 1987 Model Railroader. This may have also been reprinted in Kalmbach's "Freight Car Projects and Ideas".

I checked the Fallen Flags site and there was nothing there for these gondolas. Same for the NMRA photo archive.

I've got an in-service image of two of these gondolas, but the photo was taken in the early 1930s and there is so much weathering that the lettering is difficult to comprehend. I think they are still in original lettering.

I've always got my eyes open for pre-Depression freight cars in the post-WWII era. I'll pass along anything that is spotted.

Eric


Eric Hansmann
El Paso, TX

--- In STMFC@..., "ealabhan0" <ealabhan0@...> wrote:


Gentlemen, unfortunate that these interesting gondolas didn't last into
my late-'50s modeling era; still, I'm interested in doing one up for my
1949 steam display train. Anyone have a photo link to one of these gons
in the '40s showing the lettering they wore at the end of their service
lives? I'd rather decal from a photo than just apply a generic WLE
roadname and simplified data.

Appreciate any assistance, Dave Sieber, Reno NV


David Sieber
 

Eric, Appreciate your help. I had also checked Fallen Flags and found nothing. I'd neglected to check the NMRA photo archive; while your search came up empty, we can still hope there's a photo or two lurking among the yet-to-be-digitized part of the NMRA's extensive collection. Unfortunately, the Durrenberger article in MR Jan 87 has no prototype photos, only photos of the six different models that Cyril had made from the Tyco gon (I know I did a couple of those cars!). Good and bad news for Bill Welch; apparently, Southern 170000-171249 were similar to the WLE gons, 10-post/11-panel 40-footers with flat steel ends with two horizontal braces, and a horizontal brakewheel rather than a lever handbrake (Cyril modeled renumbered car #76955). He noted that the Southern gons were built prior to 1923, and that 75 cars were in revenue service in 1930, but that all of the cars were gone per the 1942 ORER; so, gone even earlier than the WLE gondolas (although perhaps some continued on in MOW service?). It looks like my best option is to do the Accurail kitbash, and then beat and weather that WLE gon to look like it's on its last legs - as the few remaining WLE prototype gons were in 1949-50!Thanks again, Dave Sieber, Reno NV