Topics

bonsallscalecarshops D&RGW Gondolas

Bill Welch
 

I remember seeing these 2-3 years ago and thought they had a lot of potential but at the time wondered if they would have been seen offline and in the Southeaster states. Can someone comment please?

Regarding the various lengths, which length was most numerous? Regarding the material used for the casting, dies it carve easily or is it brittle as I notice the grabs are cast on the model?

Here is the link to the Ebay store selling the kits: https://www.ebay.com/sch/bonsallscalecarshops/m.html?item=233119600549&hash=item364702cfa5%3Ag%3AcYIAAOSwuvpcTSWw%3Ark%3A1%3Apf%3A0&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

Bill Welch

gary laakso
 

Thanks for posting Bill.  It is a very unusual 36 foot gondola in the DRGW fleet.

 

Gary Laakso

Northwest of Mike Brock

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Bill Welch
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2019 5:42 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] bonsallscalecarshops D&RGW Gondolas

 

I remember seeing these 2-3 years ago and thought they had a lot of potential but at the time wondered if they would have been seen offline and in the Southeaster states. Can someone comment please?

Regarding the various lengths, which length was most numerous? Regarding the material used for the casting, dies it carve easily or is it brittle as I notice the grabs are cast on the model?

Here is the link to the Ebay store selling the kits: https://www.ebay.com/sch/bonsallscalecarshops/m.html?item=233119600549&hash=item364702cfa5%3Ag%3AcYIAAOSwuvpcTSWw%3Ark%3A1%3Apf%3A0&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

Bill Welch

mopacfirst
 

In the absence of a real Rio Grande expert, I'll throw in what I know. 

I'm modeling an area of central Kansas that had a direct connection to the Rio Grande via the interchange at Pueblo.  By the late sixties, for sure, there was no coal traffic coming in my direction from Colorado, or any other mineral traffic to speak of, coming from that direction, so I never saw any of these cars there, and they were probably less likely to have strayed farther eastward.  I believe these cars carried coal and limestone, mostly to CF&I at Pueblo, and mostly coming down the grades on Marshall Pass, after they got rid of that pesky narrow gauge.  That's probably why they also have clasp-brake trucks.

Still, for the 46-footers for sure, this is an extremely neat car not likely to be made any other way so, if I could use one, I'd be all over this.  Ditto the heavy-duty flatcars made out of tenders, which I didn't know existed.  The MoPac did something like this also, but with two tender frames welded back-to-back, and I'd love to see somebody who has the skill draw and build those.

I think we're on the cusp of a big development, making 3D printed freight cars of unusual prototypes, and I'm hoping to encourage it.  The only thing I'm not satisfied with is how hard these things are to find, which I acknowledge has nothing to do with the skill of the designers of these cars.  I tried hunting for that link last night and completely failed, so thanks for posting it.

Ron Merrick

Mark Hemphill
 

They might have wandered into the southeast a few times, anything showed up anywhere if one waited long enough. But I doubt they ever appeared in the southeast on a regular basis. D&RGW was always gon-poor so they wouldn't have wanted to lease them out to a foreign road. In the lifetime of those cars, D&RGW's coal market going east petered out at about Salina and Hoisington, Kansas on the MP and UP. Santa Fe had similar access to the Raton Field in southern Colorado, so D&RGW coal didn't penetrate Santa Fe markets in Kansas very often. Beyond that approximate mid-point of Kansas on MP and UP lines, coal mined in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas outcompeted D&RGW coal in domestic, industrial, and railroad fuel markets on an as-delivered cost basis.  Coal quality in the Raton Field was high-BTU, low ash, low moisture, thus very good for domestic heating, industrial use, steam generation, and locomotive fuel, but it wasn't a very good coking coal so it couldn't compete with coking coal from Oklahoma in the plains states, and certainly not with West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other eastern met coals in Mississippi Valley, Chicago, and Ohio Valley markets.  

Mark Hemphill

Bill Welch
 

So Mark you are saying the only thing loaded in these cars was coal?

Bill Welch

Mark Hemphill
 

Ron: 

The gons that Corey Bonsall produced these cool models of were almost completely out of the fleet by the early 1960s. Marshall Pass was never standard-gauged. I've not seen any photos of these gons, or any of the prewar-built D&RGW 50-ton or 70-ton gons on the Monarch Branch. It was standard-gauged in 1956. All photos I've seen of it post-standard gauge show the only cars in use are the 72000-73699 series, which were PSC 70-ton gons built in 1953.

D&RGW did send some coal east on the MoPac in the 1960s, but of course not in unit trains until the mid-1970s. I have photos of coal being interchanged to MoPac in Pueblo in the early to mid-1960s.  Interestingly, a lot of that coal in the 1960s that moved onto the MoPac was in MoPac, Southern, and C&EI hoppers, not D&RGW cars. 

D&RGW used its GS gons indiscriminately in coal, iron ore, lead and zinc ore concentrates, limestone, dolomite, sugar beet, pig iron, scrap iron and steel, round wood, and railroad tie service, plus anything else that was convenient for a gon including lumber, pipe, railroad wheels, grey iron castings, etc.

There was also a small but steady movement of coking coal moving to CF&I at Minnequa (Pueblo), Colorado, and USS at Ironton and Geneva, Utah (both near Provo), in MoPac hoppers, from the 1940s until 1983. This was coking coal mined in eastern and southeastern Oklahoma that was blended with the poor-quality coking coals mined in Colorado and Utah to improve the quality of coke made at the byproduct ovens at CF&I and US Steel. Most of this coal came from Coal, Haskell, and Le Flore Counties. Bokoshe, Oklahoma, was a notable source for coking coal for Geneva and Minnequa.

Mark Hemphill 

Mark Hemphill
 

Bill:  I'm sorry that I didn't see your post while I was in the process of answering Ron's (and doing some work email).  I think I probably answered some of what you were asking.  D&RGW didn't produce much on line in the way of manufactured goods, but rather products of mines, fields, and forests (and not much in the way of forests). If we're thinking about movements east, the only common commodities that moved off D&RGW in gons going east, other than coal, would be zinc concentrates going to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, rail from CF&I, and there was also some round wood that moved to pulp mills in Wisconsin in the 1940-1960 era that was loaded at Dotsero, Fraser, Granby, and some other points on the Moffat. Scrap metal moving east wouldn't get past Minnequa. 

CF&I Minnequa was a bar, wire, and rail mill that supplied western markets. It was not competitive with midwestern mills on an as-delivered basis for commodity steel products beyond central Kansas. CF&I also had a substantial output of specialty steel products such as barbed wire, fence posts, nails, and grader blades, and its market for those extended deep into Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. But none of those moved in large volumes by rail, just boxcars and gons dribbled out in small numbers each week.

Mark Hemphill

Corey Bonsall
 

Maybe it's time I step out of the shadows to explain some of what I've been doing with these 3D printed cars...

Let's start with some history, most of which I have gleaned from Jim Eager's article in the second quarter 2002 issue of The Prospector (Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society, Volume 1, Number 2):

Overall, ten series of steel GS gondolas, built between 1908 and 1954, totaling 8,251 cars.

(All lengths are interior)

They started with 2501 of the 36 ft cars (40000-42500) in 1908-09, followed by 350 of the 40 ft cars (43000-43349) in 1912-13.  The big "offset" cars of 46 ft length (700 total in the 70000-70699 series) showed up in 1922, with 500 of the shorter offset 42 ft (45000-45499) cousins in 1926.  

I think Mark Hemphill (Thanks, Mark!) has me beat on the details of the rest of the fleet already in another thread that just showed up in my email...

Those are the cars I have designed and printed to this point, since I really wanted a fleet of D&RGW GS gondolas, but other than the brass W&R cars, and the somewhat close Red Caboose class of 42ft 46k series cars, there wasn't anything close.  As the time spent drafting up the cars is one of the larger investments I have, I started with what I wanted (cast grabs, for durability, and for large fleet expediency), and am working through adding a "blank" option for all of the cars for those who want the option to drill and form their own grab irons, and spend more time on the brakes.

The cars are all printed on a Form 2 printer, using their standard black resin (methyl-acrylic-something-something), but in response to Bill's question, it does NOT carve like styrene.  It can be sanded, or filed, but using a knife-edge makes it crack. Some of the dimensions I have to compromise, due to the limitations of the printer, but I think the overall result has easily passed my normal "Two Foot Rule" I use in my modeling.

Some of my finished cars should be visible in the album links below:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2190102484587585&type=1&l=14b0223f99

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1923391824591987&type=1&l=2cd9241278

I have not attempted resin casting, as there are a lot of overhanging details that I felt would not release from the molds, and I wasn't quite ready to jump into a second new avenue for myself.  I am doing this as a side hobby from my normal day job, so the progress can seem eternally slow.

I am grateful for the support I've received on this endeavor, and I hope to continue working through the many related possibilities in under-represented models as time allows.

Corey Bonsall
Bonsall Scale Carshops
https://www.ebay.com/usr/bonsallscalecarshops
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq-_HZ-5muFoz5sqjoEwdIQ


Mark Hemphill
 

Corey, you know, if you were making the 72000-73699 series, I'd have to have about 70 of them. Just sayin'.

Mark Hemphill

Bill Welch
 

Thank you Mark and Corey for you very helpful and thorough responses. Please keep this group posted on your progress with the "Blank Side" option.

Bill Welch

Chuck Soule
 

One of my earliest railroad-related memories is seeing Rio Grande gondolas in Tacoma bound for the Asarco smelter.  They were a major source of copper ore to the smelter from US sources (the smelter also got a lot of ore from overseas by ship).  I think what caught my eye at that young age was the flying Rio Grande logo.

Chuck Soule

mopacfirst
 

Mark:

Thanks for the specifics.  I get Marshall and Monarch mixed up all the time, but forgive me, I'm a flatlander.  I'm happy to hear more details about the flow of loads out of Colorado, especially for anything coming east.  It would probably have been a rare day for one of these cars showing up in Wichita.  I already know about the scarcity of other Rio Grande cars there.  But, I have plenty of MoPac two-bay and three-bay coal hoppers.  Two-bays rapidly disappeared after 1960, probably related to the demise of the retail coal market.  My Wichita house, built in 1914, shows no sign of ever having a coal bin or a coal furnace, although houses across the street do.

Corey:

For black cars with complex geometries like these, I'd be perfectly happy with cast-on grabs and end ladders.  So I'm not one who wishes to push the envelope all that much.  Thanks for the advice on the material construction.

Ron Merrick

Mark Hemphill
 

Ron, I need to have some MoPac hoppers on my 64-65 Rio Grande Tennessee Pass layout. But I'm no expert on the MoPac, and it's hard enough learning about Rio Grande, much less another railroad. (Please don't feel any embarrassment about mixing up Marshall Pass and Monarch :) ... what I know about the MoPac i could write out in 10-15 seconds.) I have some Stewart offset side 70-ton hoppers lettered for MoPac and Missouri-Illinois, and some Atlas 50-ton offset side hoppers also lettered for MoPac.  Are either of these cars even remotely accurate for MoPac?  Are there any other RTR models in HO that are close for MoPac in the 64-65 era?

Mark Hemphill  

mopacfirst
 

Mark:

This could probably be a different thread.

The Stewart MoPac/Mo-Ill car is a good representation. Out of the box, the lettering is pretty decent but the builder's stencil is on it, and the car numbers are not well representative of what we call the 'DeSoto' lettering style.  The old Oddballs and the new Speedwitch decal lettering style are much better.  For your timeframe, the renumbering into six-digit series hadn't seriously begun yet, but many of these cars would have been repainted.  Cars painted before 1961 would have the Eagles slogan on the MP cars, never on the M-I.  Cars repainted after 1961 would be red, still have the 42" buzzsaw, and cars painted after about 1963 would have the 60" buzzsaw and a different, more square and thin lettering style.

The Atlas two-bay car is good, rather than the Athearn.  The Atlas car is available with 30" herald and no slogan, as for cars painted before 1948.  The reporting marks and number are an odd style that ACF actually used on one batch of cars, while other cars had the DeSoto lettering style.  Cars repainted after 1948 had the slogan and 42" buzzsaw.  Atlas offered another paint scheme representing cars built after 1956 with the slogan, but the 1" stripes removed.  Relatively few cars were painted like this due to the narrow time frame.  And very few cars lasted until 1965 when the six-digit renumbering began.

There were four-bay cars built in 1930, like the old Athearn or NLI.  Neither is 100% accurate, but good for two-foot viewing.  These cars were mostly worn out by the early 60s.  See also the mopac.org site for this description from Ed Hawkins:   http://mopac.org/modeling/50-mopac-painting-information-from-ed-hawkins

There were 100-ton four-bay hoppers already in existence, built beginning in 1962, which eventually became a signature MP system car.  But in their first years, numbered in the 67000 series, they were primarily captive in iron pellet loading in Missouri.  The first ones were 3209 cubic feet, shorter than the more famous larger-capacity cars that came later.  I mention this because this later car has been widely modeled.

This should be a good start.

Ron Merrick

Tim O'Connor
 

I have a steam era video of Donner Pass showing gondolas westbound over Donner loaded
with PIG IRON slugs - piles of them at each end of the cars with an empty space between. Lots
of Utah and Colorado coal also travelled west over Donner. Cement plants use a lot of coal and
I think SP, even in the steam era, would bring coal "east" through the San Joaquin valley over
Tehachapi to Monolith, after it had first come west over Donner.

Tim O'

On 2/10/2019 11:33 AM, Mark Hemphill via Groups.Io wrote:
Bill:  I'm sorry that I didn't see your post while I was in the process of answering Ron's (and doing some work email).  I think I probably answered some of what you were asking.  D&RGW didn't produce much on line in the way of manufactured goods, but rather products of mines, fields, and forests (and not much in the way of forests). If we're thinking about movements east, the only common commodities that moved off D&RGW in gons going east, other than coal, would be zinc concentrates going to Bartlesville, Oklahoma, rail from CF&I, and there was also some round wood that moved to pulp mills in Wisconsin in the 1940-1960 era that was loaded at Dotsero, Fraser, Granby, and some other points on the Moffat. Scrap metal moving east wouldn't get past Minnequa.

CF&I Minnequa was a bar, wire, and rail mill that supplied western markets. It was not competitive with midwestern mills on an as-delivered basis for commodity steel products beyond central Kansas. CF&I also had a substantial output of specialty steel products such as barbed wire, fence posts, nails, and grader blades, and its market for those extended deep into Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. But none of those moved in large volumes by rail, just boxcars and gons dribbled out in small numbers each week.

Mark Hemphill
--
*Tim O'Connor*
*Sterling, Massachusetts*

Tim O'Connor
 


I have attached my only shot of one of the 36 foot GS gondolas which lasted in service until 1959,
if not later! (Just over 100 were still in service in 1955, a decline from the almost 700 cars in 1950.)

The photo is from Barstow, in the 1940's.

Tim O'Connor




On 2/10/2019 11:48 AM, Corey Bonsall wrote:
Maybe it's time I step out of the shadows to explain some of what I've been doing with these 3D printed cars...

Let's start with some history, most of which I have gleaned from Jim Eager's article in the second quarter 2002 issue of The Prospector (Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society, Volume 1, Number 2):

Overall, ten series of steel GS gondolas, built between 1908 and 1954, totaling 8,251 cars.

(All lengths are interior)

They started with 2501 of the 36 ft cars (40000-42500) in 1908-09, followed by 350 of the 40 ft cars (43000-43349) in 1912-13.  The big "offset" cars of 46 ft length (700 total in the 70000-70699 series) showed up in 1922, with 500 of the shorter offset 42 ft (45000-45499) cousins in 1926.  

I think Mark Hemphill (Thanks, Mark!) has me beat on the details of the rest of the fleet already in another thread that just showed up in my email...

Those are the cars I have designed and printed to this point, since I really wanted a fleet of D&RGW GS gondolas, but other than the brass W&R cars, and the somewhat close Red Caboose class of 42ft 46k series cars, there wasn't anything close.  As the time spent drafting up the cars is one of the larger investments I have, I started with what I wanted (cast grabs, for durability, and for large fleet expediency), and am working through adding a "blank" option for all of the cars for those who want the option to drill and form their own grab irons, and spend more time on the brakes.

The cars are all printed on a Form 2 printer, using their standard black resin (methyl-acrylic-something-something), but in response to Bill's question, it does NOT carve like styrene.  It can be sanded, or filed, but using a knife-edge makes it crack. Some of the dimensions I have to compromise, due to the limitations of the printer, but I think the overall result has easily passed my normal "Two Foot Rule" I use in my modeling.

Some of my finished cars should be visible in the album links below:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2190102484587585&type=1&l=14b0223f99

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1923391824591987&type=1&l=2cd9241278

I have not attempted resin casting, as there are a lot of overhanging details that I felt would not release from the molds, and I wasn't quite ready to jump into a second new avenue for myself.  I am doing this as a side hobby from my normal day job, so the progress can seem eternally slow.

I am grateful for the support I've received on this endeavor, and I hope to continue working through the many related possibilities in under-represented models as time allows.

Corey Bonsall
Bonsall Scale Carshops


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Allen Rueter
 

In Oct '47 a fair number GS gons were headed north on the Inside Gateway (Oregon Trunk) at Bieber

44 ATSF XMR 10800 10999
45 DRGW GS 45000 45499
46 ATSF XMR 64200 64699
49 ATSF XAR 9000 9199
49 DRGW GS 71000 71999
56 UCR GS 20000 21999
58 DRGW GS 70000 70699
60 ATSF XMR 9200 9455
98 DRGW GS 40000 42500
532 GN FM 69500 69999

has any one done a UCR GS?

-- Allen Rueter StLouis MO


On Sunday, February 10, 2019, 3:04:40 PM CST, Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:



I have attached my only shot of one of the 36 foot GS gondolas which lasted in service until 1959,
if not later! (Just over 100 were still in service in 1955, a decline from the almost 700 cars in 1950.)

The photo is from Barstow, in the 1940's.

Tim O'Connor




On 2/10/2019 11:48 AM, Corey Bonsall wrote:
Maybe it's time I step out of the shadows to explain some of what I've been doing with these 3D printed cars...

Let's start with some history, most of which I have gleaned from Jim Eager's article in the second quarter 2002 issue of The Prospector (Rio Grande Modeling & Historical Society, Volume 1, Number 2):

Overall, ten series of steel GS gondolas, built between 1908 and 1954, totaling 8,251 cars.

(All lengths are interior)

They started with 2501 of the 36 ft cars (40000-42500) in 1908-09, followed by 350 of the 40 ft cars (43000-43349) in 1912-13.  The big "offset" cars of 46 ft length (700 total in the 70000-70699 series) showed up in 1922, with 500 of the shorter offset 42 ft (45000-45499) cousins in 1926.  

I think Mark Hemphill (Thanks, Mark!) has me beat on the details of the rest of the fleet already in another thread that just showed up in my email...

Those are the cars I have designed and printed to this point, since I really wanted a fleet of D&RGW GS gondolas, but other than the brass W&R cars, and the somewhat close Red Caboose class of 42ft 46k series cars, there wasn't anything close.  As the time spent drafting up the cars is one of the larger investments I have, I started with what I wanted (cast grabs, for durability, and for large fleet expediency), and am working through adding a "blank" option for all of the cars for those who want the option to drill and form their own grab irons, and spend more time on the brakes.

The cars are all printed on a Form 2 printer, using their standard black resin (methyl-acrylic-something-something), but in response to Bill's question, it does NOT carve like styrene.  It can be sanded, or filed, but using a knife-edge makes it crack. Some of the dimensions I have to compromise, due to the limitations of the printer, but I think the overall result has easily passed my normal "Two Foot Rule" I use in my modeling.

Some of my finished cars should be visible in the album links below:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2190102484587585&type=1&l=14b0223f99

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1923391824591987&type=1&l=2cd9241278

I have not attempted resin casting, as there are a lot of overhanging details that I felt would not release from the molds, and I wasn't quite ready to jump into a second new avenue for myself.  I am doing this as a side hobby from my normal day job, so the progress can seem eternally slow.

I am grateful for the support I've received on this endeavor, and I hope to continue working through the many related possibilities in under-represented models as time allows.

Corey Bonsall
Bonsall Scale Carshops


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Mark Hemphill
 

Ron, thanks a million for the good start on MoPac.  Is there a MoPac freight guide anywhere, like was done for the Rio Grande by Jim Eager?

Allen -- I'm not aware of any UCR GS gons. If there were, I'd seriously consider chucking 1965 Tennessee Pass, for 1945 Soldier Summit. Fewer trees to build, that's for sure!  Also, those car counts from October 1947 are fascinating.  

Mark Hemphill

Mark Hemphill
 

Tim O'Connor -- I don't know the time frame of your video, but if it was taken in the 1923-1960 time frame, the pig iron would most likely be from Ironton, Utah, and most likely would be en route to Pittsburg, California.  Ironton was a 600-ton per day blast furnace / byproduct coke oven plant built in 1922-1923 to supply pig iron to Columbia Steel's open-hearth furnaces at Pittsburg and Torrance, Calif. Those open-hearths supplied a plate mill, hot-rolled sheet mill, cold-rolled sheet mill, and tinplate mill at Pittsburg; I don't have the paper in front of me to list what type(s) of rolling mills were at Torrance. (Columbia Steel also purchased an existing steel mill (open-hearths, rolling mills) at Portland, Oregon, at some point.)  US Steel bought Columbia Steel in 1930 and operated it as a subsidiary. US Steel bought the Geneva Works from the Defense Plant Corporation in 1946, and operated it as the subsidiary Geneva Steel Co., until 1951, when the two Utah/California steel companies were merged as Columbia-Geneva Steel Co., a USS subsidiary. A 900-ton blast furnace purchased from a defunct mill at Joliet, Illinois, was re-erected at Ironton in 1943 by the Defense Plant Corporation, to increase the pig-iron supply at Pittsburg. The DPC sold the 900-ton blast furnace to Kaiser Steel post-war; Kaiser at the time was having difficulties getting enough iron out of its blast furnaces at Fontana to supply its open-hearths. Kaiser later resold this to USS. In 1943, Blast Furnace & Steel Plant reported that 75% of the pig iron output of Ironton was going to Pittsburg and Torrance, with the balance sold locally or in California to foundries.

Mark Hemphill

Mark Hemphill
 
Edited

Tim:  I'm not sure ANY Colorado coal went over Donner Pass until the 1970s, only Utah coal (and possibly some Wyoming coal). Colorado's North Fork Branch mines, Aspen Branch mines, and Grand Junction-area mines were very small until the 1960s, which is beyond the purview of this group. 

Mark Hemphill