Shawmut freight car update

Dave Ramos photo

I was recently searching for something on my blog and I came across Perry Squier’s posts on Shawmut freight cars he was building. After reviewing his posts again, I realized the final appearance of some models had not been shared. It’s time for project closure!

Perry’s Shawmut freight cars appeared in three blog posts.

With Perry’s box car projects, the model build summary ended before lettering was applied. I asked if he could send a few project photos and notes for this wrap up. Here he is with the update.

Yes. both groups of models, 31 drop bottom gondolas and ten box cars, were completed. The decals are a mixture of older ones I had from Ron at Rail Graphics, and new ones from Highball Graphics of West Ossipee, NH. The photo above shows the decals ready for the ten box cars. I organized them into plastic bins ready to use.

Here’s one of the completed box cars in service on the layout.

The Shawmut had a large number of high-side wood gondolas in coal service. As shared in the earlier post, I scratchbuilt the car bodies around Tichy flat car underframes.

The gons capture the prototype appearance well and offer an interesting mix with the steel hoppers.

Custom coal loads were made for many of them. It was a chore working through 31 coal gondolas, but they add a different element to the general appearance of my HO scale Pittsburg, Shawmut & Northern layout.


Many thanks to Perry Squier for sharing his freight car additions. His Shawmut is set in 1923 and hosts regular operating sessions. Dave Ramos is one of the regular crew members. He posted photos on Facebook from a recent op session and gave permission to share them here. The image starting this post is one of Dave’s photos.

The layout captures how the Shawmut traveled around hills and through valleys of north central Pennsylvania. Many industries of that time and place are a great size for modeling.

In the above image, one of the Shawmut crew works the yard at Hornell, NY, where the Shawmut interchanges with the Erie Railroad. To the left is the train order operator, who is ready to write down orders from the dispatcher and deliver them to towns along the route.

More scenes from Perry’s Shawmut layout can be reviewed on the Pittsburg Shawmut & Northern Historical Society website. If the Shawmut piques your interest, why not join the PS&N Historical Society? Members share of information on the railroad and the region it served.


Thank you for visiting my blog. You can share a comment in the section below. Follow the instructions so your comment can be posted. All comments are reviewed and approved before they appear. Please share the blog link with other model railroaders. To subscribe to this blog, add your email address to the function at the bottom of the right column on the main page.

3 thoughts on “Shawmut freight car update”

  1. Many years ago when I visited Perry’s layout, I noticed Shawmut hoppers. They were Accurail USRA hoppers. I had modified about 20 of them with separate grabs, new steps, cut levers…the works. He had done the same. I said “I did the same mods on 24 of these cars”. He replied (I don’t recall the actual number) “I did 154.”

    1. That’s a great memory, Blake! Thanks for sharing. FYI, I’ve only upgraded about a dozen Accurail and Bowser hoppers. Many more lurk in the shadows for improvements…. – Eric H.

  2. Oh heart be still! I really like the box cars and gondolas. Perry’s Shawmut layout is among those that I look to for guidance and inspiration.
    For my gons, I’ll need a mix of standard and drop/hopper bottom units. My plan is to use the metal chassis of 36′ MRC-Roundhouse Old Timers and make masters/molds/resin castings for the ends & sides. Its a far-off project that may require a learning curve, which I hope won’t be too long or too steep!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: