Roadtrip finds

My lovely wife and I hit the road recently to visit our kids and grand kids, and my parents. We drove from middle Tennessee to Buffalo to celebrate a second birthday with a grandson. The Heritage Discovery Center was holding an open house, so we dropped by for a visit the day after the party.

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Prototype inside stake wood gondolas

Prototype gondola designs ran the gamut with wood and steel components. These cars were everywhere in the early 20th century and had many different features. Steve Hedlund has gathered details for an inside stake wood gondola review. This design was popular with a number of railroads. The Missouri Pacific rostered 6,000 of these at one time. Steve covers several other railroads plus a few gondolas that look similar but had slight differences. Westerfield Models offers an HO scale kit for this type of gondola.

This resource PDF document is available on the Freight Car Fleets page. We hope you find it useful to add a couple more gondolas to the fleet.

Many thanks to Steve Hedlund for this fine prototype car review.


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Truss Rod end freight cars

from Car Builder’s Dictionary, 1906

It’s time for another freight car resource file. Ray Breyer has compiled information on truss rod end freight cars. We think of truss rods supporting freight car underframes but they were also used in other applications. Ray presents lots of photos and data covering these uses in a handy document.

Ray’s resource PDF is available on the Freight Car Fleets page. We hope modelers find it useful to build early wood boxcars for their fleets. We have more railroad fleet data and details coming soon.

Many thanks to Ray for pulling the data and images into one document.


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New layout planning

I’ve been planning a new layout since late in the summer of 2019. I came across the image above a few years ago and it has inspired research into the Baltimore & Ohio’s Allegheny Yard branch in Pittsburgh. In the lead image we see the Allegheny River and the School Street yard sitting on the north shore, circa 1923. Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball along this shore at PNC Park. The stadium dominates the scene and would be hiding the building with the Teaberry Gum sign.

All images in this blog post are from the Pittsburgh City Photographer collection on the Historic Pittsburgh site, unless noted otherwise.

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Schoen and Pressed Steel Car Company hoppers

It’s time for another freight car resource. Steve Hedlund sent a wonderful summary of Schoen Pressed Steel and Pressed Steel Car Company hoppers. These companies built some of the earliest all-steel hoppers starting in the late 1890s. They built more than 18,000 of these hoppers, which were used by a dozen different railroads. The Pennsylvania Railroad GL class cars were very similar but deserve a separate review.

This resource PDF document is available on the Freight Car Fleets page. We hope modelers find it useful as they build early steel hoppers for their fleets. We have more railroad fleet data and details coming soon.

Many thanks to Steve for pulling the data and images together.


Thank you for visiting the 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.