Do you recognize this gondola? I know you recognize the railroad name, but do you recognize the car design? It looks similar to many gondolas used in the first four decades of the 20th Century. The B&O had more than 2500 of these O-17 class gondolas listed in an October 1926 Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER). Are you surprised?
As my railroad modeling is focused on 1926, I’ve found the freight car fleets of many railroads to be starkly different from their fleets of the post-WW2 years. A B&O boxcar summary was posted a few months ago that illustrated many different car designs on the 1926 roster.
The full B&O fleet summary won’t fit nicely into a blog page so PDF files have been created to share the fleet information. A resource page is available where you can access individual PDF summaries as manageable file sizes to download. The gondola fleet summary is now available for your review and enjoyment. Hoppers will be covered next and the final installment will review the remaining cars of the 1926 fleet.
Above is a 1914 image that captured at least four B&O gondolas at a Pittsburgh asphalt plant. Images of the older B&O gondolas are not easy to find for this summary. In many cases, the original images were cropped and massaged to coax a decent view of the freight car. You can click on the link in the above caption to view the original image and compare to the one posted here. Almost every image is an adventure.
Several people have assisted with this project. I thank James Mischke, Bob Witt, Ed Kirstatter, and Ray Breyer for sharing details, photos, and proofreading as these summaries have lurched ahead over the months. I think we all learned a bit more in the process.
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