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1880's Pennsylvania RR Type GA Drop-Bottom Gondola in HO scale - $35.00

Actual nearly-completed hand-made car kit master shown.  Kit will include detail parts from Tichy Train Group and custom Decals from Rail Graphics. Trucks and couplers not included.

Photo of a smaller, earlier gondola of similar construction for illustrative purposes.  This is not a drop-bottom car.

Gondolas were favored by many railroads in the early years because of their versatility - like a flatcar they could carry almost any load that did not require protection from the weather.  But unlike a flatcar the gondola's sides made it possible to contain loose loads like coal and crushed stone. The addition of drop-doors in the bottom meant these loads could be unloaded faster and with less effort, but the car could still be used for other loads like poles or machinery when needed. Before the self-clearing hopper car became popular after the turn of the century this was the most efficient way to move loose bulk loads.

The Pennsylvania's Type GA Gondola introduced in the late 1870's was an excellent example of this versatility. Serving on all divisions of the railroad, they were used primarily to move coal (up to 20-25 tons at a time). Many of these gons were equipped with collapsible side stakes that could be raised to secure tall loads like stacks of pipe, and lowered out of the way for regular duty. GA gondolas had a long service life, and were wide-ranging with approximately 7,000 cars being built well into the 1880's. Many ran through the end of the 19th century and into the first decade of the 20th when they were finally replaced with steel hopper cars and other gondolas of greater capacity.

Our Amesville Shops model of the GA Gondola is built from technical drawings appearing in John H. White's seminal work The American Railroad Freight Car, and features:

Like all models produced by Amesville Shops, these cars were very common and could have been seen regularly in trains anywhere in the country from 1880 through 1910 or so. It is an everyday working car, and will fit right in with the rest of your fleet. Of course, common doesn’t mean dull - for those who notice it the fine level of detail will be a pleasant reward. Coal haulers will want to get several GA’s to fill out their trains!

Couplers not included, Kadee #158 scale couplers recommended.

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Last update:  June 3, 2012