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1880's Pennsylvania RR Type GA Gondola in HO scale - $34.00

Actual kit shown. Iinclude detail parts from Tichy Train Group, A-Line and one of five different custom PRR decals. Trucks and couplers not included. Shown above are decals for PRR and PRR/PCC&StL .

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. They came in both solid-bottom and drop-bottom variants. 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 second decade of the 20th when they were finally replaced with steel hopper cars and steel-frame 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:

Decal sets for GA Gondolas (select one per kit)

Item Number Report Mark Car Number Build Location, Date
10101 / 10111 PRR 3158 Alt. 10.86
10102 / 10112 PRR 3324 Alt. 10.86
10103 / 10113 PCC&StL 3897 Jeff. 5.86
10104 / 10114 C&MV 4352 Jeff. 1.87
10105 / 10115 JM&I 4549 Alt. 3.87
10106 / 10116 L&V 4607 Alt. 3.89

Decal Notes:


More photos of the actual kit:

Photos of the unpainted test build car:

Amesville Shops Pennsylvania RR Type GA Drop Bottom Gondola Kit

Why did we do this car?

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 and couplers not included, Kadee #158 scale couplers recommended. Tahoe Model Works five-foot wheelbase Archbar Trucks recommended.

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Last update:  January 6, 2015