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 Post subject: Two 1930s/1940s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9057
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
The Cape Charles (Va.) Historical Society & Museum is in possession of, among other rail equipment, the three ex-Southern Railway(?) 36-foot (estimated) gondolas that were used as idler cars for loading the car float that formerly operated between Cape Charles (the very southern end, rail-wise, of the Delmarva Peninsula) and Little Creek (near Norfolk), Va. The cars are among rail equipment donated by the present custodians of the local-government-owned railroad; the yard trackage at Cape Charles (site of the car float loading slip) is being dismantled for redevelopment.

These cars have been identified as Southern Railway low side gons. Most were built by Pullman in the late 30s and early 40s. The two cars whose identities can be confirmed have trucks dated 9-38. They are SOU 958060 (first folder of pics) and SOU 958173 (second set of pics). The third (yellow) car has SOU Barber S-2 trucks and looks to have come out of work or wreck service. Tags are painted over. It has at least two different types of truck frames with at least three different dates - 6-44, 9-46 and 5-52.

The Museum intends to keep one of the gondolas, a rebuilt GP10, and other rolling stock for display, but the other two gons and an ex-military surplus flat were originally targeted for scrapping.

After inquiries, the rail authority and Museum have generously postponed the scrapping plans for the time being, and the gondolas are now on a spare section of track near the Museum. In their own words, "There is no hurry to scrap them since they are out of the way now." But the onus is now upon any potential saviors to come forward. Any car would need to be claimed by a responsible organization willing to undertake relocation and preservation.

At my request, the Museum is getting photos of these cars for potential preservationists; I'll post them as soon as I get them. These cars were in rough mechanical condition 20+ years ago and well dented, but have been regularly painted in one form or another. The history I had been given over the years is that they are ex-SR, and there is supposedly physical evidence to support that contention (surviving stencils, etc.). They are short--the figure I was given was 36 feet.

If you have the November 2005 issue of Trains Magazine, you'll see them in action on page 61, as part of the last color slides I shot for any publication.

To Consider: Trucking them out should be easy, BUT you have either the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and its tolls to consider or the long way back through Salisbury and over the Bay Bridge at Annapolis, Md. If you intend to use them as rolling stock, assume you're going to be rebuilding everything from the journals to the draft gear and couplers to the brakes. (Maybe you'll be lucky, but assume the worst.)

Potential homes could include the North Carolina Transportation Museum, the Va. Museum of Transportation, the South Carolina RR Museum, the Richmond RR Museum, or any museum with a Southern Railway focus. We'll be certain to ascertain SR heritage before any investment is made, of course.

The Cape Charles Museum welcomes expressions of interest, and would be willing to assist any potential saviors with further information, examination for pertinent information, arrangements for inspection or transport, etc. They have former railroad personnel to consult with, but should in no way be considered railroad-savvy.

Contact Museum executive director Kimberly Leake Denny for more information.
Please, serious inquiries ONLY. No curiosity seekers, please--I'm annoying her enough for all of us trying to get the necessary information from 2,000 miles away!

UPDATE: Three Google Drive folders of EXHAUSTIVE Photo documentation of each of three cars.


https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... 7p0JD0chgg

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... F7ybUg3S_X

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... RdwRJnDZox


Kimberly Leake Denny
Executive Director, Cape Charles Historical Society
P.O. Box 11, 814 Randolph Avenue
Cape Charles, VA 23310
(757) 607-6483
(757) 331-1008

capecharlesmuseum@gmail.com


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two 1920s/1930s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:56 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 9:09 am
Posts: 3
I would be interesting in seeing the photos when they are available.


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 Post subject: Re: Two 1920s/1930s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 2:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9057
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Bumped with update above.


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 Post subject: Re: Two 1920s/1930s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:45 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Pure Michigan
Why isn't this post in the classifieds?


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 Post subject: Re: Two 1920s/1930s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 145
The first two (blue(ish)) cars are identifiable from their ACI tags and both have trucks dated 9-38. They are SOU958060 (1st listed pics) and SOU 958173 (second listed pics).

The third (yellow) car has SOU Barber S-2 trucks and looks to have come out of work or wreck service. Tags are painted over. It has at least two different types of truck frames with at least three different dates - 6-44, 9-46 and 5-52.

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Last edited by TrainDetainer on Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two 1930s/1940s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 5:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9057
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
NS 3322 wrote:
Why isn't this post in the classifieds?


1) Offered free with no money demanded;
2) Ten times more people come to this page than the "Classifieds" page, and publicity is needed in order for someone to discover these.


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Two 1920s/1930s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:34 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:34 am
Posts: 63
Location: Auburn, GA
These are Southern Railway low side gons. Most were built by Pullman in the late 30s and early 40s. They were used for sand along the coast, pig iron, cross ties, lumber, etc. These cars were a backbone to the iron and steel industry out of Birmingham. There were several big lawsuits against the Southern and L&N by the steel and iron companies in Birmingham over the lack of cars being provided. These cars were the result of one of those lawsuits. Of course it wasn't long after they were on the roster that the companies were suing yet again because the railroads could not keep up with the demand.

Pig iron was loaded into these cars while still hot and they took a real beating during loading and unloading in this service.

These cars may well have been one largest fleets on the Southern roster in the late steam era, along with 40' flats. They served in company service into the 80s and 90s being used for crossties and in wrecker service. Clearly these three were in car float service.

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Jason Greene
Auburn, GA


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 Post subject: Re: Two 1930s/1940s SR Short Gondolas Available FREE in Va.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:55 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:26 am
Posts: 47
I think the standard gauge gondola may be the most under represented type of rail car in preservation compared to the number that were once in existence.


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