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 Post subject: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4993
There's a new thread about the Boulder Valley Railway Historical Society and its plan to cease functioning. They have a number of pieces of equipment, one of which is a drop bottom gondola; UP #908372, which might be a MofW series number. I don't recall seeing a lot of drop bottom gons on museum rosters or in photos, but I must admit that I wasn't really looking for them. Are there a lot of these cars at railroad museums? Chime in as you are able! And thanks!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 11:06 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Bendena KS
908372 is indeed a MOW number.

As for other drop bottoms;

- The Heber Valley in Utah has a similar UP car that has been repainted in its original freight car red.

- There are quite a few narrow gauge Denver & Rio Grande Western drop bottom gons floating around in Colorado and New Mexico, as well as a couple of privately owned ones in Kansas and Oklahoma

Jason Midyette


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2165
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
RMNE has B&M 92788, a drop-bottom gon, currently NAUG 92788.

Drop-bottom gons were rare in the East and in New England; this series was built in 1942 for B&M by Bethlehem Steel. B&M had 1250 of these, some built in 1937 (also Beth Steel) and rest in 1942. We obtained two from Guilford about 1998, the other was B&M W610. In really terrible shape, it was scrapped in 2010.

The car was "dip-jobbed" in freight car red in 1999, when it went on loan to Conn DOT Rail Operations--- they borrowed it for 3 years and used it at New Haven, during the yard and shop reconstruction. It held the removed "wheel machine" and functioned as a rolling storage cart until the machine could be re-installed in the new shop. They asked if we had a car they "could use for a while"--- it's always nice to be able to help out the "big boys".

We've used it to store and distribute rail for track construction; that's what is happening in these April 2008 photos, showing yard track being laid at Thomaston Shop Yard. Sorry for not having a good roster shot of just the gon!

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Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:29 pm
Posts: 26
RMNE???? Not sure what your talking about.
Railroad Museum of New England ?
Nice track work.

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:21 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Yes, Railroad Museum of New England. Sorry, shouldn't have assumed a wide familiarity with our initials!

Thanks about the track, we do take some pride in our yard construction.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 4993
Howard -

Thanks for the photos. I agree about the trackwork. Very nice! So now we know that there are at least two of these standard gauge cars; yours and UP 908372. Is the number on your car (92788) the original Boston & Maine road number perhaps?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Yes, that's the B&M number.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:59 pm
Posts: 522
The Western Railway Museum (WRM) has SP drop-bottom gondola 150340, a 1949 product of General American Transportation Corporation. Sometime after 1957 it had wooden side extensions installed to handle commodities such as wood chips and sugar beets,and renumbered as SP 358973. It was leased to Union Sugar Company in the 1980's and became their USGX 540.

WRM acquired the car in 1994. Restoration options are to leave it as a sugar beet gon, or to remove the extensions and restore it to its original design.


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
Posts: 419
Location: Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
To reiterate Jason's comment above, there are a good number of ex-D&RGW narrow gauge wooden drop-bottom gons in preservation. Indeed, I suspect this may be that rare class of freight car in which the majority of surviving examples are of wooden construction -- and narrow gauge to boot!

Here is an August 2014 shot of D&RGW 769 in the Antonito, CO carbarn of the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec:

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-Philip Marshall


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:14 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:11 am
Posts: 56
Location: Cattaraugus, NY
The Buffalo Southern Railroad has an MoW Gon that has drop bottom. It is an ex Southern car. Sorry for the poor photo of it. I will try to get some better. You can see the opening devices just above the bottom of the car. There are three "turnbuckles" sticking out of the side.


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:13 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1483
Location: Southern California
Orange Empire Railway Museum has two.

One is Southern Pacific 358835. Like the car at Western Railway Museum it had wooden extensions added for carrying Sugar Beets.
Image
Linked from Orange Empire web site.

The other is 3-foot gauge D&RGW 732. This car is categorized as 3'-gauge utility (not accessioned into the collection).
No photo on the OERM website; but, you can find photos at this link: http://davesriogrande.net/Rosters/DRGW/dbgondola/732.htm

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Brian Norden


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:24 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 909
Hi,

Based an a 5 year old list, there are 75 drop bottom gons from the D&RGW narrow gauge.

Out of 200 total, that's about 37%

They seem rare on the standard gauge.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:40 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
The Sugar Beet car at Orange Empire is presently stored indoors, but in a barn not normally open to the public. One type that "got away" was the Pacific Electric drop bottom gondolas that I used to see on the daily "gravel train" out of Azusa. They were quite beat up, and probably ran their last miles to the scrap yard on Terminal Island.

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Bob Davis
Southern California


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:34 pm 

Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:25 am
Posts: 84
I had a deployment back in September 2013 to inspect flood damage to the cement plant in Lyons, CO. While in the area I shot up to Loveland to see the Great Western Shop, and see if GWR needed any assistance with the flood damage.

I came across a bunch of equipment on a siding in Mead. Here is a photograph I took of GWR 82. Was the first time I ever came across a drop bottom gon in the wild. The mechanism for dropping the doors and rachetting them back up when the car was empty was particularly interesting to me.

BLT 10-17
RPK Loveland 7-73
Didn't photograph COT&S date that I can find.

Image

You could see the old Utah Railway Lettering under the newer black paint.


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 Post subject: Re: Drop bottom gondola's...rare in preservation?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:30 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:37 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Missoula MT
The Yakima Valley Rail and Steam Museum in Toppenish Washington has NP 50409 on display. The car is on loan from the Minnesota Transportation Museum and is currently in full and proper NP paint.

http://www.nprymuseum.org/Freight%20Train.htm

(thumbnail photo about 1/2 way down the page.

Michael Seitz
Missoula MT


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