In 1949, the all steel GS class was the largest block of gondolas on the Pennsy and the fourth largest group of any gondola class of freight cars on the road. In that year, there were 14,485 of the original 32,700 cars in revenue service -- declining to 300 cars in 1955. The total number of GS gons was greater than the entire fleet of roads such as Pere Marquette, Western Maryland, New Haven, Delaware & Hudson and CNJ/CRP.
The primary versions of the GS class remaining in the late 1940s were the GS (a sub-class as well) and GSH sub-classes. The GS sub-class made up the vast majority. They had flat bottoms, solid ends and collapsible stake holders applied in the 1920s-30s. The GSH sub-class had 893 cars. These received reinforcing angle below the car sides and at the top or bulb angles, but their stake pockets had been removed when they were modified in 1945. They were also flat bottom, solid end cars.
The GS class served as the equivalent of a pickup truck on the Pennsy. The road moved vast quantities of intermediate steel between mills in the Northeast and Midwest. The GS with 50 ton capacity was useful for this purpose. The cars were excellent for scrap metal, steel billets and plates, steel shapes, tires, pipes, limestone, as well as other in-process and finished industrial products.
The interior length of the GS all steel gondola was only 38'2" and its cubic capacity was a modest 1331 feet. During the 1930s-40s, it was commonplace for the GS class to have 2D-F8 trucks. (Source: Sunshine Models)
Types of trucks used:
|Class||Car||Numbers||Truck Class||Truck Name||Qty cars:|
|Truck data is from PRR documents circa 1940's. Other truck classes may also have been used.
Cars on the PRR roster (as listed in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER)):
|Class||Car||Number||AAR Class||PRR Oct 44||PRR Oct 48||PRR Apr 52||PRR Oct 53||PRR Oct 58||PRR Oct 63||PRR Apr 68|
|Roster data compiled by Rich Orr. From prr.railfan.net.|
Featured steel sides, steel floor, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe. Brake wheel originally on the right side of the B end of the car. As partof the adoption of the 1911 United Safety Appliance Standards, it was movedto the left side of the end. By 1923 most but not all cars had been so converted.
Bowser offers the GS as a kit or ready-to-run. Sunshine Models (out of business) offered a resin kit. Funaro & Camerlengo offers a resin kit.
Funaro & Camerlengo GS Gondola
Featured steel sides, steel floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe. Four emergency doors, two braces on end. Brake wheel also originally on right.
Featured wood drop ends.
Featured steel sides, steel floor (?), fixed steel or wood drop ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe. Four emergeny doors, some with drop wooden end.
Funaro & Camerlengo offers a resin kit.
Funaro & Camerlengo GSC Gondola
Featured steel sides, steel floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe.
Rebuild introduced in 1942. Featured steel sides, wood floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe.
Rebuilt from Classes GS, GSa, GSb, GSc, GSd. Introduced in 1943/44. Featured steel sides, steel floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe. Shallow side sill reinforcements. With the reinforcement of the top chord during the rebuild, the internal gussets were removed. Photos of the rebuilds show the holes where the rivets for the gussets were removed.
AccuRail offers the GSh in kit form. Funaro & Camerlengo offers a resin kit.
Funaro & Camerlengo GSH Gondola
Featured steel sides, ? floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and straight underframe.