PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

PRR 347000 G27 E10465 040333

In 1936, the Pennsylvania Railroad led in the U.S. railroads in extending the length of gondolas by the introduction of its 52'6" interior length G27 all steel mill gondola. From 1936 to 1939, the PRR built 4500 of this innovative design. The PRR was the largest steel hauler in the U.S. and the purchase of these new gons reflected that fact.


The G27 design created dimensional and weight characteristics that were largely followed in the two competing designs -- Greenville and Bethlehem. The G27 cars had a 70 ton capacity and rode on a heavyweight version of the 2D-F8 trucks. The interior width was 9'6" and the height of the sides was 3'6". The combination created a car of 1745 cubic feet capacity.

The Pennsy placed th cars in lower numbers as each block arrived. The original 2000 cars were placed in the block of 347000-348999. In 1939, the lowest block started at 344500.

The Pennsy G27 was visually distinct from the other competing designs. The fishbelly sides were tapered inward by 6 degrees below the floor level. The G27 had 13 posts of varying lengths and widths, and the major posts narrowed noticeably at the top of the sides. In addition, a massive strip with alternating rivets reinforced the bottom edge of the fishbelly.

The Pennsy employed two types of underbody and floor construction, both an all welded underframe and floor and an all rivited style. The Pennsy also used a drop end that resembled a serving tray, along with the more common stamped Dreadnaught design.

The PRR G27 gon proved ideal for carrying auto frames. As early as 1940, the Pennsy designed a wood and steel frame mechanism that held auto frames in place. The clamping device design was changed in 1947 when a single "L" frame clamp was applied to the top of the car sides at the "B" end. There were 30 cars in auto frame service in the January, 1940 Register and 60 in 1942. There were 245 in October, 1948. The totals exploded to 2185 in January, 1953. The addition of auto frame racks did not preclude the use of the car for general service. (Source: Sunshine Models)

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
G27 344500 348999 GB GBR GBS 4498 4497 4495 4495 4479 3413 255
G27a 344500 348999 GB LG - - - - - 919 110
Roster data compiled by Rich Orr. From


Types of trucks used:

Class Car Numbers Truck Class Truck Name Qty cars:
G27 344500 344814 2E-F13 Double Truss 315
G27 344815 345182 2E-F14 National 368
G27 345183 345499 2E-F15 Young 317
G27     2E-F10 Double Truss  
G27     2E-F10 Double Truss  
G27     2E-F11 National  
G27     2E-F12 Young  
G27     2E-F13 Double Truss  
G27     2E-F14 National  
G27     2E-F17 National Malleable  
Truck data is from PRR documents circa 1940's. Other truck classes may also have been used. From


The G27

PRR 347000 G27 E10465 040333

The G27 has been produced by Sunshine Models (out of business).

G27 car 344500 G27 gondola roof car 346859 side view


The G27A