PENNSYRR.COM by Jerry Britton

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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:

ClassCarNumbersTruck ClassTruck NameQty cars:
GS     2D-F1 Arch Bar  
GS     2D-F2 Crown  
GS     2D-F8 P.R.R.  
GSa     2D-F1 Arch Bar  
GSa     2D-F2 Crown  
GSa     2D-F8 P.R.R.  
GSc     2D-F1 Arch Bar  
GSc     2D-F2 Crown  
GSc     2D-F8 P.R.R.  
GSd     2D-F1 Arch Bar  
GSd     2D-F2 Crown  
GSd     2D-F8 P.R.R.  
GSx     2D-F1 Arch Bar  
GSx     2D-F2 Crown  
Truck data is from PRR documents circa 1940's. Other truck classes may also have been used.
From prr.railfan.net.

 

Cars on the PRR roster (as listed in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER)):

ClassCarNumberAAR ClassPRR Oct 44PRR Oct 48PRR Apr 52PRR Oct 53PRR Oct 58PRR Oct 63PRR Apr 68
GS 279856 279871 GB 10 11 - - - - -
GS 287591 305732 GB GBS 14391 9417 700 243 121 28 1
GS 321323 325000 GB 2849 1864 144 46 16 2 -
GS 350719 351472 GB 647 405 32 11 4 - -
GS 350719 351472 GBS - 1 1 1 1 - -
GS 360309 360500 GB 157 98 8 1 - - -
GS 370032 370087 GB 47 33 2 1 1 - -
GS 379954 380000 GB 30 24 1 - - - -
GS 380152 381994 GB 1315 830 67 25 12 4 1
GS 750001 750528 GB 462 306 26 10 5 - -
GS 771134 771143 GB 9 5 - - - - -
GS 775001 775196 GB 186 120 5 1 - - -
GS 793374 793458 GB 59 40 3 - 2 2 -
GS 795001 795308 GB 265 168 12 4 3 - -
GS 799556 799567 GB 9 6 - - - - -
GS 800001 801000 GB 727 455 26 11 5 - -
GS 810001 810281 GB 224 151 11 3 - - -
GS 823157 823184 GB 17 12 2 - - - -
GS 825001 825065 GB 61 46 2 - - - -
GS 839270 839327 GB 39 27 4 - - - -
GS 840001 840002 GB 2 2 1 - - - -
GS 854248 854282 GB 22 17 1 1 - - -
GS 855001 856000 GB GBS 937 615 38 12 7 1 1
GS 859812 862873 GB GBS 2182 1395 108 40 23 5 -
GS 876701 876800 GB 48 29 3 1 - - -
GS 876901 877200 GB 187 107 4 2 1 - -
GS 880001 880025 GB 14 12 - - - - -
GS 880501 880900 GB GBS 187 123 14 3 1 1 -
GS 881501 881700 GB 139 80 5 3 1 - -
GS 882001 882512 GB 361 238 16 6 2 2 -
GS GSx 881201 881422 GB 161 85 9 3 1 - -
GSa 279856 279871 HE 1 - - - - - -
GSa 854248 854282 HE 2 - - - - - -
GSa GSd 859812 862873 HE 19 5 - - - - -
GSa GSd 321323 325000 HE 11 4 - - - - -
GSa GSd 380152 381994 HE 7 1 - - - - -
GSa GSd 855001 856000 HE 3 1 - - - - -
GSd 287591 305732 HE 108 14 1 1 - - -
GSd 350719 351472 HE 7 - - - - - -
GSd 360309 360500 HE 3 - - - - - -
GSd 370032 370087 HE 2 1 - - - - -
GSd 750001 750528 HE 3 1 - - - - -
GSd 775001 775196 HE 1 - - - - - -
GSd 795001 795308 HE 1 1 - - - - -
GSd 800001 801000 HE 3 - - - - - -
GSd 810001 810281 HE 1 - - - - - -
GSd 876701 876800 HE 1 - - - - - -

GSg

289639 - GB 1 1 1 1 - - -
GSh 390151 406002 GB NEW 893 337 80 15 10 -
Roster data compiled by Rich Orr. From prr.railfan.net.

 

The GS

PRR 302520 GS

GS Load

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.

SIW5010Large
Funaro & Camerlengo GS Gondola

The GSA

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.

The GSB

Featured wood drop ends.

The GSC

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.

SIW5020Large

Funaro & Camerlengo GSC Gondola

The GSD

PRR 290148 GSD MCL1926

Featured steel sides, steel floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe.

The GSG

Rebuild introduced in 1942. Featured steel sides, wood floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and fishbelly underframe.

The GSH

GSH

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.

6531thumbFunaro & Camerlengo GSH Gondola

The GSX

Featured steel sides, ? floor, fixed ends, straight sill, and straight underframe.