RDG Co., Gondola, Class GHn, #29016

Photo to come.

Our example is part of the first (Nos. 29000-29174) of four groups for this class. These cars were assigned specialty cargoes and were able to handle drop bottom and controlled discharge containers for LCL (less than carload) shipments. Containers were arranged in groups of eight, ten and twelve per car on the Reading and were so indicated in “The Official Railway Equipment Register.” As late as 1984, there was one class GHn gondola from the original series still in revenue service assigned twelve drop bottom containers.*

RDG Co., Gondola, 65' Mill, Class GHo, #31405, #31653

#31405 at Leesport, PA, date unknown. (photo courtesy Charles Murphy, Jr.)

#31653 at Leesport, PA, August 1991. (photo courtesy John Caples)

Our two examples were built in 1956 and were part of a group of 1400 cars (Nos. 31000-31699) built for the steel mill trade. Compared with other previously built long gondolas, class GHo had a different profile and was of welded construction. Only a very small number of this class are known to have been repainted into the later yellow and green. One was known to have flat plate steel replacement ends. Both will be restored to original speed lettering. #31653 was purchased from Conrail while #31405 was donated by the Reading & Northern in 2002 and is currently being repainted.*[1]

*(info courtesy RDG Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by Craig T. Bossler) (last updated: 7/03)