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Some history on these cars: the P&R (Philadelphia and Reading) was looking for a new design hopper bottom gondola to replace their 1889 design HPa twin hopper bottomed gondola car. They settled on a wider and shorter car that used the new style King Patent hopper doors. Apparently, at this time, it was considered more advantageous to have a gondola with a mostly flat floor than a true self-clearing hopper/gondola car. A car like this could be used for other gondola loads [scrap, pipe, timbers, rail, ties] when not hauling coal. Roughly 10000 of these cars were acquired from 1895 to about 1902. All of them were equipped with pressed steel bolsters, Fox Trucks, air brakes and knuckle couplers. While they looked like this model as originally built, over time it's likely that all were changed to a single brake wheel moved over to the new standard left-hand end of the car. Some of these cars stayed in service to the late 1920's. The lettering style was also changed over the years to add 'THE READING' logo to the left car side. This prototype was first made available as an HO model as a flat resin kit by Virginia Foundry back in 2011. One run of around 67 kits was done - and that was it.
The one-piece body is a huge time saver, with queen posts and hopper latching mechanism already done, such that the customer only needs to install trucks, couplers, truss rods, and the Tichy brake system. You purchase the body directly from Shapeways. Decals are available in HO scale from Robert McGlone (rjmcglone at hotmail dot com) [done by TT-West - GREAT job, see photos] at $5 per decal. A resin coal load for the HO car will be available shortly for around $5 each. Electronic Instructions will be available from me gratis to decal and/or coal load purchasers. Please contact Bob directly concerning availability and postage.
Parts needed to finish the model
Decals - available from Robert McGlone rjmcglone at hotmail dot com
Trucks - Bitter Creek Model - T24 Fox 30 trucks or Panamit Models