Gondola Question

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Ho Modeler, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    The last couple of days while driving over a bridge over some track for what used to be the Wisconsin Central I saw the wierdest thing.

    Every day now there is a new batch of gondolas containing the wierdest contents ever. Stood on their side sat about 8 switches. Completely intact just set up against the wall of the gondolas.

    Now i started to wonder how they didnt fall out of the car seeing as they were just laying up against the side. Now i have never seen this before but the gondolas had been modified to be about one and a half times the length of a normal car. The sides had also been raised almost 3 feet higher than normal using the sides of another gondola.

    Has anyone ever seen something like this before. And anyone have any idea why they were transporting completely assembled switches that by the looks of the rusted rails and old brown ties werent exactly straight from the factory?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think the railroads use prefabbed switches for emergency repairs. You couldn't see it, but I would bet that there was some sort of bracing from the off side to the switches that keep them from shifting.
  3. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    This has become common practice now to prebuild turnouts ala ( snap switches ) on railroads. Since building a turnout in place is time consuming they prebuild so they can set them to the side and when ready to replace or put in a new switch. They just cut out the old drag it away and drag in the new, saves alot of time, track isn't out of service as long.
    As Russ stated there should have been uprights on one side to supprt the turnout, you probably just couldn't see them.
  4. Ho Modeler

    Ho Modeler Member

    I will have to go and check them more closely. But the thing is they switches arent anywhere new he are old and rusty and the ties look preety worn and torn.

    Hum.. yet another railroad mystery.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    They were probably the old ones that had been taken out and dragged away. There is scrap value in the old rails. They may also be able to sell the old ties as well.
  6. KCS

    KCS Member

    down here in shreveport, louisiana. right near the interstate interchange of I-20 and I-49 there is an old storage yard right under I-49. 2-3 tracks contain many car's of this type. there is more bracing inside than there apears to be. these switch's are new and have been sitting there for a good while now but we see them all the time rolling around all over north-west louisiana. also along with these car and a series of empty ballast hoppers on the neighboring tracks. about 5-6 miles down the way past a few interchange main line tracks is another old set of passing siding's that arnt vewry long. now even long enough to hold under 30 cars. these siding's are still in use but only used every few years and right now for the past 10+ years has done nothing but store old service flat's that only move about every 3+ years. some of these flat's are heavy-duty flat's from 60' longer from 2 axle, 3 axle, and even flats containing 4 set's of truck's which i belive might be playing a bigger part in the gondola's holding the switch's in the other yard a few miles away. if i can b4 the equipment is moved if money will aloow me to do so.


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