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I've always thought of the gondola and hopper cars as a palate for modifying or repainting.  Below are pictures of my 027 gondolas that were sliced in 2 the long way & reassembled to full O scale width.  Then painted and lettered with custom made decals and individually weathered.


Next are some lionel gons that were painted and relettered to NKP  using K4 decals. They'll be a good consist behind my NKP 2-6-6-2  mallet.


As for hoppers, I have a group of 12 WEAVER 2  bay hoppers that will also get the repaint and reletter to NKP.


Now if you were talking flat cars, that's another story.  Here's a group that have been chopped,  sides shaved,  spliced back together,  widened and turned into slab and billet carriers for my steel mill layout.


Too cold to paint them, besides I  have 4-5 more waiting work.

Hope you enjoy them.


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Well I will try to continue this thread since it was my idea, I finally got to the train room and took some new pictures.  I plan to post them over the next few days as it turns out I have a LOT of gondola's (more than I ever realized).

When we first started Arnold posted his first gondola from 1954, an early Lionel PW version.  Well perhaps you didn't know but in 1945 the FIRST car that Lionel produced with a body molded in plastic (Bakelite they called it) was a gondola the #2452 PRR gondola produced 1945-1947 with type 1 metal trucks and coil couplers. This car was a real sensation in the industry and led to many others that followed.

Lioel 2452 PRR gondola

The success of the molded gondola, quickly led to the # 2456 LV molded Hopper car in 1948.

Lionel 6456 LV hopper

Much later, and candidly much less realistic than the original 2452 was a succession of simple molded gondolas that populated many sets along the entire line.  This Lionel 6142 is from 1961-1963

Lionel 6142 gondola

But I could not leave out the Lionel - Ives 9 1/2" lithographed car from the 1933 to 1940.  In other posts you have now seen the lithographed box car, caboose, and now gondola.  This was the entire line of these cars, although some under went some color changes.

Lionen 1717 litho gondoal

Well folks, hope you keep posting your gondolas and hoppers.  Best wishes



Images (4)
  • Lioel 2452 PRR gondola
  • Lionel 6456 LV hopper
  • Lionel 6142 gondola
  • Lionen 1717 litho gondoal

Well here are some more "Happy Hoppers / Good Gondolas" and this time from American Flyer but pre-war, hence still "0" gauge Flyer (Chicago Flyer).  These were very late products by Chicago Flyer as by 1938 Mr. Coleman and A.C. Gilbert merged their companies and train production moved to New Haven and basically became concentrated in "S" gauge from its introduction in 1939.  So from 1936-37 here is some of the last Flyer 0 gauge freights.

Here is the # 311131 Sand Car as AF called their gondola's from 1936-37

American Flyer 311131 sand car '36-'37

The Pennsylvania RR Coal Hopper # 211567 from 1936-37.  This is the 4 wheel version but this same car also came on an 8 wheel frame with grey truck sides during the same time period.

American Flyer 311267 Hopper '36-'37

Well that's a few additional gons and hoppers for you!  The longest lineup, the Marx 6" gondola line up tomorrow

Best Wishes



Images (2)
  • American Flyer 311131 sand car '36-'37
  • American Flyer 311267 Hopper '36-'37
Last edited by Don McErlean

As I alluded to in my earlier post, the Lionel mill gondolas are so big they just about qualify as "layout shrinkers"...

RK gon inside L mill gon

The smaller gon is one of the low-slung RailKing gondolas. Fits nicely inside the Lionel one

Of course I have both sizes of Lionel's traditional gondolas, as well as die-cast K-Line ones, MTH Premier (which I only recently discovered two of the three I had forotten I'd ordered), Atlas Trainman as well as their 1970's predecessors, a few Menards, two GGD battleship gons, several Kusan (and Williams-branded reboots of same) and at least one from Industrial Rail.



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  • RK gon inside L mill gon
Last edited by RailRide

Ok fans of Hoppers and Gondola's, I have been promising a "Marx Fest" for awhile so today,Saturday, I had time to prepare all the photos.  So I thought I would present it in two parts...gondolas and then hoppers.  These are all from the Marx so called 6" tinplate line, his first and longest running line in his offerings.  It began with modifications to the Girard, "Joy Line" trains in about 1934 and continued to be produced in many liveries right until the end of Marx about 1982 however the original Marx had sold the company to Quaker Oats (like the Lionel cereal company sale) in 1972.

As we have commented before, gondolas and hoppers were favorites of the children who, at least with Marx 6" trains, were clearly the target market.  You could put things in them (toys, candy, soldiers, etc) and give them a ride around the circle of track to all sorts of imaginary destinations.  So to start off, here are the Marx 6" gondolas.  I would note at the beginning of this that Marx produced so many of these toys (output could reach 300,000 per year) that new ones are constantly appearing, so please just take this as a portion of the line with no claim of it being all of them.

Starting in about 1957, the Seaboard #91257 came in 3 basic colors.

Marx Seaboard red gonMarx Seaboard brown gonMarx Seaboard blue gon

The C.R.I.&P (Chicago, Rock Island, & Pacific ) or "Rock Island" for short #552   This gon comes both with a red / white frame and with a black frame both dating from about 1938 or 1939.

Marx RI red frame gonMarx RI green gon

The Rock Island #552 exhibiting the early 2 color lithography from about 1936

Marx RI early red gon

A later #552 with more elaborate livery from about 1940-42

Marx RI blue gon

The yellow # 241708 B&O from 1953

Marx B&O yellow gon

Two 8 wheel variations, one the 548 Gurnsey Milk (came with 4 milk cans) and the #552G Groceries and Sundries (came with a load of miniature cardboard product boxes (BonAmi powder, cough lozenges...etc ) both from about 1939.  As you might guess after 80+ years these loads are far more scarce than the cars!

Marx Gurnsey Milk 8 wheel gonMarx Groceries et al 8 wheel gon

Well I hope you liked my " Gondolas" from Marx.  They are fun to collect, have many, many variations.  Typically can be found at trains shows and even antique stores for less than $5 (the 8 wheel ones being more scarce and somewhat more expensive)...original loads are "out of sight" price-wise such that reproductions abound.

Hoppers next.

Best wishes for your weekend



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  • Marx Seaboard red gon
  • Marx Seaboard brown gon
  • Marx Seaboard blue gon
  • Marx RI red frame gon
  • Marx RI green gon
  • Marx RI early red gon
  • Marx RI blue gon
  • Marx B&O yellow gon
  • Marx Gurnsey Milk 8 wheel gon
  • Marx Groceries et al 8 wheel gon
Last edited by Don McErlean

Well folks interested " Happy Hoppers" I thought i might continue with my group of Marx 6" hopper line.  Again this was Marx's (who already was the low price leader of the big 3) least expensive line of cars, although at the onset, these cars represented the full line of Marx at least through the early 30's.  So here are my Marx 6" "Happy Hoppers'

The #554 with red/white lithographed frame NP "General Coal Company" hopper from 1937-38

Marc NP General Coal red frame hopper

A somewhat later version with black frame and red exterior.  First introduced about 1938.

Marx NP General Coar red hopper

Much later, the #86000 D.L.&W hopper from about 1953

Marx DL&W hopper

The PRR #738701 came as both a "high side" gondola and a hopper, from about 1940

Marx PRR hopper

Finally in about 1953-54, Marx switched its principal line of freight cars to plastic casting for increased size and realism.  Just to illustrate, here is the #28236 "Virginian" hopper from about 1955.  In contrast to the many 6" hoppers or gondolas, Marx only made 2 plastic hoppers (although the color sometimes changes) the Virginian and a Lehigh Valley.

Marx Virginian plastic hopper

Well Happy Hopper fans, that is my offering of Marx 6" Gondolas and Hoppers.

Best wishes for a great weekend.



Images (6)
  • Marc NP General Coal red frame hopper
  • Marx DL&W hopper
  • Marx NP General Coar red hopper
  • Marx PRR hopper
  • Marx Virginian plastic hopper
  • Marx NP General Coar red hopper

Well folks, sorry to be continuing to dredge up gondolas, but in searching for something to post to "Box Car Sunday" I found 2 more early American Flyer (Chicago Flyer) gondolas.  These 6 1/2 " sand cars as they were called were lithographed from 1919 to 1935.  The 4 wheel cars were cataloged as 1113 and the 8 wheel as 1116, however review of the catalog illustrations show both were usually lithographed 1116 thus the major difference between them being the frame and wheels.  

This dark green version, 4 wheel but marked 1116 with red NYC herald is one of the earlier versions.  Likely from the early 1920's

American Flyer 1116 4 wheel NYC gondola

Likely dating to the middle 20's, this 8 wheeled version is labeled for the PRR.  I like the black keystone containing the words "Pennsylvania System".  The use of the "system" term seems unusual to me on PRR rolling stock.

American Flyer 1116 8 wheel PRR gondola

OK that's it for me at least for today

Best wishes



Images (2)
  • American Flyer 1116 4 wheel NYC gondola
  • American Flyer 1116  8 wheel PRR gondola

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