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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8401 - Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel - RailGon - 310153

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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8401 - Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel - RailGon  - 310153


Stock Number 8401
Brand Roundhouse
Manufacturer MDC Roundhouse
Body Style MDC Gondola 50/52 Foot Thrall/Mill
Prototype Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel (Details)
Road or Company Name RailGon (Details)
Reporting Marks GONX
Road or Reporting Number 310153
Paint Color(s) Black and Yellow
Print Color(s) Yellow
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
Release Date 1979-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Gondola
Model Subtype 52 Foot
Model Variety Thrall/Mill
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: 1939 - 1957
Scale 1/160


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Model Information: This car was introduced by MDC Roundhouse in the late 1970's and was later acquired by Athearn in June of 2004. They have been marketed by both companies under various designations including "50 Foot Modern Gondola", "52 Foot Thrall Gondola" and "52 Foot Mill Gondola" as well as several other similar sounding names.

The early versions were released with Rapido couplers and later Athearn releases using McHenry couplers. The later MDC releases *might* have been shipped with some other kind of knuckle coupler. In the mid-1980's, as was true with many MDC releases, these cars came in kit form. Some of the newer releases come with loads.

Prototype History:
In US railroad terminology, a gondola is an open-topped rail vehicle used for transporting loose bulk materials. Because of their low side walls gondolas are also suitable for the carriage of such high-density cargoes as steel plates or coils, or of bulky items such as prefabricated sections of rail track. For weather-sensitive loads, these gondolas are sometimes equipped with covers.

All-steel gondolas date back to the early part of the 20th century. However, most of the early ones were shorter, 40' designs. The ubiquitous 50' steel gondola we see modeled so often today is more along the lines of gondolas produced following the second world war when steel became once again readily available. Generally, they had a capacity of 70 tons and were 52'6" long. The first models of this design were produced by the Erie Railroad and the Greenville Steel Car Co, but nearly identical cars were produced by Pullman, ACF and Bethlehem.

Road Name History:
The Railgon Company, established in 1979, owned railroad gondola cars available for use by multiple railroads by placing the cars in a cooperative pool.
Railgon (and the similar Railbox Company) are currently subsidiaries of TTX Company, formerly the Trailer Train Company, which is owned by multiple railroads and leases cars to them.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
MDC Roundhouse was founded in California and relocated to Reno Nevada due to statewide restrictions on painting. MDC Roundhouse was a producer of both RTR (Ready-to-Run) and kit versions of N Scale rolling stock as well as RTR locomotives. MDC Roundhouse was purchased by Horizon Hobbies in June of 2004 and merged into their Athearn line.

Unlike many of their contemporaries which contracted with European firms to produce their products, MDC made their own toolings. They made several popular body styles and produced them for road names that many other vendors (even Micro-Trains) wouldn't touch. This made them popular with modelers. Also, their un-assembled "kits" permitted a lower price point so they were popular with "runners" as well as "modelers".

Of particular interest was the attention given to modern 50 foot steel boxcars. They made some attempt to accurately mold the differences into distinct models to represent each of the major prototype manufacturers products. They have distinct toolings not only for the different products from FMC, BFF and PS, but also multiple models for each of these manufacturers including "standard" vs "Youngstown" doors and "waffle" vs. "rib" sides. In total they produced 13 different versions of the 50 foot steel boxcar.


Item created by: gdm on 2017-02-07 14:26:11. Last edited by gdm on 2018-02-15 17:21:45

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