|This model was the
subject for a article for the Lone Star Region's quarterly paper -
The Marker Lamp. Below is the history of the prototype car.
click on the pictures for a larger image
at the Colorado Railroad Museum is D&RGW gondola #06229 more
commonly known as the Alamosa Trash Gondola. Gondola
06299 is truly unique. It
was originally the flat car under CONX tank #15 and was operated on
the Colorado & Southern. The
flat car portion of CONX #15 was replaced with a steel underframe by
the D&RGW in 1925 in the car shop in Alamosa.
The original underframe emerged as a flat car but later had its
33” inch tall, 4 board sides added.
The sides are bolted directly to the side sills instead of
using stake pockets like most gondolas.
The boards of the sides were just nailed to the stakes as there
are no bolts visible. Originally,
the car had American Car & Foundry 4’ 6” arch bar trucks that
were common to the CONX and TCX tank car fleets. It is possible that these came from the ex-Crystal River
Railroad’s Ingoldsby dump gondolas but I have not been able to
are several things that truly make this car unique.
It has a mix of C&S and D&RGW hardware that is like no
other. The end beam plate
style washers and the brake rigging are all part of its C&S
heritage. The brake
chain, for example, hangs outside the truck which was a common C&S
practice and wasn’t changed by the D&RGW rebuild crew.
It had Westinghouse K-1 brakes, tower couplers, Miner draft
gear and plate bolsters. D&RGW
AFE # 4745 shows that it entered service 10-24-30 and that they spent
$288.78 to rebuild the car. The
AFE talks of “Constructing a flat car from new and second hand
parts, underframe and trucks from CONX #15 donated to carrier by Pond
Bros. of Dulce, NM.” AFE # 7575 shows that it was retired in November of 1970.
06229 also features a door on the A end of the car.
The door uses hinges like those found on D&RGW or C&S
reefers. The door was
installed to allow a person with a wheelbarrow load to have access to
the car and the inside was lined with sheet metal to protect the wood. It was used to haul off trash from the shops, station,
offices and freight house. It
was spotted on a stub end spur across from the Station and Office next
to the Freight House. The
car, when full, would then be hauled to the dump but Bob Richardson
said that he never saw it move while he lived in Alamosa.
the scrapping of the narrow gauge the car ended up in the possession
of the Sundown & Southern. The
Sundown & Southern was a privately owned venture north of Denver.
They had purchased track, rolling stock and at least one steam
locomotive and it was hoped for it to be a place where people could
come and learn how to operate a real steam locomotive.
After the owner passed away the equipment of the Sundown &
Southern was sold at auction. The
NRHS (National Railway Historical Society) purchased the car for $750
and it was planned to use the car for parts to restore Uintah caboose
#3. The Colorado Railroad Museum traded the parts needed for the
caboose to keep the gondola from being destroyed.
though most of the lining has rusted away now from years of being
exposed to the elements, the rest of the car has been cosmetically
restored by the Colorado Railroad Museum.
She is painted the standard D&RGW MOW gray with black
lettering and is on display at the museum.
I thought that this
would be a great project to build.
With all the mix of C&S and D&RGW parts it would be a
challenging project. I
started gathering various pictures from my books and off the Internet.
The one that clinched the project for me was Micro-Trains
release of their HOn3 Reefers. These
cars run very well and the floor for the reefer is the same size as
the CONX flat. It also
has the side mounted hand brake chain roller.
I used the floor from one of these cars and the brake details
to begin working on this car. I
removed the steel center sill and cut the bolsters off.
After gluing the bolsters back on the car I built a new center
sill out of wood. I added
needle beams, queen posts and truss rods.
I also ran a brake line through the car bottom as well.
I scratchbuilt a new wood floor and sides for the car out of
wood. For the sheet metal lining I used foil tape that was later
painted and weathered. I
used my PC to create the artwork for the decals, which were printed on
my ALPS printer. It was a
fun project to do and will make a fun operating situation for the yard
operator on the P&DR.