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N Scale - KenRay - SM020-PLE - Gondola, 50 Foot, Mill - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 13551

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N Scale - KenRay - SM020-PLE - Gondola, 50 Foot, Mill - Pittsburgh & Lake Erie - 13551 Image Courtesy of KenRay Models


Stock Number SM020-PLE
Original Retail Price $26.50
Brand KenRay
Manufacturer KenRay
Body Style KenRay 50' Foot Mill Gondola
Prototype Vehicle Gondola, 50 Foot, Steel (Details)
Prototype Gondola, 50 Foot, Mill
Road or Company Name Pittsburgh & Lake Erie (Details)
Reporting Marks P&LE
Road or Reporting Number 13551
Paint Color(s) Black
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type MT Magne-Matic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Gondola
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Mill
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/144



Specific Item Information: Gondolas were the workhorses of the steel industry carrying everything from scrap steel to finished products. As such gondolas were one of the most used and abused revenue cars in every railroads fleet. Our 50' fixed end gondola is lettered for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad and comes with bulged and distressed sides imitating years of hard work in and around a steel mill. Resin cast body with pewter underframe, industrial weathering, distressed appearance. Available in 2 different car numbers.

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, steel coils, and bulky items such as prefabricated sections of rail track. For weather-sensitive loads, these gondolas are often equipped with covers.

All-steel gondolas date back to the early part of the 20th century. However, most of the early ones were shorter and used 40' designs. The ubiquitous 50' steel gondola we see modeled so often today are typical of railcars produced since the end of the second world war. In the late 1940s, steel became once again readily available and new, longer gondolas were produced to transport material for America's booming economy. Generally, these 50 foot cars have a capacity of 70 tons and were actually 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 Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad (P&LE) (reporting mark PLE), also known as the "Little Giant", was formed on May 11, 1875. Company headquarters were located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The line connected Pittsburgh in the east with Youngstown, Ohio at nearby Haselton, Ohio in the west and Connellsville, Pennsylvania to the east. It did not reach Lake Erie (at Ashtabula, Ohio) until the formation of Conrail in 1976. The P&LE was known as the "Little Giant" since the tonnage that it moved was out of proportion to its route mileage. While it operated around one tenth of one percent of the nation's railroad miles, it hauled around one percent of its tonnage. This was largely because the P&LE served the steel mills of the greater Pittsburgh area, which consumed and shipped vast amounts of material. It was a specialized railroad deriving much of its revenue from coal, coke, iron ore, limestone, and steel. The eventual closure of the steel mills led to the end of the P&LE as an independent line in 1992.

At the end of 1970 P&LE operated 211 miles of road on 784 miles of track, not including PC&Y and Y&S; in 1970 it reported 1419 million ton-miles of revenue freight, down from 2437 million in 1944.

Brand/Importer Information:
The real start of KenRay Models was pretty simple. Ken was a repressed model railroader and interested in WW II modeling. Ray was interested in almost every kind of modeling. Ken was a draftsman by trade and able to discern infinite details. Ray was an award-winning master modeler and model painter with an eye for colors that were spot on. Both were very attuned to accuracy, solid details and wanting to share a passion for both those things.

Ray saw some WW II tanks that Ken built and mounted on flatcars and asked a question that was to have a farther-reaching effect than either would imagine: "Hey, you think we could make some money selling those?" Ken's answer was pretty much standard Ken: "I don't know, let's see." Ray's next question led to something on the business cards that stayed for a long while and will probably make a return. "A business needs a name, so what do we call this?" Ken's answer was vintage sarcastic Ken. "Two ******* Guys Models." Ray intelligently nixed this idea and the name KenRay Models was born in 2005.

Ray passed away late in 2008. We bought the business outright from his wonderful wife, Donna, in 2012, with the understanding we'd never change the name from KenRay Models. In mid-2012 we built a 12x16 foot shop building in the backyard, installed the equipment and got back to work.

It's been a good run so far and we've no intention of stopping any time soon. We've met great people, made good friends, created a business we enjoy. Keep coming back to the site and stopping by our tables at the shows. We promise that we'll always make time for you.

Item created by: CNW400 on 2019-03-20 11:17:47. Last edited by CNW400 on 2020-05-10 09:33:00

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