Monday, April 4, 2016

Interesting tarp cover on a gondola

I have seen plenty of photos of tarped loads on flat cars, usually covering equipment. However, I can't recall seeing a gon with a tarp. I'm certainly not saying this photo is unique, but given the number of photos I have seen, this one stood out. It would make an interesting and relatively easy thing to recreate. I'm leaning towards a microfiber cloth dyed to simulate the canvas tarps of the late Steam Era. I think it's worth a try. When I do it, you'll see it here.

The gon is PRR 337254, a GRA, reweighed in March, 1950 at the Rose Lake, Illinois, eastbound shops on the Pennsy.

The subject of the photo was a New Haven I-4 Pacific in the Hartford Yards, but this is far more interesting, so I zoomed in and cropped to show all of the gon that I could. All three cars can be modeled in HO. The gon can be replicated using the Westerfield kit, the Texas & Pacific automobile car can be built using an MDC single sheathed auto car (read about how in Prototype Railroad Modeling, Volume 3) and the Pere Marquette auto car can be built from Speedwitch kit K111 (wow! two Speedwitch plugs in one sentence!)


  1. Ted, I've created tarp covered loads using the tissue paper from a gift box. I use a slab of cardboard or styrene to fit the gondola interior and build up styrofoam blocks for the load. When those parts are dry, I spread glued on the underside long edge of the slab and place the paper onto it. I wait until the glue sets up before folding the paper across the top of the load then gluing it to the other underside edge. Once the glue has set up, then I can fold and tuck the end portions under the base and glue the paper in place. When it is all dry, I use an almond color spray paint from a rattle can to cover the paper. Some Pan Pastels are dusted onto the load after the paint has dried. - Eric Hansmann

  2. I like Eric's method and will have to give that a try. But the picture shows the tarp going over the outside of the car body. Question: how did they tie the tarp down? The picture doesn't show any evidence of ropes, etc. - though the picture is a bit blurry. Any thoughts?

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Comments always welcome!