Southern Pacific Sugar Beet Gondola
This is Southern Pacific Railroad 358973 which was built in 1949 by Southern Pacific and used on the west coast for decades to move beets to Betteravia. It was donated to the SLORRM by the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista California.
Southern Pacific 358973 is a general service gondola with drop bottom gates. It has a steel frame, wood siding, improved Dreadnaught ends, and Barber S-2-A trucks.
Southern Pacific 358973 was built by General American Transportation Corporation in 1949 as Southern Pacific class G50-23. The car was built to Southern Pacific specification CSF-SSl-A. The design was the Association of American Railroads “Emergency” design adopted in October 1942. This design returned gondolas to wooden sides to save steel for the war effort. The car is part of series 150000 to 150999, a 1000 car series. In 1956 the Southern Pacific renumbered many of its gondolas and this series became the 381499 to 382498 series. It is not known if car 150340 was renumbered into this series. Starting in 1957 the Southern Pacific added wooden side extensions to many of their general service gondolas to increase the cubic foot capacity to handle light weight commodities including sugar beets. The Museum’s car was modified in this way in 1959 by the addition of five plank wood extensions and placed into sugar beet service. With these modifications the car was renumbered into the 358000 or 359000 series, as car 358973. This was the only Southern Pacific number on the car when it arrived at the Museum, and it was found on the one remaining AC1 label. Southern Pacific leased the car to the Union Sugar Company in the 1980s and it was renumbered to USGX 540. The car remained in sugar beet service for a few more years before being retired. It was acquired by the Western Railway Museum in 1994 who donated it to the SLORRM where it arrived in May of 2018.
Type: Gondola, drop bottom
Builder: General American Transportation Company
Build Date: November, 1949
Ends: steel “improved” dreadnaught
Lightweight, 49300 pounds
Capacity: 100,000 pounds, 1874 cubic feet level full.
Capacity with beat racks: 3435 cubic feet.
Inside length: 41′ O”
Inside width: 9′ 1 3/4″
Inside height: 5′ 0″
Exterior length: 42′ 9″ over strikers
Exterior height, 9′ 3 3/4″
Exterior width: 10′ 3 1/4″
Truck centers: 30′ 6 1/4″
Trucks: Barber S-2-A0
Wheels: 33*inch diameter wrought steel Wheelbase, 66?
Journals: 5 1/2 X 10 plain bearing
Air brake system: AB
Brake cylinder: 10 X 12
Hand brake: vertical brake wheel, geared
Couplers: AAR contour, A end: BE-6OBHT; B end, E-60C Draft gear
Currently this car has sugar beet racks on it. The car is in good condition.