The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two Schorr Gondolas: Variations?

To follow the recent post on the gondolas scratchbuilt by Howard Winther we today have the underside of two Schorr gondolas. Looking at these cars I realized that one of the examples I have of this car couldn’t be easily set up at the right coupler height for my layout standard. Schorr trucks have low bolsters but with all truck shims removed the couplers were still too high.

The Schorr gondola, described further here, is a very nice model that is among the more commonly seen of his brass OO gauge imports. Looking at these cars it appears that these may have been imported in at least two runs. Most of these cars that I own have a metal bolster but one has a plastic bolster. The plastic bolster cars combined with Schorr trucks result in a car that is just a bit higher on the trucks. Also note that the plastic bolster car has brake details soldered on the car while the metal bolster car has no evidence of these parts; this particular one has had an Eastern K-type cylinder added. But making things even more curious, I have other metal bolster examples of this car that clearly do have the soldered on brake cylinder details.

I have two cars with the plastic bolster and couplers set up this way. The other one has no brake details but here is the kicker: it is lettered for the Yorkville and Western, the personal road of Fred Schorr himself.

Returning to the cars above, there is a modification visible on both cars so that Kadee couplers could be applied. It is possible with care to get a standard #5 coupler to work (with inserting half a coupler box inside the one built into the car) but the builder of these two cars opted to remove the original mounting, perhaps back in the days when the #5 was not available. And it is very possible that the plastic bolster was applied at that time and has nothing to do with there being multiple runs of this car, as this was a standard part Schorr sold with the trucks.

For now the high coupler/plastic bolster car in the photo will be set aside. It also has a couple visible paint chips so it is not one I am looking to operate. At some point in the future I will work over coupler mounting on both of the cars with plastic bolsters further.

No comments: