Paul Washburn's AT&SF Caswell Gondola

Paul Washburn built a pair of ATSF Caswell gondolas from scratch. The ATSF had over 8,600 of these cars on their roster. They were spread out over several classes. The one that Paul built is a class GA-7, of which the Santa Fe had 500 which were built in 1923. Their roster shows 19 still left in 1959. The cars were numbered 172000 through 172499.

The Caswell system provided a mechanism for opening and closing the bottom doors. The system was marketed by the National Dump Car Company and built by American Car & Foundry starting in 1905.

These Caswell gondolas were initially built with K brakes and vertically-mounted brake wheels, but were later upgraded to AB brakes and some had the Ajax equipment installed.

Paul based his model on plans drawn by Larry Occhiello as published in the Santa Fe Modeler magazine. He shared a few photos of his construction. The rivets on the model were made by Paul using the Northwest Short Line Riveter with their Embossing Dies. All photos are copyright © Paul Washburn; used by permission.

Paul painted the models with Model Master acrylic paint "Burnt Sienna" #4607. The inside of the cars were painted with Tamiya acrylic "Brown/JGSDF" #XF-72. The prototype used Andrews trucks, so he used some old Ace trucks he had on hand. He used a combination of products from K-4, Tichy Train Group, and Rail Graphics for the decals.


prototype info

prototype photo of a GA-4

Product Gallery