MODELING- A new freight car kit coming

1785 Bakerfield 2-23 1956 lr

Many years ago, San Juan Car Company started to develop a 1/4″ scale styrene kit for a Southern Pacific G-50-23 composite gondola. The kit was initially tooled but the problems arose as initial testing started. The project stalled after numerous attempts to “tweak” the dies.  The car sides are composed of the exterior posts and sides channel.  The wood planking is a separate part.  The outer part didn’t fill completely.  Other parts didn’t fill at all.  Sadly, the tool designer and later the owner of San Juan developed cancer and passed away before any redesign could be done. San Juan was sold and the word from the new owners didn’t support fixing the tooling design. Last summer, Jim Booth approached San Juan about selling the design even with the numerous problems. An agreement was reached and the intellectual property was delivered to Jimmy.

gp gond1

The process of sorting out the design started. The design package was done in 3D CAD. New tooling was done and the parts were coming out just as was intended. New dies were done for missing parts. There are more parts needed.

GP gond2

The bottom line is that Glacier Park Models will release the complete kit early this coming fall. Details and pricing has to be worked out yet. Jimmy has talked about doing the steel sided version (G-50-20) later. Protocraft will have a new decal set for the SP car. The artwork was done by Rick Leach a number of years ago.

gp gond3

sp g50-23



9 thoughts on “MODELING- A new freight car kit coming

  1. Gene

    If they would do the squiggly ends for this car they could reasonably model the Soo Line and Monon versions as well. That would really be nice although I think the Soo did have the standard end cars as well.

    Ray & Renee Grosser

    1145 Linn Road

    Eubank KY 42567

    (606) 379-6590

    (606) 416-4855 C

    I hope you never have to work as hard as we play!

    “In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.” Moby Dick Herman Melville

  2. Gene:
    Such news is always welcome. I ordered the single sheathed outside braced boxcar from Southern Rail when you first mentioned it and they still have not delivered. This is an item I am looking forward to and most likely will order an additional one. The gondola will be an excellent addition to well designed equipment available to our hobby.


  3. Gene,
    Good for GPM!! I’m glad to hear this project is going again. I was sorely disappointed when it became apparent San Juan could not finish producing a kit for this car. The test parts for this car that I saw at OSW looked very good.


    • Charlie
      Hopefully, the O scale community will support the new kit. GPM has taken a risk on the appeal of this car being wide enough to justify the expense of the intellectual property and the time to redo the tooling.
      If this goes well, it may motivate GPM to do more with plastic.


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