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WalthersProto HO scale 65' Thrall mill gondola

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
WalthersProto HO scale 65' Thrall mill gondola
Price: $31.98

Wm. K. Walthers Inc.
5601 Florist Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53218

Era: 1970s to present

Road names: Baltimore & Ohio, CSX, Algoma Central, Missouri-Kansas-Texas

Modelers who need mill gondolas for their fleets have a few more choices as Walthers has released new paint schemes of its 65-foot Thrall mill gondola.The models measure 67 HO scale feet long, which matches dimensions for a Thrall mill gondola found in the 1970 Car Builder’s Cyclopedia. The overall height and width of the model are within scale inches of the drawing. The truck center-to-center measurement and truck wheelbases are likewise on the money. The Thrall prototype drawing and the model both have 19 exterior posts on each side. We received samples painted in Baltimore & Ohio and CSX schemes. The car number on the B&O model was assigned to a similar gondola built by Greenville in the late 1960s instead of Thrall. The Thrall cars are of welded construction and the Greenville cars were riveted. The Thrall cars have 19 posts per side compared to 17 on the Greenville cars.

On both models, Walthers Proto-Max metal knuckle couplers are mounted to the body at the correct height, and the 33" diameter RP-25 contour wheels in the roller bearing trucks are in gauge. The car weighs 3 ounces, about 22⁄3 ounces light for a car of its length, according to National Model Railroad Association recommendations.

The separately applied ladders and grab irons have an in-scale profile, and the underbody brake equipment is complete with plastic pipes.

Overall, the car has the right look for both paint schemes. The painting on the cars is smoothly and evenly applied and the lettering is clear and opaque with the smallest data legible under magnification.

The B&O car is painted white inside the body, a feature the prototype added to help mill crane operators hit their mark in the dark and murky confines of their workplaces. However, the white paint does highlight the holes in the sides and ends of the model for the ladders and grabs, and the ejector pin marks on the inside of the end castings.

The CSX cars were rebuilt in 1989. In 2012, one car of the series was still listed in the Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER).

These cars offer good proportions and detail for layouts set in the 1970s up into the early 2000s.

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