Since 1982, the BethGon Coalporter has been hauling “black diamonds” across the United States. The largest selling Coal Gondola in the world, the car’s double tub design increases hauling capacity while reducing maintenance requirements. Tubs below the car lower the center of gravity, providing a smoother ride.
Today, coal is no longer sold at the volume it once was in the United States, and many coal carrying railroad cars have sadly been left to rust. Bethgon Coalporters could transport 44,000 pounds of these “black diamonds,” a necessity for the railroad in the era of a coal-driven country; therefore, a need of recycling these cars had to be found!
Since the use of grain for animal feed is popular for farmers in the western part of the United States, Bethgons proved up for the challenge and some were converted for use as a Protein Gondola. These covered gondolas are used in freight trains in the western and southern parts of the states in long, endless fleets providing useful feed for farm animals. Since the load of feed is biodegradable and therefore needs to be delivered as quickly as possible, trains carrying these long loads are given top priority on the rails.
- Coalporters: The removable coal load lets operators run full or empty between coalmine and terminal
- Protein Cars: These cars have a distinct “cap” which replicates the appearance of the roll-up tarp covering that protects the cars’ contents from the elements
- The shock absorber construction and low-flange metal wheels provide smooth operation
- The internal bracing of the tub, close coupling between cars and detail lettering on these cars make them look just like the real equipment
- 8 car sets make it easy for modelers to assemble long unit trains