Dr. Sloan has an extensive description of the D&RGW gondolas, which he considers the most numerous of the car types on the Rio Grande narrow gauge. He classifies these into 22 types, though I think many of us have erroneously considered only two lasted to the end of operations. Here are the ones that seem pertinent to this discussion (Sloan classes 12-16, all 25 ton cars):
Class 12a, Nos 9200-9299, AC&F 1898—rebuilt in 1923 with Cardwell draft gear.
Class 12b, Nos 9300-9574, AC&F 1902—rebuilt in 1923 with Cardwell draft gear.
Class 13, Nos 1000-1249, AC&F 1902. 1032 was modified as the Santa Fe 3-way coupler car.
Class 14, Nos 1250-1499, AC&F 1902—these were built as dump cars and had 9 stakes rather than 10 stakes. The dump portion is between the middle five stakes as Mike shows on 1271 and 1471. They were rebuilt in 1923 and thereafter closely matched Class 13. As rebuilt, some had 9 stakes to the end, though many got 10 stakes.
Class 15, Nos 1500-1899, AC&F 1903. Sloan reports two of these cars were modified on the A end with 3-way coupler pockets for use in Salida-Leadville service Maxwell via Braun). This blog has identified these two cars as 1541 and 1866.
Class 16, Nos 1900-1925, AC&F 1906. Sloan reports these were not rebuilt in 1923, and are distinct with separate corner irons at the exterior like the drop-bottoms.
Class 17, Nos 700-799, AC&F 1904—these were the longhorns with levers on one end and five boards, rebuilt in 1918 with the levers to the outside.
Class 18, Nos 800-899, AC&F 1905—these are four board cars with coke racks and open tops, but with a roof walk(!). In 1918, the coke racks were removed, a fifth board added, and these closely resembled Class 17.
Sloan characterizes that Classes 12-16 all looked similar after rebuilding, though there are differences in truck spacing, stakes and draft gear after 1923. Prior to rebuilding, the cars had varying numbers of boards and boards of different heights, according to class. Consult the book for more details, and examine photos.
Classes 17 and 18 only appear to have differed in the number of boards after rebuilding.
Suffice to say, the 1918-1925 period (particularly 1922-25) would be an interesting one to model, with C&S-D&RGW interchange cars, cars in both D&RG and D&RGW paint schemes, original worn and newly rebuilt cars. The high-side dump cars would be present, but the coke cars would be gone. I am thinking that during this period, more of the B-4-B and B-4-C locomotives were in service, along with more of the Moguls, notably 21 and 22.
What a great photo Pat, have never seen this, where's it from? From the moire pattern I take that it's from a book. Looks like it may be an O.T. Davis or George Beam photo. I see the car shop is still standing and those "shades" or covers on the shop clerestory are neat.
I hope that no one takes offense to all these evil empire posts, it is an interesting time period of interchange between the two lines.