Yep, they are very similar to the early C&S Coal cars, virtually the same. Note the truss rod running along the side of the car. You've seen these in their yellow/gold paint schemes and "Victor Gold Mining" lettering. Rick will set me straight, but I believe these were built in or around 1899 by the Michigan - Peninsular Car, Co.
Derrell has a builders photo of a complete car sitting on top of a car with the sides removed, similar to this C&S builders photo….. (so maybe they were built by St. Charles Car Co. ???)
These two cars in this wonderful photograph probably represent the two major classes of coal cars owned or inherited by the F&CC (see attached builders photographs). One of the wild cards regarding F&CC equipment is the equipment initially owned by the Moffat controlled Golden Circle R.R. and subsequently sold to, or "reverted" to, the F&CC. This equipment was either purchased new from St. Charles/ACF, built in the F&CC shops or leased from other narrow gauge lines. In addition, it is rumored that Moffat personally owned a fleet of coal cars to service each of his mines in the Cripple Creek district and the cars were lettered for use at each mine only - cars identical to the Victor Gold Mine cars but lettered for the String Mine, etc... Certainly a full accounting of all the different types of coal cars used on the F&CC/Golden Circle is lacking.
If you look at the original designs for the C&S phase 1 box, the D&RG 3000 series box car that the F&CC box cars you will see that they are all, except for a few hardware variations, the same. The C&S used New York Brakes and the D&RG used Westinghouse. the F&CC used Westinghouse. Peninsular Car and St. Charles were merged into ACF and the designs were basically a common standard. Remember, this is for the D&RG 3000's BEFORE the rebuilding. After that they were essentially D&RGW built.
This follows for the C&S and D&RG 30' Stock cars, as delivered. The D&RG did have the tongue & Groove in the end sheathing and the same type of end doors as the C&S when delivered.
The Gondolas of the C&S and F&CC were the same common ACF (nee St. Charles) design. I would warn you, though that the C&S and F&CC cars shown are the same, the lower one, the VGM car is different. It is a three board car. The other two had four boards. Theoretically, the three board cars were ore cars (heavier loading and not needing the higher sides) and the four board cars were for Coal, which is much lighter. Notice also that where the F&CC had the corner straps straddling the side and end boards, the C&S had them centered on the side and end boards. Maybe a design change from St. Charles to ACF? Maybe just a different idea from the different design departments. The UPD&G did have a fleet of three board cars that made it to the C&S as well.
Another small thing that is overlooked by most modelers is that the VGM cars occupied the number slots 300-349 on the F&CC Roster as recounted in both the CRM and the Alan Lewis (Sundance) F&CC books. The F&CC four board coal cars were numbered from 350-399. From what I understand the 350 as shown was a one-of for Dave Moffat, but I'll leave that to the F&CC fans and stick with the C&S. I haven't had the heart to tell my LaBelle customers that the model was taken from the photo and is probably of a unique car....
According to Bob Sloan the builder of the D&RG gons that were later converted to High-Side Gons was ACF. They were originally four board cars that showed a lot of family resemblance, but they were 32 foot cars versus the F&CC and C&S 30 foot cars.
I have not seen any side-by side photos of the D&RG 30' reefers as delivered and the C&S truss rod Reefers, as delivered, but Sloan claims that the D&RG were also built by ACF, so I'll bet that there were probably a lot of similarities there as well.
I always noted the VGM car was built hell stout for leather with all the iron rods on the sides and ends. These must have gotten bear up in rock service. I don't have the F&CC books, but a one off would explain why there are no photos of the yellow car in service.
Now to figure out how to make about 10 of these in Sn3?
Mike was talking about making the stakes as 3d printed parts. PVC makes the trucks and probably the rest of the hardware. Darrell will want me to use the correct draft gear buffer. What about the straps that extend over the top of the side boards. Hmmm.
Keith, I'll try to get to those stakes in 3d to price them out. Shapeways now has a finer resolution material that may look good. Not sure yet about the economics per car but maybe the 3d could be used as masters at least. We could do the buffer in 3d as well if not available otherwise. Not sure about the hanger straps, may be too small.
Mike, I am thinking of the C&S stakes. Are the stakes at the needle beams longer than the others? Rick, I as thinking of the straps. Probably small strip of brass are the solution. Then I can paint them red with rusty spots to satisfy Jeff.
"Are the F&CC stakes much different than the C&S stakes?"
Don't know dimensionally, the pictures above show the F&CC with stake pockets while the C&S use a u-bolt/strap. That truss rod on the side of the F&CC car is a neat detail.
As far as the C&S stakes, would you want the original tapered or the later straight stakes? Or a mix. And yes the needle beam stakes are longer. Won't take much time to work up a model to send to Shapeways for pricing, if I can find that time! I have some high-side parts I can re-purpose and C&S coal drawings up the wazoo.
Tapered stakes for coal cars, dimensions from Derrell's drawing of the 4086-4245 series as built 1898. Stakes are 53.75" long, with the longer needle beam stakes being 58". 4 x 4 square, 2.5 x 4 at the top.
So, would you want tapered, straight, both? End stakes or not? Which series, what era? Lots of variables, between series and cars within series. Over time the tapered were replaced with straight stakes, inevitably some cars may have been mixed? A more knowledgeable mind than mine may be required as to this point, I'm no expert by any means. Another series may have slightly different stakes though the overall dimensions may be quite similar.
I'll put together a file - enough stakes for one car, no end stakes - to upload to Shapeways just to get a price at least.
Please include the end stakes (4)--just like the regular side stakes, except the square 4x4 part of the stake was only as long as the end sill height. This would be perfect for the St Charles coal cars of 1898. I could use 4 or 5 sets.
In studying the photos, the taper from the square portion of the stake appears to start 12 inches from the stake bottom, just at the top of the side sill, not the top of the floor boards. The metal strap underneath the U-bolt appears to have a bend at the upper portion.
The side stakes for the 1902 coal cars were also tapered, but tapered over the full length of the stake, even where attached to the side sill. I'll consult my Derrell Poole drawings as a cross reference. I could use 5 or 6 sets of 1902 stakes as well.
Okay, I've been staring at the photo of the St Charles coal car atop the sister car without sides. I've never seen a photo this enlarged with this much resolution before.
I've checked Derrell's drawings for the 1898 coal cars and his rendering of the stakes match Mike's CAD drawing.
Does it look to anyone else that the side and end stakes are actually double tapered? Doesn't it look like there is a crease line in the plate under the U-bolts at a point that is even with the top of the side sills and the end sills, and that the stakes taper both upwards and downwards from that crease?
Consider this early photo of the same class of car:
Am I imagining that the lower part of the side and end stakes taper downward??
As to the reason for the extra stake pockets and their uses:
Blackhawk in 1913. The end stakes have been removed by this date.