The Bachmann HO 40' Gondola Car Lehigh & New England models the 40' gondola car common to the railroad industry in the 1920s. Gondolas (Note the vague similarity to the boats used in Venice) have been used by North American railroads since the early days of railroading. Still in use as a very common type of rail car, they are used to haul coal, gravel, crushed rock, steel, and many other bulk commodities.
Road Name and History:
Lehigh & New England Railroad: The idea of a railroad line from Central Pennsylvania to New England with a bridge over the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie was conceived in 1868. The South Mountain Railroad built from Harrisburg. PA, to the Delaware River at Portland, PA. In 1873 the South Mountain & Reading was chartered to finish the route across New Jersey, across the Hudson, and through to Boston. The SM&R was to fail, as did successors Pennsylvania & New England and Pennsylvania, Poughkeepsie, & Boston. Other railroads with short histories also failed to complete this line. Finally in 1895 the Lehigh & New England using its own construction and trackage rights reached Maybrook, NY, near the Poughkeepsie Bridge (1912). Bridge traffic turned out to be sparse, and anthracite coal which kept the L&NE afloat also declined as a commodity. The railroad closed down in 1961.
Travel Tip: While no longer used for rail traffic, the Poughkeepsie Bridge is now a pedestrian bridge, the longest footbridge in the world. Rail traffic on CSX and Amtrak/ Metro North can be observed in the Hudson Valley below the bridge.
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.