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Gondola Plans

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Pat's Six Foot, One-Eight Scale, Wooden Gondola  Pat Turner June, 2008



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Build your own "riding scales" railroad car in 1/8 (1-1/2") scale using these easy-to-follow plans.  As built, this car is 6' long, 16-1/2" wide.  With the addition of seats, 2 average sized adults can ride comfortably on your favorite 7-1/4 or 7-1/2" gauge railroad.

Step by step photos and drawings are especially designed for modelers who are not equipped to do welding


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Drawing dimensions are easy to follow.

Construct the gondola using plywood for the main body parts and square poplar for the ribs. The top rail is oak. All parts are glued with Liquid Nails or yellow wood glue and screwed or nailed. All plywood parts were screwed together with drywall type screws and the smaller parts such as the side ribs, end ribs and top rail were nailed. The finished car with couplers but less trucks weighed 55lbs and is very strong and stable.

The step-by-step directions with photos (see example) show how to cut out the plywood shapes and assemble.  Flip over and attach the centersill and bolsters. Add the details, your trucks and couplers, paint and decals and your ready to ride the rails.

To save costs, these plans are available as a download only.  After your purchase, you will be given access to the plans.  Print out your plans to refer to as you build your gondola.



The center sill is constructed from a 2x4. The car's rigidity comes from its plywood sides.

"...its a great car to have. Mine is going to be lettered Pennsylvania. It went together fairly easy.

Only thing I can stress to other builders is use a pneumatic brad nailer. It saved so much time and hassle once I got my own. I had got the initial body together with glue, tried nailing it with a hammer, and I kept bending the nails, having to pull them out, nail it again, and it took sometimes 10 minutes to do one nail. Also I'm going to modify mine with 2 less ribs on the side so the graphics will be longer, and easier to read. 

Other than those 2 things, its an absolutely terrific car..."         Matt