If you don’t count the working Track Cleaner Car as the company’s first HO-scale freight car, then the Composite Gondola release of 1948 occupies that spot as the debut rolling stock offering. The model initially came undecorated and later decorated sides (painted and lettered) saw introduction. By the mid-1950s, Ulrich offered seven road names for this Composite Gondola: Santa Fe (CG1), Pennsylvania Railroad (CG2), Rock Island (CG3), Norfolk & Western (CG4), Lehigh Valley (CG5), New York Central (CG6), and Grand Trunk Western (CG7).
ABOVE: From an Ulrich mid-1950s catalog, here’s the entry for the Composite Gondola model.
For its time, this 52-foot freight car ranked among the longest commercially available for HO modelers. Information shows Ulrich supplied Athearn-made sprung trucks and later supplied the manufacturer’s own sprung trucks with kits.
ABOVE: Here’s a look at the die-cast metal sides (decorated for Pennsylvania Railroad), wood floor, and box with end sections and additional parts for Ulrich’s Composite Gondola.
For more on Ulrich, check out HO Collector‘s 4th Quarter 2020 edition and the article, “An Introduction to Ulrich” by Tony Cook. You can purchase individual issues of HO Collector and other White River Productions’ magazines and books by visiting your local hobby dealer or going to the publisher’s website.