While gondolas come in many lengths and types, their common denominator is extreme versatility. Almost any weatherproof cargo can and has been carried in gondolas, from coal to sugar beets to machinery to logs to telephone poles. A particularly versatile variation was the AAR (American Association of Railroads) Class GS, with drop bottom doors hinged along the center sill, enabling loose cargos to be unloaded by gravity to either side of the car. From the 1920s through the 1950s, class GS gons were built in large quantities, especially for western railroads that did not own large coal hopper fleets.
Models, both the all-steel and composite wood and steel versions, are based on GS gondolas built for the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in the mid to late 1940s. Features include intricately detailed and durable ABS bodes, metal wheels and axles, operating die cast metal couplers, die cast sprung metal 4-wheel trucks and colorful paint scheme.