California's Railroad to the U.S. 1861 - 1996

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Southern Pacific Ore Cars

Most well known operation of these ore cars; was the Ore trains that ran from Ferrum to Fontana, and later to Long Beach and San Pedro.

SP interchanged with the Eagle Mountain Mine Rwy at Ferrum, SP would leave empty trains of ore cars and pick up full trains for the Kaiser Steel Mill at Fontana, Ca. Later the trains ran to Long Beach and San Pedro to deliver iron ore for export overseas.

They were built as low sided, and later had extensions to make them a high sided car.

Lee Gautreaux suggests that the 100 ton ore cars were G-100-1 (345000-345599) and G-100-6 (345600-345669.)

Two links of interest:

Model Railroader had a review of these cars in their May 1979 issue, from the article:

'In 1958 the SP built a group of 600, 26-foot, 100-ton 'tight bottom' gondola cars, SP class G-100-1, to carry iron ore to the Kaiser steel mill in Fontana, CA. These cars had a capacity of 1350 cubic feet, but in 1965 extensions were added to the sides to increase this to 1602 cubic feet.'

more info to follow...

Modeling choices at the moment are:

  • For N Scale:
    • ?
  • For HO Scale:
    • Roundhouse MDC
      • #1701 HO 26 foot Tight Bottom Ore Car Hi-side
      • #1711 HO 26 foot Tight Bottom Ore Car Low-side
  • For O Scale:
    • ?

Athearn has recently bought Roundhouse MDC, so the future availability is unknown.


  • SPH&TS Trainline #50, Winter 1996 issue, "Ore Only, Return to Ferrum, A Look at the Kaiser Ore Trains", by J. Pat Bray, a well done article covering the main operation from the steam era into the late diesel era of these cars.
  • SP Freight Cars Volume 1
  • Model Railroader May 1979
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Wednesday, 7 July 2004