AC 2343 at Steelton yard, August 1996. Photo courtesy Blair Smith.
AC 2476 at Sault Ste. Marie, August 18, 2004. This is one of a group of cars originally built in 1975 for North American Car Co. by Hawker-Siddeley with NAFX reporting marks. These were acquired by the Algoma Central in 1994, and *may* have come via the CN/CNIS 603400-603424 series – which series is also nee-NAFX with the same listed build date, comprises the right amount of cars, and disappears from CN roster listings at approximately the same time.
Over the past week or so I’ve been continuing to work away at my flatcar project, and I’ve built basic bodies for the four cars and completed the assembly of the ends, and now I have four assembled flatcars that are starting to look like an impression of the real thing.
The bodies are scratch-built from .040″ thick sheet and strip. You can see in the photo below the various parts ready for assembly: the simple flat body, a basic fishbelly underframe, and the truck bolsters are Tichy parts. The side and end sills are .040″x.125″ strip, while everything else is cut from .040″ thick sheet material.
Some weight will still need to be added to the cars along with some basic underframe detailing.
With four bodies built, the ends could be assembled and attached to the cars. With the framing for the ends previously completed, the side wings were added using .010″ thick sheet material with an .040″x.040″ reinforcing post and a .010″x.040″ top flange across the top of the side to finish everything off.
Above you can see the end details on a single car; each of the four are identical.
With the basic assembly complete, these models are really starting to look like something, but there’s still a lot of work to do with the fine detailing of the car. The car still needs ladders and grab irons, brake wheel and associated end details, basic underframe brake system details, side stake pockets and decking, not to mention trucks and couplers or paint and lettering.
ACIS 1415 is an interesting car with a story to tell.
Built in 1974 by National Steel Car, this 61’6″ (inside length) woodchip gondola was purchased for service hauling woodchips from the (then) new Newaygo Forest Products lumber/chip mill at Mead, at mile 275.3. It was one of original 90 cars numbered ACIS 1401-1490. As the cars were exclusively used between Mead and paper mills in Wisconsin (my best information indicate the primary destination for these cars was a mill in Appleton) the “ACIS” reporting marks indicate cars assigned to strictly International Service and not to be used between domestic points within Canada under customs regulations.
By 1985 the Newaygo mill had shut down and most of the Algoma Central’s chip cars were sold off, however this became one of 5 cars (ACIS 1413, 1415, 1416, 1417 and 1433) retained and repurposed as a lumber carrier for Dubreuil Brothers Lumber in Dubreuilville. The end door was removed and replaced with the open steel bracing shown above and the top bracing holding the car’s sides together was raised to provide additional clearance for loading. These cars would be spotted at a ramp at the end of the loading track at Dubreuilville and pulled each day by the southbound freight to head down to the Sault on the night freight out of Hawk Junction. At Steelton yard they would be spotted at a Dubreuil Brothers Lumber yard next to the ACR yards and unloaded.
An interesting example of a unique service provided by a unique regional railway.