Another Round of Lumber Wrap Graphics

A few more printable graphics for older northern Ontario area mills.

Dubreuil Forest Products (Dubreuilville, ON) – ~1989-1995
PDF | XLSX – (based on a glimpse from a video, so may not be exact)

Dubreuil Forest Products (Dubreuilville, ON) – ~1999-2007
PDF | XLSXPrototype

Lecours Lumber (Calstock, ON) – ~1999
PDF | XLSXPrototype

Malette Timber (Hearst, ON) – ~1989-1997 (now Tembec)
PDF | XLSXPrototype

E.B. Eddy Forest Products – ~1980s (now Domtar)
PDF | XLSX – Prototype

Scierie Landrienne Inc. (Landrienne, QC) – ~2013
PDF | XLSXPrototype

See also the previous post, here.

55 Ton Twin Hoppers

This is another pair of cars pulled out of a box on a shelf somewhere that I started years ago and then put aside at some point. This week I got them out again, cleaned them up and finished off the detailing on them.

These two cars represent the older hoppers on the Algoma Central’s roster. Information on these cars’ history is scarce, but sources suggest they were acquired secondhand from multiple sources in the United States. Studying the ACR roster over time, it appears that several sub-groups with at least 4 different listed cubic capacities were added beginning in 1938 (when the sinter plant at Wawa was built) with more added throughout the 1940s and 1950s. As these were all acquired secondhand, build dates ranged as early as before the Great War (a.k.a. WWI). It appears there may have been around 300-400 of these cars at some point.

By the 1970s, these old cars were in really rough shape with some derailments said to have resulted from one or more of the older cars essentially being pulled apart. From 1971 through 1975, 400 brand new, larger 100-ton cars were acquired from National Steel Car to replace the aging smaller cars and the old cars were scrapped. A 1984 freight car list republished in Dale Wilson’s “The Algoma Central Story” however shows 16 cars remaining within the number range 6605-7604, a range covering several original sub-groups in the 6600-6900, 7000-7100, 7500 and 7600 series. These cars would have been non-interchange, and very likely reserved for company service at this point. Official Railway Equipment Registers stop including any of these cars in public listing early in the 1970s.


The main visual feature of the ACR’s 55 ton hoppers was the reporting marks and data being place on a sheet steel plate between the first two ribs on the left of the car side, rather than directly on the car body.

At one time, all the lettering may have been painted on the car side itself, but for many years there was a practice of loading these hoppers with sinter from the ore processing plant while still hot, which had the effect of burning off the paint, leading to some really interesting weathering patterns with most of the car sides being bare rust and the practical solution of putting the car data on a separate plate instead of the car side itself. The Kar-Trak ACI labels were also placed on a smaller plate mounted towards the right-hand end of the car side.

Both cars have the data plate and a smaller plate for the ACI label fashioned from styrene sheet and strip. On the lower car, I also used .005″ [clear, because that’s what I had on hand at the time] styrene sheet to represent repair panels welded on to the side of the car. The way the light caught them doesn’t show really nicely in the above photo, but shows a bit better below.


Underside improvements to the car involved using body putty to fill the gaps around the metal weights installed below the car’s slope sheet and new door bars and a representation of the locking mechanism scratchbuilt from various styrene strips to match what showed in the prototype photos.


Both cars got a little bit of upgrading on the ends as well. The model represents a car with vertical brake shaft, and I gave both cars a brake wheel housing. The car at left also got new vertical braces that extend over the full height of the car compared to the original uprights as on the car at right. This was following prototype photos, but I decided to leave the second car alone; after all, there was a certain amount of variety in this fleet.

I didn’t replace all of the body grab irons on these cars, but I did at least upgrade the ladders in the open ends with wire grabs to get rid of the look of deep, flat steps that often plagues models of hopper cars with one-piece bodies and cast ladders.

I also didn’t necessarily bother to add all the proper piping and brake linkages between the components under the ends. They may not be contest models, but they should look good on my [future] layout when rusted within and inch of their life and loaded with ballast in a work train.

Here we go again – proposals received for ACR passenger service

The deadline for new proposals for operating the Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst passenger service has arrived and the local Sault Star newspaper is reporting on their web site that three proposals have been submitted, with a possible fourth to come from a late arrival to the process:

RFP results in proposals to run train service

After the first attempt at finding an operator which led to the selection of RailMark Inc., which for several complicated reasons did not end well, it appears that this time the working group will have all proposals reviewed by a third party consultant to compare the submitted proposals to the information contained in the RFP (Request for Proposals) and also do additional background checking of each company.

Once the proposals have been compared, they will then be reviewed by the stakeholder group and CN. Obviously CN, as the owner of the tracks, will have to provide their approval of the operator, and the group hopes to have the city’s nod as well, as the administrator of the federal funding, before a selected proposal is submitted to Transport Canada for approval. With a federal election and possible changes in the government just weeks away, it’s expected that such a submission will occur after the October election.

The article notes that some of the pre-conditions for approval (which RailMark notably failed to meet) will be the same this time around.

It’s also noted that the proposals at this time are strictly for the regular passenger service, not the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, which CN has continued to operate this season, but is entertaining offers/proposals for that service as well. The article mentions that it is unknown whether CN has received any interest for the tour train, but the benefits of the same operator running both the regular train and tour train are obvious, as the two services can share equipment and connect the services in other ways as well. (Until last year CN offered a combo package with the Tour of the Line where you could ride the Agawa Canyon Tour Train to Canyon park, enjoy the park for a while and get picked up by the northbound regular train to continue the Tour of the Line experience. When I rode the train to Hearst in 2013, I just rode the regular train as the Canyon train was sold out, but my friend that I travelled with, having booked earlier, was able to take advantage of this deal.)

Anyway, we’ll see what develops out of the proposals. Hopefully for all concerned it works out this time. While communities, private cottage and camp owners and tourist outfitters and resort/lodge owners have certainly hurt from the cessation of service, it’s worth remembering that whatever issues there were, RailMark also lost huge when they got forced out due to the lack of financing after operating for several months at a total loss. I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to have *all* the ducks in a row on this.

Work Car Wednesday #6


Here’s another pair of water tank cars photographed in the mid 1990s at Steelton Yard (Sault Ste. Marie) by Blair Smith.

The age and origin of these cars is unknown, but these exhibit the typical silver paint on the AC’s water tanks. Note the interesting lack of ladders and running boards to actually access the dome on AC 10652 above, and the additional piping on the end of the car frame for supplying water to coupled accommodation cars.

Unlike the ex-Canadian National cars featured last week however, these cars show no obvious signs of any sort of insulation or heating. Not sure how that works in January in northern Ontario.

AC 10654 below has clearly reached the end of its service life and has been retired as it’s seen here off its trucks at Steelton shops.

ACR from Blair 030

Other confirmed car numbers of similar silver water tanks include AC 10648 and 10655 (the latter also lacks ladders and running boards, like 10652).