Freight Car Friday # 69 – ONT 6051

While today’s Freight Car Friday subject isn’t an AC car, nor taken anywhere near the ACR, it is definitely related.

This shot courtesy of an antique show find by Keith MacCauley shows an almost brand-new Ontario Northland triple hopper # 6051. 72 of these cars numbered ONT 6000-6071 were built by National Steel Car in 1971 for use carrying iron ore from Adams Mine near Dane, ON to steel mills in Pennsylvania. Canadian National, Ontario Northland, and New York Central/Penn Central provided cars into a pool for this service, with many of the PC’s portion coming from the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo and Canada Southern Railways (although that’s clearly an actual PC car coupled at left in this photo). Given the freshness of the ONT car, the date is almost certainly summer 1971. We haven’t identified the location, but it’s likely somewhere in the States.

In the late 1970s this service ended, and these cars were disposed of by the Ontario Northland, with the Algoma Central picking up thirty of these cars in 1978. They would run for several years in original numbers with just the reporting marks patched out, and then in the mid 1980s these cars were renumbered from their 6000 series numbers to the 8600-8629 series.

Tar and Gravel Flat Roof Surface

A bit more work with paint and gravel and the roof of the station is now surfaced.

As noted in a previous post where the slope of the roof was built up from styrene sheet, the “flat” roof is not, in fact, actually flat but does slope in order to provide drainage. That slope is in fact there, although with the gravel surface added, it almost completely visually vanished, except in that one subtle spot in the corner where the roof actually slopes against the top of the wall. (That reminds me, I need to go in yet and actually add a couple of round plugs to represent the drains, as well as a vent pipe for the toilet plumbing. All easy bits to add…)

Actually flat or not however, the technique for making the tar and gravel roof is pretty simple. After applying a thick brush coat of black paint (just regular flat black acrylic) and while the paint is still wet, sprinkle on a liberal coating of gravel and let sit. I used some fine ballast which I sifted to make sure I was only left with the finest grains. The effect is good, however it’s still a bit coarse actually for a gravel roof. I may yet scrape this off and re-do it with finer hand-sifted natural materials – I’ll have to sleep on that idea yet for a bit – but the technique is still sound.

You’ll also notice I sprayed the Sylvan Green colour for the trim before doing the roof, as the trim borders the roof surface, and that would be more than a little bit impossible to mask and spray after the fact. The bold green colour on the upper walls though will not last – only the trim is actually this colour, and light grey siding is yet to be applied to the wall surfaces, so the station will have one last drastic colour change for completion.

Painting Brickwork

I also got some painting done on my Wawa station build this weekend.

Wawa station was a light buff coloured brick on the lower story. The model was coloured by first spraying the model with grey primer and then drybrushing the brick colour over the grey, leaving the brick faces coloured and the mortar lines in grey. The brick colour is two different shades of tan-brown craft store acrylic randomly mixed together on a pallet. (Comparing to a printout of a screen capture image of a video, I picked out a pair of colours called “Honeycomb” and “Coffee Latte” – these were just eyeballed against the printed image.)

A little grimy weathering when the station is more complete will further blend the colours.

Waybill Sorting Box

Just a small project this weekend to make a proper storage and sorting box for my waybills. All cut out of a single sheet of 20×30” foam core board.

The box is made from 3/16″ foam core board and has overall dimensions of (roughly) 10×10″ (precisely, it’s 9 15/16″ wide by 10 5/16″ deep to account for the internal size of the pockets plus the width of all the material) with 24 (4×6) sorting/storage slots that are 2 1/4″ wide x 1 1/2″ deep to fit the waybill cards. The depth of the outer walls is 4″, the depth of the inner pocket dividers are 3″. I cut a drop in the front of the box down to match the 3″ depth of the pockets to made it easier to see and access the front row(s) of waybills. The central dividers are notched halfway up where they cross each other to form a simple but sturdy interlocking series of halved joints (like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halved_joint ) I didn’t glue the dividers to each other due to the nice tight fit of the halved joints, but glued the whole divider assembly, the outer walls and base together with regular white glue.

The labelled card dividers within each pocket are just pieces of card stock (actually just the trimmings of the car card sheet after the car cards are cut out) cut slightly longer than the waybills so they stick up above them.

Scale Test Car 10302 Model

In the previous post, I discussed background information on the Algoma Central’s old steel ore hoppers from the early 1900s, and the surviving example that was converted to a scale test car and operated into the mid 1980s.

Fortunately Westerfield makes a detailed craftsman kit for a couple of variations of the Pressed Steel Co. ore hopper, making it possible (although a bit of work) to model either the early 1900s ore fleet or the surviving scale test car.

The instructions provided with the kit are quite detailed, so I won’t go into a detailed blow-by-blow of the construction, except to point out the major deviations and additions I made based on the modernizations performed on the prototype car.

The most obvious modification when modeling the scale car conversion is of course the steel roof that was added to the car. This was simply fashioned from some .020″ sheet with some interior bracing and a 1×4 ridge pole to set the appropriate peak height and slope. This was glued to the tops of the sides with ACC. Fascia trimwork on the ends was added with 1×4 strip cemented to the roof.

Tichy running boards support and brass wire corner grabs added. I plan to try to add the actual wood running boards using weathered strip wood later once the car is painted.

Another modernization feature on the prototype car is upgraded grab iron arrangements with full ladder grabs at the opposite corners of the car. This required drilling a number of new holes for the additional grab irons and bending them from brass wire.

Also, the original hand brake was upgraded with a power hand brake with the familiar vertically mounted brake wheel with geared housing, although the car retained the original split “K” air brakes. This was added by building up the mounting bracket for the brake wheel housing with styrene strip and adding a brake wheel & housing from a Tichy brake detail sprue.

One last note I should make on the brake equipment is that the kit box contained a Tichy parts sprue for a standard “one-piece” K brake, when the car should have a split K brake with separate piston and air reservoir. This may have just been a packaging mistake on my car, but I had to obtain another Tichy part sprue for the split version of the K brake system. The extra Tichy parts may eventually find their way under other old work equipment at some point.

The car still needs to be painted, and custom decals made to finish it off.