Freight Car Friday #46 – ESAX Flatcars

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These two cars represent a brand new (built in February of 2015) series of bulkhead flatcars operated by Essar Steel Algoma with their own reporting marks (ESAX). The first example above, ESAX 25, was photographed in the Huron Central yard in Sault Ste. Marie on July 12, 2015. Almost an entire track appeared to be filled with these empty cars.

The second example below, ESAX 38, was photographed with a load of steel in a westbound Canadian Pacific train at White River on July 15, 2015. Presumably this car (and several other steel loads, mostly coils, next to it) were interchanged from CN at Franz.

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Freight Car Friday #41 – CN 618212

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This flatcar with a load of steel plate from Essar Steel Algoma and the unusual end braces has an interesting history on CN.

Originally built in the early 1970s as a rather standard 60′ flatcar, it was rebuilt in 1991 for assigned service hauling large aluminum ingots. The wood decking was removed and deck risers and the end braces were added. These cars remained in this service until 2011 when they were replaced by new cars built by National Steel Car and leased from Helm-Pacific. Once they were bumped from this service, CN removed the deck risers, replaced the mesh grating with solid steel decking and allowed these cars to return to general service, although they still retain those distinctive end braces from their time as aluminum ingot cars.

There were a bunch of these cars kicking around on the former ACR when a friend and I rode the Tour of the Line in the fall of 2013. Apart from a couple of loaded cars in a northbound freight that we passed at Hawk Junction, one passing siding had about a dozen empties stored in it and the night before we watched the southbound freight into Michigan head over the International Bridge with quite a few flatcars.

Photographed at Hawk Junction on September 30, 2013 from the vestibule of the northbound passenger train.

Freight Car Friday #36 – LRIX Pulpwood Flatcars

Also in captive service on the Huron Central is this fleet of leased cars owned by Lake Superior Eastern Rail Industries, with LRIX reporting marks. Like Huron Central’s own cars with HCRY reporting marks, these cars in are dedicated captive service between the pulpwood loading spur at the HCRY Sault Ste. Marie yard and the pulp mill at Espanola, Ontario, approximately 60 km west of Sudbury.

The LRIX fleet was acquired in 2008, and consists of three groups of cars.

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LRIX 2700-2708. These cars have a 70′ long loading space inside the bulkheads, and were formerly QGRY 2700-2708. (Before that, ?) The stencilled data on the cars indicate they were originally built in 1975.

LRIX 2709 may be a different type of car not pictured. QGRY 2709 was listed as a 60′ inside length car.

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LRIX 2710-2719. These cars are just over 60′ long inside the bulkheads, and their lineage is unknown.

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LRIX 2720-2729. These 60’10’ inside length cars were originally built by Hawker-Siddeley in 1970 as part of the CP 304800-304879 series. The Walthers pulpwood flatcar is actually a dead ringer for these cars, as it was actually based on this original CP series.

Freight Car Friday #35 – HCRY Pulpwood Flatcars

For this next series in Freight Car Friday, we’re going to head over to the Huron Central side of Sault Ste. Marie.

Huron Central has a small 30 car fleet of their own pulpwood cars, all 52′ (nominal) inside length cars with side stakes in several variations, from various former Canadian National and Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific (a CN subsidiary) lineages. These cars are in captive service between the Huron Central yard in Sault Ste. Marie, where they are loaded, and the pulp mill in Espanola, ON, so these would never or rarely leave HCRY rails. However, this captive nature of the fleet makes for an interesting treat for the avid freight car enthusiast when visiting the area, and if one were interested in modelling the Huron Central, these would be an important key to representing the correct equipment and traffic.

Here’s a few of HCRY’s hodge-podge of ex-CN flatcars, shot in two separate visits in summer 2013 and 2014.

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HCRY 70002, ex-CN 604651, ex-DWC 606350-606849 or 607900-608999 series?

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HCRY 70005, ex-CN 613051

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HCRY 70007, ex-DWC 605103

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HCRY 70008, ex-DWC 606386

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HCRY 70013, ex-DWC 606716

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HCRY 70014, ex-DWC 606743

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HCRY 70016, ex-DWC 608549

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HCRY 70019, ex-DWC 608887

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HCRY 70027, ex-CN 604068, ex-CN 608000-608349 series