ONT 9′ Door Boxcar Rebuild (AC 2917)

A while back I stripped the paint on a handful of True Line Trains 40′ Ontario Northland boxcars in preparation for modifying and repainting them as cars acquired second hand by the Algoma Central for LCL and company service. Naturally, these then sat on the workbench for a while awaiting detailing and painting while I tackled other projects. Last night I pulled these back out in order to start finishing off the details and get them ready for painting.


First up is this car which will end up representing AC 2917. This car was built in 1947-48 by National Steel Car for Ontario Northland and rebuilt by the ONR in the early 1960s with a 9′ door opening. This rebuild required reinforcing of the side sill below the door opening and new door tracks. Note that the new doors used were taller than the original doors, being meant for a 10’6″ interior height car while the Ontario Northland boxcars were older cars with a 10’0″ interior height, so the door tracks in addition to being longer to accommodate the larger size of the door are mounted lower down.

The doors on the True Line model are unfortunately molded as part of the car body, so the first step of the major modification was to cut this opening out entirely. The side sills also had to be carefully cut off along the bottom edge of the car body so that new side sills and door tracks cut from styrene strip could be added. I don’t really recall where the doors came from originally, I pulled them out of my parts box where they’ve been for a while.

After removing the ladders and brake detail, original mounting holes were filled in with round styrene rod and the ladders were shortened and reattached. Tackboards on the doors and ends are original parts from the model relocated. The brake wheel housing was also remounted lower down.

This car just requires a few more of the brake detail parts to be re-applied on the “B” end of the car, and also the addition of a new horizontal grab iron on each end (I couldn’t find my small diameter brass wire last night) to complete the detailing. Then it should be ready for the paint shop.

I have a few more cars that basically just need all of the ladder and brake detailing work done which I hope to complete over the next week and then I should have a small fleet of about half a dozen ex-Ontario Northland boxcars for work and wayfreight service.

3 thoughts on “ONT 9′ Door Boxcar Rebuild (AC 2917)

  1. Looks great! I have been following your blog for a while, and am always impressed by the work and research that you have put into your modelling.

    Out of curiosity, what paint will you be using for the Jade green?

    • Thanks Graham!

      The ONT 92000 series (from which the AC 2917 comes) were rebuilt in the 1960s and all were painted in the then-new dark green with the large “Progressive” logo. Over on Ryan Mendell’s Algonquin Railway blog, he has an ONT Progressive scheme box he did some detailing on where he states he used CNW Green to match the factory paint, and looks like that did a good job of blending in. Now, since I am modelling 1985, my AC 2917 will have about 20 years of weathering on it, and these particular cars seemed to almost take on a slight yellow-green tint when they faded. I’m thinking of maybe taking some of the Southern Sylvan Green I have on hand for doing the 8201-8500 series NSC/Ortner hoppers and adding a few drops of white and yellow to come up with a faded base coat, and then a less faded colour for the patchwork. Don’t want to fade too much for the 1980s though.

      Ontario Northland also had a previous series of cars in the 91000 series rebuild with 8′ doors; these were converted before the new Progressive scheme came in and many were freshly painted in the jade colours, although some were also found in brown. Most lasted in these colours the rest of their lives (a friend of mine posted a photo from 2002 showing one 92000 (in faded dark green) and at least 3 91000 series cars, all in either brown or (extrememly faded) jade. A small handful of the 91000 series cars were also repainted into the dark green, and at least one actually got a proper version of the late 1970s blue and yellow “chevron” paint scheme.

      For the Ontario Northland’s earlier Jade green/teal cars with the oval “Ontario’s Development Road” logo, I actually found New York Central Jade Green is an exact match for touching up the paint on True Line Trains’ cars painted in this scheme.

    • Wow, thanks for the reply! I’ve only recently started with the hobby, and have found a lot of inspiration through your blog, and always appreciate the information found here. Your response was very helpful, I really appreciate it!
      Thanks again Chris!

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