AC 8016 at Steelton yard in August 1997. Photo courtesy Blair Smith.
When the Algoma Ore Properties mines and sinter plant in the Wawa area shut down in 1998, Wisconsin Central took all of the original AC 8001-8100 series bathtub hoppers and rebuilt them with side extensions and new bottom outlets for ballast service. These cars have sophisticated pneumatically operated door mechanisms that can be operated by remote control (note the lettering identifying each outlet gate A-D and the equipment box and small solar panel on the right hand side of the car).
The cars are renumbered in sequence by adding “20” in front of the original AC number, so this was originally AC 8036.
Once Canadian National purchased the Wisconsin Central in October 2001, these cars really started to spread out across the system and I found this example in Jasper, Alberta on a family vacation in August 2004.
Photographed in October 1993 by Blair Smith, AC 8010 is an example of a series of 100 cars built by National Steel Car in 1971 for the Algoma Central. Aside from the totally unique bathtub shape of the car body, the cars feature a chain-driven longitudinal hopper opening; this feature was apparently not well appreciated by crews when it froze up in the winter. Another 100 cars were apparently planned, but cancelled, with the railway instead ordering 300 rapid-discharge triple hoppers for delivery in 1974-75.