Freight Car Friday #71 – CN 557417 Model

CN 557417 is a 52′ inside length combination plug + sliding door boxcar built in the mid 1970s for lumber and forest products service. It’s part of a large group of such cars (740 cars built in three orders between 1973-1974), but its paint job is one of a kind.

This car was one of 4 boxcars painted by CN in 1984 as a promotion for the upcoming 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver, BC, branded as “Expo86” by the event organizers. Each car was painted in a similar black and white scheme with 4 diagonal coloured stripes, although each of the 4 cars was in a different colour.

The four cars to be painted this way were:

CN 557417 – blue stripes (52′ combo-door boxcar)

CN 557420 – purple stripes (52′ combo-door boxcar)

CNIS 417093 – green stripes (52′ single-door boxcar)

CNIS 417225 – orange stripes (52′ single-door boxcar)

Also painted in the Expo86 scheme was SD40-2 5334 with multi-coloured stripes (yellow, green, blue and purple).

The model was built using a Kaslo Shops resin kit for a CN 52′ combo door boxcar which matches the prototype and painted and lettered using a decal set from Highball Graphics (this set appears to be now discontinued). This was a challenging paint job, requiring a lot of masking (including diagonal masking to paint the stripes) over the raised details of the car doors.

Since I’m modeling 1985, the car’s paint job is still pretty fresh so the car just received a clear coat and will remain un-weathered. Eventually the car will see service on my future layout hauling lumber, plywood and other forest products from mills on the CN beyond Hearst westbound via Oba or south to the United States via Sault Ste. Marie. It’ll be an eye-catching change from the regular CN brown boxcars hauling paper and lumber out of the north.

Freight Car Friday #66 – CN 558419

CN 558419 is a good example of a relatively modern 50′ high-cube boxcar. With the double sliding doors, this is a design pretty commonly used in forest products service, and is likely an empty for loading at the GP Flakeboard mill in Sault Ste. Marie (located west of the Algoma Steel Mill and served by the steel mill’s railway). This car is one of 425 cars built new for CN in 1996 by Trenton Works of Trenton, NS.

CN 558199 below is from the same series, but has clearly been re-shopped fairly recently with a fresh coat of paint and converted from sliding to plug doors. Both photos at Sault Ste. Marie, July 12, 2015.

Freight Car Friday #50 – CN 557636


CN 557636 is one of several of these double door CN boxcars shots in the same train in August 2004 at Sault Ste. Marie.

Part of series CN 557440-557739 built in 1974 (and identical sister series 557300-557439 built the previous year), these 52’6″ I.L. cars were built for lumber and forest products service and when new had the main sliding door painted green as a colour coding to indicate this assignment. (Here’s one in 2006 with the original paint including the green door intact.) With modern computerized systems this indicator is no longer needed and most of these cars gradually had the doors repainted the same brown as the rest of the car.

For modelling in HO scale, Kaslo shops produced (produces?) a resin kit for this type of car. (I have two on my shelf to be built up and put into service.)

This car and many other double door boxcars in the train are likely loaded with either plywood or OSB from mills at Hearst or Limer.

CN 481640

This is a project I pulled out of the pile on the back burner.

IMG_8547 IMG_8549

This boxcar was an undecorated Intermountain model of a 10’0″ interior height boxcar, which I painted some time ago, and started work on the lettering, but then it got left aside.

The model was assembled from the kit as intended, except I also added a small piece of .020x.020″ strip along the botton of the sill tab at the truck bolsters to represent the jacking plate that pretty much all CN 10’0″ cars had at the bolster. The model was then airbrushed with TrueLine Trains “Mineral Brown”.

The lettering is a rub-on dry transfer set from C-D-S Lettering. Using dry transfers is quite a bit different than water slide decals, and there are a few advantages and disadvantages to both. Dry transfers apply just the lettering to the finished model and have no decal film to deal with. You can finish a model relatively quickly with them, and do both sides in an evening since you don’t have to wait for decals to dry. You don’t have the chance to move a dry transfer into position once on the model; it needs to be positioned exactly and held in place while you burnish it onto the model. It helps to apply a small piece of tape to the corners once the sheet with the lettering is located in place. The main disadvantage of dry transfers is in the smallest lettering; the printing process doesn’t allow as fine of detail as can be printed on decal paper. Also multi-coloured graphics (not an issue here with the all-white CN lettering) on C-D-S sets have the different colours printed separately.

I finally pulled this car out and finished off the lettering (except for the last couple of numbers on the Capacity and Load Limit data – that needs to be completed yet). The extra little detail bits (the yellow & black wheel inspection dot, COTS data block and ACI bar-code label) were added from various Microscale data sets.

A little bit of weathering and installation of the couplers, and this car will be just about ready for service hauling various cargos on the remote branchlines of Northern Ontario.