As mentioned in a previous post, blocks of loaded pulpwood flatcars have been common rolling though southern Ontario on CN M397 for the last year and a half since CN has put the south end of the former Algoma Central on mothballs. I believe that these are loaded on a busy log spur at Mead on the former ACR and routed around Lake Huron via Toronto and Chicago to get to mills in Wisconsin.
Most of these cars bear WC reporting marks, and are a wild variety of former CN-family cars from different groupings, including BC Rail, Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific, CN, and even other Wisconsin Central and Algoma Central cars.
Most of the old Algoma Central-marked flatcars in the 2384xx and 2385xx series are also still in service, and also occasionally show up mixed in, although they are dominated in terms of sheer numbers by the hundreds of cars in the WC 237000-238xxx block.
Last Sunday’s 4-car pulpwood block on 397 contained this treat for an ACR fan. AC 238405, formerly of AC 2401-2425 series built new for the ACR in 1975 as standard 52’10” bulkhead flatcars and converted to a pulpwood car by Wisconsin Central in 1998. The original lettering is quite worn, but you can still see the original “ALGOMA CENTRAL” lettering to the right of the new car number.
AC 238464 at Steelton yard on July 9, 2001. You can see a piece of the original ‘CENTRAL’ lettering to the right of the number, so this particular car is from the 2401-2425 series built new for the ACR in 1975. This was renumbered and rebuilt with side stakes in 1998.
AC 238446 at Cochrane, Ontario on July 16, 2014, one of 70 cars in series 238400-238469 rebuilt in 1998 from cars in the AC 2401-2501 number range in random order.
The orange paint on this car marks it as having been renumbered from a car in the specific series AC 2476-2494, originally built in 1975 for North American Car Co. (then one of the major car leasing/management companies – now part of GE Rail Services) and acquired by the ACR in 1994, possibly via the CN/CNIS 603400-603424 series.
AC 238459 at the Steelton yard RIP track on August 19, 2004. This is one of 70 cars from the 2401-2501 series rebuilt in 1998 by Wisconsin Central with side stakes for handling pulpwood. These cars were randomly rebuilt and renumbered in no particular ordering. The colours on this car indicate its British Columbia Railway heritage, so it was previously one of 50 cars numbered AC 2426-2475 which were acquired in 1980 from BCIT 818450-818519 series.
Edit: since this post, I’ve obtained detailed roster and renumbering information for these AC flatcars. This information reveals that this car’s former history is ex-AC 2496 (2495-2501 series), ex-NAFX 53293, ex-CNIS 603519 (603500-603746 series), ex-BCIT unk. (818200-818449 series)
The 2495-2501 series was acquired in late 1994, with 5 of the 7 cars being rebuilt in 1998 to AC 238458-238462.