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.
These unique 3 car sets have got to be one of the most unusual cars on the Algoma Central.
I’m not sure of the total number and extent of these cars, but I have photos of 3903, 3907 and 3908. (AC 3903 (below) and 3907 (above) shown here.)
These cars were constructed for steel plate service between Algoma Steel’s main mill and the Welded Beam Division mill on Conmee Avenue, just north of the Steelton yard. Because these cars were in dedicated service between these two points, which are both within the Steelton yard limits, these cars don’t appear on any Official Equipment Register listings.
Each “car” is made up of three units, which are themselves all former Algoma Central equipment from other series. The base of the car is a former 3501-3850 series gondola with a heavy steel frame made up of welded I-beams extending well out beyond the length of the central car, and a 40′ idler flatcar permanently coupled at each end. Note the “B” end car appears to be a cut down 2300 series flatcar with part of the end rack remaining and the brake wheel lowered. The “A” unit is likely formerly from the 2200 series of 40′ standard flatcars.
These two cars photographed on August 18-19, 2004 at the Welded Beam Mill and Steelton yard respectively.