Equipment Portraits :: 4

Continuing my series of equipment portraits, here are some more models that ran on my now-dismantled layout, Port Rowan in 1:64.

CNR 462085

This boxcar started life as a ready-to-run plastic model from S Helper Service. It was factory-lettered for an American railroad but at some point, I realized it would make a decent stand-in model for a class of CNR single-sheathed boxcars in the 461000-463999 series. So I reworked this model (and two others), adding a fish-belly under frame, re-detailing the roof with extra ribs, and substituting brass stirrup steps. This was an easy way to add more variety to the CNR boxcar fleet.

B&O 530382

This distinctive “wagon-top” covered hopper is a brass import from Dan Navarre at River Raisin Models, which brought in 158 examples in 1993. I found my model online. It was factory painted – the lettering had not yet been applied but was included in the box. I decided to experiment with heavy weathering techniques to represent a car that had spent many years in cement service. The lettering has been almost obliterated under spills and streaks, although the car number has been periodically cleaned to remain legible. I’m pleased with the effect. This car rarely appeared in Port Rowan operating sessions as it’s just such an oddball, but on occasion I invoked Rule 1 (“It’s my railway”) to add some variety to a train.

MILW 21189

Here’s another lovely brass model from River Raisin Models – a 40-foot boxcar with horizontal ribs. Dan Navarre imported 68 of these (along with 128 50-foot versions) in 1991. I bought my example from S Helper Service founder Don Thompson after posting a note to various newsgroups looking for one. As with all my models, regardless of origin, it has received flexible train line air hoses from BTSRR.

CNR 7792

This was one of my first projects for the Port Rowan layout: An extensive re-detailing effort to create a CNR mail and express car – an essential piece of equipment for my rendition of the Mogul-era mixed train that patrolled the rails between Hamilton and Lake Erie. The car started as an undecorated RPO from American Models. I added details from several sources as well as a few that I built from scratch. I also added numerous grab irons, brake rigging, real glass in the windows, and so on. Decals are courtesy of Al Ferguson at Black Cat Publishing, who has been a super supporter of Canadian modelling in S scale. Like all of my six-axle passenger cars, this one benefits from riding on trucks enhanced with compensation, using components created and manufactured for me by Tim Warris at Fast Tracks. It remains a favourite project of mine.

I’ll continue to add more entries to this series as time permits. If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with it. I hope you’re enjoying these equipment portraits and notes.

Published by Trevor

Lifelong model railway enthusiast and retired amateur shepherd who trained a border collie to work sheep. Professional writer and editor, with some podcasting and Internet TV presenting work thrown in for good measure.

6 thoughts on “Equipment Portraits :: 4

  1. Trevor, I’ve really enjoyed your posts. Terrific work on your brass projects. The freight car weathering is some of the best I’ve seen. Thanks for posting.
    Fred Rouse

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful models, as alwaysI miss the Port Rowan operationI just purchased Ian Wilson’s “Steam Echoes of Hamilton”Fascinating reading and not just for the pictures as they sayWith images of your model railway in my mind, I have carefully read the sections talkiing about Port Rowan and environsDid you try to pattern operations after what Wilson wroteI like the idea of the Lynn River water tank serving not only the Port Rowan branch but also locomotives in and around Simcoe in need of a drinkHow many light engine water extras did you ever run?Take care and good luck with the NS&T Philip Jago, Gloucester, Ontario

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Philip:
      Yes, I tried to pattern the layout after Ian’s narrative. I also used other information I found while researching the prototype. My plan was to run light engine moves to the water tank. I only did it a couple of times. Usually, I ran the layout solo or with one visitor at a time and I/we tended to run a freight extra, which would’ve been almost unheard of on the branch. But it was fun! Running the mixed train often felt like running a freight extra with one or two cars to switch, and a 200-foot long caboose.


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