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.
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.
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.
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.