Don’t try this at work today!

You can no longer bring your kids along for a cab ride:

Aboard the JN Freight, about to leave Fort St John BC. This was prior to the CN takeover. Cutest brakeman on the BCR seniority list!

And who has camera-surfed on a consist of SD40-2’s at Elleh, BC, on the Fort Nelson Sub at 40MPH? Show of hands? I can still hear the noise of the screaming turbocharged 645’s and smell the exhaust.

Work train 901- we brought the outfits south out of Klua. It’s a stiff grade here and the hog just opened the throttle.
It is the closest thing to a horse shoe curve on the north end. The trees have since grown in and it is no longer possible to photograph your caboose from the head end.

I am sure that CN is hunting me down for this as we speak….. Sorry, Mr. Trainmaster, it happened before 2004.


Detroit Tunnel Power

Life got in the way of modelling for the past few months. Minor details like moving house, moving in, setting up the CPR Calgary Terminal radio stream, and the endless chores that seem to follow.

Going back to my hypothetical post-1985, post-CR Shared Assets 1999 CASO property using modeller’s license: By 1999-2000 the old Queen’s CASO Geeps would be no longer fit for purpose, and big modern power would be needed to lift tonnage through the Detroit River Tunnel (DRT) efficiently on the Puller assignments between Canada and the US.

With the theoretical surviving portion of the CASO being a joint venture, the owning partners would have to supply their share of the required power, hence the CSXT and CR units. So I weathered up an Athearn RTR SD60 and Genesis SD70. Living and working in Western Canada, my eye leans toward motive power that has seen harsh service in tunnel bores. I spent many years in train service at BC Rail. See for yourself:

On a completely unrelated note I also weathered my new Rapido RS-18. Hopefully it is abused and oily enough:

O&W SD40-2’s to BC Rail

I spent 12 years working as a trainman for BC Rail. A good friend models the BCR in N Scale in New Mexico. So I offered to paint up some Kato SD40-2’s in N Scale for him patched into a BCR number. They were 744-750, if I remember correctly. None were lead units. An attempt was made to have 748 set up as a leader, but it did not work out. The BCR SD40-2 fleet was heavily used on the Pemberton Pushers and the Fort Nelson Sub. I quite liked working with them. They were sure footed on rough track, and were very dependable. The BCR locomotive shop foreman in Fort St John, Paul Symons, was a miracle worker. He made them go. Hats off to him!

Here is the progress so far. Decals were supplied by Bill from PDC.CA in Manitoba. I highly recommend his work! I used Tamiya paints.

Yes, I did one in HO for myself, too. The curiosity was killing me.

The colour of O&W green is very bright, but it will be toned down with some heavy weathering.

This will be the end product. Photo: D Mark Forseille.

Terry’s Retirement

I am going to step up to my full sized railroad in this post, and away from the HO Scale one.

One of my employees has retired from railroading a second time, after forty years of combined service with Canadian Pacific and Plains Midstream Canada. He is one of the finest, if not the finest hog I have ever worked with. We will miss him dearly in Kerrobert.

Coming from the BC Rail running trades, I know the proper “First Class” way to send a hog to pension, so it had to be done here in Saskatchewan, too.

Terry with facility supervisor John Anderson

First, he posed with his unit:

Terry with NPR 2854, an ex UP SD40T-2

Then we take a photo with the whole Kerrobert Unit Train Terminal team:

It’s time to break through the banner:

NPR 2854 takes a run at the banner

And for one final railway tradition, a hooping of train orders.

John Anderson holds the hoop. It’s from the TH&B Hunter Street H Office, for those who are curious.
This hasn’t officially been done in Canada since December 9 1990 when the CROR replaced the UCOR

And there you have it: hooping up train orders using a TH&B hoop and CPR stationery, to an ex-SSW/UP Tunnel Motor on a CPR branchline in Saskatchewan. Isn’t that an unlikely combination of railroad ingredients? Terry had a blast we and maintained the old traditions. It is 100% about taking care of your people.

That’s all that matters.

My Newest Unit

I added this old girl to my crude oil fleet in Kerrobert, Saskatchewan last week. SD40T-2’s are plentiful in the lease market today. Everybody should get one.

Photo by Matt Watson.

Wouldn’t a TH&B logo look fine under the road number? A Tunnel Motor for the Hunter Street Tunnel…. Can you tell I am originally from the Hamilton area? AJT

Before & After- CASO Meets the old Railbox IPD Fleet

By Adrian Telizyn

A large number of Railbox cars are roaming the rails with new reporting marks since the IPD bust took place in the 80’s. Below are two readily available models. The one on the left is an Accurail model that is now complete. The one on the right is Athearn RTR just prior to going to work tonight. I am going to weather the Athearn car with Vallejo chalks, and then patch it for CASO prior to weathering it again. Both cars received extra weights and Rapido 36″ wheels. I found both of them recently on the used shelves at Trains & Such in Calgary, AB.

CASO goes Cigar Band Part Two: Using an Athearn Blue Box kit

By Adrian Telizyn

Similar to the previous post using a Proto 2000 single door 50 foot car, I tried the same method on a double door old Athearn “Blue Box” kit I found in Calgary on the used shelves.

Again, an NYC in financial distress during that era would leave workmanship by the wayside. All that mattered was having 300 boxcars in Canadian service for the CASO and being in compliance with an order from a regulator.

The car received Kadee wheels and couplers, plus extra weights. I left the roof walk on, as I did not feel like filling in all the holes. I left the factory car number alone. Not bad for $5 and some old decals!

CASO meets the Cigar Band

By Adrian Telizyn

Taking the hypothetical continued investment in the Canadian boxcar fleet by tenant railroad NYC one step further, how might a 50 footer look in the Cigar Band era prior to the Penn Central merger of 1968?

This car was created using a factory lettered Proto 2000 car with a patchover of the reporting marks using an old Champ Decals set.

Once the operational decision was made to harmonize the existing PRR and NYC rosters prior to the merger, it’s a wild guess as to how the car numbering scheme might actually have landed for CASO equipment after 1968. Under “pure” NYC management there was logic to where the CASO cars sat on the roster between other NYC equipment classes. So I left the factory car number alone this time.

I also decided at this time that the car shops were taking less time and effort to perform the work due to the financial distress that the NYC was experiencing in that era. Workmanship and corporate pride suffered accordingly, compared to the first CASO rebuilds of 1941. Enjoy!

Next week, a double door Athearn Blue Box version of the same car.

Athearn Blue Box Patching

By Adrian Telizyn

About a month ago I found a plain blue boxcar that was begging to be patched out on the used shelf at a local hobby shop. How much fun can one have for $10?

Again, following my hypothetical business case that the CASO was alive and well in 1985 as a “paper railway” and continuing to invest in its car fleet, taking advantage of the fallout from the IPD boxcar bust. I patched out the factory CNW reporting marks using Floquil CR Blue, and substituted CASO ones from a Champ Decal set with the addition of a small CR Snail in the upper corner. Remember, CR made lease payments to the CASO for use of their Canadian property across Ontario between the Detroit River Tunnels and Niagara Falls/Fort Erie.

I then dusted the car with an application of Vallejo “Old Steel” and “New Rust” weathering powders before sealing it up with Dullcote. At the time I took the photo I had not yet installed the ladders and hand grabs.

Having spent 13 years as a trainman for the BCR, I encountered lots of colourful and very interesting 50 foot boxcars in different states of paint and disrepair at the various sawmills around me. In short, “anything goes” with those cars. There is no wrong answer.