November Operating Session: Nov 12, 2022

A reminder that the next regularly scheduled WRMRC operating session will be held on Saturday 12 November 2022, from 12:00 until about 6:00-6:30PM.

Sudbury_Op_Session_20220910

If you are interested in attending the operating session as a guest, please contact us via our Facebook page or send us e-mail so we know how many people to expect.

For a full list of club events in 2022, please see our calendar page.

 

WRMRC at the Kitchener Train Show – Sunday 06 Nov 2022

The Waterloo Region Model Railway Club will have a display at the Kitchener Model Train Show being held Sunday, November 6th, 2022.

The show will be at the Bingemans Conference Centre (Marshall Hall) located at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive, Kitchener ON from 9:30am to 3pm. More information can be found on the collectorshows.ca website, and on their Facebook page. The show features many vendors, displays, several operating layouts, and railway memorabilia.

TrainShow2016

Our display features club photos, an electronic slide show, and hands-on demonstrations with members working on various modelling projects. There is also a side table with second-hand or surplus models and equipment for sale. If you are attending the show please stop by and pay us a visit.

Hope to see you there.

 

B&O F-Units in Twilight

Part 3 of That ’70s Rent-a-Wreck Fleet

Introduction was: That ’70s Rent-a-Wreck Fleet
Part 2 was: The Saga of the Bellequip Geeps

By the time Canadian Pacific had fully dieselized their system in the early spring of 1960, a recession had hit the North American markets. Additionally, the CPR was realizing all the efficiencies that a 100% diesel roster provided, and was beginning to unlock their fleet’s full potential. These factors caused the CPR to cancelled purchase orders with General Motors Diesel for more GP9 and SW1200RS locos which were scheduled for delivery later in 1960-61, and it doomed all remaining stored steam power for good. It also created a stable four-year period between 1960-64 for the CPR’s motive power needs, where they rostered sufficient locomotives to meet all traffic demands. From 1964 right up to the present day, the Canadian Pacific Railway would never again have such a time.

B&O 4517 at Soo 18March73

A great illustration of what a colourful time the 1970s were for CP Rail. Here we see script-lettered GP9 8676 coupled with B&O F7A 4517 (one of few leasers to wear the early ’60s *Sunburst* scheme) as they assemble freight #912 at S.S.Marie ON on 18 March 1973. (Ted Ellis photo)

Over the winter of 1964 the CPR entered the wonderful world of locomotive leasing. Forced into it by a sharp traffic upturn, their short-term solution was to lease several A-B-A sets of Union Pacific Alco-built FA-1 and FB-1 locomotives. These 1600hp cab units were early diesels built after the war in the late 1940s, and they were never a favourite of the UP who tended to run them hard with deferred maintenance. In fact the UP had tied-up this fleet earlier in 1963, and then re-activated them specifically for the CPR to lease. When they were returned later in 1964, the UP promptly retired them all and used them for trade-in for credits on new EMD locomotives. They literally ran their last miles over the CPR.

After dipping their toes into leasing with the cantankerous UP FA-1/FB-1 fleet, Canadian Pacific refined their rental practices throughout the late 1960s into a useful and effective strategy. Future leases included diesels from such diverse owners as the Bessemer and Lake Erie, Boston and Maine, Bangor and Aroostock, and the Chicago Great Western. All of these leasers proved to be of much greater reliability, and held a number of assignments over this time. Though they operated mainly in the CP Eastern Region, it was not unheard of for leasers to reach as far west as Calgary. Leasing numbers were highest over the winter months when traffic levels hit their peak, and coincidentally when CP’s own locomotive reliability stats suffered from the legendary cold Canadian climate.

Locomotive leasing really peaked in the early 1970s, as CP Rail began running robot coal trains to the new Roberts Bank Superport, and the Canadian government had inked large grain export contracts with both the Soviet Union and China. By January 1972, CP Rail already had over 75 leased units in service, primarily from locomotive leasing pioneer Precision National Corp. But by February the motive power crunch hit a critical point, and CP was forced to take anything that was available. Enter the Baltimore & Ohio F-unit lease fleet.

B&O 4487

Travelling between Sudbury and Smiths Falls over the Chalk River line, B&O 4487 leads GP9 8493, M-636 4731 and FA-1 4015 on train #974 through Carleton Place ON on 27 February 1973. This photo helps illustrate two points; that B&O F7As could and did lead while leased to the CPR, and that the motive power bureau wasn’t too picky about diesel arrangements when lashing locomotives together during the 1970s. (Bruce Chapman photo)

The once mighty B&O F-unit fleet had become a shadow of its former self by the early 1970s. Back in the day they were a staple of mainline operations, featuring 155 F7A and 104 F7B units. There were also older F3 models (some upgraded to F7 standards) along with second-hand F7’s purchased from the Bessemer & Lake Erie, and a number of 7000-series F7A’s transferred from the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O had acquired controlling interest in the B&O in 1962). However by 1972 the B&O F7-fleet was significantly diminished through attrition, and were being used as trade-in bate towards new EMD GP38 and GP40 locomotives. The surviving F-units were holding down secondary freight and local coal mine shunting assignments. To put it bluntly, they were in rough shape.

B&O 5529

Entering its second winter season on lease to CP Rail, venerable B&O F7B 5529 is seen here sandwiched between sister B&O F7A 4587 and CP C-424 4243 at Smiths Falls ON on 26Dec72. (Bruce Chapman photo)

The B&O began transferring the F-units from Detroit MI on 08 February 1972, and all the leasers were initially inspected at CP’s Windsor Yard before entering service. In a foreshadowing of their decayed state of maintenance, five of the first leaser locomotives to arrive were judged to be mechanically unsound and were returned to the B&O. Another five units would arrive later to comply with the lease contract. (See roster below for details.)

The CPR was in such desperate shape for power that the first three units accepted for lease (F7A 4622 & 4646, F7B 5498) were almost immediately placed on local manifest freight #74, and left Windsor ON for CP’s Agincourt Yard in Toronto on February 10th, 1972. After arrival the trio were promptly placed on train #955 to travel north up the MacTier Sub to Sudbury ON, and eventually wound up in Chapleau ON the following day.

Ultimately a total of 28 F7A, F7B and even a pair of FP7 diesels would be leased to the CPR over the 1972 traffic crunch. Most wore the spartan post-B&O/C&O merger Enchantment Blue scheme, but at least two F7A locos (4487 & 4499) and an F7B (5477) were still sporting the classic late-50s B&O double blue / yellow pinstripe scheme. Another trio of F7A units (4517, 4622 and 4645) wore the remains of B&O’s famous, albeit short-lived early 1960s ‘Sunburst’ scheme, though all their noses had been repainted and lost their attractive sun rays in the process. As if that wasn’t enough variety, all the 7000-series F7A locos transferred from parent Chesapeake & Ohio were wearing hastily patched C&O paint in various states of degradation.

B&O 7054

The former identity of B&O F7A 7054 is hard to miss as she leads CP RS-3 8431 and SW1200RS 8161 on an eastbound at Smiths Falls ON on 18 February 1972. All the B&O’s ex-C&O cab units on lease to CP were in various states of paint decay as such. (Bruce Chapman photo)

As one would expect, this combination of B&O paint variations coupled with CP’s own radical corporate image change, plus the riot of colours available in the leased ‘rent-a-wreck’ fleet, resulted in a particularly vibrant period of CPR motive power lash-ups. Possibly the wildest incident involving B&O leasers (recounted by a credible source) was of a CPR employee (and closet railfan) who proceeded to chase northbound train 955 from Toronto up the MacTier Sub into a blinding snowstorm. The reason? On the point was a perfect A-B-A consist of B&O 4487, 5477 and 4499, all adorned in the old late-’50s double blue / yellow pinstripe scheme.

B&O_5498_Nairn

B&O 5498 is the trailing unit on train #911 at Nairn ON on the WRMRC’s CP Sudbury Division layout. Model was completed by the author from a powered Intermountain F7B, with Polyscale paints and Microscale decals. The unique B&O spark arrestors were scratchbuilt from styrene.

Whether it came down to duct-tape, bailing wire and ball-peen hammers to keep these weary beasts rolling, the CPR shop crews faithfully maintained these F-units until the initial lease ended in August of 1972. But only four short months later a number of these original leased units would return again, along with a few new numbers, to help out with the ’72-’73 winter season. All B&O F-units went off lease and were returned to home rails by the end of April 1973.

However it would not be the end of spotting leased ‘Chessie’ power on the CPR, as they and successor Chessie System (the official merger of B&O / C&O and Western Maryland) seemed to have forged a rental relationship that resulted in leased C&O GP30 and GP35 units operating through 1979-1980, and again between 1984-1989 with B&O GP38 and GP40 locos. But as Canadian Pacific began amassing their own large fleet of SD40-2 locomotives throughout the 1970s, that signalled the end of a particularly evocative and polychromatic era of locomotive leasing, and the B&O F’s were operating right in the middle of it all.

On a final note, the Baltimore & Ohio F-unit rental experience did somewhat emulate the Union Pacific’s FA-/FB-1 fleet from almost a decade earlier, as many of these F’s were placed into storage after their return to home rails. A good number also soldiered on for a while, but eventually all would be used for trade-in credits towards new Chessie System GP38-2 and GP40-2 diesels from General Motors. Just as before, there were rent-a-wrecks operating their last revenue miles on the CPR.

 

All-time Roster of B&O F-Units Leased to CP Rail Between 1972-73

Road No. Model Paint Scheme Notes
4472 F3A B&O Solid blue Replacement unit from B&O – Feb 72
4477 F7A B&O Solid blue Failed inspection & returned – Feb 72
4487 F7A ’50s Double blue
4499 F7A ’50s Double blue
4502 F7A B&O Solid blue
4503 F7A B&O Solid blue Replacement unit from B&O – Feb 72
4517 F7A B&O ‘Sunburst’
4575 F7A B&O Solid blue
4576 F7A Not confirmed
4577 F7A B&O Solid blue
4580 F7A B&O Solid blue
4586 F7A B&O Solid blue
4587 F7A B&O Solid blue
4589 F7A B&O Solid blue Replacement unit from B&O – Feb 72
4622 F7A B&O ‘Sunburst’
4630 F7A B&O Solid blue Failed inspection & returned – Feb 72
4645 F7A B&O ‘Sunburst’ ex-B&LE acquired 1962
4646 F7A B&O Solid blue ex-B&LE acquired 1962
4648 F7A B&O Solid blue ex-B&LE acquired 1962
5420 F7B B&O Solid blue
5424 F7B Not confirmed
5429 F7B B&O Solid blue
5447 F7B B&O Solid blue Replacement unit from B&O – Feb 72
5448 F7B B&O Solid blue
5477 F7B ’50s Double blue
5495 F7B B&O Solid blue Failed inspection & returned – Feb 72
5498 F7B B&O Solid blue
5515 F7B B&O Solid blue
5529 F7B B&O Solid blue ex-B&LE acquired 1962
5533 F7B B&O Solid blue Failed inspection & returned – Feb 72 / ex-B&LE acquired 1962
7039 F7A Patched C&O ex-C&O, transferred to B&O 1962
7052 F7A Patched C&O Failed inspection & returned – Feb 72 / ex-C&O, transferred to B&O 1962
7054 F7A Patched C&O ex-C&O, transferred to B&O 1962
7081 F7A Patched C&O ex-C&O, transferred to B&O 1962
8009 FP7 B&O Solid blue
8011 FP7 B&O Solid blue Replacement unit from B&O – Feb 72
Additional notes:-
  1. Units were leased Feb 1972 to July 1972, and from Dec 1972 to April 1973.
  2. All units received by CP at Windsor ON via C&O’s Rougemere Yard / Detroit MI.
  3. Initially 28 units were listed by Extra2200South magazine – March 1972.
  4. The fleet was down to 10 units by end of Feb ’73 (X2200S, no numbers listed).
  5. All returned by May 1973, a number were stored after return. All retired by parent Chessie System by 1975.

References: Extra2200South, Bruce Chapman, Bruce Mercer and Greg McDonnell.

 

The Sudbury Ore Car Fleet

It was during the construction of the CPR during the 1880s that copper ore was discovered and sparked a flurry of mineral exploration and mining claims. Since then, Sudbury has been known as a major mining and smelting centre, producing not just copper but becoming a world leader in the production of nickel. As the new railway opened up accessibility to the mineral resources in the area, many mining and smelting companies were incorporated such as The Canadian Copper Company, Mond Nickel, British America Nickle Co. (BANC), Dominion Nickel, International Nickel Co. (INCO), and Falconbridge Nickel.(The first four would later be absorbed by INCO to become the major player on the Sudbury scene.)

Much of this ore would be moved between the mines and the smelters by rail, so transport of both ores and finished products is a major part of the rail scene in the Sudbury area. The mining companies had their own private railways connecting some of the mines, and other mines were served by the “common carrier” railways: Canadian Pacific, Algoma Eastern (later part of CP), and Canadian Northern (later Canadian National).

Sometime around 1910, the Hart-Otis Car Company of Montreal patented a drop-bottom gondola design, whereby doors in the floor of the car could be operated by geared handles on the ends of the car to discharge its load to the sides of the track, which would quickly become popular across Canadian railways with short steel versions of these cars being adopted as the standard car for shipping raw ore for INCO in the Sudbury region.

The Pre-1920 CC&F Cars

cp370094u

CP 370094 was built in 1916 as part of the AE 2801-2925 series and renumbered to CP around 1932. John Brown photo (WRMRC collection), 1970.

The early Hart-Otis design cars used by INCO were a 22’5″ interior length car with 4 drop-bottom doors on each side. Interior bracing give the cars a nice smooth-sided appearance. Canadian Pacific, Canadian Northern (later Canadian National), Algoma Eastern, and INCO themselves all rostered cars to this basic design and size. (When CP went to a larger car size as we will see below, CN and INCO continued to also use cars of this smaller size at some of their operations.)

The CP cars were built (probably by Canadian Car & Foundry in Montreal) in three batches totaling 200 cars between 1914 and 1919. Another 125 were built for the Algoma Eastern, which would later be transferred to CP in the early 1930s after CP leased the AER and absorbed its operations. An unknown number of identical cars were also owned by INCO.

By the 1970s only a tiny handful of these older cars would still survive.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 370000-370124 125 22’5″ 1916 CC&F ex-AE 2801-2925 /32
CP 371200-371239 40 22’5″ 1914 CC&F?
CP 371240-371259 20 22’5″ 1916 CC&F?
CP 371260-371399 140 22’5″ 1919 CC&F?

The 1926-1930 CC&F Cars

CP 376650

CP 376650, built in 1929 by CC&F, at Sudbury yard. Jim Parker photo, sometime in the 1970s.

Between 1926 and 1930 Canadian Car & Foundry (CC&F) built 350 cars (in three batches) for Canadian Pacific to a larger size of 25’11” interior length. The extra 3’6″ of interior length provided an increase of approximately 200 cubic feet over the previous cars and would become the standard ore car size for all new deliveries going forward.

The buttressed ends and riveted Z-shaped side bracing give these cars a rather distinctive appearance among the CP ore car fleet.

In the early 1940s, a number of the cars from this group were rebuilt with side extensions to raise the internal height and add another approximately 300 cubic feet of capacity for service hauling crushed quartz out of INCO’s Lawson Quarry, which began production in January 1942. Other cars from this group were rebuilt in the mid 1970s to convert them from drop bottom to solid bottom cars, which will be mentioned again later further down in this article. A few remained in more or less original condition until retired in the early 1980s.

CP 376809

CP 376809, built in 1930 and rebuilt with side extensions in the 1940s for quartzite service. Jim Parker photo, April 1973.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 376500-376599 100 25’11” CC&F 12/1925-1/1926
CP 376600-376699 100 25’11” CC&F 9-10/1929
CP 376700-376849 150 25’11” CC&F 6-7/1930

The 1942 NSC Cars

CP 376469, built 1/1943 by National Steel Car. Jim Parker photo, sometime in the 1970s.

The next batch of new cars acquired by CP were built by National Steel Car (NSC) of Hamilton, Ontario in late 1942, replacing cars that had been transferred to quartzite service (see above). Similar in overall size specifications to the previous 25’11” cars built by CC&F, interior bracing gave these cars a smooth sided appearance similar to the early pre-1920 22’5″ CC&F cars, but unique among the larger 25’11” cars.

While delivered many years before the Canadian Pacific “script” logo and paint scheme was debuted, the smooth sides lent themselves nicely to repainting with this lettering, and by the 1970s it seems most photos of these cars show them repainted in the 1960s script.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 376350-376499 150 25’11” 11/1942-1/1943 NSC

The 1956-1967 CCF/ECC Cars

CP 376231

CP 376231, built 1967 by Hawker-Siddeley Transportation. Jurgen Kleylein photo, late 1990s.

In the late 1950s, CP expanded their ore car fleet again, with orders in 1956 and 1957 to CC&F and Eastern Car Co. (ECC) of Trenton, NS for 2 virtually identical groups of 100 cars from each builder. Another 60 identical cars from Hawker-Siddeley Transportation (HST), ECC’s successor company, were added on in 1967. These groups of cars were numbered above and below the existing number series for the 1926-1942 cars.

These cars feature riveted body construction with heavier external bracing compared to older cars. The 1967 order would have been the first (and only) ore gondolas to be delivered in script lettering from the factory.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 376190-376249 60 25’11” HST 8/1967
CP 376250-376349 100 25’11” ECC 10/1957
CP 376900-376999 100 25’11” CC&F 11/1956

The 1970 HST Cars

CP 375692

CP 375692 built in 1970 by Hawker-Siddeley. Jacques Richard photo.

CP’s last order of ore gondolas was this 200 car group built by Hawker-Siddeley in November 1970. While extremely similar to the previous cars built by ECC/HST, these are distinguished by being the only all-welded ore cars (the previous cars being of all riveted construction), and the only group of cars to be painted in the CP Rail “Action Red” paint scheme with the iconic “MultiMark”.

Sylvan Scale Models made a resin kit for this car.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 375500-375699 200 25’11” HST /1970

The “Tight-Bottoms”

In the mid-1970s, INCO installed a rotary car dumper at their smelter facility in Copper Cliff, converting to rotary rather than bottom dumping. Some 200 cars originally built between 1926-1942 were rebuilt between 1973 and 1979 to remove the bottom doors and replace them with a solid steel floor. These rebuilt cars were selected and renumbered rather at random into the 375800-375999 series and colloquially known as “tight bottom” ore cars.

Many of the newer cars built after 1956 would later simply have their bottom doors welded shut and door operating levers removed to convert them to “tight-bottom” cars and retain their original numbers, which can actually be seen in the photo of CP 376231 above, which lacks its door operating levers, the doors having been welded shut.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 375700-375799 0 25’11” n/a n/a planned but never filled;
shows in some 1970s ORERs
CP 375800-375899 100 25’11” var. 1926-1942 ex 376350-376499 &
376500-376849 /73-/77
CP 375900-375999 100 25’11” var. 1926-1942 ex 376350-376499 &
376500-376849 /77-/79

The Falconbridge Slurry Cars

CP 381930

CP 381930, built 1969 by Davie Shipbuilding. Bill Grandin collection photo.

Last but not least, we leave INCO behind and head over to competitor Falconbridge Nickel for something completely different. In the late 1960s, Falconbridge decided to ship concentrated ore as a slurry (finely crushed and mixed with water) between their mine and mill near Levack to their smelter at Falconbridge to the east of Sudbury. To ship this ore slurry, CP acquired a group of very unique cylindrical hopper cars that were dedicated to this service between Levack and Falconbridge. These distinctive cars were built in two separate batches in 1967 and 1969 by Davie Shipbuilding. The ore slurry was abrasive to the interior of the cars, and with the cars wearing out in the late 1980s Falconbridge switched to shipping by truck and the slurry cars were retired. A few survived however, being used as scale test cars by CP.

Sylvan Scale Models made a resin kit for this car.

Series #Cars IL Builder Date Note
CP 381900-381919 20 19’5″ Davie 12/1967
CP 381920-381959 40 19’5″ Davie 9-10/1969

WRMRC Fall Open House – Saturday 15 October 2022

On Saturday, 15 October 2022, the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club cordially invites you to our Fall Open House to visit the CP Sudbury Division layout. This is the first time our club will be open to the general public since the COVID pandemic.

img_2773.jpg

The layout be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Feel free to invite any friends or family members interested in model railways, and plan on staying a while to see what’s new.

For maps and more information visit our WRMRC website, or our Facebook page.

X5025E_LaSalleBlvd

Extra 5025 East rolls under the LaSalle Blvd bridge on the CP Sudbury Division Layout.

Admission:

  • Adults: $5.00
  • Seniors and Students: $3.00
  • Children (12 and under) are FREE, but must be supervised by an adult

WRMRC at Breslau Train Show – Sunday 18 Sept 2022

The Waterloo Region Model Railway Club will have a display at the Breslau Model Train Show being held Sunday, Sept 18th, 2022.

This is actually the former Paris Train Show with a new location and date, and is presented by Western Ontario Division, Niagara Frontier Region NMRA. There will be more than 75 tables of manufacturers and retailers available, with at least five operating layouts on display. More information can be found here: https://railfan.com/wrp_timetable/2022-breslau-model-train-show/

IMG_20211128_115747

Our display features club photos, an electronic slide show, and hands-on demonstrations with members working on various modelling projects. There is also a side table with second-hand or surplus models and equipment for sale. If you are attending the show please stop by and pay us a visit.

Hope to see you there.

Sept Op Session: Sept 10, 2022

The WRMRC is excited to be kicking off the first operating session of the 2022-23 operating season this coming Saturday, 10th September 2022; from 12:00 until about 6:00-6:30PM.

925 at Sudbury

If you are interested in attending the operating session as a guest, please contact us via our Facebook page or send us e-mail so we know how many people to expect.

For a full list of club events through the 2022-23 season, please see our calendar page.

 

2022 Virtual Tour Video

For your viewing entertainment, our club is sharing what we hope will be our last ever virtual layout tour video.

To give some background, this was prepared as our submission for the 2022 Doubleheaders Tour last March, and features absolutely no (zero / nil / nada) trains operating. This was because every past video we’ve produced shows practically nothing other than trains running, and we wished to do something more instructive and completely different this time around. So sit back, grab a beverage, and listen as WRMRC VP Ted Kocyla  bores  enlightens you for 23 minutes about what the club has accomplished over two years of pandemic restrictions.

VidPreview01

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eNgZkcBe98r-EzmWHKptGvwZUZB4Xkxw/view?usp=sharing

If nothing else, this video helps us advertise all the new things you can see at our upcoming Fall Open House, where we hope everyone can visit us in person again. Stay tuned for more information about that. But for now, this video will have to do.

 

Virtual Doubleheaders Tour 2022

This weekend, from 9am Saturday March 26th to 9pm Sunday March 27th 2022, the Doubleheaders will be hosting a free, online Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph model railway tour. The tour features a number of great home and club layouts from the area that you’re sure to enjoy.

The CP Sudbury Division Modellers will be participating again this year, with a new video featuring the recently added structures, new scenery and CTC signalling progress that the WRMRC has made through the COVID pandemic.

This year the presentations will be posted as YouTube video links available on the Doubleheaders Facebook page, in addition to their main website.

With all videos being available throughout the weekend, this virtual experience will be more like the traditional home/club tour where you are able to view the layouts according to your personal schedule, and in any order.

For further information, please email:

dhtour at gmail.com (all together, replacing at with @)

 5559_Sprecher

WRMRC at Kitchener Train Show – Sunday 28 November 2021

As Ontario opens up again, we are excited to announce that the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club will have a display at the Kitchener Model Train Show being held Sunday, November 28th, 2021.

The show will be at the Bingemans Conference Centre (Marshall Hall) located at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive, Kitchener ON from 9:30am to 3pm. Please note that COVID-19 health restrictions are in effect, with masks and vaccine certificates being mandated by the province of Ontario. More information can be found on the collectorshows.ca website, and on the Kitchener Train Show Facebook page.

train show generic01

The show features many vendors, displays, several operating layouts, and railway memorabilia. Our display features club photos, an electronic slide show, and hands-on demonstrations with members working on various modelling projects. There is also a side table with second-hand or surplus models and equipment for sale. If you are attending the show please stop by and pay us a visit.

Hope to see you there.