Among the best known of any uniquely Canadian-designed railway equipment would be the overhead ice-hatch refrigerated car. (See CP 281219) In addition to placing the ice over the tops of the car to evenly distribute the cold, these cars were also equipped with under-slung heating apparatus. These Canadian reefers were designed not only to protect perishables from the scorching heat of the prairie summers, but also from freezing in the legendary Canadian winters. However, significantly less well known would be the insulated-heated boxcar. These cars were designed specifically for canned or bottled food products, which can weather extremes in temperature better than perishables, but still could not be allowed to freeze.
CP 35051 is modelled after a group of 500 insulated-heated boxcars numbered CP 35001-35500, all built by National Steel Car between Oct.59 and Jan.60. Unique features of these cars include the use of NSC-3 ends and a PS-1 style bow-tie panel roof, in addition to the under-slung charcoal heater and its associated apparatus (including regulator equipment and car-side vents). Ted Kocyla built this model from an old McKean boxcar with a grafted set of Sylvan resin NSC-3 ends. However he now recommends starting with the new modular Intermountain or a Branchline Trains 10’6″ AAR style boxcar kits (either is good provided they are of 5 riveted side-panel construction), and then adding an Intermountain late PS-1 ‘bow-tie’ roof and Sylvan NSC-3 ends. The remainder of the project is the same; scratchbuild the charcoal heater, the Youngstown 6′ plug doors, the car-side vents and the regulator valves/gauges. This is in addition to separate grabirons, end brake details and the standard ‘Canadian’ 8-rung ladders. Ted finished the model by adding full underbody brake details, and a Plano photo-etched roofwalk. Paint is Polyscale ‘MILW Maroon’ (a good match for CP freight car tuscan), with C-D-S lettering.
Recently, Great Western Passenger Car Details has introduced set B120 – a resin charcoal heater kit for modeling the CP 35001-35500 series cars. Having a pre-built heater certainly helps speed up this kitbash. Check out the GWPCD website – located in our links section – and help support the smaller members of the Canadian model railway industry.