Saturday, September 17, 2016

40-Foot Boxcar Grain Rush on the M & M Sub.

It’s harvest time on the prairies, and the grain rush is on.

This includes 40-foot boxcars in grain service on the early 1990s-era CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Sub.
For decades, the 40-foot boxcar was the mainstay of grain handling in Canada.

But by the early 1990s, the era the M & M Sub. is set in, the famous “Trudeau hoppers” have taken over the bulk of railway grain handling in Canada.

The 19,000 cars, first introduced in 1972, were sponsored by the Government of Canada and manufactured by Hawker-Siddeley, National Steel Car and Marine Industries.

They took their nickname from Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Prime Minister at the time.

Although most grain moves in the new hoppers, there are still light branchlines in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta that can’t handle these heavier cars. So it’s the classic 40-foot boxcar to the rescue.

By the early 1990s, there were still over 300 40-foot boxcars still in grain service. These were cars that, like the cylindrical hoppers, benefitted from government help.

In 1979-80, when there were still about 13,000 40-foot boxcars in operation for grain handling, they were upgraded with new floors, nailable door areas, sliding door repairs, and painting.

A yellow wheat sheaf was applied to the left of the door with an acknowledgement of the government’s assistance in English and French.

My 40-foot grain handling fleet is a hodge-podge of cars from various manufacturers. There is almost nothing remotely prototypically accurate about most of them; my goal was the overall affect.

Some were painted and lettered by me, others came ready-to-run. I applied the chevron from CDS on the side of each car. 

The cars make a great sight each fall on the M & M Sub., carrying grain from the prairies to ports on Lake Superior.

Click here to visit Trackside Treasure to learn more about CP Rail’s 40-foot grain handling boxcars, and click here to learn more about the boxcars on CN.

Click here to see a video of my 40-foot boxcar grain train in action on the layout.

Prototype photos on this page from Trackside Treasure.

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