Monday, January 3, 2011

WC 201178 Rides the Rails

NSC-built WC 201178 was set out on CN's Counter Street team track in Kingston, Ontario in February 1998. Think of the miles this car has travelled over the years. Formerly Algoma Central Railway 1178, one of a fleet of gons built in 1966-67 for the Sault Ste Marie-based 'Route of the Black Bear', the car is 61 feet long, with a 5 foot interior height and capacity of 2900 cu ft.
Waiting for its I-beams to be unloaded, I was able to photograph the car and its heavy load. This wouldn't be possible today, as the unloading area is now behind chain-link fence, and CN access across Lappan's Lane is guarded by a gate. The team track has hosted some interesting cars over the years.
Built with end bulkheads to contain loads like steel or pulpwood and to prevent end-to-end shifting, these gons are arguably ACR's most recognizable cars. ACR was absorbed first by Wisconsin Central, then CN, and such mergers usually lead to freight car rationalization. There are a few still ex-AC gons running the rails, such as AC 11183. Tracing further movements for the year-and-a-half following my 1998 sighting, WC 201178's ensuing trips were likely all steel loads from Algoma Steel in the Sault.
Sault Ste Marie - St Augustin QC
Sault Ste Marie - St Augustin QC
Sault Ste Marie - Laprairie QC
Sault Ste Marie - Port Robinson ON: Welland Iron & Metal
Sault Ste Marie - Winnipeg MB: CP Rail
Sault Ste Marie - Toronto ON: MacMillan Yard
Sault Ste Marie - Quebec City QC: Joffre Yard
Sault Ste Marie - Port Robinson ON: Welland Iron & Metal
Sault Ste Marie - Brampton ON
Sault Ste Marie - Toronto ON: MacMillan Yard
Sault Ste Marie - Edmonton AB: Clover Bar Yard

Running Extra...

The Christmas holidays are a fine time to blog. This post has been hibernating since Christmas 2008, so it's about time it gets posted. Also a fine time to watch the 2011 Rose Bowl Parade while snacking on fruitcake and other leftover goodies. Best band: The United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band. Runner-up band: All-Birdville Band from Texas playing the Guess Who's "American Woman".

Share the Land: Hearing Bob Costas call Sid 'the Kid' Crosby the all-North American player at the New Year's Day outdoor NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field! Bob dude, time to ketchup on your geography, he's from Canada. Undun..not..Laughing: Twitter-inspired patter from CNN's Anderson Cooper and D-lister Kathy Griffin followed by "New York, New York". A fine song in its own right, but what happened to "Auld Lang Syne" by the late great Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians ?

Happy 2011 to Trackside Treasure's growing readership! My New Year's resolution: to pack my small corner of cyberspace with more useful, unusual, unique and unprecedented material on Canadian railroading. That's one resolution I can stick to.


Robert in Port Townsend said...

Nice to know at least ONE fruit cake is out of circulation ....

Eric said...

You're the first comment-poster of 2011, funny and fast off the mark! I think we might have a difference of opinion on the value of fruitcake, though. Man, that stuff is gooooood.
Happy New Year, Robert.

Zartok-35 said...

I quite like the ACR, it's a shame the Central sniped them out. At leat we can count on "What goes around comes around" for this sort of thing, I feel no remorse for the WC.

Happy new year!

Eric said...

I agree with "WGACA" as you mentioned, Elijah. Looking back at the many "fallen flags" railroads, there aren't too many mergers/takeovers left. I always thought Hawk Jct on the ACR would make a great layout.
Thanks for your comment,

Anonymous said...

Great ACR blog entry. As a historian of ACR and modeller, I welcomed the information and pictures. I hope to model some of these gons on my layout. Living in Michigan, I don't see ex-ACR cars, however, I do look closer when I see some black gons go by on a CN train!! These cars must be nearing the end of their lifetime so better to catch them now then later I presume. Love your blogpage - the historical angle you take makes it refreshing.

Eric said...

Thanks for your welcome comments, Andy. You're right to keep your eyes peeled for ex-ACR cars. They're all mixed in with BLE, IC, BCR and other amalgamated roads, often in tie service. Good to have you aboard.

Bryan said...


I've enjoyed the last couple of posts, but haven't had anything to say until now except keep it up in the New Year! Oh, and if only the CN car trace was open the public again...


Eric said...

Hi Bryan, good to hear from you and hope 2011 is treating you well. Not to worry about the terrorist-cancelled public car trace. I did lots beforehand...a sample grain car, auto rack, welded rail car, TankTrain, lumber boxcar, Expo boxcar, and the afore-blogged WC gon. Stay tuned for these and of course more posts on Kingston.