Saturday, May 26, 2012

Postscript: Manitoba Covered Hoppers

I posted photos of Manitoba's leased covered hoppers that I took during my trip to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba in 1980.  Interestingly, some of the cars of the same number series soldier on, still in service today.  As time marched on, the weld marks where the Manitoba crest was attached are still visible, although the rust marks have diminished somewhat.  PTLX 34494 lettered for NFO Grain is shown in 2009.  Can you see the six characteristic rust marks to the left of the 'G' in Grain?
I searched some online photo sites to see if I could find any ex-Manitoba cars in the same number series as the ones I'd seen, to add to the list of cars that Manitoba had leased.  Especially cars that I'd recorded but hadn't photographed, probably assuming they'd always be there to photograph. Plain vanilla cars CRDX 7219 in 2004 (above) and CRDX 7364 in 2007 (below) also show weld marks. CRDX 7215 is shown in its builder photo:

NFO Grain and Pillsbury were the largest lettered fleets I observed.  PTLX 14296 Pillsbury is one of the cars I saw in 1980.  In 1986, original reporting marks are still visible, as are weld marks surrounding the 'u':
PTLX 14316 in 2008 shows how the Pillsbury lettering and logo have faded significantly in the intervening years, and reporting marks reapplied on a patch.  Rust marks around the 'u' as well:
Doug Stark got a nice look-down photo of PTLX 14305 in Galesburg, IL on July 8, 2006: 
By 2011, some of the PTLX cars had been given new reporting marks: AEQX 14305 of ATEL Corporation. Another rusty 'u':
INTX 7617, relettered for Interstate Commodities Inc., also has a rusty 'u' in Chicago in September, 2014.  Likely previously lettered for EEC. Shared to the Freight Car Photos group by Dennis DeBruler.
TLDX 5712 is a P-S 4427 that was still running around with weld marks on its side, photographed in London, ON in 1993 and kindly shared by Doug Stark. Thanks, Doug! I'd seen fleetmate TLDX 5711 back in 1980! Unlike the larger-capacity Pillsbury cars, this has a rusty 'b' not a rusty 'u' (below). Doug also sleuthed another unknown/unobserved by me P-S 4427 car series including Agway-lettered TLCX 19027, 19066 and maybe more showing weld marks into the 1990's!
One of the smaller fleets was the lease fleet lettered for Tri-County Grain of Cynthiana, Indiana. Here's the builder's photo of PTLX 34168:
In service - a fresh image of PTLX 34168 taken by Gary Zuters (Andy Fayreweather collection - thanks, Andy!) in Toronto on May 1, 1980, shield and all!
Weld marks are centred around the 'N'. These cars are wearing AEQX reporting marks in 2020 - actually in 2012 as well. Original lettering still visible in 2009:
PTLX 34477 in its builder's photograph from 1974 was six years prior to my sighting at Portage.
Brothers PTLX 34493 (top) and 3454x (below) show more weathering effects.  Ryan Laroche shared this photo taken in North Dakota in 2006.  Ryan tantalizingly reported a similar car still bearing its crest in potash service a couple of years earlier. I observed NFO Grain-scheme Interstate Commodities INTX 23325 on CN's Kingston Sub on January 16, 2016, with weld marks visible!
Aha! Brian Schuff kindly shared these photos of PTLX 34469 NFO Grain (looks more like FO AI) still bearing its battered shield in the mid-90's in CP's Winnipeg 'G' Yard:
A survivor!  This proves that some car(s), so far just NFO Grain, retained their shields much later than most.
Here's one of the few HO-scale models Manitoba cars I've seen - from the Red River Prototype Modellers meet in July, 2022. Coincidentally, it's PTLX 34469 and with matching weathering:
Remarks-only PTLX 34480 has small weld marks still visible in 2008 above the graffiti:
New reporting marks PLCX 16339 cover original USLX 7500-series reporting marks on Wellens & Company/Gold Country in 2007.  Regardless, weld marks around the '&' indicate that this is one of the cars that Manitoba made use of during its short-term lease program in 1980, with the original Wellens lease beginning in 1974:
Looking considerably brighter and snazzier in its builder photo showing its original reporting marks, here's USLX 7570 which I later saw in 1980:
Who says you can't go home again? Jim Burnside shared this photo that he took of PLCX 16334 back where it began - CP's Winnipeg yard. This photo that Jim took in August, 2015 clearly shows the rusted weld marks, indicated by black arrows are still visible. This car is from the same series as PLCX 16339 (two photos above). July 2016 UPDATE: Shaun Judge photographed PLCX 16334 at Smiths Falls, ON on CP, and the car is still extant, photographed in Minnesota in July, 2018!
Fred Shannon shared three photos of former Wellens & Company cars. First, this April, 2022 photo of PLCX 16341 at Emerson, MB:

Also, PLCX 16329  in June 2021 (above) and PLCX 16337 in June 2020 (below):
Acord Grain Co. Illinois, Kansas TLDX 9000-series cars that I saw two of, here's a vintage shot of TLDX 9064:
Here's TLDX 9067 in 1986 and TLDX 9068 in 2006 with weld marks. Jim Merrick kindly shared this photo of HS 1482, still lettered for Acord in 1996 with weld marks showing:
And although I couldn't find a modern-day  photo of Evergreen Hatchery USLX 5900-series cars that I saw two of, this Surface Transportation Board scan of the original 1973 lease agreement between USLX and the Hatchery including specific lettering to be applied, show that there were five cars leased, later leased by the province of Manitoba.

January 2013 - Chris van der Heide found two more cars online with the characteristic rust marks: TLDX 5703, PTLX 14297 and PLCX 18667.  These are cars from the same series as some I saw in 1980, but are additional car numbers.  Thanks, Chris!

May 2020 - Andy Fayerweather shared two photos online. PLCX 18665 and PLCX 16339

June 2021 - TLCX 19066 fallenflags photo by Dave Krumenacker. New PS-4427 cu.ft. car series to me, in Manitoba lease service! David Smith kindly shared this photo of TLCX 19027 showing its weld marks in 1988 in California:
The majority of the above photos were saved from online photo sites with dates but without photographers' credit information.  If you're the photographer, please let me know and I'll add credit information. Subsequent photos requested from photographers are credited.

Running extra...

The first post on these unique cars garnered a lot of interest, and may represent the first primary research on this subject undertaken anywhere in print or online.  This is certainly a first for Trackside Treasure, and possibly the post with the longest gestational age!

Kingston's own Knorr Brake Limited manufactures computer-controlled locomotive braking systems, and recently added an 8,000 sq ft expansion to its 22,000 sq ft facility on Development Drive, just north of CN's Kingston Sub and just west of Gardiners Road. CP Rail recently signed a contract with the plant, which originally opened in 1974, most recently renovated in 1998.  Many finished products are sent to Watertown NY-based New York Air Brake, and both plants are owned by Germany's Knorr-Bremse AG.  


Anonymous said...

Hi Eric:

I am glad that you were able to use the pic. It may have seemed like a waste of film (in those days) to be taking pics of old covered hopper cars, but you can never know when one might turn out to be something someone else is looking for. I check your blog now and then and find it very interesting.


Eric said...

I'm indeed glad you photographed that Texas TLDX car, Bill. It added a lot to my first post, and proves the point that we should photograph just about everything, including subjects we aren't necessarily interested in at the time.

Thanks very much for your kind comments on my blog, and by all means check back when you can. I'm much more of a rolling stock fan than a locomotive fan, (although I certainly realize the need for both!) so you'll find a focus on what's behind the engines, here on Trackside Treasure.


Zartok-35 said...

So you're saying there were cars with Manitoba crests upto the mid 1990s and even 2004? Thats very interesting. I might have to model one of these cars, providing they came to Saskatchewan.
These last two posts have been quite interesting, so incase nobody else has said it, thank you Mr Gagnon!

Eric said...

Hi Elijah,

Thanks for your kind comments about the Manitoba covered hopper car posts. A lot of people have expressed interest and appreciation, not having heard of these cars. In 1980, while it's possible the cars made it to Saskatchewan, they would more likely have been travelling further east. The cars still with crests are true oddities!

The cars are easy to model...just need a Manitoba crest, a scrap of styrene and a dab of paint. Back in the day when I added crests to Athearn's HO Pillsbury car, I had to use a Manitoba road map crest. That's before Al Gore invented the Internet, and now there are a plethora available in prototypically-correct size!

I've provided a few prototype photos for your potential modelling efforts. Happy modelling and thanks again,

Anonymous said...

Lifelong Manitoban here and wow, this is totally news to me. I don't ever remember seeing one of those hoppers before. I didn't even know Manitoba had a hopper fleet. The only Manitoba grain cars I am familiar with are the ones that were dedicated to use on the Churchill line.

Great posts on this topic. I learned something here!

Eric said...

Good to hear from you, A.(feel free to sign your posts if you wish) That is a common reaction I've heard to this post, and is the reason I've been looking so forward to finally publishing it.

Part of the unknown nature of these cars was the incredibly short lease period. They still live on - see the next post after this one:

Thanks very much for your comments and glad that you found this post useful.