Tuesday, January 6, 2015

CN's VI&E Covered Hoppers

In 1967, Vancouver Iron & Engineering* built one hundred steel covered hoppers for CN at its False Creek site. The covered hoppers, numbered 380000-380099, with a capacity of  4500 cu ft and somewhat cylindrical, but only 55 feet over strikers, making these cars with their notched ends unique to CN. Unlike most later cylindricals, this series was rated for only 70 tons, not 100 tons. CN 380001 is shown at the builders' yard in April, 1967 (Peter Cox photo, used with permission - above) and CN 380003 is at Toronto's MacMillan yard in 1983 (Jim Parker photo, used with permission - below). *Often referred to as VI&E or VIEW (Vancouver Iron and Engineering Works)
These cars were equipped with vacuum pneumatic unloading hoppers for low density products. Each of the four hoppers' discharge gates was equipped with a pneumatic outlet, to which a 5 1/4 hose could be attached to a vacuum loading system from either side of the car. Most of the car's load could be emptied through one outlet, as long as the other three outlets were connected, to remove the balance of the lading remaining in the bottom of the hoppers. The cars could also be unloaded through 13-inch gravity feed gates. Roof loading was via four 24-inch longitudinal fibreglass hatch covers.

Pierre Fournier kindly shared this photo of a VI&E covered hopper earning its keep on CN No 305 at Daveluyville, QC in October, 1990. Merci, Pierre!
Doug Stark kindly shared this photo of CN 380067 at Belleville, ON on January 25, 2004:
Originally equipped with friction bearings, these were later replaced with roller bearings. Interestingly, one car only, CN 380074 was renumbered to 380500 and had four 10-inch cylindrical loading hatches. Also, notice the unique 'rounded' Canadian National/Canadien National and reporting marks in the dimensional data block.
I often observed these cars on CN's Kingston Sub, though they went largely regrettably unphotographed by me. Here's a photo I took that unwittingly included at least seven Portland cars at a team-track just west of Montreal's Central Station in 1984 (above). I recorded these cars as "Portland" in my observations, because they were often destined Portland, to have cement unloaded in the East Deering section that Maine city. Some online photo links: CN 380020CN 380022CN 380026 and CN 380092.

Two online auction site photos:
 CN 380010 in 1969 (above) and CN 380011 in 1967:
Two Bill Grandin photos kindly shared by Jim Parker, interestingly matching the above photo. These are captioned 1970's at Concord, ON:

Some of my observations showing car number, date, CN train car on, and remarks:

CN 380073 Jul 18/99 on No 305
CN 380017 Aug 2/99
CN 380070 Aug 14/99 on No 308
CN 380046 Aug 26/99 on No 305 Dest. Transcona MB
CN 380063 Sep 20/99 on No 306
CN 380053-380048 Jul 30/00 on No 306
CN 380040 Jul 30/00 Dest. Rockingham NS
CN 380068 8/01 307
CN 380081 4/02 363
CN 380027 6/02 306
CN 380067 9/02 307
CN 380068 9/02 307
CN 380016 9/06 321

Requiem - these cars have succumbed to the AAR 40-year interchange rule for cars built before 1974.  Seen any lately? Thanks to Jim Parker for his kind assistance.

Running extra...

Special Christmas holidays episode of TLC's Railfan Sisters leads off with photos of eastbound VIA on Dec 10 at Kingston. My sister was seeing off a colleague aboard VIA - likely No 60.
I.Z. looking very much like a genial VIA car attendant welcoming us aboard. Note to actual VIA OBS: there are switchbrooms in each vestibule - great for sweeping snow out of steps arriving stations.
VIA No 68 on snowless Dec 28 on north track (Track 1 at Kingston)
Different mode of travel - flying aboard United 4866 from Washington Dulles into Dorval, Sis snapped a shot of Grandma's neighbourhood in Valois with a bonus CN westbound.
We'd frequented the area before - Spring 1974 at CP's suburban Valois station. CP in foreground, CN in background, and an early hirailer, in my pre-notepad years:


GP9Rm4108 said...

When I first hired on there were a few of these in storage in the yard tracks in Yorkton, Sk. One day they were gone and I don't think I have seen one of these since.

Eric said...

Good stuff, Chris. About what year was that? I linked to one 2006 photo, but I'm wondering if they're all scrapped now. Perhaps moved for scrapping at IPSCO in Regina?

GP9Rm4108 said...

That's very possible, Eric. It would have been late 2006 and 2007 that they were there.

Eric said...

Thanks, Chris. That would validate the 40-year theory, since the cars were built 40 years before.

Allison said...

Nice job linking up all those Railfan Sister photos from my Advent and Christmas visits! I think I'll send IZ the link too! And it's fun to recall those days when I was actually taller than you were!

In other news, I heard an item on the news this morning about the railway station in W-S and its being repurposed (again) and no longer destined for a return to trains. Here's a link from 2010:
and one from 2014:

Eric said...

Hard to repurpose a station, eh? Museums and town halls seem to be favourite attempts, also convention centres.

Thanks for sharing from the South!