CN Toronto-Riviere des Prairies trains 376-377 often include short cuts of grey, cylindrical covered hoppers. These cars are notable not only for their (until recently) clean, no-logo and un-graffiti'd appearance, but also their uniqu red hatches with plastic lining flapping in the breeze. Until mid-2014, these cars had CGMX reporting marks, now lettered LATX retaining the same car numbers in the 7000-7049 series with some now up to 7060. LATX 7040 is on CN train No 376 at Kingston (top photo) on April 11, 2015 in the company of three others even more heavily graffiti'd, with only 7016's number readable (right of photo - below):
Occasionally these cars are handled on other freights operating through Montreal. Before trains 376-377 began running, they were often on Montreal-Senneterre trains 365-366. Up to 12 cars can be on one train, in groups of one to four cars. Similarly-graffiti'd LATX 7010 is bringing up the TIBS on CN No 371 at Belleville, ON on April 18, 2015:
A still photo from Rapido Trains' newsletter profiling the test run of TRHA-preserved VIA LRC locomotive 6917 (below) caught my eye. See those plain-jane covered hoppers at right? They're LATX. A Googlemaps search of the location near VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre netted Toronto's Lantic Sugar operation at 230 New Toronto Road. It's a sugar blending facility switched by CN. A visit to the operation in April, 2017.
I believe the cars are handled from Toronto to Montreal's Taschereau Yard thence Sucre Lantic's cane refinery (formerly Rogers Sugar until 1984) on Notre-Dame Street East in Montreal East. Michael Berry photographed two CN Geeps hauling some LATX cars from the refinery towards Pointe St Charles in August, 2015. In CN's car trace system, the cars were destined Montreal Wharf or MONWHARF. Salco Products manufactures vented hatch covers to protect the valuable sugar loads these cars carry. Dan Dell'Unto kindly shared this car-top view of CGMX 7058's hatch detail.CGMX-then-LATX 7000-series observations from the years 2000-2015, showing date, car number, CN train that car was on:
Sep 28/99 7048 at Don Yard, Toronto
Oct 2/99 7016-7043 308
Jan 3/00 7025-7032 Dest. Saint John NB on tailend of No 306
Mar 13/00 7012-7023 and three others Dest. Saint John NB
May 20/00 7025 306
Jul 23/00 7027-7045 Dest. Montreal Wharf on No 366
Aug 24/00 7032 and two others 365
Aug 24/00 7047 366
May 4/01 7044 366
Aug 4/01 7012-7021-7022 366
Aug 30/01 7018-7013 366
Oct 10/01 7037 366
Apr 26/02 7005 366
May 15/02 7027 366?
May 18/02 7029 365?
Jul 1/02 7004 363?
Sep 21/02 7041 366
Aug 12/05 7026 376?
Aug 16/05 7054 377?
Aug 19/05 7036 ?377
Aug 24/05 7028 376?
Apr 23/07 7019-7019-7021-7024?-7025 376?
Apr 30/07 7017 376?
May 2/07 7031 377
Jun 14/07 7002 377
Jul 31/07 7057
Oct 3/07 7033 376?
Aug 18/08 7020 7035 377?
Mar 17/09 7032-7058 376?
Jun 20/09 7022-7003-7001 376?
Apr 17/10 7020-7007-7045 377
Jun 15/10 7014-7012-7053 377
Sep 27/12 7055-7043 372? (reporting marks CGMX up to here)
Jun 27/14 7000 (reporting marks LATX from here on)
Aug 7/14 7060-7052 369?
Apr 11/15 7016
Apr 18/15 7040-7010 371
The above observations show the most recent sighting of a particular car. Earlier sightings of each car not shown. The car series may not be complete. I may have seen but haven't recorded the following cars: 7006-7008-7011-7013-7015-7018-7030-7037-7038-7039-7042-7044-7046-7049-7050-7051-7056-7059.
It's getting more difficult to garner the numbers trackside due to grudgingly grappling with gratuitously growing graffiti!
Michael Berry of Montreal West kindly shared two shots of CN Pointe St Charles-Taschereau train 500 lugging at least one cut of LATX hoppers westward on August 9, 2015, including LATX 7061:
A demi-graffiti'd LATX 7056 on CN No 376, Janary 14, 2017:
December 2019 update: Rusted and graffiti'd LATX 7048 through Belleville, ON on the 2nd:
Speaking of interesting freight cars...on May 8, CN No 518 lifted a bad-ordered single well-car with container load that was set out at Queens by CN No 186. The catch was that 518 lugged the car down the Cataraqui Spur when it switched the Invista plant. Possibly a first for that type of car. Malcolm Peakman shared two photos he took of the train at Bath Road. Thanks, Malcolm!
Back in December, I photographed CN No 518 at the same location. Quite a climatic contrast! Speaking of contrasts, feast your eyes on GO cab car 302 at Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant (Metrolinx Twitter feed photo). To wallow in cab car nostalgia, click here.Time to say goodbye: American Idol - several years too late! David Letterman - still a gentleman and going out with class after 33 years entertaining America!