Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Alcan Covered Hoppers

Bright-yellow Alcan covered hoppers travelled between Arvida, QC and Cleveland, OH, with part of their journey on CN's Kingston Sub. Alcan USLX 5214-5211 were eastbound at Belleville on the tailend of CN train No 366 on August 16, 2000 (top photo) and a Peter Mumby photo of USLX 5213 and one other (below). In both cases, we scored a nice, bilingual view of two of the cars together!
Alcan (Aluminum Company of Canada) leased two series of covered hoppers from Procor Ltd.:
  • UNPX 121500-121569 70 cars built by Pullman-Standard, 4750 cu ft, 55'3" internal length, 60' external length. Built 9-74 for dry bulk commodities, nee PTLX 15219-15243, lot 9736B. Interestingly, these cars have eight 30-inch hatches that open at 45 degrees to the car centreline, visible in Peter's photo. New reporting marks USLX 52xx-series beginning in 1995.
  • UNPX 121400-121499 3800 cu ft, 54' external length, cylindrical body for dry bulk commodities.
Both series of cars had bilingual lettering, English 'Chemical Products' on one side, French 'Produits Chimiques' the other. Here are two undated Bill Grandin photos kindly shared by Jim Parker, showing UNPX 121547:

My Alcan car observations, with date, car and CN train on:
Apr 27/91 (None other than the aforementioned!) UNPX 121547
Oct 10/91 121414
Nov 9/91 121564
Jul 6/96 121414
Nov 23/96 USLX 5205-5206
May 24/97 USLX 5212 "patched reporting marks"
Aug 9/97 5209 "patched reporting marks" placed at Cleveland/Collingwood OH Conrail on Aug 14
Oct 5/97 UNPX 121448
Nov 27/97 USLX 5208 on CN No 335
Jan 2/98 USLX 5208-5209 dest. Arvida ety to Roberval & Saguenay interchange
Mar 28/98 5200 on No 335
Apr 5/99 USLX 5201 on No 367
Sep 4/99 5212 on No 369
Apr 3/00 5214 on No 379
Aug 16/00 5214-5211 on No 366
Jun 4/03 5202 on No 368
Sep 6/03 5203 on No 369
Mar 8/05 5204
Apr 12/07 5214
Sep 30/10 5212

Lots o' links:
  • UNPX 121554 at Scarborough in 1976.
  • UNPX 121414 scroll a bit, undated. Try not to snicker when you read 'fahrt'.
  • UNPX 121448 at Belleville in May, 2009
  • USLX 5200's - just scroll down to Covered Hoppers portion of USLX listing
An online auction site photo showing cylindrical UNPX 121414 in August, 1985, as shown from above Port Hope's station with the CN-CP interchange and CP line in foregound:
Michael Hammond photographed a former Alcan cylindrical 121488, repatched with Roberval & Saguenay reporting marks in CP's Smiths Falls, ON yard in July, 2019:

Doug Stark kindly shared two views of Alcan covered hoppers:
UNPX 121548 from his collection captioned 1990's (above), and USLX 5201 showing roof hatches, taken by Doug in Markham, ON in 2003 9below):
Three Tim Reid photos of Alcan cars at Kingston:

Intermountain's version of UNPX 121540 in HO scale. Unlike the prototype, both sides of this yellow beauty are en anglais seulement. Ten-dollar train show bargain bin NIB find...one man's junk...

Running extra...

Speaking of train shows, Kingston's annual Rail-O-Rama was held this past weekend. Some highlights:

  • Bytown Railway Society's sales table where I picked up the Companion to CNR Passenger Equipment to go with the main volume - matched set!
  • Paul Hunter's CN and VIA HO-scale layout, where we agreed that real modellers can model VIA on a budget - with great results!
  • Liz Reid's table, where I got an envelope full of Tim Reid's prints in three formats, including some views of the local CN-CP interchange - at Queens!
  • Dave Cool's Canadian Express Line, where I picked up John Riddell's Canadian Pacific Freight and Passenger Equipment Volume 2 - script, multimark and more!
  • Ron Barrett's RPO exhibit - now including VIA baggage tags from coast to coast!
  • attending the show with my great-nephew - who later declared, "It was fun. Thanks!" 
    Every Rail-O-Rama is followed by a traditional trip to  Kingston's VIA station!


Canadian Train Geek said...

I have to say, Eric, posts like this are encouraging me to pay more attention to the freight cars that roll by! I'll leave it to you to decide if that's a good thing or not. :)

Eric said...

Let's do the math, Steve. Average CN freight train: 150 cars, three locomotives. That's a 50:1 numerical advantage, so I'd say the freight definitely deserves our attention! I've never been a purely 'locomotive guy' and the upcoming draft posts (spoiler alert - not!) will reflect that.

Thanks for your comment and for sharing my freight train of thought.