Thursday, September 1, 2016

CN 6104xx-Series Ingot Bulkhead Flatcars

In 1992-1994, CN reporting marks replaced Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific reporting marks on some cars from the DWC 607900-608999 series - 750 cars originally built by Marine Industries Ltd in 1970 for lumber service.  Special bunks were added to these lumber cars to accommodate aluminum ingots. Renumbering put these cars into the CN 610400-610479 series. CN 610433-610469 are empty in Quebec (top Gerry Burridge photo purchased September, 1998).

My observations at Kingston, ON. Always loaded with ingots on CN No 335 Arvida - Buffalo Frontier Yard westbound, empty eastbound. Date, car number, colour (G= Green&Black, B= Brown), CN train on and remarks:

Aug 8/97 CN 610411G No 335
Aug 10/97 CN 610433G-610469G No 335
Aug 17/97 CN 610463 D.  Williamsport PA, ety at Northumberland PA on Aug 21.
Sep 13/97 CN 610468-610475-610472
Oct 4/97 CN 610442G - 610471G - 610451B No 335
Oct 5/97 CN 610414 on tailend of No 335
Nov 18/97 CN 610464-610440 with 4 others
Feb 1/98 CN 610468-610449 with 5 others No 335
Feb 21/98 CN 610454-610421B
Feb 28/98 CN 610419-610403-610478
Mar 8/98 CN 610416 No 330
Mar 28/98 CN 610445-610415 loaded on tailend of No 335
Apr 26/98 CN 610427-610453 loaded from No 365, in Belleville yard
Sep 12/98 CN 610435-610403 loaded on No 367
May 1/99 CN 610443-610410-610402-610435 (all B) on No 366 destined Arvida, QC
May 24/99 CN 610462-610403 on tailend of No 366
Mar 11/00 DWC 605472 and CN 603915 on No 301
Mar 18/00 CN 603830 load on tailend of No 301
Jul 18/01 CN 610447 ety on No 368

Doug Stark posted this nice overhead view on Facebook, showing CN 610449 at Burlington ON in June, 2002. This photo also shows the 24 side- and 12 centre-stake pockets, the former apparently removed. Notice also the open car floor in the area of the bunks, perhaps to reduce weight since this area was not needed for the precious shiny lading they carried. Some cars had brown-painted, not green-painted bunks.
Chris Wright posted a 1990's photo on Facebook, taken at Niagara Falls, of CN 610440 with an ingot load.

Perhaps this creative re-use of displaced bulkhead flat cars was thrifty Canadian ingenuity at its finest. But in our throw-away, just-get-something-new world, new-built cars with more capacity were on the horizon to handle loads such as these.

The November 1991 issue of TRAINS Magazine included two Pete Swanson photos taken in Rochester, NY. Both show Conrail train SETO (Selkirk NY to Toledo OH) and lo and behold...the bottom photo includes three loaded CN ingot bulkhead flatcars, plus one ingot-carrying CN flatcar. So, having saved this page until now, I guess it could be said this post was 25 years in the making!

Running extra...

I'm generally a fair-weather photographer. Two Sundays ago I was confronted with CN No 376 - in a downpour near Mi 179 Kingston Sub. Conflicted, there was one of those over-lettered Sullivan Holyoke scrap hoppers and some GATX WRWK nicely-repainted boxcars! Quick, roll down the window! Shower-shoot! Digital drizzle!

B.T.S. can stand for two things: Bed Time Snack or Back To School. The latter is being celebrated by a welcoming committee of  Queen's University students at Kingston's Outer Station. Undated. (The photo, not the students. Some of them probably dated.)


Canadian Train Geek said...

Great post as usual, Eric. You're building up quite a freight car reference library!

I wonder if the open floor under the ingots was for drainage - maybe the ingots were placed wet and the open floor prevented water from pooling underneath them. Just a thought, I could be way off base.

Eric said...

Thanks, Steve. I have taken or collected some photos of interesting Canadian (hey, a few American, too!) freight cars then cross-referenced with my sightings of same. Many more to come. It's a good way of getting my data together.

Regarding the floor, I wish I had a photo of a loaded car. The ingots were actually held against each end bulkhead by the supports above that open floor, where the boards had been removed. Perhaps I'll come across one somewhere.

Until then, prepare for some more CCFC and CAFC!

Unknown said...

What I wonder is where the aluminum is from and going...
I'm not a train guy but this seems to be new freight going through kingston.

Eric said...

Good question, U. It used to be easy when CN's public car tracing was available. There are indeed lots of new ingot loads heading west towards Toronto. Need to learn more...
Thanks for your comment,