Over the years, some interesting British Columbia Railway covered hoppers have been on CN freight trains through Kingston. BCOL 2300-2320 were 4427 cu.ft. PS-2 covered hopper cars built in 1972 by NACC, likely for the Denver & Rio Grande Western. Acquired by British Columbia Railway, renumbered and repainted in an overall dark green paint scheme, the cars were placed in service in 1985-87. At the time, British Columbia Railway was transitioning to BC Rail. BCOL 2300 had arrived first in October, 1984 and was the only car repainted with the dogwood logo and 'British Columbia Railway' lettering applied. BCOL 2304, 2314 and 2320 have been scrapped. BCOL 2304-2301 were at Kingston in this undated Tim Reid photo (top), placarded UN 1759.
BC Rail acquired grain cars when the grain subsidy was applied to BC Rail, after an amendment to the Western Grain Transportation Act. Though granted access to CNWX grain cars, at least in theory, it still behooved BC Rail to secure its own grain car supply. By summer 1995, additional Trinity-built cars were leased, namely BCOL 2350-2399. It was BC Rail policy to have all leased car numbers begin with '80' and this became especially urgent after costs that should have been assigned to the lessor were being absorbed by BC Rail. Hence the addition of the slightly off-centre therefore notable '80' to these cars, which took place throughout 1999.
Grain loading took place at Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. In early 1999, BCOL 2374, 2375, 2378, 2382 and 2398 were engaged in soda ash service between Perry, BC (10 mi. west of Chetwynd on CN's Dawson Creek Sub) and a mining operation in New Brunswick.
Rusted BCOL 829104-829105 westbound at Kingston on Oct 1, 2005 on CN train No 309 (above). BCOL 829111 in 2005 stopped on a CN freight in emergency near Collins Bay, ON (below):BCOL 829000-829099 were leased next - 5150 cu.ft. covered hoppers Thrall-built in 1996-1997. Off-lease cars with capacities of 4750 cu.ft. and 5250 cu.ft. BCOL 829100-829131 were leased in 1997.
BCOL 829124 (above) and 829128 (below) were placarded UN 1759 at Belleville in a CN freight in these Tim Reid photos.
BCOL 802372 is one of four with BC Rail lettering, seen here westbound at Belleville on March 2, 2021 (image courtesy Railstream, LLC):
The varied types, condition and colouration of these cars caught my eye. My observations with date, car number, type ('ACF' refers to Thrall and 'P-S' refers to the flat-sided cars, and CN train on, with notes:
Jun 8/92 BCOL 2319 Ctr St Team Track Blt 9/71 (?photo)
Feb 20/99 BCOL 829014, 829125, 829018 ACF HO on No 309 destined Perry BC
Mar 20/99 BCOL 2374 P-S, 829115 ACF on No 306 destined Bathurst NB Loaded
Apr 3/99 BCOL 829125 (no type listed), 2398 P-S, 829099 ACF, 829116 ACF on No 303, placarded UN 1759 (corrosive solids, n.o.s.)
Jul 18/99 BCOL 829026, 829062 ACF on No 317
Aug 2/99 BCOL 829098, 829099, 829084 (all ACF) and (80)2393 P-S on No 306 destined Bathurst NB
Aug 19/99 BCOL 829114, 829110 rusty ?blue PS repaint on No 303
Aug 20/99 BCOL 829026, 829028 ACF and 829118 P-S on No 303
Oct 7/00 BCOL 829024 on No 306, to Chemin de Fer Baie Chaleur
Mar 17/01 BCOL 829118 rusty blue repaint P-S on No 309
Apr 29/01 BCOL 829115 rusty P-S on No 306
Jun 6/04 BCOL 829104 P-S on No 309
Mar 28/05 BCOL 829111 blue repaint P-S on No 309, placarded UN 1759
Oct 1/05 BCOL 829104, 829105 P-S (above) on No 309
Feb 12/06 BCOL 829101 P-S on No 305
Mar 24/06 BCOL 2303, 2301 dark green P-S and BCOL 829104 grey P-S
Jul 7/06 BCOL 2307 green P-S and 829108 P-S on No 309
Nov 27/06 BCOL '80'2387 grey P-S on No 305
Jan 21/07 BCOL 829016 ACF on No 376
Jun 11/07 BCOL 829099 grey ACF on No 308
Sep 22/07 BCOL 829059 grey ACF on No 309 (?photo)
Jan 11/08 BCOL 829131 grey P-S
Aug 3/08 BCOL 829002 grey ACF on No 305
Apr 17/10 BCOL 802353 grey P-SFeb 1/15 BCOL 829011 grey ACF on grain train
Mar 28/18 BCOL 829001 grey ACF:
Lots o' links:
- BCOL 2306 in the overall dark green
- BCOL 2313 in the overall dark green
- BCOL 802350 in BC Rail grey scheme with 'add-on' 80 digits. (Note that only 802350, 802372, 802389 and 802392 received the red and blue BC Rail lettering.)
- BCOL 802351 closeup of the reporting marks
- BCOL 802351 with the unique Peace River logo
- BCOL 802392 rusty with the PWRS logo
- BCOL 802393 grey with 'add-on' 80 digits
- BCOL 829059 grey
- BCOL 829064 at 6:42 mark of a CN grain train video
- BCOL 829100 undated and again in 2008 with patched reporting marks
- BCOL 829131 at 1:10 mark of a CN grain train video
- a nice page of BCOL covered hopper photos
- an excellent 1999 article on BC Rail's grain fleet from the Cariboo newsletter
Mimico meanderings...a recent trip around Mimico included Lantic Sugar and those CGMX/LATX covered hoppers, VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre and some unexpected surprises. My trip did not include a Fitbit or pedometer. Watch for an upcoming two-part series:
Arrival was aboard VIA No 651 Eng 916 bearing the CANADA 150 wrap. Photography is sooooo much better under Toronto Union's daylighted trainshed! Passenger expressions...'Wut?'
Upon arrival home, a flurry of emails and a river of revisions travelled back and forth electronically between me and my graphic designer. My fourth book on VIA Rail is taking shape nicely, if not taking flight yet. To conclude for now, just when you thought, "It's all good, baby"...