Thursday, June 1, 2017

Algoma Central gondolas

Algoma Central Railway was well known for its well-travelled workhorse fleet of gondola cars. Four hundred 61-footers with a 2900 cu ft capacity, originally numbered AC 1000-1400, built 1964-67 by NSC. For over 30 years, I've recorded observations and photographed these very Canadian cars on their travels along CN's Kingston Sub. It's probably a safe assumption that most of these observations were carloads of sheet and tube steel from Algoma Steel's mill in Sault Ste Marie, ON. In fact, the link to WC 201178, in the list below, shows it carrying loads from the Sault to Quebec, Ontario, Winnipeg and Alberta in 1998-99. These gondolas were also used for pulpwood and lumber shipments in Northern Ontario.

When Wisconsin Central then CN took over Algoma Central, the cars were aging and some remaining gons were used in CN scrap tie service. Some were given an additional digit '1' to their existing numbers. AC 11270 and CN 'Flatside' boxcar CN 416257 present themselves outside our window aboard VIA No 24 at St Lambert, QC  on June 19, 2008 (top photo). CN No 321 was in emergency at Mi 182 Kingston Sub on March 16, 2006, so starting the train up-grade made sitting ducks of AC 11119 and 11145:
 Peter Mumby captured a fine roster shot of AC 11179 in August, 2006:
Here are a couple of online auction site photos:
 AC 11115 (above) and AC 11344 (below) both taken in Edmonton in 2002. Survivors!
My AC gon observations at Kingston, unless otherwise noted. With date, car number and remarks:

Mar 21/83 AC 1019, 1074
Jun 8/83 AC 1212, 1220
Jun 6/84 AC 1120 at Portage la Prairie, MB
Jun 8/84 AC 1064 at Barrie, ON
Jun 23/85 AC 1078, 1110, 1228
May 18/86 AC 1134
Jul 7/86 AC 1282
Sep 25/87 AC 1092
Jan 29/89 AC 711, 1350
Mar 10/89 AC 1030, 1142, 1295
Jan 15/90 AC 1359
Jun 7/91 AC 1215 at Counter Street team track
Sep 17/91 AC 1212 at Counter Street team track
Nov 9/91 AC 1211 with telephone pole load
Nov 15/91 AC 1119
Oct 23/92 AC 1153
Feb 7/94 AC 1341 at Ottawa, ON
May 7/94 AC 1120
May 11/95 AC 1251 at Counter Street team track
Aug 24/95 AC 1308, 1316
Jun 25/96 AC 1304, 1308, 1347
Jun 26/96 AC 1161
Sep 14/96 AC 1366
Nov 3/96 AC 1128
Nov 10/96 AC 1187
Nov 29/96 AC 1119, 1154
Mar 25/97 AC 1174, 11193, 11252, 11288, 11340
May 15/97 AC 1295
Jun 14/97 AC 1322
Jul 11/97 AC 1331
Aug 9/97 AC 1119
Aug 20/97 AC 1213
Jan 17/98 AC 11181
Feb/98 WC 201178 reporting marks, AC lettering
Feb 14/98 AC 1286
Mar 31/98 AC 1396
Aug 16/98 AC 1322
Sep 1/98 AC 1231, 11134
Sep 29/98 AC 1289, 1350
Oct 29/98 AC 11340
Nov 20/98 AC 1303
Apr 5/99 AC 1269, 1281, 11394
Jun 24/99 AC 11154
Jul 18/99 AC 1289
Aug 2/99 AC 11208
Aug 19/99 AC 11206
Jul 2/00 AC 903 with covers*
Oct 1/00 AC 903 with covers*
Aug 9/00 AC 916 with covers*
                                               *(900-series 52-footers in steel coil service)
Mar 16/06 AC 11145, 11179
Nov 10/07 AC 11182
Jul 19/08 AC 11270, 11391
Sep 11/10 AC 11118
Mar 10/12 AC 11227, 11358 in scrap tie service
Aug 29/13 AC 11340 in scrap tie service

Running extra...

Kingston Transit Rider Appreciation Day saw sincere Mayor Paterson and affable transit boss Jeremy DaCosta handing out pens and bananas at my morning stop. Thanks! It was only later that Monty Python's Self-Defence Against Fresh Fruit sketch entered my consciousness: 
On TLC Railfan Sisters upcoming CANADA 150 episode: VIA No 65 at Kingston with an 'MSBS':
and VIA No 66 RGBV:
HJGE anyone?


Canadian Train Geek said...

Form a photo line, or at least keep the camera pointed at the train! ;)

I'm not sure I have ever seen an Algoma Central gondola. Must review photos...

Eric said...

You must have seen the Black Bear somewhere Steve! I believe they have gondolas (gon-DOLE-uhs) near where you are as well!

Thought I might not get a comment during your time away. Turns out no matter how far you rome you're still a faithful Trackside Treasure reader!

Thanks for your comment!

GP9Rm4108 said...

The cars of days gone by are quickly disappearing! 10 years from now many of these fallen flag cars will but a memory!

Eric said...

Indeed, Chris. When I say 'Get those photos now' what I really mean is 'Get those photos now'. I mean it.
Thanks for your comment!

Eric said...

From Jamie Richards:
I saw many of those Algoma Central Gons here in NS as well carrying steel to the Hawker Siddeley plant in my hometown of Trenton, NS back in the 80's.

Allison said...

Ha! Cool! I thought to look for the NC museum and found this episode...glad to make a sisternal contribution to VIA Canada 150 collecting!

Eric said...

AC = Algoma Collaborative.

Thank goodness VIA is pushing the CANADA 150 thing. I get the sense there is not the same uptake as there was for the Centennial year!

Unknown said...

Interesting post. Caught AC 11263 this past Saturday which is what brought me here.

Unknown said...


Eric said...

Glad to hear it, James. Thanks for the OS!