Saturday, October 14, 2017

Champion Boxcars

For a brief time in 2003-2005, these interesting grey Champion boxcars were operating on CN's Kingston Sub. Nothing to do with Champion spark plugs! Champion Paper Co was later sold to International Paper. These Coe Rail with CRLE reporting marks were lettered for Champion International Corporation. Operating in the company of CN paper cars, photographed in US states MD, IN and on CN's Kingston Sub from Arvida, QC, they had been stencilled 'Return empty to Sheldon TX' and carried newsprint. Apparently, I wasn't able to get any photographs myself.

The cars were built in 4-71 as Pacific Car & Foundry 50'6" boxcars class B-100-27 SP 674900-675099, used initially for tin plate loading by Southern Pacific, and rebuilt in 1990. At that time they began their Champion lease - for newsprint loading, stencilled 'return empty to Sheldon, TX'.

CRLE 10351 through Kingston in this undated Tim Reid photo:

CRLE 10385 (top photo by Peter Mumby)
MVRY 10325 (photo below by Doug Stark taken June 25, 2005 at Galesburg, IL)
Around 2005, the cars were restencilled for MVRY (Mahoning Valley Railway) with the same 103xx-series road numbers. In 2015, the cars appeared with their Champion lettering painted out, rather crudely patched with BAEX reporting marks at least up to BAEX 1039.

As of 2023, the cars are in salt service, and as such are rusting....badly!

Lots o' links:
My Champion boxcar observations: date, car number and CN train seen on:

Sep 20/03 CRLE xxxxx on tailend of No 368
Nov 20/03 CRLE 10326 on headend of  No 321

****May 2018 UPDATE****
Still in service! BAEX 10223 made a westbound trip through Kingston aboard CN No 377, on May 15, 2018. The Champion logo and lettering can be seen roughly painted out, and note rust:

December 2019 UPDATE****Kris Rumbut kindly shared this photo of BAEX 1027 (that's the TRAINS number!) about to be cut up at AGM Resources in Gary, IN:

Running extra...

These Champion boxcars are exactly the type of limited-time-only observation that should (have) been documented as it happened. Like a budgie flying with a flock of sparrows. When will we learn to document the seemingly mundane? Fortunately someone did, and I was glad to discover that Peter Mumby had done just that! Peter often contributes to the excellent White River Division blog in Trackside Treasure's sidebar. I'm paying a lot more attention to the WRD blog now that I'm modelling a New England prototype!

Did some seemingly mundane photographic preservation for posterity today from five stories up. BN 461535 and 447969, both still bearing the large logo!

On this week's episode of TLC Railfan Sisters, we see a Norfolk and Southern ex-CBQ, GN, BN, CNW car at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, part of a station restaurant:


Steve Boyko said...

I don't recall seeing those at all.. I had a look through my catalog and I have nothing like that. Very interesting!

I like posts like this because I go digging through my old rolling stock photos and find oddities like an old Hydra-Cushion boxcar relettered as BAEX 675. The only other BAEX photos I took were some ex SP waffle sided boxcars.

Doug Stark said...

Photo credit for the 'posted to Facebook' shot of Champion boxcar MVRY 10325 above is myself, shot on BNSF at Galesburg, IL June 25, 2005.

Original post in 'Freight Car Enthusiast' group:

Doug Stark

Eric said...

Thank you, Doug. I've added that additional information to the post!

Loadstone said...

i see these all the time on CN m342/m343 thru Wisconsin as BAEX 1000 series..

Eric said...

Thanks for that additional information, Loadstone. Glad to know these reliable cars are still out there earning their keep.

Tolga E. said...

I see these cars in BAEX/Champion livery often on the East Rail district in Miami.

Eric said...

That is great to hear, Tolga.
Thanks for your comment,