Re: CN box car series 471000-477849

Ian Cranstone

On 18-Nov-04, at 10:19 AM, Gene Green wrote:

Need some help concerning Canadian National box cars. On January
17, 1949 CN XM 477636 was on the M&StL hauling paper.
I recently acquired one photo each of CN 474917, blt 6-38, and CN
475831, blt 7-38, which are both from the same CN series as 477636,
namely 471000-477849 as listed in Jan. 1942 ORER.
Actually these three cars are from different series: 477350-477949 were built by Canadian Car & Foundry in 5-6/39 (477636 was built in June --
and should you be interested, was renumbered to 425604 in August 1974). The two photos you have are from the 474600-475299 series, built by Eastern Car Co. 5-7/38, and from the 475300-475999 series, built by National Steel Car in 5-6/39.

The two cars look more like 1937 AAR box cars than anything else
except for an odd looking end. Would the IMWX/Red Caboose box car be
the correct starting point for a model of 477636?
As I recall, these early CCF cars were fairly easy to model from the IMWX boxcar, with few things needing to be done. See more below under your detail question.

The photos appear to show metal running boards. Does anyone know if
that is indeed correct and, if so, what kind of running board? Which
hand brake was used? Can't tell from the photos.
I've taken the following notes from Stafford Swain's CN LINES study:

The ends applied to these cars were Standard Railway Equipment's Dreadnaught end with square corner posts (a 4-5 end, counting from the top).

The roof is a flat panel "Murphy" roof with car line ribs, which Stafford describes as "not unlike those found in the former Train Miniatures line of cars." These parts have subsequently been cast in resin (see more below).

Running boards were the three-board design. The brake step however was of a steel mesh design.

The doors were an early Youngstown design, with Camel fixtures (like the IMWX model).

The brake wheel is of an Ajax design.

These cars were equipped with the standard Canadian eight-rung ladder (instead of the U.S. seven rung design). Stafford notes that these rungs were spaced at 15.75".

Poling pockets need to be removed from the model.

Top-mounted cut levers were used on these cars.

One unusual detail of this series is that cars 477350-477649 (including your 477636) were originally delivered with National B-1 trucks.

Are these odd ends available?
Various Canadian ends, doors and roofs were released some years ago under the name of the Canadian Model Railway Parts Guild (read Dan Kirlin & Stafford Swain). Subsequently the masters for these parts were transferred to Sylvan Scale Models and many have been re-released under their line -- check their website for availability.

Has there been any magazine articles on modeling these cars?
Yes, Stafford Swain published his first study of CN 40' steel boxcars in the pages of CN LINES vol. 3 no. 4 back in 1991. The article was then updated and published in RMC in (I believe) their August 1993 issue.

As a final note, I have a number of builder's photos of these cars which I could send to anyone interested.

Ian & Katherina Cranstone
Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

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