Re: Aluminum cars

Ian Cranstone

On 8-May-07, at 12:03 AM, destron@... wrote:
I went through my 53 ORER and found a small number of aluminum car classes
(I'll put a list at the bottom here). I'm curious as to what were the
first instances of the use of aluminum in freight cars, and when they
first started to be built in regular series - by this, I mean more than
small experimental batches: the 1953 ORER, only the MP has a class of more
than ten cars.

Regarding the list to follow, if anyone can add to it, or point me in the
direction of photos or drawings, that would be very appreciated. I think
I'd like to set myself the goal of modeling one of each type of pre-1960
aluminum car; I'm thinking, too, that I might make this an exceptional
case, and do them in HO instead of TT. I'd also be interested in private
owner cars, and experimental cars owned by builders for testing or
demonstration, if such existed.

List I've found:
CN 109100-109104 (hopper)
These cars were built 2-3/52. Add to this CN 521497-521499 built 1/46 as experimental aluminum boxcars -- for some reason these three cars were never noted in the ORER as being anything unusual. CN also had a group of ice bunker reefers (212200-212204) built 9/58, and semi-cylindrical covered hoppers 139000-139001 were delivered in 9/60 (these were combination Alcan/Marine Industries demonstration cars, also built for RS -- see below). It would be 1962 however, before production cars resulted from this last group, but CN would acquire 310 more, with CP also acquiring examples at the same time. CN also had many late 40' boxcars delivered with aluminum roofs, rather than the standard steel versions.
Roberval & Saguenay 1500 (box, aluminum frame and underframe)
The RS had a strong ownership interest by the Aluminum Co. of Canada, and was actively experimenting with aluminum cars by the late 1940s. Early versions were aluminum body only, with a steel underframe. My information on their cars is not as good as CN, but the following had substantial aluminum construction:

RS triple hoppers 932-961 built 5/48 (aluminum body only)
RS boxcars 1001-1030 built 5/47
RS triple hoppers 1200-1249 built c/48 and 1250-1259 built c/51 (aluminum body only)
RS hoppers 1301-1328 appeared c/55.
RS hoppers 1401-1430 appeared c/57
The aforementioned RS 1500 built by CP's Angus shops 8/49
RS 1950 was a former CN steel frame boxcar, resheathed with aluminum siding c/57 (probably not exactly what you were interested in though)
RS 2001-2002 were two more demonstrator covered hoppers (see CN 139000-139001 above) built in 9/60

Ian Cranstone
Osgoode, Ontario, Canada

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