Friday 25 January 2019

CN Rymal Pt. 9: Freight Cars Part 1

The siding at Rymal was part of the original construction of the Hamilton and Lake Erie Railway, facilitating the first station stop above the escarpment. Following the last run of mixed train M233 in 1957 the small station was boarded up and the former H&NW line would be freight only its remaining thirty-six years. Local area residents recall that the quaint station structure was not razed until the mid 1960’s.
Overall, Rymal siding would see well over a century (1870 – 1993) of continuous use. In the diesel era daily way freights departing from Stuart St. Yard deposited waybilled cars on the double ended siding and also employed the parallel right of way to stage cars for delivery to the industrial sidings added for Shaw Pipe and Penn Lumber (see FLASHBACK CN Rymal Pt. 4). Following the damage to and subsequent removal of the Stone Church Road overpass (see FLASHBACK CN Rymal Pt. 2) in 1987, the siding was needed as a run around track for train movements dispatched from the south to be able to return to home base.
As previously noted, local development in the form of a construction material distributor breathed some life into the line, albeit very late in the game. The increase in activity was somewhat politically related. On October 4th 1987 the original Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was agreed to in principle. One of the benefits of the accord is documented in this post.
BN 621842 is a 60’ – 8” I.L. (Inside Length) bulkhead flat car built by Greenville Steel Car Company in April of 1977. Greenville Steel Car (GSC) was a historic builder located in its namesake hamlet in western Pennsylvania. In 1986 GSC was acquired by Trinity Industries and manufacturing at the home location was shuttered in 2000. The wide flat expanse behind the car offered ample space for local enterprises to off load all manner of freight equipment.
BCIT 16705 is a 52’ – 8” I.L. bulkhead flat car built 12/1973 by Hawker Siddeley Transport (HST) located in Trenton Nova Scotia. The bundles of lumber are labelled for West Fraser. West Fraser Timber Company Ltd. ( is still a thriving enterprise, and still employs the same corporate insignia. Technically, the BCIT reporting mark implies that this flatcar is not permitted to make domestic moves. As this is long before the FTA, either the lumber originated in the US, or a duty violation has occurred. Note the displaced bundle bands; in both directions!
CN 603147 is a 52’ – 8” I.L. bulkhead flat car built 1/1975 by HST. As the wrapping on the lumber bundles is labelled ‘BC RESOURCES’, the origin of the payload is not a mystery! Note that the middle two rows are hard against the left-hand bulkhead. No doubt hard coupling related!
BN 621842 is a nominal 100 ton capacity (263,000 lbs total Gross Rail Load) car with a load limit (LD LMT) of 183,200 lbs. This would translate into a payload of approximately 3,100 sheets of drywall. Note that to minimize any potential damage due to shifting of the payload, dunnage has been inserted between the bundles of drywall to force them tight against the bulkheads. Damage is further mitigated by the fact that this car is equipped with End Of Car Cushioning (EOCC).
DWC 605628 is a 52’ – 8” I.L. bulkhead flat car built 11/1973 by CN Transcona. The LD LMT of 161,000 lbs would translate into approximately 2,800 sheets of 4’ x 8’ ½” thick sheets of drywall. Note that the top of the payload is well below the Inside Height (I.H.) of 11’ – 1”.
TTPX 81430 is a 60’ – 7-1/2” I.L. bulkhead flat car built by Bethlehem Steel Car (BSC) 11/1975. Increasingly, US based freight cars appeared at Rymal loaded with American product.
TTPX 82394 is a 60’ – 7-1/2” I.L. bulkhead flat car built by BSCar (BSC) in 1980. The load is labeled ‘TEMPLE – EASTEX’; a paper/building products company, now part of International Paper.