Sunday, September 16, 2018

What's on CN 2329 East?

Just for something a little different, let's look at some of the cars found on CN 2329 East, spotted on September 13, 2018.

CN 2329

By the name I've given the train, obviously CN 2329 was on the head end. 2329 is a GE ES44DC locomotive, built in mid 2010.

I first spotted this locomotive on train 404 on April 4, 2011 (see "404 on 4/04"), several hundred feet further east from the photo above. The second time I spotted 2329 was on October 9, 2012, pretty much at the exact same location. I might take a lot of photos in the same area... what do you think?

There was another locomotive on the train. You'll see it soon...

MGLX 625056

MGLX 625056 in Winnipeg
The first freight car I photographed was this Saskatchewan! car now owned by MobilGrain, MBLX 625056. The taggers have been all over this car, unfortunately. I always liked the green SK cars.

GTW 138205

Long live the Grand Trunk
The next car I photographed was heavily weathered GTW 138205, sporting the giant white "GT". It even has its multicolour ACI label visible to the right of the "T". I can't quite read the built date but it looks like "11-76", which is comparable to the dates on other GTW cars like this that I have photographed. 40+ years of working... too bad rail cars don't get a pension when they are retired.

CN 395299

Faded glory
Next up is highly faded CN 395299, with its Canadian Wheat Board logo and lettering barely visible. I remember it being almost pink in colour to my eye. Another car on borrowed time...

CGEX 1085

Cargill's CGEX 1085
I see a lot of Cargill grain cars. CGEX 1085 here is one of the common types, but I also see a lot of Cargill cars with external, vertical ribs. The reporting marks tend to be CGAX, CGEX or CGOX. I don't know if there is any reason for the difference in reporting marks.

You'll see another Cargill car shortly.

EFNX 160760

A truly boring car
I took a photo of EFNX 160760 not because there was anything interesting about it, but because it is a prime example of today's truly boring rail cars. This 5200 cubic foot car was built in September 2016 and is one of many cars in Element Financial's fleet of rail cars available for lease.

In "days of yore", railroads owned a lot of rolling stock. Not any more. I believe the majority of today's rail cars are owned by lessors like Element who lease them out to customers. It probably makes a lot of financial sense for the railroads to be out of the lease market, but I miss the corporate logos on rail cars. This car is truly and literally the beige among the rapidly disappearing GT blue, the UP yellow, and the rainbow Canadian grain car fleet.

OK, rant over. Incidentally, another photo of this very rail car is available on RRPictureArchives.NET.

CNA 385112

What's that in the top left corner?
CNA 385112 looks like a pretty ordinary 4740 cubic foot rail car, with external ribs, built in March 1972 and still sporting its ACI label. However... what's that in the top left of the car?

Aha! Cargill!
This was a Cargill car! Also note that it used to be NAHX 5xxx3 before CN acquired it.

These little details keep me watching the train after the locomotive(s) go by.

The FURX Cars

I saw a string of these gray FURX cars on the train next. You can see they are three bay open top hopper cars, 2400 cubic feet. I can see external controls to open the doors, so they must be pneumatically controlled. I see the pistons to operate the doors and there are nozzles on the cars labelled "AIR". It's weird how the middle door is "C" and the "A" and "B" doors are on the ends.

FURX was First Union Rail, recently renamed to Wells Fargo Rail. It's another railcar and locomotive leasing company.

The 86 Foot Boxcars

PHRX 4794
The real "win" on the train for me was this pair of 86 foot boxcars, with the PHRX reporting mark. The PHRX reporting mark is owned by Premier Horticulture Ltd., a company founded in 1923 around sphagnum peat moss. Their head office is in Rivière-du-Loup (Québec).

I remember seeing 86 foot boxcars on the New Brunswick East Coast Railway in northern New Brunswick. There is a lot of peat moss on the Acadian peninsula, and in fact the former Caraquet and Gulf Shore Railway (and later CN Caraquet subdivision) hauled a lot of peat moss.

Eric Gagnon has an excellent article on 86 foot boxcars hauling peat moss.

PHLX 206036
I'm sure you noticed the locomotive...

CN 3826

CN 3826
This shiny locomotive, CN 3826, is one of the 260 new Evolution-series locomotives GE is building for CN to ease its power shortage. I imagine this was one of the first revenue runs, as the locomotive is still clean!

Shiny new loco
Note the CN Aboriginal Affairs logo that these new locomotives wear. I love how there are labels with tiny letters along the frame edge... someone is very optimistic that these will be readable! My guess is that they will become covered in grime and be unreadable within a month.

Canadian Grain Cars

A rainbow
There was a rainbow of Canadian grain cars near the tail end of the train to finish things off.

I hope you enjoyed this little rolling stock review. Let me know what you think in the comments!


Unknown said...

"It's weird how the middle door is "C" and the "A" and "B" doors are on the ends."

They do that sort of thing on intermodal cars too. (The ones that are 3 or 5 wells long)

Canadian Train Geek said...

I did not notice that, Taylor - thanks!

Unknown said...

Well, I gotta do something when those boring ones are passing. Might as well look at the fine details.

Jimmer said...

A really enjoyable series of photos. That ex-CNW 86 footer is a real eye-catcher!


GP9Rm4108 said...

Every rail car has an A end and a B end.

Articulated rail cars still have to follow that rule.

Hence why a 3 pack will be B C A and a 5 will be B C D E A.

They are likely following suit with the labelling of the hopper doors on those cars.

Eric said...

In some yard somewhere, all the grey covered hoppers get together and chant, "We're not boring! We're not boring!"

Thanks for the consist profiles and shout-out, Steve. Interesting!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Thanks, TrainGuyJim! I'm glad you liked the photos. :)

Canadian Train Geek said...

Hey GP9Rm4108, I guess I should have known that! That B C D E A order is weird but you can see why it happened... when the A/B ends were identified, there probably was no such thing as an articulated rail car!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Eric, I'd take a string of identical, "boring" cars over one! Look at a tank car train, for example... one tank car is boring, but put 100 together and you have a cool black snake!

Tyler said...

Great post! I agree about the A and B ends.
Somebody above mentioned CNW but I thought the yellow 86-foot boxcar was ex-MILW?

Unknown said...

The yellow boxcar is ex-MILW