Edited by Mike Pebesma

December 2011



Announcements and Updates

 Trueline Trains has announced an HO scale model of a CP SW1200RS switcher. The first release is scheduled for sometime in the middle of 2012 and will include several road numbers in both action red and maroon and grey schemes.

 Rapido has undertaken a digital scan of the nose of the a real FPA4 (restored CN #6765) at Exporail in order to ensure that their forthcoming model will have the correct nose contour. A “Nose Party” was held on November 7th at Exporail while the scanning was being done.

 Rapido has also indicted they are developing their first freight locomotive and has provided some early “teaser” photos in their on-line newsletter.

 Atlas O scale has announced that future releases will include a Master series 42’ coil steel car and a Trainman series 62’ bulkhead flat car each decorated for Canadian Pacific.

 Athearn is expecting a May 2012 release for the HO scale ready-to-run 50’ combination-door boxcar decorated for Canadian National/BCOL. Features on the HO scale model include separate side ladders and trucks with RP25 profile machined 33” metal wheel sets. Each road name will be available in three numbers.

 Also coming from Athearn in June 2012 are both early and late versions of their HO scale 33,900 gallon LPG tank cars with the late version having an offset ladder and an extended loading platform. Features of the ready-to-run models include metal grab irons, upper and lower-shelf knuckle couplers, wire formed underbody rigging, and etched-metal loading and end platforms.   A car decorated for CGTX Rail Canada will be offered with the new, larger platform and Procor will be available in both types of platforms. Each version will be available in three different road numbers.

 In N scale, Athearn has announced a new production run of an improved F59PHI locomotive decorated for West Coast Express which is scheduled for May 2012.

 Athearn will also begin delivery of N scale Bombardier commuter cars in June 2012. Models decorated for West Coast Express are included in the available road names. Cars will be available as a coach and a cab/coach as used in push-pull commuter service. Also available will be a pack of three coaches with different numbers than the single units.

 Roundhouse has announced an April 2012 release of HO scale ready-to-run Harriman steel passenger cars with removable roofs held in place with magnets. Based on tooling originally developed by Model Die Casting, the cars have been significantly upgraded with such features as new stirrup steps, improved window glazing, separate grab irons, vestibule partitions, knuckle spring couplers, and upgraded trucks with metal wheel sets. Road names include Canadian National (black and green). The series will include a diner, RPO car, baggage car, combination baggage-coach, coach, and open-end observation car. The RPO has mail hook details on both sides of the car.

 Railflyer Model Prototype has released a kit to upgrade Atlas GP40-2W and InterMountain SD40-2W HO scale locomotives. The kit includes a GMDD wide cab, steps, CN early wide cab pilot, SD walkway duct, electrical box, ditch lights, snow shields, coupler plates, and waste retention tank. To order or learn more about the upgrade kits visit

 An April 2012 delivery date has been scheduled for Walthers 16K gallon 40’ Funnel-Flow tank car. The HO scale ready-to-run car features etched-metal walkways and platforms, factory installed grab irons, accurate train line and brake underbody rigging, and road-specific placement of man ways and safety valves. The trucks will be equipped with 36” metal wheel sets. Two numbers will be available for Procor-PROX (white body).

 Intermountain has announced a second run of their CN SD 40-2W in both HO and N scales. The new run will include new road numbers of the stripe and CN North America (map) schemes as well as two new paint schemes: CN with web address and Expo ’86 which was temporarily applied to #5334 to promote the 1986 World Exposition in Vancouver. Delivery is expected in July 2012.

Bowser began shipping its HO scale MLW C-630M in October. The  release included Canadian National (both zebra stripes and wet noodle) and Cape Breton & Central Nova Scotia. In November the CP RAIL, Canadian Pacific, BC RAIL  and Pacific Great Eastern were released (See Photos below)

 Model Photos

This model of VIA F40PH 6429 in the special Telus paint scheme was made by Lou Zander. Starting with an N scale Kato F40PH, Lou added a winter hatch and 5 chime horn. The centre red emergency light was removed from above the windshields and the horn depression filed in with styrene. The Telus decals came from a set by SGS decals and Lou made the flower logo using his own computer graphics printed on decal paper with his colour printer.

Chris Normandeau was one of the many model train fans I had the chance to meet in attendance at the AMFM last Open House in October.   Chris shot an SP&S C425 leading CN power over the arch bridge at Waterford, and about to descend a steep grade on a double track section of the Canada Central Railway.  

The last operating session to be held at the club was on November 20th, 2011. The last operating session to be held at the club was on November 20th, 2011.  I was pleased to be part of the historic event. Tony Synette clicked his CN RS18 leading a local over the Bascule bridge at Beasejour, QC, and a “meet” with his local on the high bridge passing over a CN GP9 caboose hop at Stoney Creek Bridge.. 

Modelling VIA Rail Renaissance Cars in N Scale

By Tim Hayman

 For modelers of VIA Rail in N scale, finding appropriate equipment can be tremendously difficult. For modelers of yesterday’s VIA, there are some decent stand-ins for the old “Blue and Yellow” cars, as well as Rapido’s stellar and thoroughly accurate offerings, and some reasonable Budd cars (although still not remotely accurate). But for anyone trying to model modern VIA operations, the pickings are slim. A few years ago, Kato released a very nice model of the P42DC in VIA colours, which they have since rerun. While a boon to those interested in VIA’s post-2001 era, it raised the immediate question: “what am I going to run behind it??”

 With an absence of RTR LRCs, HEP-2s, or Renaissance cars, the options are kitbashing or stand-ins (which can be a real challenge, especially at the smaller scale!). However, there is in fact an option for very reasonable N scale Renaissance cars, with surprisingly little effort required.

 While searching around the internet for information on the origins of VIA’s Renaissance fleet (the ill-fated “Nightstar” project), I came across a British manufacturer of vinyl sides for passenger cars. These are self-adhesive vinyl sheets, with all the markings of the passenger car sides printed on them. You just peel and stick them, like a sticker, and voila, instant passenger car transformation! Much to my surprise, this company, called Electra Railway Graphics (based in the UK) makes N scale vinyl's for the 3 styles of Nightstar cars (Coach, Service Car, and Sleeper). After a bit of persuasion from several interested VIA modelers, Electra announced a new “International Line”, including its Nightstar cars with the added VIA Rail markings.

 You can see the page on their website here:

 The vinyl's are available for Renaissance baggage, coach, service car, and sleeper variations. They are designed for use on Graham-Farish N scale BREL Mark 4 coaches, which are available from various dealers in the UK. The coaches are made of a clear-plastic body, with the exterior details painted on. So to build these cars, it’s as simple as getting a hold of some Graham-Farish MK4s, stripping the paint, and peeling-and-sticking the vinyl's.

 I acquired enough Mark 4 coaches and vinyl's to make a full 7 car “corridor” consist (Baggage – Coach – Service Car – 4 more coaches), as well as a pair of sleepers. To strip the cars, I applied and gently scrubbed the cars with Brasso (easily available from most hardware stores) until the paint came off the sides (leaving just the clear plastic exposed). I then applied the vinyl's, and voila! N scale Renaissance cars! You can also coat the cars with a protective dull or gloss coating, to protect the vinyl's.

Here’s a photo of the different car styles:



Service Car

Full consist


These cars all came equipped with rapido-style couplers. To add to the realism, I only replaced the coupler on the front of the baggage car, making it a transition car just like the real thing.

The only drawback with these cars is that they are British N scale, which is 1:148 instead of the North American 1:160. This means that the cars are slightly too large. However, they still look great coupled behind a Kato P42, or even an F40PH, and can be assembled and running with very little effort.

Ron Visockis clicked his brand new HO Scale BOWSER CP Rail and CPR-liveried M636 models.  These are now available in CN Stripes, Noodle, CBNS, PGE and BC RAIL as well.

Prototype Modelling:

 Jim Parker submitted photos of the early TOFC  Express Trailers on Canadian Pacific n Toronto, ON in 1968. Two styles of Express trailers are shown riding homemade CP 50-foot flat cars built from box cars.


© CRO December 2011