Announcements and Updates
Atlas has scheduled another production run of its HO scale GE Dash 8-40C and CW (wide nose safety cab) locomotives for arrival during the 2nd quarter of this year. The ready-to-run models will be available with and without DCC (dual mode decoder which allows operation in DCC or standard DC). Special features of the Dash 8-40C/CW models include directional lighting, uncoupling bars, number boards, MU and train line hoses, snowplow, piping on trucks, painted crew members, and AccuMate knuckle couplers. Road names include Canadian National and CN 15th Anniversary, both in the standard cab version.
Also arriving during the second quarter of this year are HO scale AAR 50’ postwar single-door boxcars which will be ready-to-run versions of the recently acquired Branchline Blueprint series models. Prototype details include improved Dreadnaught ends, diagonal panel roofs, 8’ and 9’ Superior or Youngstown doors, and three different side-sill styles – straight, tabbed, and fishbelly. The model will have separately applied ladders and grab irons, and machined metal wheelsets. Road names will include Grand Trunk Western.
Athearn has announced an August delivery for a DCC-ready AC4400CW diesel decorated for CP, and a GP38-2 for Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific. Freight cars announced for August include a 40’ double-door boxcar decorated for Canadian Pacific, 52’ mill gondolas decorated for Canadian National and CP Rail; and a 24’ ore car in Canadian National paint. The ore car is from upgraded MDC tooling and will be available individually or in a selection of four 6-packs. Each car comes with a removable ore load.
New N scale items coming from Athearn late this summer include a 52’ mill gondola in Canadian National (wet noodle) and CP Rail.
Bowser plans to release its newly tooled HO scale Alco Century C-636 locomotive this summer. Features of the ready-to-run model include brass MU hoses, brass air hoses, etched-brass windshield wipers, steel grab irons, steel coupler lift bars, operating headlight, nickel silver RP25 wheels, knuckle couplers, and installed handrails. Road names will include Cartier (QCM- Quebec Cartier Mining).
Roundhouse has scheduled an August release date for an HO scale ready-to-run 36’ truss-rod stock cars decorated for Canadian National.
Late this month, Walther's plans to release a series of 23,000 gallon Funnel-Flow tank cars with new road numbers. The HO scale cars feature etched-metal walkways and platforms, individual grab irons, and underbody rigging including train-line brake piping. The location of manways and safety valves are specific to individual road names and cars are equipped with turned metal wheelsets and metal knuckle couplers. Road names on this limited edition run include PROX-Procor (green Optimizer).
Still under development and expected to be announced soon are decal sets for VIA RAIL F40PH locomotives in the renaissance scheme from Microscale.
All locomotives with the exception of 2502, 824 (based on HBRY SW1200) and 6001 are based on prototypical units operated by the Hudson Bay Railway. Because HBRY is owned by OmniTrax, it is not uncommon to see other OmniTrax locomotives in use on railway. OmniTrax Switcher Service and OmniTrax rental units are also common features on the HBRY and these units often operate with dual reporting marks; 2250 is an example of this. HBRY also has been known to rent GATX locomotives, some returning after working on the west section of CTRW. This helps to diversify your motive power and provides simple alternatives for those looking to expand their motive power base, even if some of the locomotives may not be prototypical.
Most units required small detailing to add to the prototypical look, these included: decaling, ditch lights, snow plows, MU stands, snow shields and spark arrestors. More complex work was required for detailing the GP10 and GP7. I used an Atlas SD24 low nose cab and cut the high nose into a low nose. Based on detailed photographs, I cut out and added new air intake filters to match the Carlton Trail unit and added the prototypical air filtration system on the top of the unit. Other modifications on the CTRW unit included small work in altering the battery boxes on the front walkways. Don’t worry if the locomotives appear slightly beaten up or have some paint chips, as this can add to the prototypical image of an old workhorse locomotive.
My entire HO Scale HBRY roster is pictured here: (nearest to farthest):
HBRY GP30 2508
As for rolling stock, I currently have two bulkhead flats with HBRY patching and a 40 foot box car based on photographs of the prototype.
Like any model railroader I wanted to model a railway that offered a challenge and offered a sense of personal connection. After venturing out to The Pas in 2009, I was able to get ample photographs of not only the locomotives, but the HBRY rolling stock such as work trains and the cars used to transport goods to the north. Aboriginal reserves that are isolated from any road infrastructure still receive many of their goods (clothes to automobiles) from HBRY trains; even Betty Crocker can be spotted on flatbed in The Pas. Rolling stock, much of it former CN boxcars and flatbeds, is used to transport these many goods and is also used on HBRY work trains. Other customers of course include the Port of Churchill, Tolko (lumber and pulp and paper mill), Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting, as well as several smaller businesses and oil companies. HBM&S recently shuttered the smelter in Flin Flon, reducing rail traffic; however the zinc concentrator and other smaller operations keep the line viable. The Port of Churchill also stores petroleum that will be shipped north into the Territories for the many mines that require the fuel. I also took time to catch pictures of the local geography in order to create a prototypical landscape. I wanted to transition into the shield by creating rolling prairie landscapes with the odd rock face jutting out of the hills, similar to the real shield. To do this, I incorporated cut Styrofoam, sand from northern Saskatchewan and rock similar in colour to that of the Canadian Shield. The rock I chose was from the coulees of Alberta that I managed to grab when I was out there last summer.
Though my layout was designed to reflect the HBRY customers, there is an oddball prairie town complimented by a prairie elevator. On a side note, The Pas did in fact have a Manitoba Wheat Pool elevator up until a few years ago and agriculture does remain a small part of their economy. However my reasoning for the prairie town was two pronged: The first was to reflect the business of grain shipment from elevator to port. The second reason stems from HBRY’s early years when the Canadian Transportation Authority considered giving HBRY full access to most of CNs prairie rail through running rights agreements. This little known concept came from farmer dissatisfaction with CN in regards to smaller enterprises and producer sites. One example was Naber Seed & Grain, located in Melfort, who asked the CTA to provide HBRY with access to the CN Tisdale Subdivision (a sub under much scrutiny today). Ultimately the CTA struck down the request in 2002 and the closest OmniTrax got was trackage rights to transport units from Prince Albert to the isolated Arborfield sub that was formerly owned by CTRW (now owned by Arborfield Thunder Rail).
The Annual Railway Symposium in Quebec runs from March 28, 29th, 2012. The 16th Annual Symposium will also hold its 11th exhibition or RailShow of “Suppliers of Railway materials” and we still have a few kiosks to rent. Please ask us: firstname.lastname@example.org. For those interested in participating at thin annual railway Symposium, documents will be posted in mid January and also, information will be placed on our Web site around the same time.
The Annual Forest City Railway Society (FCRS) Slide/Photo Sale & Swap will be held on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 at the Campbellville Lions Club (Guelph Line & CPR Galt Sub Crossing) between 12:00 and 16:00. Dealers should contact email@example.com to confirm table space. Dealer tables may be set up at 11:00.
CPR Coil Car #313533 was snapped at CP’s Agincourt Yard in Toronto, October 1970 wearing the script livery. A reasonable HO model of this can be made using the HO Walther’s Coil Car, and replacing the plastic 33-inch wheels with proper 36-inch wheel sets. In the 1990’s Walther’s made limited runs of these in several CP schemes. (Photo Jim Parker)
© CRO February 2012