In the previous post in this series, way back in September 2012, I wrote about how buying two sets of decals for TH&B 70 hoppers in HO scale by Aberdeen Car Shops brought this project from the shelf to the side-burner, so to speak. All of my projects languished for a while, given the fact that I had started new jobs in both of my professions (I’m a busy guy), but now that things are running more smoothly on both fronts, I have a bit more time for leisure.
After finding the decal sets at the hobby shop, I unpacked two very old Stewart 70 ton 9-panel triple hopper kits that I had on hand from ages ago. While the details on this kit are a bit crude by today’s standards, the car is generally correct for the TH&B. As with my other projects, I undertook some research to find how the TH&B used these cars, and how to come up with a reason for having them in the fleet on the WRMRC. Besides, I like to have some projects on the go that are relatively simple undertakings. These serve as a nice break from the more demanding work of, say, building over a dozen ore cars in an assembly line.
In the previous post in this series, I mentioned that the decal set comes with nice background information these cars. The fleet consisted of 50 cars that were built by National Steel Car in Hamilton, and delivered in September of 1960. Lance Brown, the archivist for the TH&B Railway Historical Society, indicates that during the 1970s, there were a few ways that TH&B earned revenue from these cars.
Firstly, TH&B contributed 30 cars to a pool of hoppers that were in ore service between Adams Mine near Dane Ontario and Pittsburgh PA. According to Lance’s records, the following cars were committed to that service, as of 1970:
1202 1204 1207 1208 1209 1210 1213 1214
1215 1218 1220 1221 1223 1224 1225 1226
1228 1229 1232 1235 1236 1237 1239 1240
1241 1242 1244 1245 1246 1249
That service was probably not routed over the TH&B, but their involvement in the pool likely had something to do with the New York Central’s (Penn Central at the time) part ownership of the TH&B, and the fact that the ore was at least partially routed across PC. Perhaps the TH&B cars represent part of NYC’s contribution? Some of those cars received a white circular marking stating “RETURN TO CNR VIA BUFFALO.” The routing to CNR in Buffalo suggests that they travelled along the Grimsby Subdivision of the CNR through Niagara, instead of across the TH&B. Later, the routing symbol was simplified to simply a while circle below the word “Toronto.” In the images below, two cars show the white circles. What’s not clear to me is whether the lettering has eroded from these circles, or if they never had them.
During 1970, Penn Central managed to destroy five of these cars in five separate instances. The wrecked cars were: