In my previous post, I described the upgrades to a pair of True Line Trains 10’0″ Ontario Northland boxcars. Subsequent to that post, a lengthy discussion ensued on the Canadian Railway Modellers Facebook group, in which Jurgen Kleylein and Ken Chrysler contributed photos and ideas so we could sort out a few details.
Here’s a digest of what we figured out. When Ontario Northland car shops crews removed the running boards from their 40′ boxcars, they often left the ladders on full length, all the way up to the roof. On the B-end of the car, workers would need access to the brakewheel, which was also left in its original position, high on the end of the car. In order to facilitate the movement from the side ladder to the end ladder on the B-end of the car, some pieces of flat metal were fitted onto the roof and the corner grab iron was re-installed in its former position, sans running board. On the opposite corner of the car, there was no grab iron, presumably because workers would have no reason to be on the upper part of that ladder.
I decided that one of my ONT boxcars would have short ladders on the A-end and the other would have tall ladders. Both would have tall ladders at the B-end, and therefore, both would have the metal straps and grab iron in that corner of the roof. Here’s what they look like so far, with a quick coat of paint to get the cars ready for weathering.
This photo shows the running boards removed and the metal straps represented by styrene strips. The car closer to the bottom of the photo was the first one I modified. I bent a grab iron to fit and used a lift ring in the corner. The other car was my second run at this. I used the grab iron that was on the model’s stock running board. I shaved it off the discarded part and used CA to reattach it to the styrene strips.
On the actual cars, the side ladders don’t curve up and over the edge of the car like the model. The strips of metal to which the grab iron is attached actually wraps over the edge of the car and is bolted to the side. For the sake of not having too many modifications to the ladders, I simply attached my strips of styrene to the tops of the ladders. It works, and it looks fine. I decided to go this route because there are more compromises with the kit’s ladders that I’m choosing to ignore. I felt that if I started to make changes to the top of the ladder, I should probably fix up the inaccuracies at the bottom as well. I figure this would be better addressed by a complete ladder replacement some day. If I ever choose to make that modification to these cars, I can move the styrene strips on the roof. For now, I’m calling this good enough.
Once I had done the roof modification to both cars, I proceeded to do the patch-outs for the weight data and other outdated information on the side of both cars. Here’s how they look so far:
You can see I’ve also added lube plates and ACI labels. So far, I’ve only patched one side of both ONT cars. Once I get the patches finished and new data onto the car, I’ll weather them to reflect 25 years of service.
Having finished the modifications on my ONT cars, I decided that I should do two 10’0″ cars that have in Canadian National. For the CN cars, I’m going to leave the running boards on the cars, but I’ll add air hoses, cut levers, swap out the couplers for Kadee #158, patch them for weight data, add lube plates and ACI labels.
The last thing I’d like to do is provide some links to sources of information I used so far on this project. Ted Kocyla wrote on the MRH forum about weathering some similar cars for the WRMRC layout. Click here for that article. Chris Vanderheide has written about similar projects on his blog. Click through to see some posts from August 2015, June 2015, and November 2014 that are relevant to this project.
The work being done to the CN cars is the same as what I’ve already done to the ONT cars, so I won’t repeat any of that. I’ll post an update when I have some weathering finished.