Friday 20 March 2015

B&M - Southern Ontario

AEQX 3039 and 3000 are sitting in the CP yard at Havelock.......Keith Hansen photo, Mar. 2015.
Southern Ontario Lading - With a New England Twist
by Peter Mumby

Today's ready-to-roll models are something to behold, with their exquisite details, fine lettering - and fresh, shiny paint.  When I am out railfanning, I enjoy photographing as-new equipment, but that is likely because such cars are unusual.  When it comes to models for the layout or display shelf, I prefer pieces that show a little history.  I like cars with a little rusting and dusting, patched data, and changed reporting marks - hence my interest in the hoppers presented in this post.

These AEQX cars (Atel Equipment Corp) are part of a pool of covered hoppers delivering roofing granules produced by IKO Industries Ltd of Madoc, Ontario.  Not all the cars in this pool are AEQX, but it is specifically the group of ex-Boston and Maine cars that caught my attention.

I first noticed these cars two or three years ago.  At that time IKO was trucking their product south from Madoc to the CN yard at Belleville where the transfer to rail cars was effected.  As of the last few months, CP now holds the contract, and IKO's trucks have started moving west along highway 7 to the yard at Havelock.  The portable transfer equipment has been set up on the south side of the yard where the former GE Railcar repair facility was located.  Loaded cars then are marshalled together with the syenite hoppers from the Nephton mines to form trains bound for Toronto's Agincourt yard.

Loading cars with roofing granules might be a new activity for Havelock, but this is certainly not the first time that hoppers loaded with this product have appeared in the yard.  Ten years ago a large 3M plant was in operation just east of Havelock and CP picked up loads of roofing granules from this facility five days per week.  3M has now moved on, and the spur to the plant lies dormant.

So there you have it - a little excuse to run some Boston and Maine equipment on your Southern Ontario-themed layout.  Anyone for dirtying up a few models?

 AEQX 3040 is sitting in the CN yard at Belleville.  Belleville is the crew change point on the Kingston Sub for trains operating between Montreal and Toronto.........Peter Mumby photo, Aug. 28, 2014.
AEQX 3005 is westbound (loaded) on the CN Kingston Sub at Newcastle........Peter Mumby photo, Sept. 12, 2014.


  1. I've seen these cars crossing the International Bridge at Black Rock ( Buffalo, NY ) heading east, where do you think they were going? JOHN

    1. Hi John:
      This is something we don't know - hopefully we will hear from someone who has seen them farther down the line!
      George and Peter.

  2. Yes, actually i was just beginning to look for some nice weathering examples, nice timing thank you :)

  3. Great post, George. Here is one I published on the cars being loaded on CN at Belleville, before the contract was transferred to CP: and my understanding is that the granules are shipped to IKO plants at Kankakee IL, Wilmington DE and possibly Brampton ON.
    Eric Gagnon
    Kingston, ON
    [The rolling stock photo print guy that Peter will know from the Picton train show!!]

    1. Thanks for the additional information Eric. I checked out your link and post...George

  4. Funny. I shift these same type of ex-B&M covered hoppers into the IKO plant at Edgemoor (Wilmington), Delaware every Monday-Thursday. Boy, they sure travel around in this service to IKO.

  5. Hi Joe:
    Good to hear from you thanks for the update...George