Thursday 1 March 2018

Throwback Thursday: Nobody's Perfect.

CNA 419168, complete with lettering flaws, was photographed on Jan. 02, 1988, west of the CP Quebec St. yard in London, Ontario.
By Peter Mumby

In over forty years of attending train shows, clinics, and layout tours, I'm sure I've spotted a lot of "iffy" decal jobs involving lettering or data inappropriately placed.  On the other hand, in over forty years of railfan photography, with a particular interest in rolling stock, I can only recall a couple of occasions when I encountered a similar faux pas on a prototype car.  So, when you first glanced at the included photo, did you notice the flip-flopped data panels on the left side of the car?  Must have been a new guy applying the stencils in the paint shop that day!

CNA 419168 was just one of many ex-Railbox cars added to the CN roster in the mid to late 1980s.  It probably wore Railbox yellow with a patched CN reporting mark for a few years before receiving the full  CN paint job evident in this January 1988 image.  If you look at the photo carefully, the car appears to be coupled at the right end to a mate still wearing yellow paint.  The "A" in the reporting mark indicates that the car was US-built.  Since the Canada/US Free Trade Agreement didn't come in to play until 1989, there were probably tax advantages at this time to having cars on the roster which could be loaded in domestic US service.

Cars in the CNA 419xxx series did not all carry identical detail characteristics; the ends, doors, number of side panels, and presumably the roofs show a fair bit of variation.  Modellers should check out the yellow panels at the base of the door of the car in the photo.  These were reinforced areas where the forks of lift trucks could be placed to slide the doors open.  Another detail of interest in the photo is the car puller just beyond the left edge of the car.  Some of the cable is wrapped around the winch, while the rest is lying on the ground next to the car.

The spur in the picture was located along the north side of the CP Galt Sub mainline at a paper plant located at Adelaide St in London, Ontario.  This was just to the west of Quebec St yard.  Today both the plant and the spur are just a distant memory.

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