NYC 399671 + pipe load

I have finished a load of pipe for one of my new NYC gondola cars – and I like how it turned out:

 photo NYC399671-PipeLoad_zpsssbbhbze.jpg
(Click on the image for a larger view)

The load is now taller than it was when I first blogged about this car last week, and the larger load is a big improvement. I found more K&S Metals 1/8″ aluminum tube (part #8102) on my travels this week, and cut and painted the tubes yesterday.

To paint the tubes, I made up a painting fixture from a block of pink foam insulation board, and a bunch of round toothpicks:

 photo PipePainter-01_zpsveliiux4.jpg

 photo PipePainter-02_zpsfzgwsfei.jpg

I then sprayed the pipes with two colours – a brown and a black – applied with rattle cans. I tried to mist the paint on in many light coats, from far enough back that the paint dried a bit in the air before hitting the tubes to give it some texture, reminiscent of cast iron. I’m pleased with the effect.

An advantage of this is that the paint dried to the touch very quickly, so I was able to flip the tubes end for end and give them one more light spray to colour the ends that had been in contact with the foam board block.

I finished the load by tying E-Z Line across the stakes, following an AAR loading diagram in Railway Prototype Cyclopedia 20:

 photo RPCYC-20-Cover_zpsuocd3zg2.jpeg

What’s a load of pipe doing coming in from the United States in the mid-1950s, when Ontario is full of heavy industry that could supply this? Well, good question. I don’t know – and I don’t care.

I like these NYC gondolas (built by Pierre Oliver from Funaro and Camerlengo resin kits*)… and there are exactly zero CNR prototype gondolas available in S scale.

So, this is a case of making do with what’s available, and I’m fine with that. It’s all part of life in a niche scale. If and when CNR prototype gondolas come to market, I will gladly buy a bunch. Or, maybe I’ll build my own once I have the layout finished.

Meantime, the residents of Port Rowan will be happy, because the town is getting a load of pipe to upgrade their services.

(*This car was not one of the ones I picked up from Pierre during this week’s visit. I’ve actually had this one on my “to-finish” list for about a year while I decided what sort of load to put in it. I’m glad I waited…)

9 thoughts on “NYC 399671 + pipe load

  1. Perhaps NYC 399671 made a delivery in Ontario and was then used to make this delivery on its way to the Central?

    • Hi Brian:

      That’s certainly possible.

      I know a little bit about how empty cars were handled, and about grabbing an empty and reloading it providing the load was in the direction of the origin of the car. I have a copy of the AAR’s Freight Car Distribution and Car Handling in the United States (which also has useful information for Canada). It includes a description of the zones and provides several good examples.

      What I’m not clear on is whether sending a car down the branch to Port Rowan constitutes “moving the car in the direction of home”. It feels like a detour to me – but perhaps it’s an acceptable detour. Maybe somebody who works on a railway, or who knows more about car handling, can help me with this…


      • A little bit of cheating, perhaps? Certainly this kind of pipe was made in Hamilton, and could have been sent to Port Rowan, then returned empty to Hagersville for interchange to the NYC?

        But there were two quarries at Hagersville served both by NYC and CN, so…

        • Good idea, Steve – I could route the car back via the NYC/CASO interchange at Hagersville.
          And yes, I have been thinking about the quarries. I have another one of these NYC gondolas that I propose to load with large stone – perhaps to create a breakwater for the harbour at Port Rowan.

      • I have read from a number of people claiming experience as a clerk that the rules were often “bent” or largely ignored if the easiest and quickest way to supply a needed car was to violate them. You even see off-line cars serving in work trains from time to time! During the boxcar shortage after WWII the AAR sent out lots of notices trying to get railroads to pay more attention to the rules.

        • Working directly with customers myself, I know that while there are ‘rules’ we are supposed to follow (for reasons both good and not so reasonable), when we have a guest in front of us, it is, on occasion, necessary to bend or break the ‘rules’. I cannot imagine that it would be any different with the railway.

          I cannot see a station agent telling a valuable customer “Hey look, I know you need a car, but I can’t give you that one because it’s against the rules.”

          Besides, just how ‘enforceable’ are the rules anyhow?

          That’s not to say that the railways didn’t at least try to follow the rules, but when they needed to bend or break them, especially in the ‘trenches’, I can’t seem them not doing so.

          • There sometimes was bottled or other “consideration” given staff for a customer getting cars when needed…

  2. Did you consider a hollow pipe load? Use full length tubes for the sides and top and short pieces to represent the ends of other tubes, so that the center of the stack is empty.

    On the down side, this may be more trouble than it is worth. There may be other reasons for not doing it. For example, the use of dunnage may open up the load enough to make the interior visible.

    • Hi Bill:
      This is a hollow pipe load. I didn’t bother mentioning that because it’s pretty standard and I wanted to focus on the painting rack. But perhaps I should have mentioned it.
      About half the pipes were cut into quarters and placed at the bottom of the car – one quarter at each end of the car, in line with each other – to increase the apparent number of pipes in the load.

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