Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Right Cars

Modelling a paper mill in the late 1970s-early 1980s may sound easy, but in fact, very little information is readily available. For Dominion Textile and Ciment Saint-Laurent, I was lucky enough to discuss with people how worked there for years and had a good knowledge of rail operation at these plants. Unfortunately, it isn't the same with Donohue.

Trying to figure out the right freight car roster for such an industry is more complex than I thought. There's virtually no good pictures of a paper mill of my modelling era showing rail cars. Most information on the web is quite marginal, simply stating the kind of products used (clay, chlorine in the 60s, hydrogen peroxide and such). Nothing new under the sun, nothing very useful for the modeller. Also, very time consuming though enjoyable!

Then, I decided to check up freight rosters on the web and railroad pictures websites. I found many information, but most is relevant for the 90s, 00s and 10s. Which is out of question.

In last resort, I browsed many layout depicting a mill. I quickly found out that most modellers are satisfied with a string a tank cars carrying a generic substance conveniently called "chemicals" and unloaded into some intricate piping supplying it into the "paper making processing"... Well, let's say they don't have a clue what they are doing, at least, no more than me.

I only know the fancy kaolin slurry tank car aka JM Huber and Omya are too modern for my era. I've been told clay was typical bagged and carried in boxcars in my era, clay slurry was a rare sight.

The real questions are:

  1. What were typical tank cars used to carry chemicals used in paper making in the late 70s-early 80s?
  2. What were the typical owners/leasers for these cars? UTLX? CGTX? Dow? Hooker? Occidental? etc?
  3. Do relevant pictures of a canadian (or New England) paper mill rail yard exist?
  4. Does some railfans remember what types of car composed a typical consist back then?
  5. Is there a book detailing typical paper mill rail operation? (No, I'm not talking about generic books for modellers how only state evidences...)
If you have any clue, partial answer, link, key people, whatever bits of information, feel free to leave a comment! I'm sure this question is shared by many model railroaders!

No comments:

Post a Comment