Today’s freight car is the Cylindrical Covered Hopper – and you’ll find a lot of them on my layout.
QGRY provides rail services to both the Ports of Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City and both Ports have large elevator facilities for grain. At Trois-Rivieres it’s Les Élévateurs des Trois-Rivières Ltée with a storage capacity of 110 000 tonnes of grain, 78 000 tonnes of alumina and 20 000 tonnes of coke. The elevator handles a throughput of about 1 200 000 tonnes per year, evenly divided between grain and other commodities. The elevator can receive grain by ocean ship, laker, rail, or truck. It serves as a grain distribution facility to supply feed grains to the local Quebec market. It also receives local grain by truck for export.
In Quebec City, it is the massive Bunge silos with a capacity of 225,000 metric tonnes of storage space, used to store wheat, barley, corn and soybeans. Over 3.4 million tonnes of grain are handled annually, with a capability of loading up to 5,000 tonnes an hour.
From Eric Gagnon’s excellent blog Trackside Treasure: Cylindrical grain cars are one of Canada’s best-known contributions to the North American railcar network. Over 19,000 government covered hoppers, built by Hawker-Siddeley, National Steel Car and Marine Industries have been carrying Canadian grain on rails since 1972.
Also, there is an excellent post on the history and specifics of cylindrical covered hoppers at trains.com
Happily, HO scale Cylindrical Hoppers are pretty easy to find and I have a bunch of the excellent Intermountain Cylindrical Covered Hoppers – Trough Hatch Version. Now on to the fun stuff – graffiti and weathering them. But that is a post for a future Workbench Wednesday…