Lumbering Along


Freight Car Friday 3

Lumber. Got to have it on my ‘road. And with lumber comes the Centerbeam flatcar – today’s featured freight car.  According to the miracle of Google Earth, a quick flyby of the QGRY Quebec City Henri V yard shows a lot of them.

Filename: MRR-NP0411_25.psdAccording to The Official blog for Lionel LLC, makers of LIonel Trains and American Flyer, ‘the cars have become increasingly popular in the past two decades. Owned by railroads large and small as well as leasing companies, these cars generally operate in pools like autoracks and intermodal equipment. They travel wherever needed for their next load. It is not uncommon to find different companies’ cars in the same train or even on the same siding. Also, because of the variety of products they can carry and the many different producers and receivers all across the country, it is easy to spot both loaded and empty cars in the same train.’


Funnily enough, this is probably one of the cars that I’ve had the hardest time finding. I have a couple of them, but am on the lookout for a bunch more. One of the projects that I am looking forward to is building some scratch lumber loads. Perhaps a post for a future Workbench Wednesday…Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 8.11.30 PM


2 thoughts on “Lumbering Along

  1. Contrary to the quotation from the Lionel article, I don’t see this type of car pooled in the same way as autoracks. With autoracks, you can see cars from any railroad at basically any facility.

    Yes, there are pool/lease (TTX) cars and a lot of shortline marks (like AOK, NOKL and SMW) but most of those shortline marks are actually used by the large freight car leasing/management companies for railroad-leased cars. AOK is Greebrier, and NOKL and SMW are both First Union. Beyond that, you’re also likely to see an assorted mix of CN/CNIS/DWC/IC/BCOL/WC cars, but those are all CN subsidiaries or marks.

    What I haven’t seen is any of the major US railways like UP, CSX and BNSF mixing in freely. When I do see those railway’s centre-beam cars, they’re on their own delivering loads of lumber with US company names on them. I don’t even see CN and CP mixing much, really.

    So yeah, this weekend I shot a CN train with a large collection of empty centre-beams in it, and the following reporting marks were all represented: AOK, ATW, BCOL, CN, IANR, IC, NOKL, SMW, WC and UCRY. Notably absent were any other large railways. Other than the shortline pool cars, all the rest were CN-family.


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