This page illustrates the work equipment models I have built for use on the layout. Many of these cars are documented in my series of articles on non-revenue cars published in N-Scale Magazine. They are modelled largely from photographs, and where possible, field measurements. The goal is to assemble a fleet of work equipment which can be used to assemble realistic consists for work trains.
WORK CABOOSES BCOL 1813, PGE 1819
Between 1952 and 1957 the Pacific Great Eastern Railway built a fleet of thirty plywood-sheathed cabooses from old boxcars, refrigerator cars and stock cars. They eventually found their way into work service after arrival of the wide vision cabooses.
My two models are assembled from Briggs Models 3D printed kits with Miniatures By Eric smoke jacks and etched parts supplied with the kits. They were finished with acrylic paints and custom decals. Dave Mackinnon (Details N Scale) installed decoders and capacitors for the interior and track inspection lighting.
PRINCE GEORGE AUXILIARY CARS BCOL 6503, 6504, 6510
The Prince George Auxiliary was the railway's heavy wrecking crane and support cars on the north end. It was built around the 150 ton Industrial Brownhoist crane No. 6501 and comprised crane idler 6502, tool car 6503, cable car 6504, tie & truck car 6505, tool wash car 6506, cook diner 6508, and later, panel track car 6510.
Tool car 6503 is a Kaslo Shops resin kit for the outside-braced wood boxcars, with windows inserted and steps underneath the doors added. Cable car 6504 is scratch-built in styrene with Intermountain ends and roof, and etched detail parts. Panel track car 6510 is entirely scratch-built with sections of Code 40 track for the panels, and etched detail parts. The models were finished with acrylic paints and ORO decals.
Crane idler 6502 and tie and & truck car BCOL 6505 are built and awaiting paint, and the Brownhoist crane will be assembled from custom 3D printed parts.
PRINCE GEORGE AUXILIARY COACHES BCOL 6506, 6508
The tool wash car and the cook diner were scratch-built in styrene and utilized Con-Cor smoothside coach roofs. The tool wash car features correct 3D printed trucks, etched detail parts, and an assortment of roof vents. The cook diner car includes a roof-mounted water tank enclosure, roof vents, and a side ladder. Both cars were finished with acrylic paints and ORO decals. A special thank you to friends Chris Dittmar and Doug Davies who assisted with field measurements and photographs of these two coaches.
FIRE PROTECTION CARS BCOL 991932, 991939
The British Columbia Railway kept a fleet of tank cars converted for water service which were used to put out fires along the right-of-way, fill water barrels, or store water in locations where it was needed. BCOL 991932 comprises an Arnold tank body on a Micro-Trains underframe, whereas BCOL 991939 is a complete Micro-Trains car. Both have had the domes cut down and filled, and handrails fitted. The models were finished with Floquil paints and custom dry transfers.
POWER CARS PGE 990281, 993302
Power cars were converted from old boxcars and equipped with diesel generators to provide electricity for outfit trains. PGE 990281 was converted from a Briggs Models Minibox resin kit and was modified with end and side personnel doors, exhaust stacks, and louvred vents. PGE 993302 was converted from an Intermountain boxcar and was similarly fitted with end and side personnel doors, exhaust stacks, and screen vents. Both models were finished with acrylic paints and custom decals.
WATER CARS BCOL 993501, 993561
Water cars were used to provide potable water for drinking, and grey water for showers and toilets. Most outfit trains with bunk cars would have one or two of these cars. BCOL 993501 is a former boxcar with one end removed and a tank car body inserted, effectively creating an insulated water car for service in the north. My model is a Micro-Trains PS-1 boxcar with the 'A' end removed and plated back in, side doors plated in, end personnel doors installed, and a water hatch added on top. The car was finished with acrylic paints and custom decals. BCOL 993561 comprises an Arnold tank body on a Micro-Trains underframe with Gold Medal Models dome platform and ladders. This model was finished with Floquil paints and custom dry transfers.
FUEL CARS PGE 991104, BCOL 993454
Fuel cars provided outfit cars with fuel for furnaces, heaters, and work equipment such as dozers and front end loaders. PGE 991104 is a fuel supply car with six tanks mounted on an old 41' flatcar. It could carry different types of fuels. My model is a Red Caboose flatcar on a Micro-Trains fishbelly underframe and 3D printed tanks on the deck. The gas bottle rack was scratch-built in styrene and the bottles are a soft metal casting. The car was finished with acrylic paints and custom decals. BCOL 993454 comprises an Arnold tank body on a Micro-Trains underframe with Gold Medal Models dome platform and ladders. This model was finished with Floquil paints and custom dry transfers.
TOOL CARS BCOL 993020, 993024
Tool cars were used to carry spare parts, tools and supplies for work crews out in the field. They were converted from former boxcars, usually with few modifications. These two models are built from the Briggs Models Minibox kit and finished with acrylic paints and decals included in the kits.
RAIL & TIE CARS PGE 991130, BCOL 994016
Rail and tie cars were used to replace or repair track along the right of way. The flatcar carried standard 39 foot lengths of rail between low bulkheads at each end. My model is a Red Caboose flatcar on a Micro-Trains fishbelly underframe with scratch-built styrene bulkheads and lengths of Micro Engineering Code 40 rail. The tie car could carry four bundles of ties. The model is scratch-built in styrene on a Micro-Trains underframe and carries tie bundles offered in resin by Fine N Scale Products. Both cars were finished with acrylic paints and custom decals.
CAT TOOL CAR BCOL 993032
The cat tool cars were used to transport Caterpillar dozers to work sites along the right-of-way, and unload them onto the grade. These cars were converted from former leased CNJ boxcars and cut down at one end to carry a D5 Cat. A pair of ramps enabled the D5 to self-load and unload. My model is scratchbuilt in styrene with Intermountain parts for the 'B' end, roof, and underframe. The soft metal dozer was offered by Dmented Models. The car was finished with acrylic paints and custom decals prepared by my friend Philippe Whyte.
JORDAN SPREADER BCOL 996301
This 3D printed model depicts Type 'J' Jordan Spreader BCOL 996301 which was built by the O.F. Jordan Co. and acquired by the British Columbia Railway in 1972. Jordan Spreaders were used to spread and shape ballast along the track, and were also used for snow clearing in winter. The base model is available on Shapeways as a 3D printed kit. Jeff Briggs replaced the handrails with etched stanchions and wire handrails as the originals arrived broken. I rebuilt the cab with a new roof and BCR-specific details including twin headlight, smoke jack, Sinclair radio antenna and work lights. The plow was detailed with an airline and hose. Body mount 1015 couplers, trucks, wheels and added weight completed the kit. It was finished with acrylic paints and custom decals prepared by my friend Philippe Whyte. This model will add considerable interest to my ballast trains.