These HO models, made by Accurail, feature 3 car numbers, each with a slightly different style of lettering representing just a few of the various styles used by the C&NW during this quick renumbering. All three of these cars were retired off of the C&NW roster in late 1989. These HO kits come with Accurail trucks and Accumate couplers. (photos of the models coming soon)
In 1965, the Rock Island received a 1495 car order for 40ft 6inch boxcars with 8ft doors built by Pullman Standard. These cars were not owned by the Rock Island but rather they were leased from Greyhound Leasing. These cars were numbered RI 27850 – RI 29349 and by April 1976, the fleet had been reduced to 1405. When delivered, these cars were painted in boxcar red with a white RI herald and lettering.
Beginning in early 1977, the RI began a rebuild program at their El Reno OK car shops for some of these cars. During this rebuild process the walk boards were removed and the ladders on the A end were shortened. When released from the shop, these cars were painted with the then current blue paint with the large “R”. At the time of the shutdown of the RI in March of 1980, only a small percentage of the cars in this series had received this rebuild.
With the shutdown of the RI, Greyhound Leasing was tasked to find new owners for them. While these cars were not among the original RI cars that the C&NW received, 1308 of these cars did arrive on the C&NW. Rick Grossman remembers “As I recall, Greyhound (GL) was stuck with the cars sitting unloaded and idle on Rock lines, and they needed to get them off Rock property and to get the Rock stencil marks off the cars to keep them ‘active’ in the industry systems. GL came to us looking for a way to have CNW ’bail them out’ of their dilemma. We did a deal (which I don’t recall the terms at all) that was for nothing fixed in rental compensation but gave us full rights to use them and with an option to buy them cheap at some later point. GL could pull cars out of the deal if they found buyers or lessees for some of them and I recall that did occur on a limited basis. Ultimately, the cars were either retired or CNW bought cars on the cheap. We treated them as if we owned them. This oddball lease deal is perhaps why there’s not a file for them in the Car Diagrams book. Quite a few of these cars found service at Andersen Windows in Bayport MN, since they were in generally better shape than other CNW 40 foot cars. I saw it with my own eyes, but it still seems unbelievable to me that finished windows were loaded in old 40 foot cars, but that’s how the plant docks were set up and the loaders were remarkable at stuffing boxes of windows in the cars from floor to ceiling and from side to side with virtually no voids. Damage claims were reportedly non-existent.”
When the C&NW received these cars they had to remark and renumber them. This work was done, and usually hastily, at several locations around the C&NW system. In some cases, only the RI and the number were painted over, in other cases all of the RI lettering was obliterated. All of this work was done by late 1980. By October 1984, the number of cars in the fleet had been reduced to 821 through sales, wreck damage and the prohibitive cost of repairs. Most of these cars remained in their respective colors, with the occasional reapplication of marks and numbers as they became worn, until their retirements in late 1989.