CN Charlottetown – Tracking Cars January 3 to 7, 1973

I’ve started entering the notes on reefers in Charlottetown from the scribblers I’ve been talking about before. I figured I’d start to share some of my first findings here. The notes are very detailed and list the car’s reporting marks, number, where it was and when it arrived (date and time) as well as temperature and if the car was to be placed somewhere else later.

First of all, here’s the distribution by reporting mark:

Reporting Mark Count
CN 31
MDT 27
CP 3
Total 75

I expected to see a fair proportion of the cars belonging to MDT and NRC but it was neat to see that the highest distribution belongs to CN cars.

Since we have access to neat online rosters, like the one at, we can dig deeper into the car numbers and find out what these cars were. First I took the car numbers and rounded them into groups:

Car Series Count Outside Length In Service Period Description Note
214000-214193 2 40′-0″ 10/1965-10/1988 Stl. Overhead ice tanks, underslung charcoal htr., cush. meat rack. x212000-212199 /65, re#254000-254193 /66-/72, 222055-222154 series /66, 215000-215034 1-6/70 & 219010-219014 6/71. Are these the classic eight-hatch cars?
223000-223026 4 40′-0″ 7/1965-4/1982 Stl. 28-70°F, pwr. unit underslung, refrig. unit in dr., compartmentizers, fresh products only. 223000-223001 x219000-219001 /65, rest x220012-220059 series /65 (orig. assigned 219002-219026). Mechanical
250001-254222 15 40′-0″ 10/1966-10/1995 Stl. Flr. rack, heater svc. only, overhead ice tanks must not be used. x210900-211399 /66-/72 (by changing 2nd digit from ‘1’ to ‘5’), some re#256500-256758 series 2-7/70 & 257500-257758 series 4-11/71. 40′ ice reefers
283000-289000 6 50′-6″ 7/1972-1/1979 Stl. Heated. x280300-280387 series /72-/74 (by changing third digit from “0” to “9”), ret. 6/75-11/77. 50′ mech. Reefers
290000-291000 4 40′-0″ 10/1965-1/1995 Stl. Compartmentizers, underslung alcohol htr. x290301-290400 /65-/66, 291027, 291045, 291044 & 291040 re#290701-290704 /67-1/73. Insulated box cars

I know this is early but it does start to illustrate some of the picture I was hoping to see from this. When these are inputted I think we’ll have a pretty decent distribution of cars to base a potential model railway fleet on.

Of course another potential way to use this to actually track where a car moves. For instance, car CN#251472 made these moves:

03/01/1972 Waterfront
04/01/1972 Shops
05/01/1972 Shops
07/01/1972 Reid’s

I am missing the notebook that would have preceded the one I am transcribing currently but I have the ones afterward. So while we can’t tell when this car arrived on PEI we should be able to track it until it leaves. Since no freight cars were assigned to the Island we get a sense of how long they stayed here in Charlottetown and how many moves they could participate in. I think this has some pretty tremendous potential for helping out with how we design model railway operating sessions based on car movements by illustrating how many places a car could go and some insight into the route it might take to get there.



  1. Yes Chris, the CN 214000-series cars were former 8-hatch cars converted to meat service with new cooling system and doors. As better temperature control systems were implemented, there were several rounds of renumbering for the 8-hatch cars as they were reconfigured for other traffic.

    1. Thanks Eric. I was pretty sure and it’s great to have a second opinion. I’ve heard that quite a few of these eight hatch cars made it to PEI so I expect to see more. This gives me more of an excuse to order the nice kit that GHQ are offering for these cars (for N scale):

      It would be handy to have access to when these cars were re-painted and if any ever received the lazy-3 logo. I saw this article on the GHQ forum for their model:

      Finally, I’d bookmarked this excellent thread on the Atlas forum showing a shot of one of these cars built:

      Great stuff. Thanks.

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