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An example of another mostly forgotten idea..... Car-go-rail on CN. I know little of this experiment and hopefully a walking encyclopedia or two on this RP group can fill in missing details. This image is of the auto car #CEXX 9500. I'm wondering how many of these there were. The Car-go-rail was an adventure started up @ 1975 in which special autotrasporters with swing doors on the ends (a la Auto Train) enabled travelers to have their car shipped to special destinations around the country while they either took the passenger train (preferred)or went by the friendly skies. CN advertised this as a way to avoid highway congestion and stress, you instead had your car delivered in "Traveliving" comfort. Your car was to be accepted and delivered to you at convenient downtown locations.......washed and ready to go. At the start-up of this idea here were 8 sites at which scheduled Car-go-rail service was available. Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. CN further advertised "Canpark Services Ltd provided over the road pickup and delivery services linked with most cities in the Car-go-rail network.  So.......how long did this service last? Did it "bomb out"?? Seeing this railcar 18 years after the fact had me wondering about it all but never did really find out much.........anyone?? Sure seems much-ado for little profit.
Copyright Notice: This image ©A.W. Mooney all rights reserved.



Caption: An example of another mostly forgotten idea..... Car-go-rail on CN. I know little of this experiment and hopefully a walking encyclopedia or two on this RP group can fill in missing details. This image is of the auto car #CEXX 9500. I'm wondering how many of these there were. The Car-go-rail was an adventure started up @ 1975 in which special autotrasporters with swing doors on the ends (a la Auto Train) enabled travelers to have their car shipped to special destinations around the country while they either took the passenger train (preferred)or went by the friendly skies. CN advertised this as a way to avoid highway congestion and stress, you instead had your car delivered in "Traveliving" comfort. Your car was to be accepted and delivered to you at convenient downtown locations.......washed and ready to go. At the start-up of this idea here were 8 sites at which scheduled Car-go-rail service was available. Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. CN further advertised "Canpark Services Ltd provided over the road pickup and delivery services linked with most cities in the Car-go-rail network. So.......how long did this service last? Did it "bomb out"?? Seeing this railcar 18 years after the fact had me wondering about it all but never did really find out much.........anyone?? Sure seems much-ado for little profit.

Photographer:
A.W. Mooney [965] (more) (contact)
Date: 10/xx/1993 (search)
Railway: Canadian National (search)
Reporting Marks: CEXX 9500 (search)
Train Symbol: nil (search)
Subdivision/SNS: CN Oakville Sub. (search)
City/Town: Aldershot (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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14 Comments
  1. Steve (headtailgrep): I believe that the car that GHRA originally wanted was an old 40′ boxcar with automobile end doors, *not* one of these guys.

    It was probably this one right here:
    http://canadianfreightcargallery.ca/cgi-bin/image.pl?o=cn&i=cn740310

  2. Again, MrDan, THANKS, great research, I must say. I didn’t even think to consult the CTG; I was too busy, I guess, cursing the fact my newest Official Equipment Register was 1968. :o )

  3. Doing a bit more digging, 9500 is one that ended up in that lot, according to the CTG. No name is given for the place, but according to a track diagram the customer on that spur was listed as “C.E. Matthews”, who today occupies the property as “Charles Matthews – Building Movers”. Thus, that’s probably who “CEXX” is. I’d guess they bought the boxes from CN to transport large and long moving beams in, which would be easier to load into the rear of an auto box like that, than the side doors of a normal, conventional boxcar.

    As a side note, they donated the caboose on their property to the Halton County Radial Ry museum not too long ago (CP 437123).

  4. SDfourty: The idea of autos going along for the ride via the Canadian or Super C would make sense of course, but I cannot ever recall seeing same. Since the majority of us shoot trains from the head end, well, I guess I would have long forgotten seeing an autotransporter after all those years. I can’t recall shooting an image of one until it surprised me on a freight in the 1980s. Nice that the Toronto image of yours has virtually something of everything in it. :o )

  5. While I don’t have the particulars – there was a Auto Carrier boxcar in Guelph for the longest time – parked at the Freight Shed (Ex CN MOW building which still stands today). Sometime around 1998 it dissapeared after having been promised to the GHRA (www.ghra.ca) and presumably it was scrapped on site. CN in turn donated a baggage car (NSC 1950). Members of the group have photos of the auto carrier, i’ll try to get a copy to see if it was perhaps used in car-go-rail service. There was a ramp at this CN MOW facility until only the last 5 years when it too dissapeared.

  6. Have a look at this image…extreme top right corner:

    http://www.railpictures.ca/?attachment_id=12520

    The ‘car-go-rail’ service was daily – summer season 1974 (?) to 1976 (?) – on the Toronto section of the CN Super Continental trains #3 and 4. The ‘car-go-rail’ enclosed auto carrier was always handled on the tail-end, sometimes with a regular baggage car too. It seems to me that this service did survive into the very early VIA CN era: summer 1976. After that these ‘revenue’ cars were (not surprisingly) handled in CN freight service.

  7. Thanks, MrDan. I did pick out 2 of those cars from the aerial view. Apparently NOTHING escapes the watchful eyes of the dedicated train buff. :o )

  8. If you look carefully, you can pick out 3 here: http://binged.it/1qxalAB

  9. Car-Go-Rail was dropped by CN-VIA in 1976. These are all long gone. I recall seeing one or two in the old scrap tracks at Mac Yard (now the construction waste terminal) circa late 80′s. I’m certain it left in a gondola… in pieces.

  10. After reading “the Blog” I find it interesting this service started a lot earlier than I had suggested, albeit under a different service name. In the clutter of my desk is a pamphlet issued by CN in 1975 on Car-go-rail suggesting this was a relatively new service. Given the concept, I have a struggle with the idea that this adventure was ever profitable.

  11. Thanks, Gentlemen, for your input regarding this service. I’ve not seen one of these cars nor the service in years, probably because I am rarely on the major east/west lines these days.

  12. Still in use ; but using regular autoracks… CN Autoport/Livingston Freight… I see loads quite a bit with personel cars enroute east/west

  13. Cool catch of an interesting car.

  14. I’m not too sure on the specifics, but Eric Gagnon touches on them on his Trackside Treasure blog:

    http://tracksidetreasure.blogspot.ca/2011/10/cns-car-go-rail-and-auto-with-you.html

    and:

    http://tracksidetreasure.blogspot.ca/2011/10/cns-double-deck-auto-transporters.html

    There’s something like 2 or 3 of these cars sitting among the junque in a lot just off the Bala Sub in Thornhill (at Langstaff).

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