Saturday 21 January 2023

CN/GTP Horse Car

 CN168108 Horse Car

It is the oldest built car I have on my layout it was GTP in 5/1889

1. Construction

This car was built from Cad drawings that I made from some pictures I have of this car and data from Ian Cranston's Canadian Freight Cars site. Styrene was used for just about all the construction. My main concern during this build was that this car would run properly as it will be a working car on my layout. Some parts were cut on the laser and lathe.

2. Detail

All the brake piping and parts have been added. The roof vents. The top boards on the wall. Trim around the small vents. Roof grabs. Custom decals. Cut levers. Queen posts are made from stick pins and .015 wire for the tension rods. I had queen posts but could not find them until I was done!!! Water tanks. Air hoses. Screen on doors, end doors and vents. Supports for roof walk, stalls, straw, feed and feed containers for the horses I know the cross brasses are not like the ones pictured because I could not make them work and have dependable support for the car due to the delicate nature of the parts that would have been required. So the design was changed. All the doors are glued on with tacky glue so the doors can be positioned open or closed.

3. Conformity

The building of this car closely follows the pictures of the proto type but not exactly. Some data was used from other types of horse cars. The car was built for GTP in 5/1889The car was rebuilt 1930 then renumbered in the series 168100-168122. These cars were retired between 1961 and 1966. It received an all steel under frame in 1930I did not have diagrams of the under frame or the interior. This car is IL 48’, IW 9’, IH 7’8”. The car has a fish belly under frame. The sides have 3.5 in vertically spaced boards on the walls and ends. The floor is 5in boards on the inside and out. The brake system is AB with a rising stem brake wheel. The exterior colours and lettering are correct for CN freight car per 1959The roof and the top of the end walls are plywood. It has a wood roof walk. The trucks are BentendorfThere is 1x4 strip added on the top of the sides and ends and metal on the corners where the ends and sides meet. It has 18”grabs, cut levers and roof vents. This car has no boards from car edge to walkway, when this car was built plywood was not yet standardized to 4’x 8’ sheets. The stalls are built to a common design that could be folded up on the inside of the car.


The floor, is finished with scaled and printed wood texture. These texture is cut out and glued to the styrene floor. The interior of the car is then weathered. The car was air brushed a CN red #11 and weather with chalks. The decals for this car were custom made. Straw has been add to the floor and a pile of feed for horses. Screen was added to the small vents, doors and end door opening using used plastic tea bag material.

5.Scratch Building

The entire car is scratch built with the exception of brake parts, trucks, wheels, coupler and box. The walls, roof, frame, bolsters and stalls were built from styrene. I drew the car in CAD. There is lead added between the sides of the fish belly frame to give weight. The walls, doors, centre sill, bolsters and braces are laser cut. The water tanks under the floor and the roof vents I made on my lathe. The wall and door board lines were rastered on both sides of plain styrene sheet, then the parts were cutout. The centre sill is laminated together with a layer of styrene on the outside and pieces of lead sheet in between to add weight to the car, then a trim was added to the bottom. The slots and holes for the brake lines were drilled and then used my Dremel to mill the slots. The bolsters were laminated together and drilled and tapped. The coupler boxes were placed and the floor was drilled and tapped for a 2-56 screw. This way they can be removed to replace springs if needed. The roof interior braces were laser cut. The roof was built and the braces in stalled. I manged to cut the walkway supports with the lathe, they are so tiny. These were glued on to the roof then 1x6 boards were glued to them. Due to the delicate nature nail holes were not applied. The trim around the small top vents was also laser cut. Door tracks, handles, supports, and small parts were added.

The 2 larger vessels are the water tanks

This shows the inside of the roof and the roof brackets that hold the roof panels and slides in against the walls

        Here is a picture with it loaded with horses. The stalls are made from styrene strip

The doors are held on with tacky clue so they can be put in the open position if I want. The window screen on the doors is from nylon tea bags. It is an old car at this point and is weather acordingly. The decals are custom made, it has a pylwood roof and was built before plywood came in 4x8ft sheets.

Materials Used


-.06 plain sheet

-.04 styrene .03 grooved

-.04 plain styrene sheet

-.02 plain styrene sheet

-.01 plain styrene sheet

-.005 clear styrene sheet

-.02, .04 styrene rod

-.06 styrene tube

-.04 half round styrene

-1x2,1x3, 1x4, 1x6, 1x8, 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, 2x12, 4x4, 4x6 6x8, 8x10 styrene

-.02 lead sheet

-.012 music wire

-.016 music wire

-straight pins

-1/8”, 1/4” wood dowel

-printed wood texture

-used tea bags for screen

Purchased Parts

-Accurail trucks

-Tichy AB brake parts

-Tichy 18” grabs

-Tichy stirrups

-Kadee air hoses

-Kadee semi scale couplers and boxes

-Kadee semi scale wheels

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