Monday, 2 July 2012

1913 Canadian Pacific Box Car restoration

Recently I started a restoration project on a 1913 railway box car for Heritage Park in Calgary. The project was being done by Brian Manning, who is also the Chief Engineer at the park. With the first part of the job done, I"m now in the process of making the patterns for the remaining lettering. This was a tough one due to the lack of information available for the lettering layout. The problem you run into on jobs such as this is the railway didn't save the shop drawing from 1920 and earlier. The only source of information is from photos, which are also very difficult to find. I have the good fortune to have a friend that is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to railway equipment, not to mention his vast network of historians and collectors. I ended up re-creating the lettering by using a photo as an underlay and then re-creating the lettering in my sign program ( Flexi Sign). By measuring the height and width of the area to be lettered, and also the plank width on the siding, I came up with the layout. From this information, I was able to make a pattern for the graphics. Once the pattern was pounced it was time to go over and hang out at the train barn. There's something relaxing and rewarding about working on these old pieces of history. The stories they could tell, just think, 1913, just imagine what they've seen. Enjoy.

 These are just some of the working photos, I'll post more when I finish. Thanks for dropping in.


  1. Great post and pictures Rick! I was actually looking online for articles about classic car restoration when I came across your blog but I'm happy I did because I love trains and box cars. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. Thanks for you comment Charlie, glad you enjoyed the post. I really enjoy working on these old pieces of history, hard to imagine the car is almost 100 years old. Drop by again when you have a chance. I have another train project coming up you might enjoy.


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