ann arbor non-revenue cars
Just like any other railroad, the Ann Arbor owned specialized equipment for removing snow, maintaining the right of way, handling wrecks and managing derailments. Northern Michigan winters can be long and tough, with lots of lake-effect snow that accumulates inland, so the Annie rostered a couple of snow plows. Unit #4502 survived well into the 80s, and I have used a Walthers Russell Snow Plow model as the basis for my N Scale version of this venerable drift-buster.
Steam-powered crane #3187 was also on the roster. My model is a basic Bachmann undecorated unit that I decaled for the Ann Arbor. I will be scratch-building an appropriate boom car at some point in the future, and I do readily admit that this crane model is not a good match for the actual AA unit - but I am ok with that for now, as I am happy with how it looks and it will spend most of its time on a MOW spur!
The Ann Arbor also had some loaned DT&I equipment they used as ballast hoppers and tool cars, but those will be featured at a later date.
Special Purpose Tank Car
To assure sanitary operations of the car ferries, every once in a while a special piece of rolling stock would be shoved on board to allow a transfer of the boats' septic waste. The car selected for this purpose was a 50 ton insulated tanker, road number GATX #29584. Per Craig Wilson's guide to AARR freight cars, for obvious reasons this tank car was kept at the far end of the yard complex most of the year, but it was stored inside the roundhouse in winter months to enable local septic trucks to pump out and dispose of its contents. My model started as an ancient Atlas DuPont Chemical tanker obtained on eBay. After stripping it down and repainting it black, a set of white Micro-Scale tank car decals allowed me to re-create this unique special purpose car.
Non-Revenue Project Articles Coming in 2019 & Beyond
Boom car for steam crane
Ballast cars for MOW
Ballast cars for car ferry balancing
MOW tool cars