Micro-Stories: Fun With Multimarks
©2002 George J. Irwin. All rights reserved. Legal Stuff

Here's a story about two versions of the same car that can be very confusing. It certainly confused me... well, that's not saying much. Anyway, let's take a look at what I call "Fun With Multimarks"... the "multimark" being the former symbol of the Canadian Pacific rail, sea and land empire. Even prior to the breakup of what was once truly an "intermodal" transportation company, this symbol had been quietly dropped from the paint schemes of most CP Rail equipment. Before that, though, there was some experimentation done on exactly how this logo was to be depicted on the railroad's rolling stock. This is perhaps no more explicitly-- and confusingly-- shown via the two releases of the MTL catalog number 24260, a 40 foot boxcar without roofwalk. (Is "confusingly" a word?) The original MTL version reflects what "might have been" on the CP, while the MTL reprint shows how the standard for how the CP Rail actually did these cars.

First, let's look at the "left" side of the original release from December 1995. I am arbitrarily calling "left" to be the side where the brake wheel is on the "left" as you look at the car. (Note arrow pointing to brake wheel "BW"). The multimark is to the left of the door. Simple enough.

OK, so here is the "right" side of the car (brake wheel is now on the "right", see arrow again). Note that in this case, the multimark is right of the door.

Now let's move to the August 2002 reprint of the 24260. I, not aware of how both sides of the car are painted (kinda tough to tell when only one side is shown in the MTL product literature!) simply assumed that the rerun would be painted the same way. And you know what happens when you assume. (Kids, don't ask your parents, as it will get me in trouble.)
On this car's "left" side, the multimark is left of the door, so far so good.

But on the reprint's "right" side, the multimark is once again left of the door. That puts the multimark on "opposite" sides of the car. That is, if you were to look down upon the car you would see the multimark at the "top" of your view on one side and the "bottom" of your view on the other.
Come to think of it, let's do that...

Here is the top view of the original run. The multimark is at the "same" end, in fact the "brake wheel end," when viewed from this angle.

And here's the top view of the reprint. The multimark is at "opposite" ends.
Simple to explain in words, no?