Dear N Scale Customers:
Last year we produced a 48 car CP Rail Coal Car Train. This year
we will produce a 48 car Sulfer Train using
the Intermountian Bathtub Rotary Dump Bathtub Coal Cars.
Many of you may be asking why Pacific Western Rail did 48 road
numbers? Well that's easy to explain - have you ever seen a coal
train go by with repeating road numbers every 12th car? We
haven't, so we thought we would make enough road numbers to satisfy
most of our customers needs.
So we are now announcing our next 48 car unit train set to be
done in Sultran (with Horizontal Lettering). Back in 2005, we
lobbied Intermountian to produce the Bathtub Coal Car. We were
given our choice of an exclusive run on either of the two paint
schemes that can be run in Sultran.
Since the Horizontal Scheme is the more previlant of the two, we
chose to do a run of the Horizontal Scheme instead of the
rare Vertical Scheme.
Intermountain has released 24 of the cars with the Vertical
Sultran Scheme. So we will now release a 48 car set of the Sultran
Bathtub cars with the Horizonal Graphics.
We had planned all along to hold back on releasing these until
Intermountain had released the 24 Vertical Schemed Cars so you
would not have to buy all 72 cars at once.
We typically see these trains coming through
Vancouver in about a ratio of Horizonal to Vertical Cars of
about 4-2. So if you get the 48 car special run from Pacific
Western and get 12-24 of the Vertical Sultran cars that
Intermountian released, well you have a great 72 car black snake
with yellow sulfer loads. Add a couple of Red CP Rail Kato AC4400's
or a Blue Kato CEFX Lease AC4400 units to the fromt of the train
and you have an awesome site to look at and run.
So here they are, enjoy! We have included some corporate
information on Sultran and there opperations in Western Canada.
These cars should be of interest to all of our customers who run
BC Rail, CN, & CP Rail.
We will release these cars in about 3 months. Intermountain has
already sent plastic to China for the run. So the run size is
locked down. If you do Western Canadian Model Railroading in 1975
to present don't miss out.
Sultran Twenty Year History In the early 70's sulphur was a very
abundant yet low-value commodity and there were few markets for the
product in Canada. Logistics for handling and transporting the
element were chaotic, costly and unreliable. Sulphur producers were
frustrated by the inability to dependably and efficiently access
growing world markets. As sulphur slowly showed signs of escalating
in demand and value, it became apparent that improved methods of
transporting and handling the commodity would need to be developed.
These new methods had to be cost efficient, environmentally sound
and offer reliability and dependability to the sulphur industry and
By the mid-seventies the beginnings of a company that would assist
the industry were underway. Over the next twenty years Sultran
would have an important impact on the outcomes and achievements
this industry would yield. The result is a successful company that
through careful, thorough, and competent measures, transports this
commodity from the processing plants to tidewater in a manner that
allows its full marketable potential to be realized.
In September of 1974, Petrofina, Shell Canada Resources and Hudson
Bay Oil & Gas became key members of an eight-member industry
task force. They were assigned the responsibility of developing a
mandate for a producer-owned, independently managed, sulphur
logistics service company, incorporating the business and offering
shares to all interested producers.
On December 16, 1975, after a great deal of work by industry
members, Sultran was incorporated as a private company with
twenty-three shareholders holding 905,000 shares. In August of the
following year, staffing commenced in Calgary with the appointment
of the Company's first president and the opening of a tidewater
office in North Vancouver. By December 1976, the Company was
solidly in place and an eight-member team began the operation of
Sultran Ltd. By January 31, 1977, twenty-one customers had signed
long term service contracts, called User Agreements, with Sultran.
These Agreements solidified the industry's commitment to Sultran
and conversely, Sultran's commitment to the industry.
The User Agreement formed the basis of Sultran's service structure
and remains basically the same to this day. The Agreement is an
evergreen contract that automatically renews itself every three
years. Cancellation of this contract is possible by either party
and requires one year's notice prior to each renewal date, thus
illustrating the stability of this company. The current term of the
user agreement runs to December 31, 1999 and involves 24 user
customers. Sultran has been fortunate in never having had a User
On February 1, 1977, Sultran became fully operational. Sultran's
first billing on February 4, 1977 consisted of 8,083 tons for Shell
Canada Resources. Although the great strides of the company had not
yet been reached, it was the beginning of a union between Sultran
and its sulphur customers and shareholders, that would continually
progress and, in time, have a major influence on the sulphur
The logistics, handling and terminalling of this commodity is a
very involved and highly structured process. Rail cars are
currently scheduled into as many as 11 plants in Alberta and
British Columbia to pick up and load the sulphur. The quality of
the product is carefully monitored to insure industry standards are
met. Canadian sulphur is among the purest in the world produced at
99.9% pure. It is important to maintain this level of purity
throughout the transportation process and have it delivered to the
customer in this highly refined state. The trains are tracked and
expedited from point of origin to tidewater destination. Labour
force requirements, including independent testing companies, are
ordered to coincide with arrival times. Once at port, the sulphur
is either stored in stockpiles or loaded directly to vessels. The
commodity is tested further before being lifted onto vessels for
delivery overseas. Throughout the process of transporting the
sulphur, Sultran carefully takes into consideration the well-being
of the environment while strictly adhering to regulations and
policies that govern the industry. It now becomes obvious that the
transporting of this commodity to international markets is so much
more than a simple "train ride".
By the 1980's Sultran was solidly established and ready to forge
ahead. The success of working together with major sulphur
producers, marketers, railways and other suppliers had afforded
increased and reliable access to offshore markets and
ever-expanding volumes of business were being realized. New levels
of efficiency and advanced capabilities allowed sulphur producers
to better compete in global markets. The need to increase
efficiency and reliability and to reduce environmental impact led
Sultran to begin making major investments in rail cars and terminal
facilities. These investments provide solid returns to Users in
efficiency, reliability and lower costs over the long term. The
long range commitments made to Sultran by the producers made these
investments and improvements possible and allowed Sultran to plan
and develop for the future.
Since its beginnings in 1976 Sultran has always had strong support
at the Board level as well as from producers and marketers. The
Board of Directors have given Sultran the support required to allow
the organization to move forward. Much of the progress Sultran has
made is the direct result of the investment of capital in system
improvements. From the acquisition, renovating and building of
facilities and the establishment of related companies, to the
continuing purchasing and upgrading of equipment that allows
operations to run smoothly, Sultran and its subsidiary companies,
Pacific Coast Terminals Co. Ltd. and PDS Rail Car Services
Corporation, have not only been able to achieve significant results
in their industry, but have had positive impacts on their