Thursday, January 10, 2019

VIA cars stored at Ottawa

In October, 1993, several pieces of then-surplus VIA equipment were moved from Montreal to Ottawa: VIA 757, 1347, 5594, 5736, 5754, 9654, Evanston and sleeper-dome-observations Algonquin Park, Riding Mountain Park and Sibley Park.  On June 11, 1996 Sibley Park is shown stored at Ottawa Union station (top photo) and then on March 3, 1997 with a weathered, wintered look:
The cars would be returned by VIA 6402 to VIA's Montreal Maintenance Centre in December, 1998 along with six RDC's that had been brought to Ottawa for storage. Algonquin Park appears in this post on VIA's scrapped stainless steel cars. The three Park cars were retired by VIA in the fall of 2001, with Algonquin Park going to Luxury Rail Car/Bill Harman; Riding Mountain Park sold to Harry Purnell/Adrian & Blissfield RR and Sibley Park acquired by the Canadian Railway Museum/Exporail, all dispositions in 2004. Riding Mountain Park is also shown on June 11, 1996:
Acquired by VIA for possible Head-End Power conversion was ex-Rock Island "VIA 618" shown on June 11, 1996:
Arriving in Ottawa on VIA No 40 on February 7, 1994 but camera-less, I could only note the numbers and names of 15 of these stored cars! With numerous tracks not in use, Ottawa was a natural spot for VIA to stash cars awaiting disposition.
 Ex-CN baggage car 9667 was coupled to the ex-RI car:
Santa's slide scanner has been put to good use scanning these slides recently added to my collection. Watch for more nineties VIA in upcoming posts! 

Running extra...

Thanks to Lance Gleich and Bill Staiger for sending these festive Christmas cards my way:
Consistency. You can see it here or in the sidebar. The number of posts since Trackside Treasure was launched in September, 2008 (hence the reduced 18 posts for that year of inception!) Don't expect any giant leaps, nor gaps, in this very relaxed weekly posting schedule. This bunny just keeps going, and going...
WTF? Fun with F(oto)-E(diting):

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Kingston's Outer Station in HO Scale

My modelling is coming home to Kingston. Now that I need some (very recognizable) structures for my HO scale layout representing CN's Hanley Spur, I decided to build the first one visible when one 'enters' the layout - Kingston's Grand Trunk/CN Outer Station on Montreal Street. This is where the Hanley Spur begins, diverging just east of the prototype station and heading south while skirting Kingston's Inner Harbour and waterfront. The nearly-finished structure on the layout (top photo). But  wait,how did we get here to the solid limestone structure located at Mi 173 of CN's Kingston Subdivision? I made a point of snapping in-build photos, captioned below...
I don't know which manufacturer makes the sturdy brick station structure that I used. It was a train show find for a few dollars. I had visions of making it into VIA's Brockville station, never dreaming my modelled locale would end up coming home to Kingston. It's shown above with a prototype photo (above).

January 10 UPDATE*** Thanks to Andrew Jeanes for finding a current source for this Heljan Greenfield Village depot kit - Montreal's Udisco Hobbies - in stock for any readers that now want one! It's based on a Grand Trunk Western station, currently preserved at Greenfield Village,  part of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn:
Now, back to the build.....interestingly, the prototype had some changes over the years, and it has six windows, not five on the lower level. I largely went with the initial structure, rather than cutting in new windows or doors. Scaling out prototype photos, I found that my 7x4x3-inch dimenions almost exactly matched this existing station I'd picked up. Onwards!
Trimming overhangs at sides and front. It's Dremel time!

Adding the false roof. Deciding to clad the brick structure, multiple rooflines would not be an issue.

The roof is complete. Mansard? Gambrel? I'm not an architect! Could've been a little 'taller' though..

Photo-edited/copied/pasted 'limestone' paper printed off. Not exactly prototype limestone pattern, but I liked the depth of the design.

Original brick paper - from

Applying the paper. I spent more time on the other two sides, since these two would be less visible on the layout.

All four sides clad. Lots of cutting and piecing around those roof supports!

Adding roof fascia, making use of the previous structure's eaves overhang.

Adding fascia, with a second thinner layer added later.

Painting around the windows and adding second-storey dormer(?) windows.

Baggage door and signage plus quoins added to corners. Window sills and more fascia to come later.

Twelve-hour build finished. Funny, that 12 hours went faster than 8 hours at work do!

Running extra...

Dwayne Gretzky is a cover band. Appearing on Global News' Morning Show on Corus Quay (near Redpath Sugar on Toronto's waterfront), the group performed Neil Young's Old Man and Fleetwood Mac's The Chain. The haunting harmonies of both are well suited to the group! An all-encompassing set-list from their Horseshoe Tavern residency.

Usually, I don't link to the blogs in my sidebar, since they're available there. My brother Dave has launched a new blog called Lachine Peas - an engaging mix of Montreal, Quebec, Lachine, people and culture, most family-related. Some favourite posts I've discovered:
When it comes to New Year's resolutions, Annie Murphy of CBC's S*****'s Creek (it's a family blog) said it well, "In past years I've made the terrible mistake of making such resolutions as 'excel at sports', 'study anthropology', 'learn Italian and Spanish', 'become a dancer', 'learn classical piano without ever being bad at it' and 'become really crafty and good at decorating houses.' Needless to say, I end up feeling like a real garbage human after not making good on even one-eighth of one resolution. So I'm just going to make a vague and untreaceable resolution this year, and that's 'be generally better'".

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Dimensional Movements with KWUX 10

Dimensional load movements are usually interesting, whether it's a simple D-4 on a regular freight train consist, or a D-10 on a special movement. When CN's car-tracing information was public, prior to September 2001, it was easier to predict passage of special dimensional trains. Scanners helped.
On January 5, 2001 this Siemens/Westinghouse generator was heading to Albany, NY aboard KWUX 10. Due to its size, it rated a single engine, several idler cars and was to meet opposing trains on a straight stretch of track while stopped. CN No 321 passed by on the north track at 1015 (two top photos) just west of Mi 179 Kingston Sub.
No 316's consist: CN 5432 (CNNA scheme)- CN 603225-603255-four other empty bulkhead flats-KWUX 10-caboose KRL 074. Closeups of the welded bracing and trucks:
Interestingly, Siemens acquired Westinghouse's power generation business unit around 1998. This car is now placarded for Siemens and has been painted turquoise while retaining its reporting marks.
Slowly starting east again, with further meets to come...
Passing under the Bayridge Drive overpass through a snow flurry:
Over the next couple of months, there were more dimensional movements. Weekends were preferred, due to fewer trains operating therefore fewer meets for the Rail Traffic Controller to orchestrate:

  • January 14/01 (Sunday) CN No 364 Engs 5542-5500-5357 had dimensional loads on the head-end: HTTX 94138 with Caterpillar dump truck and CN flat with big red 'parts' of something.
  • January 16/01: CN No 423 Eng 9445-five empty CN gondolas-Schnabel car HEPX 200 carrying a transformer for the Lennox Generating Station-caboose HEPX 79640. This train departed Montreal Wharf on January 13 at 0800 handling a D-9R, limited to daily movements only, spending the night at Montreal Taschereau Yard, then departing Sunday morning at 1050 reaching Garry, ON at 1316 thence Kingston on January 15 at 1810. I photographed the train the next morning, one of the few trains operating due to the derailment of CN No 310 at Mallorytown. Departing on January 16 at 0730, it reached Lennox G.S. at 1330.
  • March 4/01 (Sunday) CN No 309 Engs 5340 CNNA with map-6014 CNNA with map-9671 CNNA-2453 CNNA with map-5655 had a CN flat with large cylindrial tank, QTTX 130602 with a transformer-CN 667912 with an Indeck boiler on the head-end.
  • March 5/01 (Sunday) CN No 316 Eng 9677 with WECX 102 meeting VIA No 67 at Ernestown and spending the night in Kingston, departing Monday March 5 once CN No 369 passed, with an upcoming meet with CN No 309 at Regis, ON.   
  • March 18/01 (Sunday) CN No 316 passed under the Highway 133/County Road 4 overpass at Ernestown, Mi 188 Kingston Sub. KWUX 10 was again handling a D-9 dimensional load behind CN 9542 and an assortment of idlers. Meeting a westbound waiting at Ernestown:
These tarped orange ballast cars are often used as idlers. CN No 316's consist: 9592-boxcar CNA 412591-orange ballast cars CN 30204-302295-KWUX 10-KRL 074:
Just passed under the overpass:
Heading east along the straight stretch towards Millhaven for a meet with CN No 369 Engs 5657-5510-50 cars, thence on to Kingston and points east.

Running extra...

Here's hoping you had an enjoyable Christmas and may be enjoying a few days with family and/or friends. Or just make friends with your family! Anyway, I have been putting some new technology to use, bringing to life a wintry scene of VIA's Flexliner experiment:
Digging deeper, peeling back layers of the history and operations of Kingston's Hanley Spur, for my basement HO scale layout and working towards our Associated Railroaders of Kingston module project.
Best wishes for 2019 - I resolve to bring you as much interesting, head-scratching and astonishing information and news-you-can-use here on Trackside Treasure! - Eric

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas 2018

Ever since our National Broadcaster put a 'ban' on the 1944 chestnut "Baby, It's Cold Outside" the rebel in me, and in a lot of people, has finally found a cause. Written by Frank Loesser, I'd say compared to a lot of the openly bigoted/misogynistic/inappropriate/questionable/parent advisory songs out there, this one's as tame as unspiked eggnog. But every fruitcake has a few nuts, and they've risen to the surface this Christmas!
As a way to say Merry Christmas to Trackside Treasure's readers, get the banned song bouncing around in your brain then try these lyrics!

I really must say (Baby it's cold Trackside)
It's almost Christmas day (Baby let's blog Trackside)
I really must stay (well it's been ten years)
Some topics have strayed (could be the beers)

Hey what's in this drink (Did someone say beer?)
Sure makes me think (Well that's nice to hear!)
It's time to pass on... (wait what did he say??)
...Christmas greetings, hold on! (apprehension at bay!)

'Tis the end of '18 (We've got a great team)
What a good year it's been (Bring on 2019!)

But I really must say,
Baby it's cold Trackside!

Chris will be planning again (John L. and his fine M&M)
Boyko will be out in the cold (Bern's Civil War never gets old)
Hammond will be nailing it down (and Dutka will be gluing it down)
Brother Dave will be running a scan (Lachance's modelling? I'm a fan)
Fuller will be Trackside as well (Simpson's mining a deep well)

But now I must go (Here's your toque, what's your hurry?)
It's starting to snow (Posts come weekly, not in a flurry)
But I really must say 
Baby it's cold Trackside
and Merry Christmas!!

Normally, it's the Running Extra section here...but at the end of the ellipsis is the excellent E-card exchange. I'm pleased to share festive greetings from  fellow bloggers, merry modellers and evergreen enthusiasts! 
Steve Hoshel
World's next author Mark Perry from snowy Manitoba!
Also from Manitoba, Jim Burnside
Modeller of Portage Randy O'Brien
Gary Hadfield
Paul Hunter
From Mi 182 Kingston Sub, Andre Gerow
Blog partner Steve Boyko
Rob Leachman, New Brunswick

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CN Toronto MacMillan Yard, December 2018

I'd reached the end of steel. Having dropped my $3.25 into the farebox and boarded Northbound Route 1 for Vaughan, I was now in the cool air of Vaughan. Home of Rapido Trains Global HQ and George's Trains. So many choices. But I needed a walk. And coffee. And trains. But not in that order. Exiting the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, I headed east. At least I thought it was east. 
Yes, it was east. I was soon atop the Highway 7 overpass at CN's Toronto MacMillan yard. It was so thoughtful of CN to provide Railfan Platforms so I could safely watch the freight action below. Did I say safely? At this point, the boulevard narrows, the sidewalk shrinks and when not on the Railfan Platform, I was mere inches from a steady parade of frenzied commuters, stone trucks, and full-throttle semis and horn-honking courier trucks. Not exactly railfan-friendly. Not really even life-friendly.
An imminent movement warmed me. Otherwise, it was becoming cold. Cold as a Bay Street banker's heart. CN 5760-2124, the latter with the flaming-toaster logo of the 15-year "shareholder bonanza" anniversary headed south from the west side of the yard (above). Forgive my lack of knowledge of the sprawling scene that unfolded before me. A spaghetti-bowl of parallel tracks! Mac-aroni! But let's leave that in the past-a! Ten minutes later, a second train departed south, having been parked in front of the yard office. DPU 2240 chugged by:
Just then, a four-engine train made its approach known from south of Highway 7. I moved to the east Railfan Platform just in time to photograph CN 2639-2684-2516 and former ATSF warbonnet (now barfbonnet) leaser PRLX 211. What would Chico say, indeed!
As the train slitheringly stopped, a second train slipped in behind it. CN 2181-2108 with intermodal/auto racks sidled in from the snowy south as the snowflakes shimmered earthward.
Now it was coffee time. Literally. At the nearby Coffee Time on the north side of Highway 7, I contemplated packing it in. This was not Winnipeg. It was only -1, after all. Fuelled by caffeine and warmed by the thought of more CN movements, I returned to my rather unsafe perch. Indecisive like me, CN 2956-8897 appeared from the south, seemingly unsure of where to go or which way to face:
Right behind them, this short local appeared with a wintry mix of motive power:
Those tank cars in the background were on a lead that led south under the Highway 407 overpass, holding more tank cars and covered hoppers. Their spur disappeared northeast around a curve behind a warehouse that appeared non-rail-served. CN 4726-GMTX 2264 led BAEX boxcars, a few tank cars, three Winchester & Western and two DJTX covered hoppers:
CN 4726 bore traces of its previous wet-noodle logo as 5506, plus its current scrappy stripes:
WWUX 4458-4461-4701, this one with the most graffiti:
A hump set that I'd been watching work the west side of the yard now pulled under the overpass: CN 6019 still wearing its CN North America scheme:
It was coupled to CN232-IC 6201 and soon revved up to push its long train of New Brunswick-bound cars back north:
Another headlight beckoned from the south at 1451: CN 5679-5783-5475-2340 led CN No 305. A cut of ICG bulkhead flats imbued with ingots were on the pin....
...faithfully followed by Fort Saskatchewan-bound gondolas with their distinctive bagged loads, including ATW 87070 and COER 800983, many more auto racks and a few Canpotex empties on the tail end:
Could this consist be topped? Probably not, but a final parting shot of ex-CN 1394 working CN's transload terminal just west and south would do. Having just pulled a cut of hi-cube boxcars clear of the warehouse, it returned for two more boxcars, while scrap gons between the two cuts continued a-loading:
Geep hump sets buzzed around, such as CN 7274-208, here having deposited 15 auto racks into the auto compound to the northwest, and now returning to the yard for their next assignment. The friendly crew waved, perhaps glovingly gladdened (as were the many CN vehicles buzzing around) that I had no nefarious intentions - or perhaps marvelling at my continuing survival in such a challenging environment. That little green sign says 'Halton Outbound'.
 The falling snow was as white as...Michael Buble's teeth. Time to head south toward Union Station!
This post has come full circle - first train I caught at Mac!

Running extra...

My three favourite places to be in Toronto:
  • Yonge and Dundas
  • Mac Yard
  • Kingston
Watch for Trackside Treasure's annual Christmas greetings post. Baby, it was cold outside but later on we'll perspire, as we sweat by the fire, and face unafraid the photos we made, walking in a Highway 7 wonderland. Ever heard of Seven View Dodge? That's a dealership, cleverly named to reflect the near-total lack of scenery in the area!
Full circle! Seems fitting that this might be my last trip aboard VIA Rail for awhile, and I'm publishing this blog post - my 600th including draft posts. And VIA has just announced its contract with Siemens for new equipment. Due to their bright yellow hue, I'm calling them Dayliners. But that's just a working title. And this LRC is rocking like a Dayliner!