Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vestibule View of Calgary, 1986

VIA No 1 has arrived at Calgary's Palliser Square station. At 1730, a third unit is being added before the train enters the foothills of the Rockies. Ex-CP 6651 is getting lots of attention from the white hats at the station. 6308-6614 have been fuelled and all three will soon head west on this overcast afternoon in May 1986. I was able to document our progress past Ogden Shops, Alyth Yard and into beautiful downtown Cowtown from an open Dutch door.
Painted on the end of the Power House: "Even one accident is too many". The Air Brake Shop is sans slogan, and the Locomotive Department tells us "Think, don't take chances". Brightly-painted safety slogan tank cars, three SD's, one switcher and black Conrail GP38 7764 wait outside. Named after I.G. Ogden, a Vice-President of Finance, the complex includes a car shop where dump cars, gons, coal cars, vans and a well-ventilated grain car congregate:
The CN overpass at Ogden Road marks the entrance to the west end of the Ogden Shops complex. As we roll by, 1526 will soon drag those cars in, once the brakie lines the switch and radios the engineer to start pulling.
Vans 437047-437309-437012-437162-437022-437046-437166-437045-437144 are classic CPR end-cupola wooden wonders:
Alyth is named after its namesake village in Perthshire, Scotland. As we pass the east end of the yard, it opens out to the north, with three yard jobs including 1507-1506 and 1503-1525 near the Pulldown Control Tower. A crew walks into the yard, and three tracks over, a cut of covered hoppers comes into view.
Western Co-operative Fertilizers WCFX 4566:
The yard is busy, with heavy equipment for export to Russia, tank cars, yard job, grain cars and wooden and steel end-cupola yard vans visible from the vestibule:
The Calgary skyline, including the 627-foot Calgary Tower looms over another small yard. The tower marks the location of the VIA station and the Palliser Hotel, and our one hour servicing stop.
Back in the vestibule west of Calgary, the snow-capped mountains approach faster than the summer solstice, but it's still light as we enter the mountains. To quote Van Horne, "If we can't export the scenery, we will import the tourists". What better way to be imported than with the wind whipping past an open vestibule?
Running extra...
Gananoque's train show this past weekend allowed me to double the size of my S-3 fleet for my HO scale Vancouver Wharves layout. 6516 in script now joins CP Rail 6528 at the 'N' Yard switcher track. Also a matched set of Patrick C. Dorin volumes on CN and CP for a low, low train show price to add to my railway library.

Gan once had a flourishing industrial waterfront, served by CNR. Unfortunately, even the last customer, Gananoque Steel Forgings has closed and the track that ran south from the Kingston Sub at Gananoque Jct. and underneath Highway 401 was removed some years ago. (That's "Gan-an-OCK-way", by the way.)

Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyer's Cut) on Bravo! Canada this week. Behind-the-scenes details last night about The Life of Brian. The unflappable Michael Palin gives the most reasoned and balanced account of the difficulties of making a parody that parallels history, about a wished-for Messiah.

2 comments:

Bryan said...

I always thought the Thousand Islands Railway would be a neat little thing to model. I thought the tracks have been gone for more than a decade though...

Regards,
Bryan

Eric said...

Hi Bryan, I have heard of one modeler of the TIR; it's a line worthy of modelling in any scale. The tracks have indeed been gone for awhile, and the one copy of the book on the TIR I have been able to locate is in the Reference section of the library in Gananoque. I do have photos of the DuPont wayfreight with cars of scrap in the consist.
Eric