Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Then and Now: Kingston Sub 1976-2010

CN's Kingston Sub east of Napanee, Ontario runs through pastoral scenery: dairy farms, hay and grain fields, wetlands and woodlots. In 1976, not old enough to drive or operate a black&white Kodak Instamatic camera reliably, my brother and I drove the country roads twice in July to catch some CN passenger and freight action. In 2010, for this my 100th post, it seemed timely to revisit and recreate these scenes with today's VIA trains. Instead of a Volkswagen Beetle and 126-format camera, on August 25 of this year I was now driving a Grand Caravan, accompanied by my wife and pointing a 12 MP Fuji digital camera trackside at these same locations.

McIntyre Road parallels then crosses the Kingston Sub at Mi 191.51.

Then: CN train 43 Ottawa-Toronto at 1156 July 31 behind 6520-6868-6770, consist included 9647, Union Club, 5219 (above)

Now: VIA train 57 Montreal-Toronto running late at 1330. 902-86xx-4000-4007-4121-4114-4109-4103; fibre optic cable warning marker in foreground:
A large spruce tree at the bend in the road means this shot can't be reproduced exactly. Checked baggage is now handled on only one train per day Montreal-Toronto, and club cars are now VIA First Class/VIA 1.

Then: CN train 62 at 1312 with 6788-6861-3117 and 15 cars including 9636-Rideau Club.

Now: VIA train 60 at 1403. 64xx-86xx-40xx-41xx-4118-4119-4115-4105.

A CN signal bungalow controls signals at the west end of the Bath Spur. Passenger consists are shorter, and there is more emphasis on filling every seat to maximize the bottom line. VIA 6628 is the third VIA-painted unit I'd seen, and more would follow as CN and CP shifted responsibility for passenger service to VIA.

Then: CN train 44 at 1208 behind 6759-VIA 6628-6779-9657-Carleton Club including 2501, 5652.

Now: VIA train 44 at 1413 with Spiderman 64xx and five LRC cars.

Interesting clouds and having to shoot south into the sun at the classic steel and limestone bridge over Big Creek. VIA train 61 has an unruly passenger on board this August day, to be removed by police upon arrival at Belleville.

Then: July 24/76 at 1258: CN train 62 behind 6760-6863-3118 including 9630, Boulevard Club, 5620, 5283, 5208.

Now: VIA train 61 at 1457 behind 908 with four cars.

Passenger train speeds past this farm haven't decreased in the intervening years. VIA train 45 will hit the next talking detector doing 86 mph. The blur is real.

Then: CN train 45 at 1208 headed by 6765-6864 pulling 9657, Carleton Club, 5602, 2501 and others.

Now: VIA train 45 running late at 1525 with 909 pulling 4 cars.

Record-keeping in my first year of railfanning was hand-drawn tables by locomotive type in a scribbler . Record-keeping in 2010 was hand-recorded train listings in a scribbler. Spreadsheet anyone?

Townline Road crossing at Mileage 193.28 has changed, as has the railfan expectantly waiting for the next train. Two-lane, paved, with warning signs discouraging low-boy construction trailers from using and possibly hanging-up on the crossing. South of here, it's deer country. Watch out for spring washouts while driving a Volkswagen beetle. Airborne!


Anonymous said...

A "Difference of Decades, one of your best posts yet! Great job Eric.


Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Mark. I like your title. The first crossing has new timbers recently installed. I was surprised a)that the second crossing was so rough and in need of both timbers and asphalt and b) that the locals rocketed across it surprisingly smoothly.

Canadian Train Geek said...

What a great idea for a post, Eric! Well done.

Eric said...

Thanks for your feedback, Steve. There are several crossings and trackside country roads east of Napanee, and it was nice to retrace our steps and set up at the same locations. The next logical step is to do a joint post between Trackside Treasure and Confessions, entitled "Then and Now: Portage 1980-2010"!

I'm always surprised to see photos you've posted, or those at Portage from other websites i.e. railpictures, and how much the scene there has changed in the intervening years.