Saturday, January 22, 2011

CN's Symington Yard, Part 2

Continuing coverage of Symington Yard from Part 1: CN's Symington Division Manual describes hump movements: "Hump foreman will check hump list against car numbers and set up routes for cars or cuts in accordance with track assignments on hump list. 'C' Tower clerk will be notified of any errors. The pin puller will uncouple cars singly or in cuts not to exceed two cars, as directed by hump foreman."

In 1986, a hump set rests at the crest of the man-made hill, as another set pushes tank cars and gondolas loaded with pulpwood up-and-over(top). British Columbia Railway boxcars and bulkhead flats pass through eastbound. Hump set 7511-271-280-7522 is providing the power. These 7500's were renumbered from 211 and 222.
The other hump set included 7509-7514:
'Black widow' SD40 5200 and 5066 enter the yard from the Sprague Sub in June, 1984. A mix of grain cars stretches across mid-photo, parallel to Plessis Road as humping continues below gathering storm clouds:

Driving along the Trans-Canada Highway overpass over hump leads CX-1 and CX-2, hump set 210-264-271-205 push cars of lumber up the hump as the grain train continues into the yard. No fewer than four cabooses can be seen on the tailend of trains in the west receiving yard:

CN hogger Mark Perry did what any intrepid Manitoban would do when looking for a new railfanning spot on a bright winter's day. He headed up the stairs of 'C' Tower on a chilly December afternoon.
December 28, 2010 at 1430: It felt about 25 degrees colder than at ground level. Mark says he was dressed for it, as he squeezed off these remarkable shots. A commanding view of the hump leads and an intermodal train at left:
A view across the classification tracks as crews clear away snow. Note four of CN's red air-repeater boxcars on the last foreground track:
This photo of Symington from the Canadian Science and Technology Museum's CN Images of Canada gallery (Image #3558) reveals the following cars visible on the first 21 tracks in the photo. My estimate of the photo date, while not given, is 1973 due to the presence of CNWX covered hoppers in the brown-and-yellow scheme. Anyone modelling early-70's Manitoba could use this to give a prototype CN car mix in that era:

CN Boxcars 40':

6-foot sliding door-17
6-foot sliding door Maple Leaf-16
8-foot sliding door-18
8-foot plug door-3
double sliding door-3

CN Boxcars 50': Combination door-4

CN Insulated Boxcars: 40'-3; 50'-1

Other Boxcars: CP-3; MEC-2; PC-1; B&O-1; Other-4

CN Silver Reefers: 40'-4; 50'-4

Covered Hoppers: CNWX-2; other-5

Gondolas: CN-7; BN-1

Hoppers: CN-6

Flatcars: 3

Auto Racks: 6

Bulkhead Flats: 2


Tank Cars:NATX-1; Other-7
In the 1980's, run-through and unit trains, with the construction of four new bypass tracks, means less humping and classification. Symington was handling 18,000 cars per week - that's over 100 cars per hour. With a daily population of 3,800 cars, and 75 trains handled: 33 from within a 200-mile radius and 42 off the Rivers, Sprague and Redditt Subs, Symington was still a busy spot. Here's a post describing a grain setout train in 1978 on the Rivers Sub.

Running extra...

Foreman Doug Smith and a Holland welding unit working from Queens on the Kingston Sub these cold winter nights on a Rule 42. Good ol' duct tape used to secure the yellow-over-red flags at Kingston's VIA station.

Rapido Trains released their first freight car, a 37-foot General American meat reefer. It's a good-looking car, Rapido's first foray into the US prototype market. Hopefully this release will meat its sales targets, because there's a lot at steak. Hey, what's the wurst that can happen?

Some tasty chops this week on American Idol's season premiere. Of course I'm referring to the music. Oh, and there's also J Lo. She is a seasoned performer, as is Steven Tyler, formerly of Aerosmith. Randy 'Dawg' Jackson has not got a better offer yet, so he's back. Great background shots of ship and barge traffic passing by the Idol audition room in New Orleans.


Zartok-35 said...

A fine mixture of pictures here! Many different eras to be explored! I always like seeing wooden boxcars on the CN. Those pulp gondolas are intriguing aswell.

Eric said...

Thanks Elijah, quite a different mix of rolling stock than what can be seen these days at Symington. Spent most of my time in Portage watching those Rivers Sub trains. Wonder where that pulpwood was loaded?

Canadian Train Geek said...

Great post, Eric!

In some ways things are the same today at Symington. Three of the four GP38s you mentioned are still working here. The hump is still quite busy.

Of course, the railway car mix is different. Not so many boxcars, and of course a lot of containers.

The biggest change is the intermodal yard added when the Winnipeg Intermodal Terminal was closed.

Eric said...

Steve, CN seems to have done the same thing in Montreal - move the intermodal yard into the main yard which is not as busy due to more run-through trains and less non-local classification, and sell the former intermodal property.

Long live the boxcar. CP never had as many as CN, which is still boxcar-heavy, especially compared to a lot of the US Class 1's, which often run one 'boxcar train' per day in each service lane, with more intermodals in the mix.

Thanks for your comment,