A recent discussion of freight units leading VIA trains, either leased from CN or rescuing VIA units included a rescue train from 1984. Jason Shron of Rapido Trains wondered whether I'd seen this consist. No I hadn't, and that got me wondering why. What was I doing on my Christmas break that year? Here are the results, following some research in the dusty Trackside Treasure vault. After a very pleasant Christmas party at Kingston's Hotel Dieu Hospital, where I was interning at the time, Christmas break began. The very next day, it was off to the chilly Kingston station platform .
Friday December 21: Kingston station 1140-1515 - seven passenger and three freight trains. (Above) VIA train No 44/54 at 1203: CN 4362-6624-deadheading backward Tweedsmuir Park-612-Boulevard Club-3210-5495-5541-759-117-3200-Chateau Laval-CN business car 95, including some through cars from VIA No 2. (Below) 1205 WB CN local behind 4566 and six cars, heading west from Queens on the north track.
VIA No 43/53 at 1205: CN 4360-6623-6616-9653-3226-4886-5455-5627-3241-Laurier Club. Second sections followed about 20 minutes behind both noon trains, each with two engines and nine cars.
Saturday, December 22: Hockey Night in Canada broadcast Leafs 6 - Bruins 4.
Sunday, December 23: Operating my HO scale Manitoba Western Railway, with Manitoba Pool elevator and grain trucks lined up with deliveries for Paterson elevator at Gladstone (below).
Monday, December 24: Christmas Eve, snow.
Tuesday, December 25: Christmas gifts included latest issues of Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman. Turkey. Stuffing. Stuffed.
Wednesday, December 26: Operating my brother's HO scale CP Rail layout, under the auspices of Happy Valley Railway Management. Long grain train on the upper-level Heron Bay subdivision, with expansive Thunder Bay yard in foreground:
Thursday, December 27: -17 degrees C.
Friday, December 28: No railfanning. Photo op with 1000+ matchbook collection instead. New Year's resolution - start smoking.
Saturday, December 29: Picked up latest film developed. Included steam-heated cars and cars from major railways on cabooseless demonstration train at Kingston outer station November 16:
Across the platform from the display train, a group of track machines including ballast regulator/broom and tamper, and boarding cars wintering at Kingston:
On the same film, a westbound LRC on November 25, possibly late-running VIA No 65 heading west at Collins Bay Road with 6927-7 cars-6920:
As well, Canada Steamship Lines straight-decker Whitefish Bay at the Kingston grain elevator, at the southern end of the Cataraqui Spur:
Sunday, December 30: Kingston station 1900-2000 - two passenger trains including VIA No 56: CN 4361-6637-5627-120-3230-5495-3215-Chateau Papineau-9623.
Monday, December 31: Painting and decalling two CP cars.
Tuesday, January 1: Shovelling the driveway.
Wednesday, January 2: Painting and decalling potash and grain covered hoppers.
Thursday, January 3: Railfanning 1300-1500 - two passenger trains and two freight trains. Inaccessible tangent track west of Benjamin's Cut, Mi 184 Kingston Sub. Walked north from Taylor-Kidd Boulevard, gingerly crossed a recently-frozen creek. 1330 WB LRC with 6900 on tail-end crossing a classic Grand Trunk limestone culvert:
Six minutes later, CN local behind 3741 with eight cars: covered hoppers, tank cars, boxcars RF&P 2035 and Railbox:
Caboose 79712 trails. It would be six years before cabooses were withdrawn from mainline service.
Far enough off the ballast, but close enough to avoid the pole line, shadow-nosed out of the low winter sun at 1402 EB freight with 2307-2003-2105 and a healthy cut of produce refrigerator cars on the head end. Smokin!
Friday, January 4: Hobby shop visit, building Elephant Fertilizers elevator from styrene. Then back to start the next phase of internship. Christmas break was over.
Happy New Year to all Trackside Treasure readers. May you enjoy health, happiness and hobbies in 2012. Cathy Griffin, Anderson Cooper, Ryan C. Crest and Dick Clark were all in fine form on the New Year's Eve coverage. Global TV included Simple Plan concert with backdrop 'SP' logos looking suspiciously similar to lettering on Southern Pacific locomotives' red noses.
Speaking of red noses, Rudolf Diesel likely never imagined his robust, high-torque design for a diesel engine would be ultimately used in the ugly-duckling ultrakanadisch GMD-1 , recently announced in HO scale by Rapido Trains. Be sure to keep tabs on Rapido's new blog, recently added to Trackside Treasure's sidebar. No doubt it will be full of information on Rapido's other impending releases: FP9's, FPA4's, and The Canadian.
Are you a foamer? Hop to it, get your glass in gear and see what's brewing at Steam Whistle Beer, brewed in CP's former John Street roundhouse. OK, it's also occupied by Leon's and the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre, and their event space is booked solid for the next two years, but my son visited and all I got was a T-shirt. Cool green T-shirt, though. Australian visitor on brewery tour "What's a two-four?"