Walker Express blogger Adam Walker captured this level-crossing view of Pacific's lair in a photo taken from Dowty Road crossing in Ajax. A notoriously rough crossing, it even rated mention in the Toronto Star fixer column in 2010 as being brutal while riding on or driving behind a bus. My Durham Region paramedic son noted that in an ambulance it is not a comfortable ride either.
Check out this Bing aerial view of plant and spur. Interestingly, another car stored at the same location (not Pacific) and visible in the Bing photo was stored just west of Napanee station. Ex-CN rule instruction car 15025, a Pullman car built in 1910, is stored in Ajax (with ex-VIA cafe-lounge 765) but when I photographed it in 1989 it was in a more agrarian, less industrial setting:
Pacific at home, beside the Mother Parker's plant in Ajax. The old girl is likely happy to be out on the road now and rolling again on its first outing since 2000, rather than penned up agonizingly within earshot of passing trains on CN's Kingston Subdivision (Toronto Star photo, 2010):
Pacific's debut after restoration was on a Montreal-Richmond-Victoriaville CN fantrip on September 15, 1973. Restored CN Mountain type 4-8-2 6060 led the black & white-painted consist, though it and Pacific were resplendent in CN green. At Central Station's distinctive high-level platform before the excursion, (left) 6060 fairly gleamed in the morning glow and then glowed in the afternoon gloaming after taking on water and fuel oil at Richmond (right):
My siblings and I were fortunate to be on this trip, having travelled all the way east from Kingston the day before at my father's urging. I'm the shortest, tousle-headed one, during a water stop at St Hyacinthe station.
Then a runpast at commuter station at Otterburn Park. Hey garcon, get off the roof! Form a photo line!
Fantrip photos by L.C. Gagnon.
CHUM radio and CBC TV personality Larry Solway was on the train too, seen walking alongside coach 5219 during a runpast at Upton (left). Double runpasts were held at St Basile, Otterburn Park and Upton. The tailend star of the show, Pacific brings up the markers (right) during an Upton runpast:
Until the fantrip, Pacific was a retired, semi-preserved repository for historical items under the control of CN's manager-historical projects, J.Norman Lowe. It underwent a complete refurbishing at Point St. Charles shops, with repainting in the original green colour of the Company to match 6060. The car's purpose was four-fold: to serve as a retail sales outlet branch of the Montreal sales store, a small museum for artifacts from the CN collection, a VIP reception area and to provide sleeping accommodation for potential cross-country trips. Note reapplied CN wafer heralds, brass railings and curtains on the open observation platform:
Once again, I encourage you to take the opportunity to support the Mother Parker's Remembers campaign for which Pacific is generating donations, while travelling along VIA's Corridor. Click here for more information on the tour, and if you feel this rail-related campaign is one you can support, click here to donate now.
VIA's Canadian is back up to its longer, summer consist. Steve Boyko of Winnipeg just posted some nice photos and video of the speedy stainless steel streamliner here.
Just finished listening to Dick Cavett's Talk Show. Can the laconic son of two English teachers from Nebraska make it big as a writer for Jack Paar and Groucho Marx? Yes. Dick's career spanned four decades. Unexpected best passage in the book is his account of the power of music.
A Washington state company has been granted salvage rights for the SS Islander, owned by Canadian Pacific Steam Navigation Company. She sank near Juneau, Alaska on August 15, 1901 with a reported 480,000 ounces of gold aboard. Did you hear the one about the shipload of yo-yos from China that sank in Vancouver harbour? She sank thirty-seven times.