Friday, March 1, 2013

CN's Kingston Outer Station, Part 2

Once the yard at CN's Kingston Outer Station was stub-ended and the Kingston Sub mainline was rerouted, as described in the previous post the resulting yard was used by the local CN switcher.  In the background of the above photo taken in April 1985, Montreal Street no longer has to pass through an underpass beneath the tracks.  But wait a minute, what the heck happened to transfer van CN 76675? See those CN welders lounging around considering their options?
Well, this is what happens when a van is kicked too hard, on wet rails, towards a completely stationary stopblock!  CN's Ford road repair truck has arrived from Belleville to try to free the beached 'brain-box'.  This detail shot shows just how cleanly the friction-bearing former boxcar has ripped apart the backstop, even jarring one of its rear-facing inspection lights loose.
The station was also a repository for track materials.  In the following news clipping from October 1977, a crane is lifting bundles of ties in the yard, for re-sale.  In the background is CN 3735 and a CP newsprint boxcar. Concrete ties were once stored in this location in long piles, having been used in the realigned cut between Montreal and Division Streets.
The loading ramp was a designated unloading location according to a 1986 Belleville CN Car Control Manual listing "Customers with team track loading or unloading in that zone" in a customer list. Tracks KK21 and KK22 were designated for W.J. Allison Farm Equipment, and in April 1979, UP 215130 was listed on track KK22.

The former, now single-track mainline south of Elliott Avenue leading to the station (left of photo below) was in use in August, 1986. Westbound freight CN No 399 behind 2555-2027-2322 derailed at least eight cars near the Hanley Spur switch, and the dispatcher has stashed the first portion of the train in here, with 2555's extra classification lights still alight.
At Queens, eastbound intermodal with 2000-2319-2569 was held on Queens 4, while notable local railfans looked on.  The Toronto auxiliary is tucked in to Queens 1 behind 5312-5194.
Sometimes I visited the station during its waning days as a yard to find interesting maintenance-of-way equipment stored there.  In late 1984, a scarifier and tamper, plus associated support cars are stored in back tracks behind the station.  The former CN Express rail-served freight terminal is at left, to which rail deliveries were replaced by truck deliveries in the 1970's.  Previously, the Canadian Institute of Guided Ground Transit, now renamed TranSys Research Limited stored its bizarre-looking large piece of track machinery here:
In August, 1981 VIA's LRC demonstration trainset stopped at the station. On November 16, 1984 a cabooseless display train, with a wide variety of equipment types from Canada's railways visited. Years before, old CN boarding cars were stored here, including a former coach.  In this photo of the cars taken in August 1969 looking west, notice the wooden ramps which were used for circus loading of piggyback trailers. In June 1985, CN was laying fibre-optic cable along the 'Fast Track Corridor' between Windsor-Toronto-Ottawa-Quebec, and the plow and gondola cars of cable were stored on the still multi-track yard (looking east):
In July, 1994 CN's local section forces were still based at the station, since re-located east of Division Street, along John Counter Boulevard, beside CN's realigned curve.  CN's 1928-built red-brick repeater (telecommunications) building, later operated by CNCP Telecommunications, Unitel and AT&T Canada, is at far left.  CN's former Grand Trunk property footprint on Montreal Street had changed little throughout its lifespan, though the activities and the level of activity had certainly declined.
Watch for future posts showing more CN MoW vehicles, the fibre-optic plow train (and later, Ledcor's as it made another pass along the Kingston Sub!) cars on CP's interchange and CN's local switching functions later relocated to Queens.

Running Extra...

Today's new words are sure changing our lexicon.  Some examples follow.  When I was a kid:
-"synch" was something you did to someone's battleship
-"I M" was where you were i.e. "I M in the bathroom!"
-"latte" was part of a pickup line i.e. "So, you come here a lot eh?"
-"firewall" was an actual wall.
-"gastric bypass" was a highway one took to avoid a slow drive through a town named Gastric
-"big-box" was a desirable thing to find if you were about to move

I'm still listening to Defiance by Nechama Tec.  This harrowing story, later the subject of a 2008 movie starring Daniel Craig, traces the survivalist Bielski Otriad and its Moses-like wanderings through the Byelorussian forest, evading capture by the Germans in World War Two.  The ingenuity, will to survive and tough decisions made by this group and its leaders, the Bielski brothers, are nothing short of awe-inspiring.  Gotta see the movie!

I actually liked Seth MacFarlane as last weekend's Oscars host.  Sure, his material was offensive at times (musical number We Saw Your B-Units), but always clever.  Hollywood types and entertainment industry flacks take themselves too seriously sometimes, like a band of joyless, rivet-counting rail enthusiasts who sometimes forget that this pursuit is supposed to be fun and creative!  Seth was genial, smooth, and kept the ceremony moving, not allowing it to slow and falter like a CN freight train losing its air.


BArailsystem said...

"a band of joyless, rivet-counting rail enthusiasts who sometimes forget that this pursuit is supposed to be fun and creative!"

Absolutely hilarious! Made me laugh picturing a group of grumpy looking, rail "enthusiasts" at a train show pointing out every minuscule error. They are a thousand times worse than film critics!

Great read Eric!


Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Ben.

I was not intending to sound harsh, as most enthusiasts have their heads screwed on right, but sometimes there's a tendency to hone in on the detail, forgetting the fun.

That's why the BArailsystem're obviously enjoying yourself and your efforts!