Friday, April 12, 2013

Colourful Cars on Queens Interchange

A plethora of colourful freight cars could often be found on CP's Kingston interchange with CN. CP cars, as well as a variety of cars from US railroads were left here for the other railway.  April 16, 1979 finds a CP script covered gondola, CP flat with two JC Crane Rentals vehicles and a speedy sports car receiving some last-minute securement, CP 290443 and other CP boxcars including fifty-foot combination door CP 202127 (above).  BN forty-foot boxcar 161060 is on the interchange on April 21 along with CP gondola 344327 and CP boxcar 202396 (below):
CP script boxcar 70099, Chessie/C&O 526765 (built 2-64) CP covered gon 344280 and Detroit & Mackinac 50-foot boxcar 2169 are on the interchange on June 2, 1979:
On July 16, 1979 a CP boxcar, Norwood & St Lawrence 100072, Conrail "can-opener" 169310 and C&O 22379 shared the interchange with a CP covered gon.  Interestingly, I noted that these cars were LEFT on the interchange by CP 8043 shown switching in this post about the interchange at Queens. Perhaps they'd been spotted over at CP Express, just north of the interchange? Notice how many CP covered gons were here, usually singly?  I believe these cars were loaded at the nearby Alcan plant. In 1967, CP began providing covered gons to Alcan, winning a share of CN's traffic since CN's gondolas still required labour-intensive tarping.
Cadiz Railroad 1143 (built 4-79), a gon IC boxcar 567753 were on the interchange track on November 20, 1980.  This was during the Incentive Per Diem (IPD) era when shortlines provided brand-new boxcars in riotous colours, usually more than they could ever store on home rails, to take advantage of per diem rates for their use. The late-70's/early-80's were the heyday of IPD, with the late-80's/early-90's seeing the end of this lucrative, colourful era as cars disappeared into lease fleets or were sold to new owners.
May 9, 1981 finds boxcars IC 524448, Chessie/C&O 482054 and IC 526212 waiting.  I wish I had more information to share about the origin and destination of these wandering cars, or had seen CN lifting or setting out some of them...presumably CN switched the interchange at less-opportune times than my usual Saturday morning visits.
Another IPD car, Mississippi Export Railroad (MSE) 934 waits with another boxcar on a sunshine-bathed early morning in June, 1981:
In March, 1982 Landis door-equipped SP 693866 (built 1-71) and a bulkhead flat repose in the sun.  SP rostered at least three classes of RBL-class cars equipped with Landis doors: SP 698500-699199, SSW 23000-23249 and 25600-25999.  RBL is the Association of American Railroads designation for refrigerator cars without mechanical or chemical refrigeration for beer, canned food or other temperature-sensitive commodities.  The plug doors are 6 and 8 feet wide, and this is a Plate C car:
Poisonous beer?  Probably not in this case, but I made a point of photographing the placard on the tack board and its interesting conditions...Heated Car...Explosives...Dangerous...Warning...Poisonous Fumes.  Are placards anything?  
In the waning years of use of the CP interchange, primarily CP cars were left here.  CP grain-loading boxcar 143015 (built 6-56) and script 143016 were here in March, 1982. Notice that both interchange tracks are uncharacteristically in use.  Perhaps CP's frequency of operations to Kingston was decreasing.
Here's another example of only CP cars appearing: appliance/auto frame boxcar CP 41010, one of a small but often-photographed CP 'scratchbuilt' class, usually photographed singly. On September 26, 1983 I observed but didn't photograph the following CP boxcars on the interchange: 40-foot double-door CP 100413, 100387, 100240, E&N 292534, 292059, CP 40-foot sliding door 52286 and 50-foot plug door 71037. A 1985 Whig-Standard news photo of snow removal on Division Street (street in background) revealed two CP boxcars and a CN Burro crane outfit.
Years earlier, in an attempt to be more successful at catching CP in town, I'd inquired and received a letter from the CP Rail Superintendent in Smiths Falls:
And now, not-so-colourful.  Here's a black-and-white view of the interesting mix of cars spotted on the interchange in April 1979, taken from the end of Rigney Street. Would you believe I happened upon this composite photo (that I didn't know I had) on the very day this post is to be published? I'd call that a happy happenstance, Kingston cosmic kismet, or an incident of implausible interchange incidence. Notice how this wide view shows the entire  scene from CP's inbound track at left, two interchange tracks, CN Kingston Sub mainline and two sidings at Queens East, the CP tail track, and the Division Street overpass that it leads to, formerly providing CP with access to downtown Kingston, by way of a bridge over CN that was removed in 1974.
Believe it or not, this post has languished in the queue for five years. I'll dedicate it to loyal (and patient) Trackside Treasure reader Jakob Mueller.  Instrumental in the genesis of my books on VIA Rail, sorry this took so long to see the light of day, but enjoy, Jakob!

Four undated photos purchased from Liz Reid show CP cars on the Queens interchange:
Classic covered gon and maybe a newsprint car for the Whig-Standard (above) and a script-lettered grain-loading boxcar 143116 coupled to what looks like Great Northern 319325:

More CP (likely) newsprint cars (above and below).

Running extra...

I've got a couple of cool Canadian model railway blogs to share: Trevor Marshall's Port Rowan in S Scale and Jeffrey Smith's Ontario in HO Scale.  I hate having to stumble across such interesting blogs haphazardly.  Perhaps Google or Yahoo could use their intuitive software capabilities to make this easier, the way they seem to magically place ads relevant to my email content?

Are placards anything?  The one I photographed on that SP boxcar is certainly different.  I have several others, such as Canfor, Weldwood and other lumber companies, plus Dangerous placards, Unload This Side and the smirk-inducing Do Not Hump. Before the era of computers, placards on cars' tack-boards carried important information re: lading and how the car was to be spotted.  They're easy to scan or photograph...would this be something you're interested in for a future post?


Chris van der Heide said...

I love those oddball CP rebuilt hi cubes, and I've been building one in HO scale.

Those cars were built for appliance service, and were notably used to service the Hotpoint factory in Hamilton, near TH&B's Aberdeen yard. I'm not sure if they were used for other things as well, but a small specialized series like this is usually pretty dedicated.

Eric said...

Thanks for that additional information, Chris. I did see one of the cars headed for Hamilton during a visit to Bayview Jct in 1981. Now the question is...what was it doing in Kingston? It was great to see it, regardless.

It'll be great to see your finished product...definitely a modeller-friendly car.

Thanks for your comment,

BArailsystem said...

Great post Eric! Those old boxcars had so much more character then the hi-cubes of today. I especially liked the jumbo multi-mark and the HYDRA-CUSHION "for fragile freight".


Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Ben. I completely agree that the freight cars of yesteryear had a bit more variation, distinctive identity and colour than today's, and although I like to wallow in nostalgia, I still really enjoyed being trackside to see the tonnage roll!

Your mention of the jumbo multi-mark has spurred me to work on a post about that distinctive logo, much as I did for CN's 'wet-noodle'. Equal time, you know...


Bryan said...

Interesting post; I like those random old box cars.

An off-topic question I forgot to bring up before and didn't find the answer to: when was the Hanley spur discontinued? I thought I read 1995 somewhere on your blog, but couldn't find it.


Eric said...

I don't have a definitive date for removal of the Hanley Spur. I'm going to say late 1980's. I think the removal was likely gradual, perhaps northward as development occurred downtown. I do remember the connection to the Kingston Sub just being gone one day I drove over Division St overpass. The same reason I didn't photograph much of the Hanley Spur I guess - opposite end of town...

The car control map I have is dated 1984, and there was at least a remnant when the RCO train was stashed in the Hanley Spur connection near the Cataraqui River. My Outer station post has some photos of the 1986 derailment where the train was stashed in the track to the Outer Station.

Thanks for your comment, Bryan. Definitely an interesting variety of cars on the interchange, including the variety available in that era...Detroit & Mackinac and Cadiz?!? Whoa...

Hope this helps,

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