Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CP Detours on CN's Kingston Sub

CN and CP's Montreal-Toronto mainlines (the Kingston Sub and Belleville/Winchester Subs respectively) are sometimes fouled by derailments.  Since CP's line is single-track, the lack of redundancy can lead to detours over CN.  By contrast, both CN's tracks would have to be impassable to force a detour over CP lines.  This has happened east of Brockville, with CN freights being sent CN Coteau to Ottawa to Smiths Falls then CP to Brockville. Usually though, one track can be cleared and detours over CP are not required.

I've been able to document some recent detours. Usually, CN Rail Traffic Controllers handle CP trains when a window of time appears between CN and VIA trains, and the CP trains are routed over the shortest section of available CN trackage to bypass the blockage. Interchange locations Toronto, Brockville, Brighton and Port Hope ON; Dorval and Montreal QC have been used to handle CP detours on CN.

December 31, 1985: Along Sucker Lake at Mi 31.5 Belleville Sub, CP No 505 derailed eight of twelve units and 36 cars. Toronto auxiliary behind CP 5520-1811-1831 was at the site. On CN's Kingston Sub:

  • On January 2, I observed an eastbound CP freight at 1620 behind three CP Centuries, likely CP No 404. 
  • On January 4 at 1815, a CP eastbound without ditchlights was powered by CP 4564-4561-4500-8760, approximately 90 cars and van 434581.
  • Also on January 4, CP No 501's third unit had died: CP 5550-5504-5542 with van 434434 and the 19th car was being setout at Queens.
  • On January 5 at 0140, I observed CP 5958-3080-5721-5718 leading an intermodal westbound with Angus van 434581.
  • Also on January 5, a CP container train was westbound with three units at 1010, a westbound freight with three CP vans at 1400, a CP eastbound at 1445 and a CP westbound intermodal with CP 5527-5977-4504 and van 434113.
January 13, 1991: East of Bolingbroke ON at Mi 30 Belleville Sub, CP No 516 derailed 33 of 52 cars. CP detoured over CP Brockville Sub from Smiths Falls to Brockville, thence CN Kingston Sub Brockville to Brighton from January 14 to 16.

August 29, 1995: Near Tichborne ON on the Belleville Sub, a CP freight derailed some cars though they did not uncouple, and eight miles of  track was damaged.  CP 4678(sic)-5521 were eastbound on that day, with 5520 leading a westbound on August 30.  I observed CP No 902 with CP 5617-ex-MILW 6366 eastbound with 35 cars from the Bayridge Drive overpass on August 29 at 1125. Detours lasted into September, with delays over CN compounded by track and ballast work east of Napanee - CN's Kingston Sub was down to one track. (One year later, CP experienced another derailment, of 36 cars at Dalhousie Mills QC, Mi 42.6 Winchester Sub!)
Detours continued on September 1, with CP eastbounds running on CN. West of Trenton at Morningstar Road, CP 5757-HLCX 3023 led an intermodal at 1455 under threatening skies. CP's mainline is in foreground:
CP westbounds were on CP rails, with a mixed freight/intermodal westbound at 1903 5595-HLCX 6202. At 1820, an eastbound intermodal with 5648-HLCX 3679 was on CN at Lawson Settlement Road:
Also at Lawson Settlement Road looking west, an eastbound intermodal passed CN's Kingston Sub milepost and concrete mile marker at 1931. CP's mainline is in the background (below). The train had been in track 4 at Brighton, likely having crossed over from CP after a trainman walked the train. At 1943 a 70-car eastbound mixed freight with was 5657-4237 was on CP rails, as was a westbound at 2100 behind CP 1841-1802-1808. In Belleville yard at 2115, a long CP intermodal train with no power, CP power at the roundhouse, CP 5845 was in the yard, and CN was running short of power and crews, as the detours continued to take a toll on the capacity and crews of the Kingston Sub. On September 9, an eastbound intermodal at 1630 was powered by CP 5658-5585 at Kingston, with a two-unit CP freight of auto parts eastbound an hour later!
February 21, 2003: At Lonsdale ON at Mi 79.8 Belleville Sub, CP No 251 Eng 8654 stopped to take the siding. CP No 410's 30th car had an overheating axle which derailed into No 251. Twenty-one cars derailed, with propane tank cars being blown more than 1 mile into nearby pastures.  More than twenty-four trains were derailed from at least February 22 to 24, with high-priority intermodal trains detouring on CSX Chicago-Buffalo thence CP Buffalo-Binghamton-Montreal.  I observed CP No 159 Eng 8557 westbound at 1330 near Mi 179 Kingston Sub along Bath Road at the Bayridge Drive overpass (top photo and below):

The same train three miles west, at Coronation Boulevard (L.C. Gagnon photos)
CP No 159 met and helped CN No 306 at Mi 183 Kingston Sub with a knuckle, then approached Mi 184:
Two hours later an 80-car CP No 308 grain train was eastbound with CP 5776-6010-5662.

Mid-January, 2004: CP derailed a freight off the Garden Street bridge in Whitby onto the road below, resulting in two fatalities in a vehicle passing underneath. CP rerouted several trains onto the Kingston Sub as a result, including a westbound intermodal led by CP 9022

June 5, 2009: Near Oshawa at Mi 174 CP Belleville Sub, CP No 235 derailed four of seven units and 27 cars due to a broken axle on fourth unit CP Eng 4652. I observed CP Red Barns 9003-9010 on what might have been CP No 150, making 60 mph eastbound and meeting VIA No 65 Eng 911 west of Mi 178 Kingston Sub near Vista Drive at dusk.
Head-end, tail-end!
While the above represent major recent detours, it's possible that there have been others. In September 2010, CP experience a derailment on its Winchester Sub., and used its Brockville Sub from Smiths Falls then CN's Kingston Sub to Montreal from Brockville. I have to wonder if CP and CN will ever entertain directional running between Montreal and Toronto?  Unlikely, due to the presence of VIA trains and CN's double track, neither of which exists on other directional running locations in Northern Ontario and British Columbia.  Wouldn't it be cool though, to see CN and CP freights operating together?

Running extra...

Canadian Pacific: Now more than ever! We're selling off fully-depreciated stuff! CP will send out emails to those interested in bidding on assets for disposal.  A favourite is the ol' Tridem Container Chassis or obsolete 48-foot containers at obscure locations across CP's North American network.  Today's new offers: 4,000 turnable  wheel axles (I read it as turntable) but wait...a land-locked and weed-grown turntable in Kenmare, North Dakota. Kenmare where? This ain't Craigellachie! Perfect for that tourist railway or museum. Give it a spin!

VIA has commented on the just-released Transportation Safety Board report into the derailment of VIA No 92. I've read the 75+ page report, with its themes of cameras, recorders, crashworthiness and automatic train-braking system implementation. It is hoped some technological advances in the field of rail safety will not let this incident remain in vain.

Just finished reading Lions of Kandahar by US Special Forces Major Rusty Bradley. A moving passage about  air support rendered by two A-10s, callsign Tusk 16: "Pulling up, they started to climb into the darkening sky. The lead A-10 made a steep left turn and came straight toward Sperwan Ghar. He couldn't have been more than a hundred feet off the deck. I could see him clearly in side the cockpit as he rolled the plane slightly onto its right side, looking down at us over his shoulder as he gave us a thumbs-up. As the plane cleared the hill, he levelled out, rocked his wings back and forth, and shot straight up into the sky doing a slow, steady barrel roll. To this day, that scene is burned into my memory."


Bryan said...

Interesting topic, and it's sort of amazing how many CP detours you've managed to capture.

Did CN detour to CP after that derailment west of Queen's a few years back? I seem to remember another big one about 10 years ago near Maitland.


Bryan said...

Oops, that would be "Queens"...not to be confused with my alma mater.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comments and question, Bryan. It's a good question, too. I'll have to research that, as I am looking at CN derailments causing detours onto CP for a future post!

Watch for an upcoming post on operations at Queens (operations at Queen's would have to do with the Faculty of Medicine)!


BArailsystem said...

I also recieve emails from the CP "Sale Of Surplus Assets" robot. Another good laugh is CN's similar surplus assets page where a set of completely destroyed golf carts are offered and have been for sale for the better part of a year. "ACCEPTING TENDERS".


Eric said...

Right you are, Ben. As always, those CP boys will try to sweat the assets and make money on just about anything they can sell! Sort of like Canadian Pacific Kijiji or Ebay! One man's treasure...

Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

ar Eric, Greatings from St pierre MB in cyber-land. Detour movements over CN or CP are often emergency nature and of ad-hoc. Only insiders are usually aware of the priority trains and unless one is trackside with inside info from railway staff difficult to photograph. Flood detours in the Red River valley are frequent. Robert Gallager from Saskatoon at Diamond today. Shot 5-6 CN freights and Via no 1. I-Spy to follow on Mon or tues via telephone.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comments, Brian. These days with wide internet access, it's often possible for those with inside knowledge to share it, either overtly or covertly. This makes being a 21st century railfan moreup-to-the-minute!


Anonymous said...

CP crews I have spoke with said all equipment on CP track would be operated by a CP engineer with CN crew in cab.

Eric said...

Agreed, A.

And I would expect the same to be true for CP trains operating over CN rails. A pilot engineer would be a necessity.

Thanks for your comment,