Saturday, March 23, 2013

CP Hospital Train - Service Cars

CP's 1992 hospital train moved a variety of obsolete locomotives west from Montreal. While these locomotives, including CPR 5468 were the most-photographed part of the train, it was challenging to satisfy my interest in those obsolete Service cars - the majority of the train's consist.  John Sutherland followed the train on its way west from Montreal, and has kindly supplied photographs of the train's trek west.  Marshalled at CP's St Luc Yard in Montreal (above), three flangers converted from CP's miniboxes (original lettering showing through the later-applied script scheme) were in the train. Here is John's closeup of CP 400571:
Cook diner sleeper, former tourist sleeper CP 411674 and other cars bear the 'R' for Restricted Rail Service Equipment, 'W' for Written Up/Withdrawn for disposal and/or 'A' Authorized for disposal.
Flanger CP 400574:
The train marches west out of Montreal parallelling the CN while passing disinterested Holsteins at Ste Anne de Bellevue:
A stop was made to reduce the load on 5468's Number 4 driving axle. OK for now, but not for good. Before long, the misbehaving trailing truck axle bearing under the firebox would sideline 5468 at White River for the winter.
Former double-door auto-box CP 299912  equipped with end doors, is marshalled between box diner 412778 and flanger 400571:

Flanger CP 400574 trails cook diner CP 411706:
Flanger CP 400569 is flanked by box diner CP 412689 and box sleeper CP 412631:
This is not the head-end nor it is a Distributed Power Unit!  Damaged GP9 8245 trails van CP 434669 along the Winchester Sub west.

Running Extra...
Imagine my surprise when passing our local Invista (formerly DuPont) plant at the end of CN's Cataraqui Spur this week.  Gleaming in the late-afternoon drive-home gloaming were several new ACF Center-Flow covered hoppers.  Unlike most of Invista's adipic acid cars with their DUPX reporting marks changed to INVX, these cars received INVX reporting cars when built.....
.....in February 2013!  Some of the previously-used cars were provided by CN or DuPont, and dated from this trip to the spur in 1977.  Watch for an upcoming post on the various pools of cars that have visited our local plant, and their unique "3077" label.  Just last week I had a model manufacturer contact me for up-close views of this label for inclusion in an upcoming covered hopper model.
Bruce Harvey's Caboose Coffee blog is a new resident in Trackside Treasure's blog roll. Bruce relates a rollicking collection of raconteur's stories from railway locations across Canada.  Bruce also operates Caboose Coffee Hobbies, an online store. Next time you have a chance, sit down with a hot beverage and check out Bruce's nicely-illustrated stories!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

CP Hospital Train - 5468 Continues West

Separated from CP Rail's 1992 hospital train  on September 25 at White River, CPR 5468 was set out due to chronically overheating axle bearings.  To help 5468 continue west, a 42-inch diameter A1A idler axle wheelset taken from CP M640 4744 departed Montreal on October 19.  The replacement axle was fashioned at Winnipeg's Weston Shops in the seven weeks after both axles arrived there from White River, and the original axle trailed 5468 westward aboard a CP Rail flat car.  
Having wintered in White River, 5468 departed White River behind GP38-2 3127 on April 19, 1993 arriving Thunder Bay on April 20 with Angus vans 434325-434447-434332.  The special movement passed through Portage la Prairie, Manitoba on a chilly April 29, with the flat car and now five Angus vans.  Stopping at the station (top two photos), a crew member drops down to the ballast to check 5468's axles before proceeding west. (W. Schellenberg photos)
The flat car carrying 5468's original axle trails its tender.  The special movement looks rather insignificant crossing the prairie, next to the towering Manitoba Pool elevator at Burnside:
An original CP Rail memo detailing the move:
The train as it arrived in Thunder Bay on April 20, was shown in the June 1993 BRS Branchline.  Bryan Martyniuk has since shared his original photo of this unique movement which caught him by surprise upon its arrival.  Thanks, Bryan!
Photographers, including former CP engine crews, were keen to photograph 5468's trip west. Merv Root shared this photo that surfaced twenty years later, showing 5468 receiving some attention at Swift Current:
5468 completed its journey to Revelstoke, British Columbia on May 2.  Interestingly,  30 years earlier, 5468 was part of 'A Show of Power' at Windsor Station from May 1-4, 1963. Sharing the platforms with just-delivered C-424 8300, 4-4-0 29, Selkirk 5935, and GP30's 8200-8201. The three steam locomotives were destined for the CRHA museum at Delson, with 5468 and 5935 arriving from Calgary, held since retirement and restored for the occasion. CP trumpeted: "Through the years Canadian Pacific has been in the vanguard of advances in the transportation field.  This display of locomotives, especially the new diesel units illustrates this point."  Who could have guessed that years later, this classic CPR locomotive would travel across Canada once again, albeit in a most unusual way!

Friday, March 8, 2013

CP Hospital Train, 1992

On September 19, 1992 one of the most interesting trains operated by CP in the 1990's departed Montreal. A hospital train - a shepherded movement of equipment in poor condition (perhaps more aptly-termed an ambulance train?) this collection of equipment was heading for Western Canada.  Comprising locomotives and cars for scrapping, donation to museums, or shopping for repair, the special movement's progress was expected to be one subdivision per day. Including three vintage diesels that had been moved from storage in Quebec City to Montreal in August (CLC H16-44 8554 visible at right above) and one steam engine, the movement was pulled by CP SD40-2's 5669-5619 and totalled 2237 feet - 2392 tons.   Most of the equipment reached its western destinations expeditiously, though the vintage locomotives departed Winnipeg on November 14 arriving Calgary on November 18.  The star of the movement would not.
CP P3k 2-8-2 5468 required closer to nine months, after being waylaid and wintering in White River for seven months. Looking like an in-service locomotive (except for the CP Rail cars surrounding it) the freight-colours steamer was photographed by Raymond S. Farand near Almonte, Ontario. Raymond also photographed the train at the Arnprior Cut, approaching the Highway 17 overpass (top photo).
Dave Estabrooks photographed 5468 and the train at Cobden, Ontario between Arnprior and Pembroke:
Bruce Chapman photographed 5468 at Smiths Falls:
Here's the complete consist of this most interesting movement. Most equipment on the train was Service equipment, with CP 4xxxxx numbers, heading to Mandak Metals for scrapping.  Other classes with different destinations of equipment are listed.  Where available, links to online photos of the equipment are included.

301763 flat car loaded with boxcar trucks
315041 flat car loaded with body of boxcar for repair at Weston
315103 flat car loaded with body of boxcar for repair at Weston
80277 XM boxcar to Weston
521008 FC flatcar to Weston
165182 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
5468 to Coquitlam thence Revelstoke Railway Museum
434703 Angus van for protect personnel for 5468
165178 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
165151 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
8554 CLC H16-44 to High River, Alberta, still in Calgary deadline in 2009
165266 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
404325 box car
4090 MLW FA2 to Cranbrook, BC
165281 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
165074 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
4469 MLW FB2 to Cranbrook, BC
403637 boxcar
412814 diner
412778 diner
299912 boxcar
400571 flanger
403598 boxcar
404671 boxcar
412682 diner
411674 cook diner sleeper
411706 cook diner
400574 flanger
415832 water car
35704 XMH boxcar
165205 XLIH insulated boxcar to Weston
E&N 292359 boxcar
412773 sleeper
404720 boxcar
404328 fuel car
421232 flat car
404493 boxcar
412777 diner
411671 cook diner sleeper
404920 tool car
404665 power car
404001 flat car
412689 diner
400569 flanger
412631 sleeper
404290 boxcar
434669 Angus van for train protect personnel
8245 damaged GP9 to Ogden Shops, Calgary

Ross Harrison's photos of the movement appeared in the BRS Branchline in late-1992/early-1993. What an interesting mix!  The vintage locomotives and a few boxcars (likely the ones on flat cars) had no operating brakes.

Some background information on some of the equipment in the hospital train:
-the three flangers were converted from CP boxcars (classmate 400573 is preserved in Revelstoke)
-404290 was converted in 1965 from baggage 4359
-411671 was converted in 1963 from buffet-parlour 6654
-411674 was converted in 1963 from tourist sleeper 6247
-411706 was converted in 1968 from baggage 4785
-412682 was converted in 1967 from minibox 246133
-412689 was converted in 1967 from minibox 243812
-8245 had its A-end drawbar damaged on September 13, 1992 by a runaway hopper car in Bromont, Quebec

Not having seen this train, this is my way of documenting its wanderings westward.  It would have been great to see all those Service cars together!  Thanks to Ray, Dave and Bruce for their contributions. Watch for future posts on CP's Service equipment - In Service! and what happened to 5468....

Running extra...

For a compilation of over 100 freight car, caboose  and MoW car photos posted on Trackside Treasure, click here.

Canada mourns the passing of Stompin' Tom Connors, Canadian icon and troubadour.  Stompin' Tom implores us to 'keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the patriot that Canada needs now and in the future'. Here's one of Tom's train-related songs, shot at CN's Parkdale station, featuring 6535 with its large numberboard numerals, leading a passenger train.  Can you spot the CN switcher behind the line of women scorned?

For some classic Canadian rail sounds, check out Jay Winn's Vintage Railroad Audio CD catalogue.  Jay Winn wrote a spectacular article on CN's Brockville operations in T-R-P magazine.  I've been enjoying GM, MLW, passenger and freight audio from four or Jay's CD's.  Here's Jay's business (car) card:
Next weekend, March 16 and 17, it's the Kingston Rail O Rama!  I'll be there with my Trackside with VIA book series for sale, happily standing at my table talking trains!

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 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.