Sunday, June 15, 2014

Napanee's Rail-Served Industries

While the previous post dealt with trackage around the CN station in Napanee, let's examine some of the rail-served industries north and west of the station. The CN Kingston Sub mainline, curving toward the station is visible at left of this photo showing two small industries: PET and Nabisco, only one of which was rail-served, with a 40-foot CN boxcar visible:
PET Milk Limited - Originally Farmers' Dairy, it received its first milk shipments in 1920 - a branch of Farmers' Dairy of Toronto, started by Mr. George S. Henry, later Premier of Ontario. Receiving milk and cream for the Toronto plant, and processing the remainder into a powdered skim milk by-product, the plant originally handled 2-3 cars daily. Purchased by Pet Milk Canada Ltd. from Acme Farmers Dairy Limited in July, 1961 and later the Ault dairy, shown with the former (originally Ross-Miller) Nabisco plant behind an LRC consist and a behind an eastbound freight in 1986. The dairy was shuttered during a divisive strike.

Nabisco - Originally Ross-Miller, the plant was founded in 1925 by Mr. J.K. Ross and Mr. George Miller, both biscuit bakers, interested in making food for fox-breeding farms then mainly located on Prince Edward Island. Fox biscuits, then dog and mink food was later added to the line, eventually  being exported to South Africa and Hong Kong! Purchased by Nabisco Foods Division of Nabisco Ltd on January 4, 1954, Nabisco installed equipment for the production of Milk-Bone brand pet food in 1955. Photographed as a very-modelable Zeel Footwear, 1989:
The factory is now an event venue - Doghouse Studios. We attended a cider festival there in 2018 and were interested to find some vintage advertising and traces still incorporated into the interior:

Formed as the Dominion Rock Drill and Foundry Company on Mill St., later renamed Napanee Iron Works, 1912 (above and below) this enterprise opened in new buildings made available by Dr. Cartwright in exchange for shares. Here they manufactured rock drills, industrial hoists, and Royoil boilers. During World War I, the works produced artillery shells for three years. Purchased outright by International Equipment Co. Ltd., the plant was modernized and the Canadian Canners property on the west side of West Street added to the operation. In 1957, manufacturing of railway devices and equipment, fork lift trucks and cranes began, renamed Napanee Industries. Eric Potter kindly shared a photo of Napanee Industries' unique builder's plate, not just a painted stencil, on a 52-foot CN flatcar:
In 1962, a new building of 11,000 sq ft was erected on the west side of West Street, and the street was closed to integrate the plant. Modifying railway freight cars and complete manufacture of flat cars commenced in 1964. The plant's name was changed to Napanee Industries (1962) Limited. A December 15, 1964 Whig-Standard article announces the plant's second flatcar order for CP:
Napanee-built flatcars numbered over 500 up to 1967, when CP 313500-313549; 313800-313837 and 1969-70 315000-315134 were built; also CP and CN early license-built Evans coil cars. Malcolm Peakman noted that the factory buildings were also used for rail car refurbishing by the Urban Transit Development Corporation in the 1980's. VIA RDC's and ex-CN passenger cars were retrofitted with safety features.
The aerial photo of this part of Napanee (below) shows that much of the heavy industrial operation was located east of Belleville Road (now an overpass over CN's Kingston Sub) across the road from NDSS, and west of Centre Street, bottom - just to left of Lasher Feed Mill) now an underpass. A scrap metal operation was also located here. Looks like CN boxcars are being rebuilt at Napanee Industries. CN's shop code applied to cars at Napanee Industries was ZC.
The former Napanee Industries property is now a recycling operation and Shelin Pools. September 2018 photo: Lasher feed mill is shown in 1985, and four years later, privately-owned business cars were stored here. During a 1989 visit, ex-CB&Q buffet parlour then 'The Roundup', later CN 4, 95 and 15111, then Private Rail PRLX 1915 Northern Lights reposed on a gloomy spring day. The car had previously been stored in the Lantic Sugar trackage near VIA's Toronto Maintenance Centre in April, 1988. (The car survives as New Century Rail Transport NCBX 100 in Pennsylvania.)
Passing by aboard VIA, it's hard to miss plastic bags and other windblown detritus scattered about the site these days. An unnumbered 1910-built Pullman owned by Dave Wamsley and lettered for Canadian Northern, had been a CN tourist sleeper and rule instruction car 15025. This car had been in service at Belleville yard, still in CN olive & black colours as late as 1978, now restored as Pullman Spirit based in Vancouver, after being stored with private car Pacific in Ajax, ON.) Nearby was a 1921-built ex-CP car, originally sleeper Glen Ewen, later business car Laurentian and Norris R Crump, resting off its trucks.
September 2016 Update**Interestingly, a plumber at my workplace recently told me that he worked on refurbishing VIA RDC's fleet brake systems for UTDC at the Napanee Industries buildings around 1988. He remembered only the Canadian Northern car being on the site. The cars were operated under their own power between Napanee and the Kingston Outer Station, where they were set out and lifted by CN. These movements took place in the wee hours of the morning! When only three cars were left in the contract, orange-dotted rotten ties on the site trackage allowed rails to spread under an RDC being moved on the property. This led to the RDC derailing and a subsequent investigation by CN. At great expense to the contractor, all the rotten ties were then replaced at the very end of the contract! 
While railfanning at the site and its minor maze of trackage that was still in place, a westbound freight with CN 5043-2119-2023 with Lasher's just visible at right on March 30, 1985 (above). CN train No 318 behind 9547-5093 (below) and an LRC train, too! The track to the left is the Deseronto Spur, running the five miles to reach the Mohawk Bay and the Bay of Quinte at Deseronto. A year later, the Railway Transport Committee of the Canadian Transport Commission's was looking into the continued operation of the spur, which had not handled any traffic since 1980. The CTC granted CN permission to abandon the Deseronto Spur in the summer of 1986.
CN recently added new signals at the Belleville Road overpass, and the third track starts at Napanee West westward towards Belleville.
CN car control diagrams (1980 above, 1986 below) KN55 Team Track, KN56 Deseronto Spur, KN57 Blind Siding, KN62 Lasher Siding, KN63-KN64 Team Tracks, KN 66-68-69 Yard Tracks - Inactive, KN 82 Storage Track.
Running extra...

A Napanee industry that's not rail-served is Bag to Earth (Sac au Sol, en francais). Ridding my yard of waste, I noticed not only the mark of this local enviro industry, but also the creative way to arrange three Canadian Tire bags to form a goalie: "Hey neighbourhood kids, I just finished an hour of back-breaking labour raking my yard. Feel free to pepper these sturdy two-ply bags with fast-flying pucks, poking holes in them, toppling them and filling the neighbourhood with windblown yard waste!"
Speaking of business cars and the neighbourhood, my neighbour shared a couple of photos taken this past January, of a special car in Cuba. The Mambi Railway Car was built in 1900 and apparently includes some noticeably Canadian components. The underbody detail is visible due to the bollard-bordered plinth the car rests on in Old Havana.
"Also known as the presidential car, for it was the private means of transportation of Cuba's chief executive. The original distribution of space makes it a true home-away-from-home, with all the comfort of wealthy men and politicans demanded for their trips. At present it is a museum that still has the original chinaware."
CP is offering for sale DM&E official cars CP51 and CP52 in the CP acquisition's attractive blue and yellow scheme. Ironically, these cars were formerly CP 2213 and 2219.

TLC's Railfan Sisters upcoming episode: Try to Contain Yourself. Double-stacks-o-fun with CN providing some photographable intermodal fodder along Bath Road for my migrating colourful Carolinian-Canadian sister:

1 comment:

GP9Rm4108 said...

You don't by chance have any of the Kingston sub car control manuals for the area from Brockville - Cornwall do you?