Thursday, August 28, 2014

New Spur at Kingston DuPont, 2001

These days, it seems industries are eschewing rail service in favour of truck transport. However, there are some plants that not only continue to receive shipments by rail, but maintain and improve their plant trackage to do so.
In October 2001, grading was taking place along Front Road at Kingston's DuPont (later Invista) nylon plant on CN's Cataraqui Spur. The excavation surely resembled roadbed for additional trackage to the plant, based on its flat profile and gentle curve away from the switching lead to the plant. The new roadbed left the spur, switch points eventually facing east, curving south, then crossing the main road into the east-end parking lot at the plant. The new unloading building and sub-roadbed were visible to the south, the new roadbed entering the plant property proper:
Later the same month, ballast had been trucked in, and some ties were laid on what was now obviously becoming a new unloading track!
Seen from the north side of the trackage from King Street, a hi-rail front-end loader and private contractor crew were installing the turnout to the new track, looking south-east:
The crew had started work after CN No 590 finished switching the plant on Saturday, working over the weekend to finish the installation in time for the train's next arrival on Monday. Looking north-west:
All was in place on a snowy, windswept day in January 2002. This view looks south from the east-end plant parking lot road. Interestingly, the plant Trackmobile seems to have road access from within the plant property on pavement, as it's sometimes visible between cuts of two or three cars. Note the derail and guard rail, as well as the gradient down to the fenced unloading area.
The new unloading facility at the east end of the plant was to facilitate unloading tank cars of one of the feedstocks of nylon production, hexamethylenediamine.
Locomotives would no longer have to enter the plant property to switch tank cars, but could instead switch the new derail-protected facility without the safety concern of moving around between the plant buildings with bell ringing! CN No 590 with engines 4100-4124 places cars for unloading in May 2002, with a new sign warning arriving employees of the new crossing on their way to the parking lot.
Note gradient of track, and derail to help if cars do start rolling out of the spur. There is room for about 10 cars on the new unloading track, which are often spotted in groups of two to five cars - a variety of INVX, GATX and DBUX reporting marks. Setting out loads:
 Pulling empties looking east from the plant parking lot:
The new-style hand-throw switchstand allowed CN's Belleville-Kingston turn No 590, later re-symboled 518, to spot inbound loads of the other feedstock, covered hoppers of adipic acid and lift empties from the plant sidings. Weather-worn CN 4810-4710 switch the plant (through the weeds that have grown in - top photo) in summer 2006 - similar view to the 2002 view of the two 4100-series Geeps (above).

Running extra...

Prince Edward Island modeller and blog partner Chris Mears has produced several unique scale locomotive and rolling stock detailing parts using the Shapeways 3D printing system. Beautiful CN Tempo locomotive short hoods, MLW roadswitcher hood ends, Youngstown doors and many more. See what Chris has created and made available to modellers everywhere. Oh, and then there's the very cool CN caboose project he's working on!

A recent evening visit to Brockville, ON netted more ships than trains - Riverside Treasure! A few short experimental videos follow. During an afternoon visit to Iroquois lock, saltie Andean last port Hamilton shot the lock downbound:
 BBC Austria, upbound for Goderich:
Canada Steamship Lines Cedarglen, also upbound a few minutes behind:
Downbound Zealand Juliana had been at Port Weller Anchorage for few days, after unloading at Sorel then Oshawa:


Anonymous said...

Fantastic article. So much fun to see photos, map, and your clear
explanations. thanks very much for making it available! If you had 6 or
7 of these, you would have a great book.

I am a new CN modeler (formerly IC/GM&O) and enjoy learning about
today's CN. I will look for HO versions of the switch stand you show or perhaps figure out how to make some. Many thanks,
George Christy
Pasadena, CA

PS sorry, I don't do readers. is there some kind of email system that
would send me an email when you
have posted on your blog. If not, I will calendarize my Outlook to check
your blog once a week.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comments, George. Great to have you aboard! I've begun a series on Kingston's Rail-Served Industries, available in Trackside Treasure's sidebar, and I plan to move it farther afield as I'm able.

We often forget that trains are made of individual cars picked up at individual industries, and I'm all over that, being a rolling stock guy and modeller, too!


GP9Rm4108 said...

Eric, do you know when and why KM35 was reduced to what it is now?

Also, 590 was a Belleville - Kingston - Maitland Dupont/Invista turn.

Every so often they would do work in Brockville that related to their work. I remember seeing it go through Brockville with 40 cars on occasion when the Maitland plant was still hopping.

518 as you know now does the Kingston Invista and 532 the Maitland one.

GP9Rm4108 said...

Where did you find that info on the ships?

Eric said...

Let me find a date on that KM35 truncation, Chris.

Yes, there have been a few iterations of the Kingston-Brockville turns over the years. Watch for an upcoming post on interesting Cat Spur power.

Regarding the ship information, check out Between the Vessel Passage page, News Channel and maps, there is lots of information to be gleaned on Seaway vessel movements!

Though Blogger does not seem to upload the video in HD, it looks nicer on my new Nikon at 1080P.

Thanks for your comments, question and information,

Eric said...

Chris, the storage track KM35 was truncated at the main plant entrance road in July, 2004. The former roadbed to the west was converted into a drainage ditch.

Based on the alignment of that pulled-up track, the warehouse at the west end of the plant was once rail-served.

Generally, there is enough storage on the two tracks for all the inbound covered hoppers. Watch for an upcoming post on the varied covered hopper fleets that have served the plant during my railfanning career: CN, NAHX, DUPX, INVX, TCMX et al!


Bryan said...

Hi Eric,

I'm always fascinated by these posts about the minutia of operations around Kingston, and this is no exception. For quite a well I wondered about the inconsistencies between track maps and the different views on older/newer Google/Yahoo/Bing maps, but now I know the whole story! Maybe I missed it (I should check the sidebar) but did you ever do a feature on operations at the Lafarge plant at Bath?

Also, boatnerding ranks right up there with railfanning (and planespotting). One question: is there a location near the St. Lawrence where you can kill two birds with one stone? I'd like to know if you have a suggestion for some future visit.


Eric said...

Thanks for your comments, Bryan.

It is pretty easy for CN to redesignate a track, and the record-keeping, or more accurately our access to it, is sometimes sketchy.

I do intend to publish a post on Bath Lafarge. Main barrier is that the plant trackage is quite inaccessible, and I can't station myself beside the Bath Spur waiting, and waiting. So I'll publish what I have!

Boatnerding, trainnerding, same thing! But as I always tell my wife - the only thing more ploddingly boring for her than train-watching is, you guessed it, ship-watching. The ship's coming closer, it's coming even closer, you get the idea.

Combining the two? The CN is tantalizingly, audibly close to the Seaway. A lot of the parts between Brockville and Iroquois are hidden by old canal remnants, small islands, Seaway excavation/fill/berms etc. I'm thinking St Lambert lock or the Welland Canal flight locks, perhaps?


Zartok-35 said...

That header photo has caught my interest. That's the #560, and it's passing beneath the Clarence Avenue overpass here on the home front, just a mile up the track from my place of work, infact.

Eric said...

Good eye, Elijah! It's a great photo by Ben Alain of the BArailsystem. Who doesn't like a good potash train, especially one with a PSC van?

Thanks for your comment,

GP9Rm4108 said...

Eric, you're going to have to get quite adventurous to go out and get 519 switching the Bath spur.

Eric said...

You're right, Chris. Good application for a drone, and a very patient operator!

GP9Rm4108 said...

Not to mention the fact that you're going to need some sort of night vision on it!