On the afternoon of Friday August 1, eastbound CN freight train No 368 derailed one car around Mi 155 of CN's Kingston Sub, east of Gananoque Jct. Subsequent events included five more cars derailed and westbound VIA train No 47 striking some of the derailed equipment, resulting in damage to the train including 6424's fuel tank. As a result, CN and VIA traffic was halted. CN No 376 was held at Kingston. Between 2000 and 2200, an impromptu VIA 1 No 669-B was put together to head west from Kingston's VIA station, comprising deadhead equipment from No 42(wyed at Kingston)-No 64-No 44, including two cars of passengers. Consist: 6405-3475-3334-3351-3367-3311-3343-3307-3600-918-4110-4106-4103-4109-4006-8622-6404-6412.
A heads-up on Saturday (thanks Dave and Paul!) resulted in some power-railfanning at Kingston station. More specifically, three J-trains in 20 minutes, including the most rare triple J-train (reminding me of that old song, K-K-K-Katy dating from the First World War). This would be a J-J-J-Train! First to arrive was No 643/641 at 1140: 903-6418-3451R-3332R-3363-3370-6451-3469R-3324-3322-3325. The R denotes Renaissance-painted coaches.
The engineer mentioned that there was only one car left at the derailment site - a box car parallel to the tracks but off the ballast. Belleville yard power operated as a work extra the night before to remove rerailed cars. In case you forget where you are, VIA's signage helps:
The jumbo J-J-J-Train appeared just after the westbound rounded the distant curve under the Centennial Drive overpass. VIA had publicized the advent of Saturday's J-trains on its website, though somewhat confoundingly. In reality, this was two occupied consists and a set of deadhead equipment. No 50/52/DH eqpt eastbound at 1150. Consist: 6445-3453R-3355-3318-3368-912-3452R-3336-3341-3313-3371-910-3472R-3319R-3328R
Those are not miscreants, just a young family who has brought their son and remote control car to an impromptu dirt course at the west end of the platform (above).
I recall seeing only one previous J-J-J-train. It also operated after a derailment, departing Kingston as the deadhead equipment of bustituted VIA No 51/641/53 on March 21/09. Its consist was 915-3 LRC cars-905-5 LRC cars-901-7 Renaissance cars, though I was not able to note the full consist or photograph this earlier J-J-J-train. These photos are taken from the north (shaded) side. I then decided to head over to the south side, to see the opposite, better-lit side of the titanic train on Track 2.
The last third of this vast VIA, this elephantine elongation, this plethora of passenger cars, this train-borne trifecta, this Brobdingnagian brute, this cyclopean colossus seen departing east over the John Counter Boulevard crossing. Hey, it's a big'un!
A second J-train was following the previous eastbound. No 60/62 arrived at 1200. Consist: 909-4000-4105-4118-4113-902-3461R-3369-3340-3329-3312, a nice mix of two P42's pulling HEP2 and LRC coaches. At least two other HEP2 trains were operating this afternoon - No 63 with 5 cars but no baggage, and No 64 with the HEP2 consist from last night's No 669-B.
This post finds me wallowing in nostalgia, for the days when the Kingston station platform was regularly filled by trains much longer than today's 3-6 cars. Imagine 18 cars during the April 1978 airline strike (thanks, Dave!) or the 9-15 car trains regularly operating in the early VIA era that reached w-a-a-a-y to the end of the north track platform. Same city, same station, same carrier:
WW1 started 100 years ago - that song K-K-K-Katy was actually written in Kingston by Geoffrey O'Hara, about local lass Katy Richardson. Geoffrey often visited his family's rented cottage near here, on Collins Bay. The song was first performed at a garden party at the next-door home of A.M. Rankin. It became a million-seller! Read more in Kingston During the Great War compiled by Peter Gower, on sale at Kingston's Novel Idea bookstore.