Friday, December 12, 2014

Thunder Bay 1979, Part 1

In April 1979, we made a school trip to deepest, darkest Thunder Bay, Ontario. We made known to our billets that we were interested in seeing some of the grain elevators and CN and CP action there. Billet Rob Lucy obliged, transporting us in his, um, "grey ****box" car down to the yards upon arrival. We immediately encountered both railways' gamut of grain cars, plus CP switchers 8122-8120 (top photo), vans 434587, and 437032 and yard set 6563-B102-7081, with B102 still in  CPR 'steam' lettering (below). The B102 was photographed in Vancouver by July, 1979; B101 which had received script lettering.
On April 23, we'd headed north on our Wagar Coach Lines bus. We met the southbound Canadian with two of three units in VIA paint: 1414 and 1416 (both painted in Feb/79) a CN-painted steam generator unit, a VIA/CN Dayniter and largely CP consist. April 24 - we visited Thunder Bay yard after arrival. We were offered a cab ride by the engineer of CN switcher 7034 as it bunted brown boxcars about the yard. (Drew Makepeace photo):
At 1200, an eastbound CP freight behind 8745-8736 burbled by...
...with CP hoppers, Procor and CP tank cars, and end-cupola van 434065. A few days earlier, I had observed sister 434064 at the CN-CP interchange in Kingston.
 Also switching on CN were GMD-1's 1913-1912, one of several yard sets we would observe:
CN 1913 was still working the Lakehead in this 1986 Vestibule View post. Kingston railfans had infested the yard, with the trainman perhaps pondering the plethora of those trackside.
Later that afternon at 1515, a five-SD was eastbound with  high multimarks: 5606-5749-5549-5518-5911 hustled CP piggyback traffic, stock cars, and van 434136:
Now called the Pac-Man, at the time we were still playing stand-up Pac-Man games at the arcade. Wokka-wokka-wokka. These black-and-white things we called multimarks.
On April 25, we drove around the yards in the evening. CP MLW's 4740-4249 (below) were eastbound, CN 7034 still working, as was CN 7030, CN 1907, 1908-1917, 1900-1916, 4414-4410, 4498-4409, caboose 79804, transfer vans 76564 and 76565, 1910-1911 on iron ore, end-cupola 78246, and vans CP 434562 and CP 437015. Lakers Richelieu, Ottercliffe Hall and Frankcliffe Hall were moored nearby. 
On April 26 we toured a towering terminal grain elevator and Mount McKay. On April 27 on our way home, we checked out ONR yards in Cochrane. Photos of these visits can be found in Part 2!

Running extra...

The gestation period of this post is among the longest for anything published on Trackside Treasure. My original scribbled draft dates from the Christmas holidays of December, 2008! Six years? Better late than never. I have to credit Drew Makepeace for posting the cab ride photo on Facebook, which prompted me to publish this puppy, loosing it from its long-languishing laxity.

I had a really cool tacky-Christmas-sweater-with-model-train video but Youtube said not available. In its place, for American Trackside Treasure reader Bill Staiger, I'd like to include your humble blogger Turbo-watching in December, 1980 (L.C. Gagnon photo - below). This was 12 years to the month after CN instituted Turbo service, and less than two years before the end of Turbo service:
Best Jeopardy categories ever, this past Monday: Toothpaste - Crest - Closeup - 'AIM' - Rembrandt - Aqua, Fresh. Respectively, they dealt with yes, Toothpaste, then heraldry, partial photos of famous people, words containing the letters a-i-m, the European masters, and water terms. (Dude who got it wrong - free-flowing water from limestone is a SPRING, not a STREAM and certainly not an AQUA-STREAM. Alex, I'll take Desperation for 400!!)


Zartok-35 said...

Mr Gagnon, I've found a few pictures to help depict and illustrate the "Canadian with CN-painted steam generator unit, a VIA/CN Dayniter and largely CP consist" you witnessed!

Eric said...

Thanks, Elijah! That got me going back in time to the VIA 'circus trains' of 1979. Notice that the sdfourty/Steve Danko Railpictures photo was taken April 22/79, just a day before the train I observed! Not sure where that was - but I was able to get the numbers and see the train consist. Good stuff!

Linda said...

Very neat post, thanks so much for sharing and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. My father used to work for CP Rail back in the 1960's, when I was a little girl. He cleaned the trains.

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind greetings, and good to have you aboard, Linda. I'm also from Montreal, and my Dad worked for CP at Windsor Station for a time. Though I have more experience with CN, I'm also a CP fan!

I enjoyed visiting your Peaceful Blog, too.

Michael said...

Always interesting to see CP switchers in the multimark era. They must have had a real dilemma where to put the logo. You see them on the actual cab in some photos and on the hood in others. I always thought it looked awkward on those units. But, as a grow older, the more I appreciate the CP Rail multimark era. Great shots.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comments, Michael. There was indeed some variability in multimark management! My favourite CP Rail switcher was S-3 6569, which also had the cab placement. Then the golden rodent arrived, not to mention the (I thought) nice dual-flags scheme!