Saturday, June 28, 2014

Canada Day 2014: RCMP and Railways


It's always been a Trackside Treasure tradition to honour our home and native land on Canada Day. Sometimes with views from a train, sometimes with other non-train scenic views. Check out links to each Canada Day tribute in this Canada Day 2013 post. In light of recent newsworthy events in Moncton, NB involving the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, it seemed that this famous force was a natural nexus for a traditional/train tribute this Canada Day, with some RCMP photos I've taken. I had the opportunity to visit "Depot" Division, Regina in 1982 with my aunt and uncle, who snapped these two photos. The RCMP Chapel is the oldest remaining building in Regina:
The RCMP Museum, (which became the Heritage Centre in 2007) included a short section of track, a handcar, and various artifacts associated with the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A young, sunburned future blogger ponders the endless prairie stretching out to the horizon: The Great Lone Land/L'Immense Solitude. Lawlessness there led to The March West, setting out from Dufferin, MB on July 8, 1874 just over one year after the North West Mounted Police was established by Parliament on May 23, 1873. This epic journey was re-enacted 125 years later in 1999!
What could be more Canadian than the RCMP Musical Ride? This exquisite equestrian exhibition embodies the synergy between man and horse. This connection was a main part of the force's storied history as well as the only way to patrol vast expanses of the Canadian west. At the Kingston Exhibition in 1984 (above) and Expo 86 in Vancouver (below) the riders perform The Maze and The Dome, respectively.
After the Expo performance, the Ride returned to their specially-constructed stables nearby. I made sure I sat in the last row of the grandstand at one performance, just to make these photographs. The pennons on the 9-foot lances have a particularly bloodthirsty origin. Equitation training for every recruit was discontinued in 1966; the Musical Ride now operates from "N" Division, Ottawa.
Note the fused 'MP', a registered brand symbol allotted to the NWMP on June 7, 1887 and the yellow-trimmed shabracque saddle cloth, with the officer's version displaying unique symbol and piping (above)
The horses cool down in the paddock. Can you see the maple leaf symbol high on each horse's rump, made with a wet brush and stencil before the Ride begins?
RCMP contingents rode in the Diamond Jubilee parade for Queen Victoria in 1897, and every Royal Jubilee and coronation since. Receiving the designation "Royal" in 1904, then the RNWMP, the force was renamed the RCMP in 1920. Members served in the Boer War and World War I as Cavalry, then in World War 2 in the Provost Corps. At Brockville ON in June 1994, the Ride takes the field:
 Can't you hear the horses puffing in the humidity?
The March West included some larger-than-life figures. "B", "C" and "F" Divisions, under Assistant commissioner James Macleod, who would establish Fort Macleod,passed through the scenic Cypress Hills, where they established Fort Walsh. Named for Superintendent James Walsh, the post was nicknamed "The Cradle of the Force", and was the site of the RCMP horse-breeding ranch from 1942 to 1968. The NWMP was charged with safeguarding railway construction after 1881, as well as being the de facto civil authority, serving as mail carriers, census takers, customs collectors and maintaining weather records.
Snapped form the Park car dome aboard No 1 in 1986, Alberta Wheat Pool grain elevators at Walsh (above) and Irvine, (below) named in honour of Col. A. Irvine, NWMP commissioner are just over the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. Both towns are now sans elevator.
Serving as the contracted provincial police force for Saskatchewan since 1928, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island since 1932, then Newfoundland and British Columbia since 1950, a visit to "Depot" Division in 1985 netted this view of the car park with seemingly endless cherry-topped cruisers. Also on hand were Dodge Diplomats with speedometers that reached 120 mph!
With a historic connection to the Canada's unifying railway, it's inevitable that there have been subsequent connections with Canadian ferroequinology:
-the application of the Musical Ride logo to CP GE locomotives
-an RCMP-painted track speeder operated on CN from Gillam, Manitoba UPDATE: Found this photo, taken by CN employee Joe Jarvie, patrolling Gillam-Ilford MB in 1986. Thanks to M A P.
-Kamsack RCMP responded and photographed the washout under VIA's Churchill train near Togo, Saskatchewan in April 2013
-RCMP pallbearers carried the caskets of Prime Ministers Trudeau and Diefenbaker to their funeral trains
-CBC's Due South series featuring Paul Gross included an episode in which the Musical Ride travelled by rail, the riders disembarking from three special RCMP-decalled COFC cars! (Below) Photo from William and Elyse's Due South website, showing the train pulled by CP 3072- three COFC flat cars - VIA Hunter Manor - VIA coaches 8100 and 8103 and a CP van, filmed on CP's Owen Sound Subdivision in March-April 1996:
The RCMP motto is the French Maintiens le Droit. In English, this translates to Maintain the Right, not Drive on the Right, nor Hold High the Finger. A horse and rider survey Rocky Mountain scenery in this stereotypically Canadian postcard view from my collection. The top photo also shows other views of Canada's Number 1 postcard subject!

Running extra...

What's Canadian/What's Not?
Stephen Harper/Valerie Harper; PEI/pie; poutine/Putin; Wayne & Shuster/Simon & Schuster; Budd Wiser/Budweiser; Gulf of St. Lawrence/Gulf of Tonkin; Guess Who/The Who; Standard Time/Greenwich Mean Time; Mike Myers/General Richard Myers; Canadian Club/Rotary Club; Eaton's/Eton; Churchill MB/Winston Churchill; BlackBerry/Chuck Berry; Robertson screws/Phillips screws; Niagara Falls.

It's hot outside! You kids go play in the sprinkler. Even if you are moose.

Randy O'Brien sent a photo of the latest addition to his Clifton Junction Railway layout - Tangent Scale Models' CRDX Manitoba covered hopper car. Read more here - thanks, Randy!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Diefenbaker Funeral Train

When Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker died on August 16, 1979, his funeral arrangements were already made. Dief was the Chief, and the chief organizer of his funeral, which would include a particularly memorable funeral train. The photo by Toronto Star photographer Bob Olsen (above), taken on August 21, 1979 of the George Janzen family paying their respects while swathing near Rosthern, SK was judged as one of 100 Photos that Changed Canada, in a book by the same name. With hats off, they bade farewell to the Chief, as that mournful whistle echoed across the fields of grain. Born in Neustadt, Ontario in 1895, the Diefenbaker family moved west to Saskatchewan in 1903. The funeral train would make the same westward pilgrimage - Dief was considered the only Canadian from Saskatchewan ever to become Prime Minister. Diefenbaker's body lay in the Parliament buildings' Hall of Honour for three days. A state funeral took place on Sunday. 
Bruce Chapman kindly shared some photos at Ottawa in a subsequent post. At Ottawa station, the casket was loaded onto baggage car 9601. Notice how the Red Ensign is overlaying the Maple Leaf flag. Dief meticulously planned his own funeral, though MP Jean Pigott was in charge of some of the arrangements. Apparently one of these was the loading of spirits from an LCBO truck. This took one hour, and was finished well before departure and (mostly) out of the public eye. It would prove to be an intriguing trip. The funeral train waits at Ottawa Station behind VIA 6526-6636-1410-9601 (bearing the casket)-CN business car North Wind-CN business car 5 (assigned to the federal government)-four VIA cars tailed by E-series sleeper Elizabeth. Watch the train depart Ottawa at the 8:45 mark of this Dief documentary.
Aboard the train were 84 passengers including an official party, family, friends, security staff and 38 journalists. Ceremonial hour-long stops to view the closed coffin had been planned for Sudbury, Winnipeg and Prince Albert but as the train moved west it was greeted everywhere by crowds along the tracks, and additional stops were added on the way, at Kenora, Melville, and Watrous. At Winnipeg, 10,000 people waited until after midnight. Aboard the train, disputes over the powers of the executors and a secret trust fund emerged in what Geoffrey Stevens described as a "seething conspiracy which floated across the Prairies on a cloud of alcohol." Bruce Chapman kindly shared some Bill Crago photos of the freshly-washed 6526 leading the train on CP rails at Pembroke, ON:

Other notable Canadian funeral trains were operated for former Prime Ministers Sir John A. Macdonald in 1891, William Lyon Mackenzie King in 1950, and Pierre Trudeau in 2000. Bryan  Martyniuk was in the sizeable crowd at Thunder Bay's CP station:
Notice the change in motive power? At North Bay, the A-B-A power had been turned. CP 8598 was added and the CN units were on idle. Despite the presence of a train rider, it was decided to remove the ex-CN units at Sudbury. The power changed yet again, with two CP roadswitchers added, becoming: 1410-CP 8477-CP 8572. At CP's motive power bureau, Bruce Chapman had scrambled to get these two additional units on CP freight No 481 to Sudbury in order to replace the failing CN units. Bruce mentioned that with the absence of CP turning facilities at North Bay, CN or Ontario Northland may have obliged, given the importance and very public nature of this train.
MP Deborah Grey wrote that Dief  "..was a legend in the West. Average folks could pay their own respects, in their own fields, as Diefenbaker's funeral train slowly made its way across the Prairies. Many Westerners would remember that scene for the rest of their lives. Diefenbaker was coming home, and for many, it was like having their own private audience with the man who had been their leader. How fitting it was that he was coming home at the height of harvest." The City of Thunder bay wreath rests in front of the casket. The crowd is also shown at the 10:50 mark of this Dief documentary. Mounties stand guard as the crowd files by.
Grey continues, "As the train grew closer, we all grew quiet; we know something powerful was happening. The train slowly passed by. The mood was sombre. This was the last ride for a Canadian hero and we had a front-row seat. Besides, there was no way during harvest we could get away to Saskatoon for his funeral. Besides, the place would be packed."

"Two nights and two days across three provinces in a train that became an isolated world of memory and compressed emotion, wrote the Globe and Mail's Joan Hollobon. "Workmen holding hard hats in their hands as the train went by. Old men standing at attention. Women waving. Young people." A boy who may or may not have known about Dief, but who will likely remember this day, waves at officials between 9601 and North Wind. North Wind is now private car PPCX 15112.
Mark Perry remembers the new power CN added at Winnipeg for the trip into Saskatchewan: F7Au's 9154-9150. He washed the units at the Symington diesel shop! Brian Schuff recalled that CN business car 92 was added at Winnipeg. In Prince Albert, as the train pulled in on Tuesday afternoon, several thousand citizens filled the station square behind a guard of honour of the North Saskatchewan Regiment. From Prince Albert the funeral train moved slowly down the familiar railway line. the population of farms, villages and towns spread out in quiet honour along the right-of-way, waving, smiling, crying, saying goodbye for the last time in what had become a long festival of national communion. At Saskatoon, there was more ceremony during a lying-in-state and burial on a hilltop above the South Saskatchewan River.

Thanks to Bruce Chapman, Bill Crago, Doug Phillips, Bryan Martyniuk, Mark Perry and Brian Schuff for their kind assistance. A series of photos (top two colour photos and below) from SAIN, the Saskatchewan Archives Information Network. These photos may have been used for the funeral wall collage, opening display at the Diefenbaker Centre, University of Saskatchewan. 



On August 15, 1994 on the fifteenth anniversary of Dief's death, a reunion for almost two hundred people with links to Diefenbaker's last journey reunited in the Railway Committee Room of the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings: senators and MPs from all parties, Joe Clark, Ed Schreyer, and some of the RCMP officers who had hoisted the coffin onto and off the train in 1979. The evening was hosted by the state funeral directors, Hulse, Playfair & McGarry. Now to close - a different train. This 1959 photo shows Dief campaigning from the steps of a CN business car:


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:

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. 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. 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. Napanee-built flatcars: 1967 CP 313500-313549; 313800-313837 and 1969-70 315000-315134; 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.
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. Passing by aboard VIA, it's hard to miss plastic bags and other windblown detritus scattered about the site. The 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.)
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:




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In The Shadow of Father's Day

On November 29, 1997 we were at Kingston station, trackside with my Dad. That afternoon between 1230 and 1630 we observed VIA Nos 57, 42, 60; CN Nos 308, 395 and lastly 361, which was westbound with CN engines 5434-9612-9464 (above). See my Dad's shadow on the platform as he photographs the oncoming 91-car train? He captioned the photo with the pertinent train information plus "Eric got down the numbers!" It always seemed to impress him that I could scribble locomotive and car numbers as trains thundered by. 
The same day, my Dad's shadow is in another photo he took. This photo's caption "Hide and seek at the station! Eric is giving Erika a lift as Andrew comes around on the other side." While waiting for the next train, we strolled the platform together, sometimes scampering around the spruces of the station landscaping. The shadows meant that all was sunny. If you follow me in this little corner of cyberspace that I call Trackside Treasure, you'll know that this is my first Father's Day with my Dad no longer with us. English writer Thomas Browne, who, like my Dad, dabbled in the worlds of language, science and the esoteric, wrote:
"Life itself is but the shadow of death, and souls departed but the shadows of the living."
And from the Book of Job:
"For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, because our days on earth are as a shadow."
There are many articles available on removing shadows from photographs. Some think that they detract from the photo's subject. I'll leave these just as they are, thanks. You'll see in the top sidebar that I continue to dedicate this year's Trackside Treasure posts, from January to this June through to December, to LCG 1927-2014.