Monday, December 26, 2016

Windmill train CN X307, December 2016

On December 22, CN train X307 carried 50 turbine towers down CN's Kingston Sub. The windmills are manufactured in (what I thought was Gaspe), and are to be interchanged to BNSF for furtherance to Texas. Fortunately, since I was able to be trackside for this unique movement, I decided a normal three-quarters view of these oversize loads would not do. I chose a nearby overpass embankment at Bayridge Drive. CN 2251-IC 1003 did the honours, with 307's hogger giving a toot-toot greeting!
Thanks to additional information from several knowledgeable fellow enthusiasts, I learned that the first train of blades was from LM Wind Power in Gaspe, transloaded to rail in New Richmond, QC. There is a company named Delta Fabrication in New Richmond that produces towers. These are produced by Marmen in Trois Rivieres, QC, conveyed by QGRY to the interchange with CN at Allenby in the Quebec City area
A heads-up OS of 0520 at Drummondville was updated by Michael Berry and Brockville Railfan, the latter at 1207. I estimated one hour, pending meets. VIA No 40 would have met 307 around Kingston's VIA station.
With our local No Frills store in the background, these loads were also no frills. On welded cradles, the towers rested easily, with no chains or other obvious restraint. The diameter of the towers was marked on the orange tarps i.e. 3200 mm and 3400 mm. Notice how one end of each tower overhangs one end of each car, necessitating a 2:1 (tower:idler) car ratio. The last car:
Here's the complete consist:
CN 2251
IC 1003
XTTX 146352
TTHX 97189
XTTX 147190
XTTX 146328
TTHX 97130
XTTX 146336
XTTX 146295
TTHX 97114
XTTX 146145
XTTX 146338
TTHX 97180
XTTX 146300
XTTX 146211
TTHX 97174
XTTX 146340
XTTX 146395
TTHX 97190
XTTX 146397
XTTX 146386
TTHX 97160
XTTX 146310
XTTX 146327
TTHX 97155
XTTX 146381
XTTX 146366
TTHX 97135
XTTX 146371
XTTX 146390
TTHX 97178
XTTX 146388
XTTX 146373
TTHX 97110
XTTX 146362
XTTX 146393
TTHX 97181
XTTX 146392
XTTX 146372
TTHX 97102
XTTX 146368
XTTX 146299
XTTX 97119(97113?)
XTTX 146326
XTTX 146153
TTHX 97150
XTTX 146155
XTTX 147192
TTHX 97186
XTTX 146148
XTTX 147191
TTHX 97168
XTTX 146283
XTTX 146301
TTHX 97107
XTTX 146346
XTTX 146263
TTHX 97173
XTTX 146259
XTTX 146274
TTHX 97149
XTTX 146256
XTTX 146235
TTIX 961792
XTTX 146210
XTTX 146237
TTIX 961807
XTTX 146238
XTTX 146234
TTIX 961511
XTTX 146240
XTTX 146236
TTIX 961501
XTTX 146231
XTTX 146230
TTHX 97111
XTTX 146317

XTTX cars are cradle cars for the towers. TTHX are short idler cars and TTIX are longer idler cars. Whew. I haven't seen that many X's since my last X's and O's tournament. A going-away view of the tail-end, with Lake Ontario's frozen-over Collins Bay in the background.
My Youtube video, from which these video captures are taken. Andre Gerow took a double-sided video just west of Ernestown. Andre also captured the first train of blades, No 307 on December 5. This observation was really an example of pinpoint precision prediction railfanning, based on accurate OS's from further down the line. There's still a place for staking out a spot for hours and waiting to see what happens.

Further 307's:
Jan 26/17 No 307 Engs 2116-5694 with towers.
Jan 30/17 No 307 Engs 8946-2569 with blades.
February 22/17 No 351(!) Eng 5620-2615 with towers.
March 6/17 No 311 Engs 2876-3086 72 cars blades from Gaspe on TTYX-PTTX cars
April 10/17 No 311 Engs 2424-2150 to Quebec, then 5452-5408 on the Kingston Sub, with blades - same consist as March 6, though remarshalled.
April 20/17 No 307 Engs 2297-2401 approx. 74 cars towers on XTTX-TTHX cars.
May 8/17 No 311 Engs 5692-2028 with blades on TTYX-PTTX cars
May 17/17 No 307 Engs 2231-2144 with towers.
May 29/17 No 311 Eng 2502 with blades.
June 10/17 No 319 Eng 2690-2661 with blue-capped Vestas towers (last train in linked video, this included heretofore unobserved reporting marks. Sample cars PEYX 316, 344, 2079, 2111, 90044, 90137, 105575, 105610; CIGX 899036, 899045; CITX 920048, 920049.)
June 13/17 No unknown Engs 2270-IC 1031 72 cars blades from Gaspe, 19 autoracks on tailend.
June 21/17 No 311?
July 16/17 No 307 Engs 8865-8868 from QGRY, with towers.
July 24/17 No 311 Eng 2830-5713 with blades from Gaspe.

Running extra...

A day later, Kingston railfan Logan Cadue was on the Sir John A Macdonald Blvd overpass where he caught a three-way meet between eastbound VIA, CN No 518 and CN No 149, plus CN No 376. A little earlier, heavy eastbound potash unit train B730 had been in emergency with a broken knuckle, bunching up traffic.
CN No 376 heads east behind 2438-5756 (above). Earlier, CN No 518 pulled west to the light at Queens West (below) and VIA would slip through at this point on the south main. CN 4115-4803 leads five cars of scrap and three empties from Kimco, plus covered hoppers and tanks for Invista. We'd later drive under 518 at the Gardiners Road underpass at the top of the Cataraqui Spur. CN No 149 behind 5699-5609-8017 is on the north main.

Running extra...

Hoping that you had a great Christmas, as I did! Beer, nuts and books all found their way under our tree! Looking most forward to reading Mike Myers' Canada, which may be a pinkie-biter if not a nail-biter, accompanied by my brother's sent mp3 of Bob & Doug McKenzie's 1981 album, of course. Good day! What a hoser, eh?

Seasonal music: having seen the Pentatonix Christmas special, I've been enjoying their video of the simply heartfelt That's Christmas to Me - 25,686,593 viewers can't be wrongI would definitely follow them to Bethlehem, listening to this doubly-modulated gospel choir chorus! I harked back to a previous Christmas favourite, the USMC Chamber Orchestra's version of the Leroy Anderson classic Sleigh Ride! (Watch it to see if you're hooked up right.)
When I first saw this STEEL auto-rack graffiti, I thought that this was the ultimate 'painting on a big canvas'. Little did I know it was sold as a complete Microtrains set in N scale...
,,,or that once broken up, at least two 'E' cars were roaming the North American network singly! That train gets an 'E' for effort. Labour-saver - if I ever choose to do a four-car ERIC graffiti, I only have three cars left to do!


Anonymous said...

I watched an east bound train of emty cradel flats come out of the gloom earlyer this month while waiting at aldershot station, I wasn't shure what they were for, i assumed wind turbine parts but I didn't bother to take names and numbers. thanks for doing the work for me.
I appreciate your site.

Anonymous said...

I had to publish as anonymous as the goobly gook speak wasn't making eny sense.
Brian Davis.

Eric said...

That's probably what the cars were for, Brian. I was hoping this train would be more turbine blades, but the towers were pretty cool, too. The previous train was blades mixed with other freight cars. There should be about a train per month with one or the other type of turbine parts.

Even one set of reporting marks helps identify a whole train. (That's coming from someone who writes everything down as the train flies by.)

Thanks for your comment,

GP9Rm4108 said...

The train east was an x308.

Eric said...

Thanks for the additional information, Chris. I have memories of train numbers 307/308 being used for the Dartmouth-Toronto regular CN freights.