Before winter finally makes its anticipated actual exit, it behooves us to remember what a Canadian winter can throw at the railways. On January 16, 1999 a record January snowfall made CN operations on the Kingston Sub problematic. Switches froze, crossovers were inoperable. VIA train frequencies were reduced (VIA No 650/651 stored on Queens and annulled: VIA 6427-4102-4125-4115). CN freights were delayed or annulled. Numerous Form 564's were given to crew to hand-throw automatic switches. At Kingston's VIA station at 1345, CN 7074-7041 was backing CN No 590 east to Queens along the south track from the Invista plant; vigilant trainman riding the leading car. Intermodal train CN No 126 from Winnipeg approaches on north track at right, visible under overpass (top photo).
CN 7074-7041 are nose-to-nose Cataraqui Spur power (above) pushing caboose 79473R, tankcars PROX 77754-70215 and DOCX 23503-23509 and covered hoppers NAHX 455031-DUPX 38407-NCHX 43514-NAHX 455309, while CN No 126 with CN 2550-2423-5613 also eases east, stopping at the station.
Wheel container CNSU 300507 was perched high up on red Trailer-Train well car DTTX 432110. A more flexible means of shipping smaller quantities of wheels than a full flatcar load! Also on the train were similar containers CNSU 300575, 300538 and 300576.
CN No 126 has a signal to crossover to the south track. A dead freight is east of the Queens West signal bridge as CN No 590 has entered the south service track before running the power out and on to the east end of Queens before coupling up and heading farther east to Brockville. The dead westbound freight was not recrewed and westbound for over an hour.
Within the hour, CN No 519 with unusual, road power: 9456-9462 made its way east to Queens with 26 cars: EOGX and CGBX tankcars, CELX and AMCX covered hoppers from Millhaven before returning west at 1513. Anticipating disruptions, delays and mechanical difficulties, VIA had pre-positioned its Emergency/Mobile Unit in the station parking lot.
Tim Hayman shared the next generation of VIA mobile response units, taken at Brockville, ON station, December 23, 2008. Thanks, Tim!
Speaking of weather, the topic of whether or not to weather model rolling stock is a worthy one. Indecisive as always (or, am I??) I decided to work on several cars - weathering one side only. The cars congregated on my Rutland interchange tracks near Allen Lumber:
Speaking of being out in the weather, several weathered Hollywood stars will be attending the Oscars this weekend. Not sure why they named an award after a garbage can-dwelling, green furry monster, but there you go. The red carpet pre-show is OK, but I prefer to watch the never-ending parade of high-end SUV's that seem to have replaced the stereotypical stretch limos!