Friday, October 18, 2019

The Company Photographer Returns Yet Again, Once Again

Periodically, Trackside Treasure's company photographer sends some more captioned images from along the line. (Just type 'company photographer' in the search box at top left to see previous posts.) In this instalment, these are some random images from random railroads of random eras posted to the Railroad Images of Bygone Days Facebook group. Enjoy!

Running extra...

Wow, these ad agencies really put a lot of thought into producing material that railfans can generally disapprove of. Check out VIA's style guide for its 'love the way' branding. Extensive!

Expensive! Elections. Monday is federal election day. Nobody is happier and prouder to be able to vote than these guys.
Our system of elections has been inherited, transplanted, revered by the respectful, envied by the disenfranchised, died for by the brave, oft-maligned, seldom-praised, much-heralded, time-honoured, easily-disregarded, but closely-held to hearts to which true patriot love has been commanded. To be inspired, take a walk in these woods through which moccasin feet, wagon wheels, steel rails and sneakered trails have trod, then vote!
The K&P Trail north of Bur Brook Road, formerly CP's Kingston Subdivision.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Autumn in Belleville, September 2019

The spousal program for the fall crafting open house in Shannonville means one thing...trainwatching. And what could be better than a beautiful fall day on a Saturday morning, normally chock full of CN freights and VIA trains? Well, VIA trains, anyway. On September 27, a quick scan of the Belleville CN yard revealed this cut of local cars (top photo) behind GMTX 2264. This leased unit, along with warhorse CN 4789, has been our local switcher for over a month. Just this week, it was replaced by CN 9524. Cars in the short train include covered hoppers for the roofing granule operation north of the yard, notably blue ex-Boston & Maine covered hoppers AEQX 3023-3000.
Over to Airport Parkway, and the level crossing to the former Belleville airport.The first VIA train was a four-car No 43 Eng 6414 at 0947 followed by another westbound at 1001, then at 1025, eastbound No 52/62 Eng 901 with five cars, 6417 mid-train and five more cars. These trains were moooving right along!
CN managed one paltry freight during what should be a free-wheeling Friday-following freight festival. This is CN No 149 at 1039, which used to run out of the Port of Montreal about four hours later, daily. I made use of the hog's-back profile east of Belleville to take several shots of the approaching intermodal:
Led by engines CN 2911-2811:
No bells at this crossing, so all that the visiting railfan hears is the creaking of the gate-lowering mechanism before the train's airhorns are heard:
Desperately trying to find some imaginative photography angles during the passage of this likely-two-mile-long juggernaut.
Vandals rock steady and and they spray often!
Taking the crossovers at about 40 mph. Tail-end:
I like to combine my interests together, thrashing out the best photos only, harvesting them and leaving the rest in a swath of their own. Along Airport Parkway, header-less (below). If the header was on, I'm sure it could clear out traffic in both lanes and cyclists on both shoulders! This road was recently repaved, the speed limit is down to 50 mph, and that makes legal train chasing a challenge. 
Looks like a light engine move. An interestingly inventive consist on VIA No 51 Eng 6402:
Love these wraps!
Taking the crossovers, we see VIA's only 'future-wrapped' Business Class car 3476 and two HEP2 coaches - 4102-4103. Pike-sized passenger train!
Another eastbound expressing itself - VIA No 40 Eng 6449 with five LRC cars including two Business Class cars at 1208, followed six minutes later by 6412, five LRC cars, one baggage and 'love the way' 913 bringing up the rear.
The sound of throbbing freight locomotives and the complete absence of clear signals on CN could only mean one thing...a plodding CP eastbound passing through Belleville and approaching the Mitchell Road crossing then Shannonville Road crossing. Let's test that Airport Parkway speed limit! Made it in time to the Hinchey Road crossing, just east of Shannonville Road, which is being crossed at 1222 by CP 9782-CP 8650:
Whistling for Hinchey Road:
A few cars of intermodal traffic on the head-end, followed by four auto racks, 10 paper boxcars, 20 covered hoppers and tank cars ten more paper boxcars then intermodal to the tail-end. Approaching the Highway 401 overpass:
Next stop - Smiths Falls!
I'd passed some clear signals westbound on CN and figured I'd miss a CN freight while trying to catch CP. A few minutes before rendez-vous time back at the crafting open house, I set up along Milltown Road, at the bridge over the Salmon River. With Lake Ontario levels down at least three feet from levels that exceeded even the 2017 high-water levels, the river was not flowing fast. A scant few minutes later, CN No 305 with engines 2568-2546-2533 heartily hove into view. I was tree-fuddled by the unexpectedly long locomotive consist:
But not underpass-fuddled, teeing up the back-of-camera display to capture the leader:
CN No 305 was laden with a plethora of uninteresting (to me) tank cars. The dearth of freights this morning bent but did not break my enthusiasm.This tagger, however, was BROKE:

Running extra...

Excellent traVialogue for your reading pleasure - a mixed stainless steel/Renaissance trip aboard VIA's Ocean and written and nicely photographed by Tim Hayman. Just like being there! 

Leave it to...faithful reader Bill Staiger for finding this online auction item - an undated CPR children's menu. Sure makes me eager to pay those vintage prices! Better by a dam-site than today's.

This week's Associated Railroaders of Kingston October meeting double-headed a well-received presentation by Paul Hunter and me, on prototype and model views of VIA's F40 fleet. Watch for an upcoming Trackside Treasure post. Visitors Ron and Peter, from Revelation Video, all the way from Ohio, and on their way to steam in China, paid us a visit. I'll be devoting an hour (or two) to watching this Colo[u]rful Fall Harvest of Trains from 46 years ago! Being Revelation, I'm sure there will be at least four horsepower of the Alcopocalyse in there!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

CN 3120 arrives on My Hanley Spur Layout

Ordered way back in 2018, Rapido Trains' RS18's were finally constructed in China and shipped in the first full 40-foot container-load of product shipped across the Pacific. RS18's, Tempos and tumblers, oh my! One of these RS18's would eventually find its way to my basement. Way back in 1976, the prototype CN 3120 trailed CN 6533-6863 on a westbound passenger train at Kingston (top photo). My CN 3120 will be used mainly in local freight service:
Due to the number-specific choices on the Rapido webpage, there were no 3700's available. While some of the other number ranges in CN's 225-strong fleet, i.e. 3600's and 3800's spent time in the Maritimes, it was 3700's that trod the Kingston Sub. These are the units I would see operating between Toronto and Montreal, and between and around Belleville and Kingston. My notes contain sightings of 3706, 3708, 3742 and more. Not available. Next best choice was a 3100. Since these units were seen on CN and VIA passenger trains and CN local and road freights, they would fit my Hanley Spur roster just right. In fact, this unit would be the nucleus of my CN Hanley Spur roster!
Modelling the pre-freight-stripes era, a black wet-noodle unit would be the scheme of choice. When the long wait finally came to an end on September 24, and the well-packaged Rapido package arrived, the van-borne postal worker exclaimed that for once, a package was for me, not my wife! Now that's rare mileage! In these first three photos, the new unit is unboxed and working the Outer Station yard.
Reading the accompanying owner's manual, there were many LOL moments. Several pages on DCC stuff was not relevant to this DC operator. This is no 'traditional' unboxing video, but there is a video of the unit on its break-in run. As noted therein, conversion to X2F couplers was relatively easy! Just remove a coupler pocket screw, take out the pocket, open it and remove that troublesome Kadee-type coupler and replace it with a shiny, beautiful black X2F, pocket back in place and ready to couple!
Road-tripping! Letting 3120 traverse the layout! Emerging from under the River Street bridge.
Up-close and personal. The train is moving away from us, so the directional headlights and number boards are unlit in this photo (below). I will do some light weathering, but even my daughter was horrified that I would besmirch its black beauty with ruffinous road grime!

Down by the freight house.

At this point, I got to thinking there was NO bad photo angle for this unit, and NO way that even I could take a bad photo of it!

Leaving the freight shed and heading back to the Outer Station (below). Rapido Trains is to be congratulated (and has been!) for producing these ubiquitous units, these roadswitcher representatives, these MLW marvels!

Graphics guru and faithful Trackside Treasure reader Randy O'Brien sent two creative graphic greetings to commemmorate the first run. Thanks, Randy!

Running extra...

Rapido loves Canada and Canada loves Rapido. Except when they don't! If you have even a passing knowledge of Canadian character, in the arts, politics and even model railroading, it always includes 'eating our young' and having to 'go elsewhere to make it big'. 

There are Rapido boosters (and I don't mean B-units!) and Rapido detractors. And they often espouse polar opposite opinions about a topic in which the truth lies somewhere in-between. Hence this meme.

The pro- and anti-Rapido forces get exactly nowhere. So why do they keep doing it? Because they love doing it! And it's their right to do so.

Whether it be cost, production, ordering, quality, quantity, timeliness, delays, off-shore production, responsiveness, too much humour, etc. there are lots of points to argue. But why argue when none of us owns Rapido, very few of us work there, and many of us have already bought their products?

I enjoy slagging Rapido as much as I enjoy praising them. So I am in my own personal stalemate! I am not a 'Shronian' who maddeningly defends Rapido at all costs, as many do on social media. But I believe in giving credit where credit is due. 

And nobody, NOBODY, but Rapido got an RS-18 on my front step for me.