Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Summertime in Belleville, August 1976

We made an hour-long visit to CN's Belleville yard on August 11, 1976 before visiting my great-aunt and great-uncle for lunch and the afternoon. At 1137, an eastbound fast freight was pulling into the yard behind CN 9622-9598-9603 for a crew change, recorded in a coloured slide recently scanned by my brother.  A few seconds earlier, my Dad recorded the scene in black and white:
The engineer waved, and on the head-end was a substantial cut of through mechanical PFE/ATSF/BNFE reefers, in various states of fresh paint or weathering, that paraded past. The train also had assorted boxcars: Penn Central 153382, MILW, MPA, KCS, Manufacturers' Railway, RI, CV, CGW; covered hoppers BN 518058 and SCLAIR, an MP hopper, a UP flatcar and caboose 79233. 
Summer trackwork season (see below) was delaying scheduled passenger trains. At 1145, a VIA train (direction not noted - perhaps a 23-minute late No 44?) passed by, with 6763-6631 and baggage car 9657 noted. At 1157, westbound VIA Turbo 126-151 slid through the yard approximately 55 minutes late:
A second or two later, in black and white!
Hoppers such as WM 72110, C&O 18221, Chessie/C&O 137039 and B&O 234298 were in the yard:
and CN 3734 was switching:
Lunch was noted as really good. It usually comprised Kentucky Fried Chicken and all the trimmings! After our visit, we drove around and my Dad photographed track machines 65-209 (tamper) and 776-91 (ballast broom/regulator) working west of Belleville. A white-hatted foreman is visible, perusing the final roadbed at right of photo:

Also noted in the yard:
  • CN reefer 251891
  • OCS cars 74793 and boxcar 73012
  • CN RS18's 3734, 3726, 3111 and 3113
  • CN switcher 1288
  • cabooses 79574, wooden end-cupola 79836, 79727
  • CN Rule Instruction Car 15025 near the station
  • Boxcars: SP, D&M, UP and Southwide 4033
The view from the apartment balcony looked north over the city of Belleville toward the CN Kingston Sub. Apparently I spent the afternoon there; as a twelve year-old I was exempted from discussions of family history, politics and other such weighty matters. Noted from a distance:
  • 1233 WB 2 unit, 8-car passenger train, perhaps No 43 from Ottawa
  • 1401 EB with two Geeps, a few covered hoppers then 33 ore cars (Picton?)
  • 1501 no direction 2-unit, 9 car passenger train, perhaps a 55-minute late No 63
  • 1522 EB three Railiners, an 18-minute late No 652
Running extra...

Today, Belleville is a mere shadow of its former self. No more locomotive servicing or car repair. Butt-welding CWR plant long shuttered. Great Lakes District MoW car servicing a thing of the past. Branch lines i.e. to Picton severed. Only one set of switchers, unlike the plethora I listed above, and this set serves the yard/local industries, plus east and west turns on the Kingston Sub as far as Kingston and Port Hope, respectively. Dispatching moved to Toronto now Montreal. New VIA station, though. That's progress, I guess.
Kingston Transit has a new wrap on Novabus 1807 promoting Queens University sports teams. Seen above on Gardiners Road. I'd seen this new wrap a half-dozen times in the past couple of weeks, but this was my first opportunity to photograph it. It sure gets around.

Also getting around, leading a gnomadic lifestyle, is this little fellow, seen in the front yard guarding some crocii. Er, crocuses. Perhaps he represents Doc (fun fact follows) the only one of the Seven Dwarfs whose name was not an adjective! 

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