Sunday, February 15, 2009

Centuries in the Snow at Belleville, February 1988

A fresh snowfall on February 5, 1988 preceded my railfan trip to CN's Belleville yard. A westbound fast freight behind Centuries 2307-3236-2002 was at the classic limestone station at 1430, with a consist of COFC as well as general freight.

Starting to pull with the crew change completed, the train headed west into the low afternoon sun toward the Moira River bridge:

Cabooses were still in use, with 79885 on the tailend of this train:

Driving around to the north side of the yard, I pulled my '81 Chevette over to take a photo, and slid into a snow-drifted ditch. Thanks to an obliging householder across the street, I made a quick call to Quinte Towing, and I was soon on my way. Power at the yard office, at the east end of Belleville yard, was 7316 with 76545:

CN's welded rail plant was still in operation, with the gantry crane just visible behind yard goat 7305:

American crane 50483, idler flat 54495 and transfer caboose 76563 were parked by the roundhouse:
In the OCS yard, the Great Lakes region "White Fleet" boarding outfit trains were back for winter storage. The sectionmen already have the switches well dug-out after the snow:

Heavyweight ex-baggage car 73913 has lots its upper white stripe, and is now in maintenance service:

VIA was operating LRC's that day, with 6905 and 4 cars westbound, and 6925 and 5 cars eastbound. In early 1988, CN was leasing Bessemer & Lake Erie SD's:
February 11, 1842 WB: 2314-B&LE 643, CRDX, BN, CN, USLX grain empties, caboose 79511.
May 25, 1838 EB: 9418-4536-B&LE 829-B&LE 841-4110-2110, general freight, 79645.
Another down-at-the-heels ex-baggage car, 70740 is seen in Belleville in December, 2001, with most of its black stripe gone:

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