Saturday, February 7, 2009

CP interchanges with CN at Kingston, 1979

At the south end of CP Rail's Kingston Subdivision, running south from Tichborne to Kingston (ex-Kingston & Pembroke Railway, often called the "Kick & Push"), cars were interchanged with CN's Kingston Subdivision at Queens East. A tail track under the Division Street overpass, which used to lead downtown until 1974, and two double-ended tracks, KL90 and KL91, comprised the interchange. It was not uncommon to find a few interesting and colourful freight cars reposing here, waiting to be lifted by one of the two railways. Once in a while, it was possible to find a CP Rail unit and van switching the interchange:

Sometimes CP's train would be left on a runaround track south of Dalton Avenue, north of the interchange. But on February 3, 1979, RS-23 8045 has brought extended-cupola van 434557 right down to the interchange. The unit also switched Superior Propane and CP Express spurs, between the runaround track and the interchange.
On a grey April 16, 1979, 8030 was switching the interchange with end-cupola van 434064:

In April 1979, a view taken from the end of Rigney Street shows the Division Street overpass at right, and two tracks of cars including three CP boxcars, a CP covered gondola and flat car with an interesting load:
At the same time, CN GP-9 4561 and caboose 79595 appeared from Alcan, and headed through Queens East to the outer station yard on Montreal Street. Just to the right of 79595, the last car of CP's train can be seen on the runaround track:

Returning northwards at the Old Highway 38 crossing, just above Highway 401, the train is shaking the ground heading for Smiths Falls, via 35 miles of the Kingston Subdivision, thence 40 miles of the Belleville Subdivision:

An unusual load: JC Crane Rental crane, MG sports car and Chevy pickup truck. It's likely that the covered CP script gondola was loaded at Alcan in Kingston:

On a sunny July 16, 1979, 8043 and 434310 are arriving in town:

Working the interchange tracks, the typically smoky MLW is nosing up to a covered gondola:
Another gondola, CP 342828 (built 8-58) is waiting on the interchange in April, 1980. CP Express is the blue building in the left background:

My brother took a couple of photos here in 1982:
CP 8737 on a plow extra at the siding (above) and a view down the interchange with a CN Centuries-hauled slag train on Queens track 4. The CP link to the interchange is at right:
The last time I noted cars on the interchange was in September 1983, (though the interchange was likely still in use in 1985) with the last cars at CP Express in 1986. In February, 1985 this Whig-Standard photo (below) shows a CN crane outfit coupled to at least one CP Rail boxcar as city dumptrucks deposit snow cleared from city streets at the edge of the Division Street overpass - same location as above.
As CP was shedding itself of the Kingston Sub, CN switched the remaining two industries. A 1988 CN car control manual listed tracks KL21 and KL22 as "Superior Propane".
This 1998 photo of CN train No 307 shows the two interchange tracks and tail track to the left of engine 2402. The tail track was on a steep grade, up under the overpass. It was removed shortly thereafter, but only after once being used to hold a 30-car CN track gang's outfit cars in May, 1996.
Running extra...
Finally, another reference to that Cabooseless Operations display train in my November 14, 2008 blog post. Michael Shufelt, in the April 2008 BRS Branchline, photographed the special train on CP at Smiths Falls. It was on November 11, 1984, five days before I saw it at Kingston. Michael notes that the weather was too miserable to chase the train.


Bryan said...

Hi Eric,

I just found this post after reading about the Cataraqui Spur. I used to hang around this area a bit to railfan, but only in the 2001-2003. Interesting to see it back in the 70ies when it wasn't completely overgrown with trees.

Did KL01 serve the LaFarge ready-mix plant? The car control page I have from 2000 shows KL29 extending to the wye, where KL01 would be. Also, do you have a map showing the location of KL21 and KL22? Google Maps has just recently added a whole lot of old Kingston trackage to their website: I think KL21 and KL22 must be the two spurs ending near Dalton Ave.


Eric said...

Hi Bryan,
Yes, I think KL01 served the ready-mix plant, but that was before my time. I also think KL29 did extend to the wye. There are switch ties there to indicate this was the case. This may have changed around the time CN removed KL30.

The tracks you're referring to near Dalton Ave (KL21/22)are the former CP main and siding. The main can be followed north along the 401 to Sydenham Road. That track numbering dates from 1988. The Google satellite shot that I saw is a couple of years old, because the former Queens interchange area is now a berm behind a large big-box development.

I'll also be blogging on the Lennox Generating Station oil trains.


Bryan said...


I meant the "map" view for Google Maps, not the "satellite" view.

BTW: What was KL03? I'm sure we've been through this before on the Yahoo group...I think you said it was also for propane loading? Or was this confused with the KL21/22? All I ever saw there was an empty field behind the KT/bus station.

I'd love to see an old car control manual detailing what they had at the Alcan plant.


Eric said...

Hi Bryan, I see what you mean about Google maps, that is incredibly retro stuff, even the outer station trackage appears there. The only thing they don't show is CP extending to the area of City Hall.

KL03 was indeed for propane. I have a shot of a tank car there, just remind me if I forget to include it with my Aluminum Spur post. I'll dig up what I can about Alcan.

Drew Makepeace said...

I read this with much interest - and Google maps open in another window for reference! I never saw any activity on the CP tracks except for twice seeing a switcher in the vicinity of Cordukes Road.

As the CP right-of-way has be obliterated in many spots, it's unclear to me exactly where it veered south toward Montreal Street. Do you know of a map showing where the tracks used to be?

Eric said...

Thanks, Drew. Very sketchy area. Imagine the CP tail/interchange track continuing east under Division Street overpass, where it used to end. Then up and over the double track CN, mind you before the track was realigned, so there was more room for a vertical rise, then back down and alongside the CN near the Outer Station. This was in the Day Street/Elliott Avenue area.

Photo of CP up-and-over bridge here:

Does this help?
As you mentioned, CP largely obliterated!