Branching off CN's Kingston Subdivision at Mi 178, the Cataraqui Spur extends 3 miles south to Lake Ontario. It serves the Invista (formerly DuPont) nylon plant on Front Road. In 1981, 3741 crossed Gardiners Road with 2 covered hoppers from DuPont and stops to lift a CN covered hopper from the team track. Current trackage is shown in red, and red dashes indicate trackage that has been removed. What does the "A" represent? That's the location of a Harvey's restaurant with a nice view of a very scenic part of the spur:
And an official topographic map version:
The trainman exits the cab and swings down to couple on to the car, then makes the joint onto the caboose. Beyond the train are the DuPont warehouse (left) and Weldwood lumber (right), two west-end CN customers are the subject of future posts profiling Kingston's rail-served industries. More on the Industrial Spur, where the team track ended up after the Gardiners Road underpass was built and the road widened.
Just ahead of 3741 is the mainline switch. In these photos, the team track and runaround were west of Gardiners Road. The Cat Spur and the double-track Kingston Sub mainline crossed Gardiners Road at level crossings. When the road was widened, and an underpass excavated under the mainline, the mainline switch was relocated east of the road. This is where the team track and runaround are now located. In June 1995, train No 590 with 4120 and 4121 is coming up the Cat Spur from Bath Road, approaching the new Tanner Drive subdivision crossing. At the lowest point in the photo is the first of three trestles on the spur.
Just beyond that trestle was a track, now pulled up, that served the heating plant at Collins Bay federal penitentiary, often referred to as "Cinderella's Castle" and plainly visible from the mainline. Rails lifted from the spur can still be seen near its original alignment, beside the Tim Horton's drive-thru at the Pioneer gas bar on Bath Road. A summer 2018 visit to the Pioneer gas bar showed newly-mowed grass and provided a chance to photograph the rails still there. Looking south toward Bath Road:
Looking north from Bath Road. No data visible on very rusty rail:
Overall view, looking west along Bath Road:
Back to June, 1995 as the train approaches Tanner Drive crossing:
Just ahead is the Cat Spur mainline switch at Mi 178. Note the unofficial sign "Dupont Spurline - the little engine that could - slow moving train"
In April 1994, 4118 and 4128 head up the spur after switching DuPont, and cross the first trestle over some spring runoff:
The second trestle is the longest of the three, as the spur swings south, crosses the Little Cataraqui River and Bath Road. In January 1980, a diminutive train, consisting of equally diminutive engines 1298, 1310, a single covered hopper and caboose 79522 heads along the spur. Returning up the spur, after doing some switching in Kingston, the train headed west to Belleville with tank car UTLX 47999 and caboose 79651.
This trestle was the site of a derailment on October 13, 1995. 4141 and 4122 were pushing tank cars PROX 73189 - PROX 73710 - DOCX 23503 - covered hoppers CN 377758 - DUPX 38204 - tank car PROX 42112 - two other cars and a caboose when the train derailed at the west end of the trestle. The engines stayed put as hi-rail trucks, Quinte rental crane and Provost transport pumped out and rerailed the cars over the next three days:
This view, from the north side of the trestle, shows how close the cars may have been to going for a swim. The last three cars of the train had been hauled to DuPont by the plant's Trackmobile. Check out the postscript for more coverage, including Ron Barrett photos.
In August 1996, CN sent crane 50472 with its pile driver to add piles to the trestle. The crane's outfit train was based in the new team track, and the crane travelled east to the worksite each day. A puff of steam issues forth from the pile driver as it hammers into the soft mud below.
An M-420W such as 3561, shown here on the trestle with 4110 the same month, could occasionally be seen on the Cat Spur, heading south towards DuPont.
Part 2 will cover the remainder of the spur, south from Bath Road to Lake Ontario.
The most famous dog in the world now resides at the White House. "BO", the Portuguese water dog, shares its initials with its owner, Barack Obama. The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown could name his dog "GB". Our Stephen Harper could name his "SH".
The context of how, where and why a train operates is often overlooked. I remember standing at Bayview Junction and watching a knot of railfans furiously photographing the power on a heavy train heading to Hamilton, then turning their backs on the rest of the train, which included some really interesting cars. Check out http://wvrr.ca/prototype.htm Dave Winter's prototype page, where he profiles Canadian rail operations that help him inject interest, realism and life into his modeled scenes.
I'm pleased to add Byron Henderson's blog to my Useful Collection of Railblogs. Byron has some deep thoughts on layout design, and great taste, as he uses the same blogger template I do!