Saturday, May 2, 2009

Springtime in Shannonville

Trackside A sunny spring day in Shannonville, Ontario just east of Belleville, where CN's Kingston Sub and CP's Belleville Sub are only a tire squealin' acceleration away from each other. There's nothing 'retro' about this railfan report, it's as new as the buds on the trees.
Just missed a CN westbound, then a CP 5-unit westbound, No 115 with leader 8702. No 115 was meeting No 158 from Detroit at Belleville, so I waited and listened as this eastbound intermodal approached.
8857-9558 and slew of sea containers sail across Shannonville Road. No 235 is waiting in Lonsdale siding, just around the next curve. Once No 158 calls the signals at Lonsdale and greets the westbound's crew, the detector decrees, "CP Detector Mile eighty two point one Belleville Sub temperature fourteen degrees total axles two seven six no alarms message complete." 5857-5642 have grain cars and auto racks in tow heading for Toronto. And that is a multimark, not a Pac-man.

CN No 149 is a few miles from Belleville, but the yardmaster is already planning a move to lift 14 cars of aluminum ingots from the yard. 2666-2694 are hauling lots of MSC containers, about to enter a curve that will lead them under CP's main as it heads south to the Bay of Quinte at Belleville, and CN becomes the northerly of the two mainlines.

The cans seem to float on last year's dead grass. The barking dog at the neighbouring house can no longer be heard announcing my presence, as the train squeals and rumbles through the curve.

My Tim Horton's coffee is forgotten as a westbound train of grain empties pulls into the south side of Belleville yard. 5796 soloes with a string of innumberable covered hoppers. I counted 70 CN, ALNX, CNWX, CNA, IC, BCOL, USLX, HS, DWC and SKNX before the train slid to a halt, its tail-end hanging out past the former yard office at extreme right, and the crew left in a taxi. The yard was awash with stored auto racks and gons. A yard extra was trimming cars deep in the yard somewhere with 4140.

One of the first brown-and-yellow government grain cars, CNWX 100007 bears a build date of 12-72. It bears the scars of a sideswipe or two, the indignities of graffiti and those yellow trucker strips, but still retains its ACI label years later.

CN 382481, graduate of Marine Industries class of '81 is unrepentantly and simply CN, no website address or reflectorized strips, but it's as rusty as a Ford fender.

Only the keenest rolling stock fan would know the pedigree of this car, baby-blue DWC 384896. The Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific still exists, if only as a set of potential reporting marks.

It was a super day to be trackside, watching CN and CP move freight. The front lawn grew a little longer at home, but first things first. Enough of the present, we will now return to our regularly-scheduled retro-ness.


Chris Lyon said...

Eric. Looks like a very successful day of railfanning. At a time when rail traffic is so low because of the recession, I do hope this is a sign of recovery and more traffic on the Montreal Toronto corridore

Eric said...

Hi Chris, it's always nice to see some CP action, although I've always been struck by CN moving more manifest/general freight than CP with its intermodal traffic. I had thoughts of hiking in to the CN/CP crossing, but that'll have to wait for the next trip!

Chris vanderHeide said...

The DWC covered hopper is built by Thrall Car, and originally owned by Rock Island (ROCK).

Eric said...

ROUTE ROCK lives on Chris, and the baby-blue scheme is a giveaway. Even though they were going bankrupt, they still painted entire yards of cars in this scheme. Who knew some would end up on CN?
Thanks for the background information,

Unknown said...

still some of those DWC's out there, believe I saw one not long ago in the Brighton area, where both CP and CN run together from Trenton and westward past Brighton

Eric said...

Thanks, U., I also see GTW once in a while on the grain trains. They're hanging on!