Monday, September 28, 2009

CP crosses CN at Shannonville

CP's Montreal-Toronto single-track mainline crosses over CN's Montreal-Toronto double-track mainline at Shannonville, Ontario. The crossing is one kilometre west of Shannonville Road, at Mi 214 CN Kingston Sub and Mi 84 CP Belleville Sub. CN No 308 behind 5631-2504 glides under CP girders at 1045 last Saturday.
The steel bridge creaks and pings as sunlight warms its piers and the plywood shims between its bridge timbers and ties. Blue jays and crows call overhead, a chipmunk chides and dragonflies drone...anymore wildlife and it could be a Disney movie. CN No 149 is planning the unexpected setout of DTTX 680385 into track BY21 in Belleville Yard, with the help of the RTC and the Belleville trainmaster, as he slams by at 1140 behind 2563-2684.

If CP had a freight train nearby, it would look great up on the bridge. Their Belleville Sub crosses back to the north over the CN at Cobourg, Mi 265 Kingston Sub.

CN No 305 is stopped just east of the crossing circuit at Shannonville Road, waiting for 149 to make his move. At 1245, 2257-5699 throttle up to gently lift their 145 cars (34 boxcars, 48 covered hoppers, 45 tank cars, 2 empty bulkhead flats and 16 autoracks) out of the sag, under the CP and into Belleville for a crew change.

VIA No 57: 6439 (three headlights)-8615-4001-4009-4114-4122-4107-4118-4116 pulls into Belleville's VIA station at 1325. 305 waits its turn at a respectful distance for a signal out of the yard.

VIA No 60: 913-8619-4006-4002-4003-4111-4119-4120-4108-4103-4109 will soon arrive, just as 305's tailend crosses the Moira River. 305 is starting to pull:

Is this anything? North to Alaska meets the Mainline of Mid-America in Upper Canada. An Alaskan Agriculture covered hopper with Illinois Central reporting marks, now owned by CN. Here's IC 10152:
Running extra...
PM Stephen Harper on tonight's news riding NB Southern 2318, promoting the government's economic stimulus. Security detail members scampering over newly-spread ballast. Speaking of the economy, empty autoracks being hauled out of Belleville yard this week for loading in Oshawa.
CN scrapping more of their 640xxx-series blue 5-pak well cars, which have largely been replaced by Trailer Train well cars of various configurations, as well as Wisconsin Central boxcars, non-hicube.
Debut episode of "Trauma" tonight, opening line "You can never have enough saline, can you Terry?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CN's Kingston Industrial Spur, Part 2

The west end of CN's Industrial Spur in Kingston included track KM54. For more, see Part 1. This track led to a partly-covered door-level platform at Weldwood lumber. The Weldwood building was built in 1970 and is now owned by Home Hardware, with the unloading/storage area covered. In 1980, PGE 5344 and BCOL 5258 were being unloaded.

In 1981, BCOL 40025, in the newer darker-green scheme, built 10-71 was at Weldwood:
Other boxcars spotted at Weldwood: CN 592508, 568638, 567039, CP 290443 and BCOL 4943 and 40879. Passing by aboard VIA in June, 1982 two CN double-door boxcars were spotted at Weldwood. The building is now a Home Hardware store, and the former rail-served platform is still used for under-cover lumber storage. After the Industrial Spur crossed Gardiners Road, it curved away from CN's Kingston Sub double track and led to the Northern Telecom phone cable plant. In this aerial view, the spur can be seen just below the parking lot, as it dog-legs back into the plant property:
At Northern, there was a car storage/runaround track KM51, and unloading tracks KM52 and KM53. Covered hoppers of polypropylene and polyethylene pellets for wire insulation arrived from Hercules in Montreal and C-I-L in Edmonton and Sarnia. In September 2000, 4118 and 4115 were pushing cars into the plant property. The plant closed in 2003. In 2014, the 500,000 sq ft plant was purchased by Kingston's Taggart Construction, for demolition. Originally listed for $4.1 million, a court-ordered sale for $2.5 million was the final result.
In June 2000, NCLX (ex-DOCX) 44608 was off-spot for the plant, in front of the DuPont warehouse shown in Part 1:
In 1981, DOCX 44627 Sclair and ACFX 56634 Hercules were also off-spot, at the Cataraqui Spur team track KM02:

Let's stay on the Cataraqui Spur to see some other interesting cars spotted there. A CN covered hopper was being lifted from the team track by the local in 1981:
In July 1980, 40-foot CN boxcars 424187-421888-427196-421150 are on the team track, being loaded with hay for Manitoba farmers:
Interestingly, these two views Queen's University Archives shows the location of the team track (T) and a barn/silo Lasher's Feed Mill (L) between Bath Road and the mainline. Aerial view from 1965:
A complimentary view looking south on Gardiners Road, 1969, with a CN boxcar visible at the team track:
The team track was also a handy place for CN to store work equipment. Burro crane 50408, gondola 148878 and caboose 79295 were sitting still for the weekend in November, 1980:
In the spring of 1976, this large transformer was spotted on the team track. Likely for unloading and transfer across Gardiners Road to the Gardiners Transformer Station (L.C. Gagnon photo):
Brooks Scanlon of Redmond, Oregon double-door boxcar USLX 17009 was spotted in 1980. The KEC Lumber rep arrived with tape measure to measure the shipment of lumber. Note the load-restraining devices behind the opened plug door:

When the Cataraqui Spur was realigned and team track KM02 relocated east of Gardiners Road, KEC Lumber unloaded its lumber shipments there, as from flatcar CP 315687 in 1985 (below). Interestingly, A 1986 Belleville CN Car Control Manual lists "Customers with team track loading or unloading in that zone" in a customer list, including Cashway Lumber Ltd. on track KM03.

Tank cars of asphalt from Ashwarren asphalt in Millhaven were spotted on the new team track in March, 2004. Imagine hearing two Geeps pushing several of these loaded cars up the hill on the Cat Spur into the team track. The asphalt was heated, unloaded and trucked west to Millhaven, where a two-track unloading facility has since been built.

CN also found the new team track useful for tucking away work equipment after a day's work. Newly-arrived track gang equipment is here on several flat cars in December, 1994:

CN crane 50483 and accompanying gondolas were spotted here while working along the Kingston Sub picking up scrap rail in June, 2003:
Running extra...

Noticed all those annoying modern advertising slogans with loads of periods in them? Like Wal-Mart: Save Money. Live Better. Sears: Good Life. Great Price. Imagine if this scourge had struck years earlier? Pennsylvania Railroad: Standard. Railroad Of the World. CB&Q: Way. Of the Zephyrs. And CN: Serves All. Canada.
Blog partner Steve Boyko has been a one-man Winnipeg wrecking crew, putting out a plethora of posts including photos and video of the local rail scene there. His blog, Confessions of a Train Geek is consistently the most-updated on the Trackside Treasure blog roll.
Evening TV in the past week has included an affable Barack Obama on Late Night with David Letterman, as well as the bizarre Kanye West-Taylor Swift un-acceptance speech. Tonight it was jolly Michael Moore's turn on Larry King Live, plugging his new movie on capitalism. In all this, the new series Glee has emerged irreverent and not taking itself at all seriously.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wooden Water Towers

CN and CP enclosed their steel water tanks in wood, during the steam era when the water filled the tenders of thirsty locomotives. Stoves in the wooden water towers burned coal to keep the water in the steel tank from freezing, except where terminal steam heat was available. The towers measured 40 feet in height to the roofline, enclosing a twenty foot-tall steel tank. A float inside the tank connected to a galvanized iron ball on the roof gave a visual indication of the water level. The CP water tower at MacGregor, Manitoba is shown in 1984 (above, with an extra westbound of grain empties behind 5742) and on a June evening in 1980 (below):

The MacGregor water tower was later moved to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum in Austin. Note the former Midland caboose which did not survive the elements, and is in considerably worse shape than in my earlier Midland post, in these L.C. Gagnon photos:

A plaque gives some of the history of the the water tower and of its move to the museum:

Water towers that existed into the 1980's often became municipal water towers. Also in 1980, the tower at Miami, Manitoba is alongside the 1889 Northern Pacific station, and the ball is riding high. The tower was destroyed shortly thereafter.

On a 1986 road trip through Saskatchewan, I encountered two more water towers still standing. Harris is on CN's Rosetown Sub, across from the elevator track where three covered hoppers are spotted, including a CN slabside:

Looking from the other end of elevator row, the tower blends in with the trees. The Harris water tower later became part of the Harris town museum in 1992.

A quintessential prairie scene at Wartime: wooden water tower, wooden grain elevator, and arrow-straight track. CN's Elrose Sub extends to the horizon, and my rented Chevy Cavalier cools its tires, out of the baking sun in the water tower's shadow:

The elevators were dismantled by 1993, but the water tower outlasted them.

A different design on CP, at Spanish, Ontario in 1979: concrete base, wooden tank with steel bands:
CN supplied track gangs with potable water in tank cars. The tanks were either painted silver, like CN 51679 blt 12-16, or sprayed with insulation, like CN 80204 blt 4-29, to keep the water cool during the hot, prairie summer trackwork season, here in Portage la Prairie in 1984.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CN's Kingston Industrial Spur, Part 1

CN's Industrial Spur served industries in west-end Kingston. For more, see Part 2. Branching off the north track of CN's Kingston Sub at Mi 178.5, the spur served a DuPont Canada warehouse, Weldwood lumber distributor (track KM54), and Northern Telecom's telephone cable plant (tracks KM50-53), as shown in this 1985 CN car control diagram. The DuPont warehouse, on 560-foot track KM55, shipped fibre produced at the lakeside DuPont plant served by CN's Cataraqui Spur. The fibre was trucked to the warehouse and shipped out by rail. During 1979-80, a colourful collection of brand-new American boxcars arrived at the warehouse for loading. Vermont Railway VTR 12039, blt 12-78, at Queens coupled to an orange SSI boxcar:

Milwaukee Road MILW 12319, repainted 2-79:

ROCK 300793, blt 11-78, spotted with SLSF 42072:

Railboxes RBOX 30795, blt 11-78, and RBOX 31071, blt 12-78:

Warwick Railway WRWK 5200, blt 1-80, leased to Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac:

Vermont Railway VTR 13213, blt 6-79:

Southern Railway SR 531836, blt 4-79:

Many of these photos show the proximity of the DuPont spur to the Industrial Spur, which was adjacent to and slightly below the roadbed of the Kingston Sub. Other boxcars spotted at DuPont: PC 167254, CN 579158, 562617, SR 525058, 531733, 526776. A few years ago, 5 or 6 CN 40- and 50-foot boxcars were spotted at the warehouse, representing the end of rail shipping.

Here's an additional photo via Tim Reid. Another Warwick Railway boxcar, WRAK 5245, nicely photographed at the DuPont warehouse, undated:

DECEMBER 2018 UPDATE***The track is still in place, visible while passing the warehouse aboard VIA Rail! Transport trucks now shuttle around the south side of the warehouse. February 2019 photo. Stop blocks still in place at far end of spur:

Running extra...

This is one of a series of posts covering Kingston's rail-served industries. I'll be profiling the tracks, plus switching operations and cars handled on each track, over the years I was able to photograph them. Previous posts covered the Cataraqui Spur and CP's interchange at Queens. Industrial Spur, Part 2 will cover Weldwood, Northern Telecom and more on the Cat Spur team track.
Listening with interest to Captain Joshua Slocum's "Sailing Alone Around the World". He just cleared Tierra del Fuego, where he sprinkled carpet tacks on the deck to deter unwanted guests (Fuegians) while he slept below. How tacky. His use of arcane sailing vocabulary would send even an experienced sailor searching for a glossary of nautical terms.
Captions of Industry: A photo in the August issue of Trains magazine incorrectly identifies a five-pack of liquid cargo containers on CN No 149 as a carload of aluminum ingots. Liquid containers cannot have other containers stacked on them. No 149 normally lifts the ingot traffic on the headend, setout earlier by No 369 at Belleville. "Get me rewrite! DPM where are you?"