Friday, March 4, 2011

An Afternoon on the Cataraqui Spur, 1977

It's a cold afternoon at CN's Kingston station, during March break, 1977. The local wayfreight, bound for the Cataraqui Spur approaches. This is Trackside Treasure's most historic post to date, complete with 126-format Instamatic black & white images. Perched high on a parking lot snowbank, here's 3731's train approaching on the north track of the Kingston Sub with its nine-car train. Bearing in mind the Cataraqui Spur leaves the south track of the Kingston Sub, why is this train on the north track, and how will it reach the south track and 'Cat' Spur? Notice the first three cars (above): NAHX and ETCX covered hoppers of plastic pellets for Northern Telecom, and a double-door Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific boxcar, likely loaded with lumber for Weldwood Lumber. These two industries run off CN's Industrial Spur just west of the top end of the Cataraqui Spur.
After making those setouts, the wayfreight negotiates the crossover just west of the Industrial Spur switch and heads down the top end of the Cataraqui Spur. 3731 shunts empty adipic acid covered hoppers and DOCX and Procor hexamethylene diamine tank cars across a short trestle at the bottom end of the Cataraqui Spur. With Canada Steamship Lines' transfer elevator visible in the background, the train is pictured parallel to Front Road, as it is readied for its trip north up to the Kingston Sub mainline.Kingston-assigned wooden caboose CN 79140 tags along behind two DUPX covered hoppers, three tank cars and a CN covered hopper. These cars will head east on the Kingston Sub to the yard at Kingston's Outer Station on Montreal Street, routed "CNR via Collins Bay". I'm waiting beside the Cat Spur as the afternoon Railiner to Toronto heads west: 6351-6003-6101 (above).
 Colour slide views of the train approaching from the east (above) then nearing the mainline switch:

The train appears. This connection to the mainline was moved east of Gardiners Road when the level crossing was replaced with an underpass. Having regained the mainline, more Alco smoke accompanies 3731's backup push as caboose 79140 reaches the level crossing. Today these cars are taken straight to Belleville yard behind 7000-series chop-nosed GP9's. Earlier in the afternoon at Kingston station, an eastbound VIA train behind 6527 in CN paint, and a westbound with 6765 leading in newly-painted in VIA colours but a CN logo on the nose cleared the way for the wayfreight:
A year before, RS-18's 3704-3742 are hauling a single tank car past the south track station building on February 21, 1976:
Running extra...

The 2012 Ford Focus boasts a new feature, Active Grille Shutters. The radiator grille shutters flap shut to improve mileage. Immediately reminded me of FPA/FPB4's and their extra vents below the radiator intake shutters that would periodically flaack! shut while idling.

Any idea how easy it is to type 678? Covered the last few trains of 1981 for my new VIA Rail book, and throughout the project, I enjoyed typing numbers like 6784, 6780 and others in that series. Of course, 6789 is the easiest of all.

Some have said that Denise Richards is trying to 'railroad' the spiralling Charlie Sheen. I haven't really been 'tracking' all the coverage of his 'railing', so I think I'm "winning!". If he makes it to Oprah, he won't just jump on the couch, he will demolish it "like an F-18 deploying its ordnance to the ground!".


Zartok-35 said...

Nice pictures; good and old! I like that wooden van on the end of this train. I bought one just like it at the recent train show just last week, and now I wish I knew where it was 'assigned'.

Bryan said...


Eric said...

Hi Elijah and Bryan, that's the first Like!! that Trackside Treasure has had so far. Thank you.

There were a couple of wooden vans in use out of the Montreal Street outer station at that time.

jddc.trains said...

I like the B&W 126 photos. Great post and an interest bit there about VIA locomotives. Also can't wait for the new book!

These VIA trains and locomotive were about a year before VIA officially began operation as an "independent" company from CN. I take it that 6765 was probably among the first to get VIA colours with the CN logo. I wonder how long it took to re-stencil VIA locomotives with the VIA logo after 1978.

Eric said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Jason. The old B&W aren't the best format for sharing, but hey, they're considered retro now.

I'll let Steve Boyko comment on 6765, as it is one of his favourite units.

Regarding the transition between CN and VIA, this will be included in my new book, based on sightings I had. At some point, I'd like to present this information in the form of a graph. Certainly 1978-79there was a lot of blue and yellow paint flowing. The CN logos and slanted yellow nose paint didn't last too long.



Canadian Train Geek said...

Yes, 6765 is one of my favourites, as I have one of her number boards. She lives on in the Canadian Railway Museum in Delson, Quebec, albeit in the green and yellow CN colours.

You can see my blog posts about 6765 for more photos.

She was repainted into the VIA yellow and blue sometime between September 11 and December 19, 1976.

Eric said...

Thanks Steve, that means the paint was 3-6 months old, when that photo was taken. Can't remember if it still had that 'new paint' smell!