Monday, May 30, 2011

Grain Train Consists, June 1982

Earlier in June, I posted a day of trains at Portage la Prairie. Here are the complete consists of two of the grain trains featured in that post:

1403 EB CN (pictured above) 37 cylindrical covered hoppers, 3 grain boxcars, 1 ballast hopper:

4322-396662-396679-CN 300730 ballast car-100480-106340-CN 428880 boxcar-CN 428943 boxcar-107731-395941-107949-106070-SKNX 397276-106582-396730-SKNX 397278-395859-SKNX 397134-100778-101142-100878-395474-106713-106531-106530-108181-101273-CN 520202-CN 377542-CN 371256-CN 379033-CN 379149-CN 371970-100962-106298-107306-106768-100046-108002-CN 371698-SKNX 397386-79631

1612 EB CN 120 cylindrical covered hoppers:

5231-5014-100895-100515-CN 377015-107303-CN 377852-100673-395805-CN 369429-396213-100238-SKNX 397167-108079-CN 371055-100415-395495-106055-CN 370389-107661-395334-101162-100425-106665-ALNX 396626-395166-106731-100151-SKNX 397443-SKNX 397271-ALNX 396652-395587-ALNX 396685-107592-SKNX 397055-396787-395291-CN 377573-CN 371316-396115-395878-108215-107883-107819-106271-CN 377465-106175-100529-395091-395340-395525-396003-396009-100028-107946-396923-107603-396258-395793-107704-396350-396400-107533-106143-100247-396282-SKNX 397427-CN 378327-CN 378645-395501-CN 377823-396166-395507-396207-100432-SKNX 397018-100241-108073-SKNX 397414-106173-106002-CN 370501-107391-396757-107181-CNWX 396826-SKNX 397434-CN 378519-395348- CN slab-side 390248 -CN 377579-100533-396976-108239-395671-101227-106526-107966-396104-395387-100635-CN 378284-101124-SKNX 397256-396852-107961-SKNX 397071-106799-CN 378110-CN 371607-CN 377256-100681-SKNX 397293-396539-100064-108116-CN 382661-SKNX 379086-107995-79591.

Notes on numbers:

CN cars are grey with red lettering.

ALNX cars are blue with yellow lettering.
SKNX cars are brown and orange.

Notes on reporting marks:

All other cars are CNWX:

-CNWX 106xxx/107xxx/108xxx are aluminum and yellow

-CNWX 100xxx/101xxx are brown and yellow

Cars numbered 396000-396479 are either ALNX or CNWX (CWB), higher 396xxx and 395xxx are CNWX (CWB)

The third train's consist 1657 EB CN pulled by 1053-1054 was featured in an earlier post on grain boxcar train consists .

Running extra...

Pssst...Wanna buy a book? Sales of Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years are rolling right along. Please check the blog: A New VIA Rail Book in my sidebar for ordering information and more details on this data-dense book. A big thank you to my blog partners who are helping spread the word on this project before I've even asked them to! Thanks also to all of you who've already ordered, showing that you're VIAphiles of the highest order.

Rapido Trains' Jason Shron is starting his cross-Canada tour by VIA this week. I'll be following Jason's progress on the trip blog. Knowing Jason, he will talk trains, negotiate deals and garner goodwill along the way, and I hope Rapido's initiative and dedication to quality will be richly rewarded all across our great country.

A weekend visit to Syracuse revealed lots of intermodal activity in CSX's East Syracuse yard, plus Amtrak trains. Gotta get back there and do a proper blog post. A colleague of mine visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton on the weekend, and commented on the plethora of guys with cameras on the footbridge over the CN lines. No, they weren't taking photos of flowers, trees or birds.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years

I’m pleased to announce the release of my new book on VIA Rail. Entitled “Trackside with VIA: The First 35 Years”, the title is a nod to Tom Nelligan’s book on VIA’s first five years, published in 1982. A lot has happened since then, and VIA has completely changed as a corporate entity and its equipment has also advanced several generations in 35 years. 6513 heads No 1 at its Thunder Bay, Ontario in May, 1986 (above). My book lists exactly what equipment was in use for all of those years. Of use to VIA enthusiasts, modellers and owners of Rapido Trains’ fine products, this book will answer some of the commonly-asked questions about VIA’s operations from its infancy until today.

Please see my blog (also shown in sidebar) which includes all information about the book:

The latest blog post includes ordering information, more specifics on the book, feedback, and a few scans of sample pages which will allow you to see what you’re buying. With a foreword by Jason Shron, and paint transition data by Jakob Mueller, my book includes 114 pages of information and photos, the vast majority of which is previously-unpublished and original. The blog also contains posts on how this project came to be, and the 7+ months of work it took to transcribe, format, proof-read, and finally professionally print the results. It’s a book I’m very happy with, and I trust you will be too.

Credit is due to Bryan Babcock of Bryan Babcock Design and Allan Graphics here in Kingston for a nice job of designing and printing my book. Bryan even personally dropped off the two cases of books. Sure beats doing a quick-and-dirty coil-binding job at Staples.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Derailment at Kingston, 1987

CN train 318 derailed at Kingston station, drifting downhill at suppertime on March 28, 1987. On the headend behind 5261-9566-4506 were 53 Trailer Train 60-foot flatcars, some of the 64 empties and 21 loads on the train. These flatcars were to be setout at Queens for 1st Canadian Signal Regiment (1CSR) vehicle loading, en route to exercise Rendez-Vous 87 in Wainwright, Alberta. "You wouldn't try this on your model railway", my brother thought when he saw the marshalling on train 318, observing it six miles west of the derailment site. He took the following seven photos the same evening, at mileage 176:

The empty flatcars derailed between the power and covered hoppers/tank cars on the tailend that were pushing downhill as the train decelerated. The derailed cars were dragged, chipping the concrete platform, kicking loose ballast onto the platform and digging into ties, before ending up stacked liked dominoes at the Queens West interlocking. Train crew, police and fire were on the scene at the Counter Street crossing. The train's power can barely be seen in the distance beyond the 15 derailed flatcars:

As the power and tailend are moved clear of the site, local railfans investigate the cars piled up just east of the crossing. Train 318's engineer felt the train 'bounce' as it crossed Counter Street. The conductor called the ride from Belleville 'rough, with more slack action than usual'.

Splintered ties, crossing timbers, broken truck sideframes, axles and smashed switch heater are visible in the cold light of day on March 29:

Belleville crane 50367, a sideboom bulldozer and road-rail cranes from Montreal and Toronto clear cars and debris. Overnight VIA Cavaliers, trains 58-59 had been re-routed over CP rails between Dorval and Brighton. Passengers on other VIA trains were bused the 100 miles between Belleville and Brockville.
Later that day around 1600, CN section forces have descended, to restore the track structure:

Here are a couple of online photos taken from a 'dumpster-dive' by a former CN car department employee based in Hamilton, showing the flurry of flatcars:

Queens West was the location of another derailment in March, 2007. In this later derailment, the same signal bridge was struck so forcefully that it was dislodged from its concrete footing, and replaced shortly thereafter.

Unlike the later derailment, clean-up of this mess was accomplished mostly with railway-owned track-based equipment crews, not contractors with road-based sideboom Cats and excavators.

Its work done, Toronto 60-ton road-rail crane 60741 reposes on Queens track 4, white flags and all:
Montreal's Holmes 1979-built 100-ton road-rail crane 10792 heads eastward:

Just behind 60741, 5261-9566 await their next move after the derailment cleanup. 4506 was used to marshall flatcars loaded with 1CSR equipment for the move westward.
Running extra...

Burton Cummings put on a great show Friday night, drawing on his own songs as well as those of the iconic Guess Who, whom he described as "four guys from the wheat fields of Manitoba." From the opening "datn-doo-dow-dow" of No Sugar Tonight, through "sing another prairie tune" in Runnin' Back to Saskatoon and the straight-ahead rock'n'roll "better not get up or you might lose your seat" of Bus Rider, it was classic Canadiana. Besides, what other group would mention Moosomin and Medicine Hat in a song?

One more lyric, from Albert Flasher "I was a diesel fixer, fixed a diesel, diesel fixed me, what a weasel."

Emerging occupation: diesel-fitter. In this job, you will assist men shopping for clothing items for the wife. Job description: Hold the clothes up, shrug and say "Yep, these'll fit 'er".

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Day at Portage la Prairie, 1982

A day of railfanning at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba yielded well over 20 trains between 0900 and 1700. Two CN and two CP mainlines converging and bringing a plethora of box and covered hopper grain trains, priority intermodal, VIA passenger trains and switching moves that kept this 18 year-old railfan busy on a sunny June 11, 1982. CN got into the act at 1027 with the second train of the day, rolling 120 grain loads east behind SD40's 5147-5217 with caboose 79545:
The third train of the day at 1038 (top photo) was an eastbound 100-car CP priority freight behind 8697-8801-4403. Both railways still used F-units and B-units in freight service. Auto parts, auto racks, TOFC and COFC and even a double-deck stock car were on this train. The CP-to-CN connecting track used by VIA is in foreground. The first train of the day was 130 eastbound CP grain loads behind 5921-5991 at 0947 (below) flying white flags as it takes the CP interlocking at West Tower. I recorded eight new Saskatchewan SKPX and 4 new Alberta ALPX covered hoppers on this train:
VIA's pint-sized train to Saskatoon: 6519-604-3215 arrived from Winnipeg at 1156:
At least three unphotographed trains slipped by at lunchtime:
1201 EB CP mixed freight 5942-8805.
1215 EB CN 4295-4283.
1246 EB CN 5180-5122.
At 1309, westbound SD40-2W's 5245-5329 are on the north main at the CN station, with MPE Pool 'B' elevator in the background. Mixed freight ahead of caboose 79257 seems to include a couple of insulated cars from Campbell's Soup lifted from the CN-CP interchange deep in the yard.
Short and sweet - CP GP9 8621's friendly hogger waves as his three-car work train from the Carberry Sub hustles east with van 434427 fifteen minutes later. Grain boxes loaded at MPE Pool 'A' and stored mechanical reefers can be seen in the background:
Not to be outdone, lone CN Geep 4322 trundles through the Eighth Street crossover eastbound from the Rivers Sub with 40 grain loads*: 3 boxcars, 37 covered hoppers and 1 ballast car.
It's only six minutes later, and with ditch lights and white classification lights burning bright, CP 5987-5627 hightail it east from the Minnedosa Sub - mostly grain but also tank car RUDX 402 and hicube box CPAA 205971 plus 106 more cars ahead of van 434378, photographed passing Portage's westernmost UGG elevator.
Destined for the Minnedosa Sub, candy-striped CP 5717 and 5736 drag 133 grain empties including at least nine each SKPX and ALPX covered hoppers and van 434670. The train skirts a string of stored, dirty mechanical reefers as switcher CP 6569 trundles along the switdching lead, far right background:
At 1426, ten minutes later, CN sends two westbounds through with paired SD's. First is 5189-5084 with 34 CWR cars, 56 mixed freight and caboose 79710; second is 5232-5354 with 92 grain empties and 79286, sailing through a sea of grass as CP's section speeder heads to the shed for the night at left.
Just before 1500, VIA train 1 arrives with 15 cars behind ex-CN 6507-6607-6611. No 1 was in no hurry to leave town, being stabbed at West Tower for 30 minutes waiting for CP traffic. A short cab visit netted a hogger's eye view of the way west:

Then five more unphotographed trains:
1505 WB CP 5524-5010-105 potash etys-434568.
1530 EB CN 5095-5090-5153-79742.
CP 6569 simmered along to Campbell's Soup with end-cupola van 437000.
1556 WB CP 5525-121 grain etys-434131.
1612 EB CN 5231-5014-120 grain loads*-79591.
VIA train 2 behind ex-CP 1405-1961-1402 and 15 cars rolls out of the setting sun at 1634:
The last two trains before suppertime were CN 5269-5009 westbound at 1657 with some mixed freight but mostly empty lumber cars for BC including Mountain Pine Lumber boxcar MPLX 1015, GCFX all-door boxes 862, 869 and 907, and Finlay Forest Products bulkhead flat FFIX 173074 and caboose 79546. This train has just met 30 eastbound grain box loads* behind GMD-1's 1053-1054 and 79763. Sunburnt, windburnt and seeking sustenance, it was time to call it a day, head to Winnipeg with relatives for supper and an after-dinner visit to Symington Yard.
Consists of grain trains with * will be featured in an upcoming post.

Running extra...

Just finished listening to Richard Wolffe's Renegade: The Making of a President. An excellent study of the interesting life, dramatic campaign and eventful presidency of Barack Obama. 'Renegade' was also his Secret Service codename.

Just re-elected, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's RCMP code name could be 'Hobby Shop' because he's been known to frequent a Calgary hobby shop to pick up model trains 'for his son'. It's OK Steve, the Canadian public would be alright with knowing the stuff is really for you.

Thanks for all the interest shown and purchases made in our Trackside Treasure Spring Cleaning Sale (If you're reading this, the remaining items are now 20% off.) I'm pleased to see these items finding good homes. Not that mine isn't good, it's just a tad full. Stay tuned for further sale posts for some items you might like, and vote to show what you might like to see.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Cleaning Sale

Spring has sprung and it's train show season. That means I need to clean out some items to make room for more items. If I make some sales from among these items, I'll consider selling more railroadiana. If not, I'll never subject my loyal readers to this again, and I'll just stow this material back in my train room. Of course, loyal readers, this stuff would look AWESOME in your train room (just sayin'), Scroll down, take a look - first email received for each item at mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca it's yours upon receipt of payment. Shipping cost will be actual postage; payment of total by cheque or postal money order. Please refer to LOT # for items when ordering. Sold so far. Thanks very much:

-1980 CP Motive Power from Lot 2

-CP Tracks Issue 10-1 from Lot 3

-GO timetables and CN System Map from Lot 4

-LRC photo from Lot 5

-Map of Windsor from Lot 7

-EMD blueprint from Lot 9

-Amtrak timetables from Lot 12

LOT 1 (top) 3 Northern Alberta Railway 8x10's: B&W mixed train at Bon Accord, colour 5703 at Nampa 1982, B&W 204 at Dawson Creek, 1979. Price: $12 for the lot.

LOT 2 (above) CP Rail Motive Power Summary with complete roster and specifications: 1984 12 pages, Motive Power 1980 12 pages. Price: $11 each.
LOT 3 (above) CP Tracks Issue 9-1 and 10-1. Price: $4 each.

LOT 4 (below) CN Foldout 1997 System Map, North America plus detailed city maps. Wall-size. Price: $10.

2 GO Transit 1981 timetables. Price: $2 each.
LOT 5 (above) Colour 8x10 of LRC demo train at Ste Anne's. Price: $5.

CN Turbo postcard. Price: $2.

LOT 6 (below) Ontario Northland Transportation Commission system map, multi-colour showing air and land transportation routes, 8x11 when folded, folds out to 4 panels, undated. Price: $10.
LOT 7 (above) CN Industrial Development-Marketing multi-colour drafted map of Windsor, Ontario, 1985. 8x11 folded, folds out to 4 panels. Price: $10.

LOT 8 (below) Over 50 Collectors Reproductions full-colour glossy-finish postcards, showing a variety of UK and US locomotive subjects, plus streetcars and autos. Price: $12 for the lot.
LOT 9 (above) EMD GP38 blueprint 1964, 8x11 when folded, folds out to 6 panels. Price: $10.

LOT 10 (below) Kalmbach Great Model Railroads 2011 and 3 European catalogues from 1985. Price: $8 for the lot.
LOT 11 (above) 4 Southern Railway 8x10's locomotives: 5073 and caboose X759, 3171, 2605 and 3043. Price: $12 for the lot.

LOT 12 (below) Amtrak Public Timetables - National 24/4/83, Northeast 14/4/96, Midwest-West 10/85, National 30/10/83, National 29/4/84. Price: $15 for the lot.
Thanks for looking - remember to check out ordering information at top of this post. We'll return to our usual retro format next post with another day at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Running extra...

Someone monitors these things...Trackside Treasure is rated 47,349th in Canada! Worth a whopping $16,610.17! Average load time 1.1 seconds. That sounds good.