CN's Counter Street team track in Kingston was the loading point for Canadian Forces (CF) military vehicles destined Rendez-Vous 87 (RV87) in Wainwright, Alberta. On March 31, 1987, 9570-5031-5440 lifted 61 cars of 1 Canadian Signal Regiment (1 CSR) vehicles west, a little after 8 p.m., caboose 79917 tagging along. Two days earlier, vehicles including deuce-and-a-half MLVW's, GMC 5/4-ton signals trucks and trailers were staged at CFB Kingston, arriving via city streets at the team track, waiting in serpentine strings for loading to take place:
Circus-style loading at the single ramp meant that cuts of up to 10 cars were loaded at the ramp and pulled (right track, below) before being replaced with cuts of empty cars (left track, below):
GP-9 4506 was on hand to shuffle cuts of cars. When chocked and chained, the cars were shifted to the siding as Queens, where the train was assembled, with final assembly taking place March 31.
Loaded Trailer-Train flats are pulled down the west leg of the wye at Queens. The trucks already have a good coating of mud on their tires, from driving around the muddy team track loading area. Soon it'll be Alberta mud:
Interestingly, 4506 was the third unit on CN train 318, bringing flat cars to Kingston for CF loading. Fifteen of the empty flat cars derailed spectacularly. Read more about the immediate aftermath and cleanup of the derailment in this post.
David Workman profiled not only the loading of CF vehicles at Counter Street for RV89, but also travelled with the troops to Alberta. Read more from David's website here.
Here's some of my modelling of CF movements in HO scale using some Roco Minitanks models, appropriately camouflaged and guarded by an HO scale German shepherd:
Kitbashed 5/4-ton trucks:
and this scratchbuilt HOSMTDV (HO Scale Military Train Defender Vehicle) ready to bring its curiously threatening mix of half-track 50 cal. machine guns, APC turret guns and Sea Sparrow missiles to bear on any security threats along the line. Hell on rails!
Interesting discussion on Yahoogroups this week about the LRC operating outside the Corridor. It happened at least once - the LRC locomotive and coach demo'd with two CN coaches as far west as Winnipeg. Early VIA plans were for the LRC to operate on eastern and western services, which never happened in revenue service. The early poor serviceability of the LRC equipment likely accounted for the equipment historically staying close to Montreal and the east, and the use of service reps known as 'train riders'.
'Bus Rider' was a hit for Winnipeg's Guess Who. The Jets are returning to Winnipeg. Maybe they'll be called the Threshers, more agrarian and Canadian than Thrashers, which is the Georgia state bird - the brown thrasher. Maybe they can com-bine the two.
Don Cherry looked natty last night in a blue blazer designed by Leroy's Neon Products of Hamilton. During Coach's Corner, he asked Ron MacLean at least twice an agitated "WHAT?", and Don was his usual irascible self. Could 'Coach's Corner' also have been a part of VIA's Spadina coachyard in its day?