Sunday, October 30, 2011

Train-to-Train Photography

Train-to-train photography happens rarely. It's comparatively easy to photograph trackside scenes or equipment from the train, or trains from trackside, but imagine photographing one moving train while aboard another. That's right, two moving trains. Standing cuts of cars or stationary trains don't count. Train from another railway? Bonus. Vestibule views are the best, but sometimes that other train just appears seemingly out of nowhere, and you've got to grab a shot through dirty or rain-streaked coach window or a scratched dome panel. A few examples follow.
The Fraser and Thompson Rivers are the happy hunting ground. CN and CP lines parallel each other on opposite sides of the canyon. On May 29, 1986 (top) the entire consist of VIA train No 2 is visible on CP tracks, across the Thompson River east of Boston Bar, with three units and thirteen cars. On September 22, 1985, things are reversed as we're aboard VIA No 1 chasing a CN Piggyback train westward, west of Spuzzum BC at 0730 (above).
Later that same day in September at 1850, we're meeting CP westbound coal across the river behind 5809-5836-5971. Helpers 5715-5767 and van 434208 follow:
CP also parallels CN for quite a distance between Belleville and Oshawa, Ontario. On May 17, 1994 I grabbed a shot of a CP westbound to the south with 5729-5747, from VIA train 61:
On a trip from Kingston to Montreal, we met CP freights north of us, in the starting blocks near Dorval ready to head west. There's also this slow-moving eastbound behind CP engine 9513, photographed from VIA train 52/40:
On a drizzly September 17, 1985, I'm in the dome aboard VIA No 1 as we meet an eastbound CN freight of paper cars behind 5207-5053, paralleling us on tangent track near Hurkett, Ontario:

Around the same area on May 21, 1986 we're meeting another CN eastbound behind 5148-5057 with 50 cars and caboose 79723, as seen from the lounge of Strathcona Park:
On May 23, 1986 at Basque Junction BC, still aboard VIA No 1 but running a disappointing four hours late, we meet a two-SD eastbound CN freight. It's half grain empties and half sulphur bathtub empties, all wrapped in the canyon dawn:

Another passenger-passenger train-to-train photography opportunity presented itself on June 9, 1984. Aboard VIA train No 2, we'd taken the siding west of Franz, Ontario. After enjoying the afternoon sun on the spruces for awhile, No 1 edged around the curve behind 6531-6633. While both trains were stopped, there was an exchange of supplies for ex-CN diner 1340, which is shown just ahead of MacDonald Manor:
VIA No 1 is smokin' it up behind ex-CP 1414 and two CP RS10's (hence the smoke) as it meets our No 2, east of Marathon, Ontario. The photo is taken from the vestibule of Butler Manor, and needless to say that at the speed No 1 was travelling, 1414 was the only number I was able to get before I quickly drew my head in!
Running extra...

Another nice round trip Kingston-Toronto this week, courtesy VIA trains 651/46. On the trip home, I enjoyed reading Rails & Rooms by Dave Preston. Dave travels across Canada sampling VIA routes and former railway hotels. Dave was travelling VIA 1 in the Corridor, as was I. When the warm towels were brought, I was reading about that. Then, both my seatmate and I selected the salmon entree, and when I turned the page, I found that Dave and his seatmate had done the same. Sounds fishy. I kept reading just for the halibut.

Even though it was raining, I stood under an awning for about 10 minutes, watching the Toronto Transit Commission CLRV's roll along Carlton Street. Even in the evening, there was rarely a span of more than one minute that at least one CLRV wasn't visible.

It took me over 70 years, but I finally viewed Gone with the Wind this week. Combined with a recent trip to Virginia, and a Trains magazine article on the US Military Railroad and other Civil War railroading efforts, I'm just about ready to start work on a Civil War model railroad. I can see it now...a little 4-4-0 pulling a train of munitions into a fortified arsenal with horse and mule teams standing by ready to ferry materiel to the troops at the front. (Oxymoron...civil...war. It's like...jumbo...shrimp) Bernard Kempinski's site serves as inspiration.

Friday, October 21, 2011

CN's Double Deck Auto Transporters

CN's double-deck auto tranporter fleet comprised 150 cars with 9-foot end doors built by CC&F: 25 75-foot cars built in 1956 (CN 570400-570424 renumbered CN 730000-730024 in 1966), a further 50 75-foot cars built in 1959 (CN 570425-570474 renumbered CN 730025-730073 in 1966), and 75 57-foot cars built in 1959 (CN 570700-570774 renumbered to the CN 720100-series and equipped with tie-down troughs in 1974. CN 730034 is shown at CN's London Reclamation yard in 1989 (Peter Mumby photo - above). Note: due to the use of flickr and cnrphotos photos in this post, I've included 9 links to the original photos on their respective websites.

The 57-foot cars included some like CN 570717 that were painted in an overall blue with large CAR-GO-RAIL lettering to publicize this new service in 1963. Through the lens of Peter Cox, we see beautiful blue(!) CN 570717 at Vancouver in July, 1963:
Otherwise, both series of cars were delivered centrally lettered 'Double Deck Auto Transporter' in the CNR maple-leaf scheme, with some 57-foot cars later receiving the CN wet-noodle logo. Both types of cars had double decks each approximately 6 feet in height. The 57-foot cars carried six autos, and were built to offer more flexibility to shippers than the a-little-too-large eight auto 75-foot cars. An undated photo of CN 720105 with French lettering "Wagon Porte-Automobiles a Deux Etages" and English Canadian National, from the Bill Grandin collection via Jim Parker:
Revolutionary at the time, the oversize dimensions of these cars bridged the eras of 40-foot double-door automobile boxcars and open bi-level and tri-level auto racks. Providing all-weather protection, the 75-foot cars were even equipped with interior lighting. A nice black & white example: CN 570438 at Vancouver in 1959 (City of Vancouver Archives photo CVA447-1706.1)
Due to their large dimensions, these cars were not interchanged to other railways, being stencilled with instructions 'Do not load off CN lines in Canada'. Ten 57-foot cars were renumbered CN 15501-15509, retrucked for narrow-gauge service, and sent to Newfoundland in 1971. Returning to the mainland, retrucked with standard-gauge express trucks and repainted, CN 9500-9507 entered Auto-With-You service. Their eye-catching black & white scheme with red CN logo included a 'cutaway' drawing of three autos. Photos show these cars were equipped with steamlines, and I've only seen one photo of such a car not on the tail-end, instead between two CN passenger cars. CN 9501, 9504 and 9506 were definitely equipped with steamlines.
Some 57-foot cars remained in service for many years, such as CN 720127 at Churchill in 1987 (D.J. Gagnon photo - above). Between Wabowden/Thompson and Gillam/Churchill, the road network was poor or non-existent. For this service, the upper deck was removed, enabling single-level ramp loading of vehicles larger than autos. When the Hudson Bay Railway assumed operation of the line, such cars retained their original numbers with HBRY initials added to the reporting marks. Mark Fidelak kindly shared this photo of one such car that even includes an Hudson Bay Railway logo. Ex- CN 720100 at Churchill, June 2016:
Fifteen cars were converted to unique Auto Loaders for service on CN narrow-gauge lines in Newfoundland in 1975 - CN 18020-18034. The cars' roofs were removed, and large 'portholes' cut in the lower deck car sides. Here's CN 18032 at Corner Brook in 1981 (online auction site photo):
Here's another 57-foot car derivative - double-deck stock car CN 179000 also with six portholes, three compartments and moveable steel slats, built from CN 570767 in October 1964 (or some reports April 1965), photo courtesy Mark Perry.  Lower deck 5'7", upper deck 5'4".This one-of-a-kind car was later repainted silver with black lettering, renumbered into CN's 8xxxxx-series stock car numbering scheme as CN 820000 at Transcona in August 1968, and was off CN's standard-gauge roster by 1975. This car was featured in the October 1979 Railroad Model Craftsman. Interestingly, CN 179000 became CN Newfoundland 18032 in 1975! As Conrad Steeves pointed out via a comment, this car had the six 'portholes' in two pairs of three, while the other fourteen cars had the portholes evenly spaced. Dan Dell'Unto mentioned that the provenance can be confirmed - 18032 being the only 18000-series car with a door sill.
Mark Horne kindly shared this unique photo of a CN 820000-->179000-->18032 double-deck stock car, early 1970's in Vancouver to complete the puzzle: 
Some Auto-With-You cars were renumbered back to their earlier freight service number series, still wearing CN passenger paint, such as CN 9501 renumbered to CN 720045 in 1987. Another such car was CN 720026.

Other cars were used by CN in maintenance-of-way service, including CN 9503 which was converted for the masonry gang at Belleville, Ontario's car shop, equipped with roll-up doors and renumbered CN 72026.  (Kingston Rail photo - below):
I kitbashed an HO scale Bachmann auto transporter to represent CN 75107:

I came across CN 75107 at Gananoque Jct in 1994, with roll-up doors and retaining its original initial '7' numeral (both sides shown above and below). This car was also converted at Belleville in 1993, for use by the regional steel gang.  Note repainting around the new doors added side ladders, ACI labels and car end electrical plug-ins.
Eric Potter kindly shared these two photos showing both sides of CN 75107, as well as an end-door view, taken at Port Hope in 1991:
This was prior to the roll-up door being added!

story of ex-CN 9500 and its use in moving construction materials. At least 64 75-foot cars were sold to Auto-Train in 1973 for Washington-Florida service. When first delivered, the cars retained their CNR maple-leaf scheme, with reporting marks and logos painted out: AT 36, and AT 32, later repainted in the garish white-purple-red Auto-Train scheme. CN found other loads for the remaining few cars, such as boats and tent-trailers, until the last of the 75-foot cars also left the active roster in 1992. If you have the May 1979 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman, Protofile 3 written by Stafford Swain is a good source of information on both types of double deck auto transporters. Thanks to Claude and Roman for your kind assistance.

With the advent of auto racks, the 57-foot cars were off CN's active roster by 1992. Here's an interesting

Running extra:

VIA train nos. 651 and 48 took me on a round-trip from Kingston to Toronto this past week. Delayed about 30 minutes eastbound into Belleville, for two westbound VIA trains, a westbound freight, plus the unseen freight we were following. Delicious key lime truffles, strong coffee, plus cognac made the delay much more palatable. Bring on the triple-track!

Thanks to readers who participated in last week's supreme passenger scheme poll. Can I conclude from the voting results that we are dealing with a 'younger' readership who appreciate the fifties CN green & black scheme, as well as VIA's blue & yellow, but whose votes are solidly behind CN's 1961 black & white?

It's that time of year when advertisers are using hokey seasonal slogans again. Rocktober, Sales Spook-tacular, even the clucking bunny with its Cadbury Screme Eggs. Q: What kind of car does a ghost drive? A: A Boo-ick.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

CN's Car-Go-Rail and Auto-With-You Services

One of the most confusing HO scale cars ever produced was Bachmann's Auto Transporter in CN's black & white scheme. This was a total foobie. Were such cars really used on CN passenger trains? When, how and why were they used? Are there photos of the cars in use? In an attempt to clear up the confusion, I humbly submit this post, and another post to come about the cars themselves.

Car-Go-Rail, introduced by CN in 1963, was a service that allowed a passenger's auto to travel between the same two cities as the passenger, but on a slightly different schedule, aboard a freight train. Auto-With-You, introduced by CN in 1972 (timetable artistic rendering -below), was an extension of Car-Go-Rail. Auto-With-You allowed a passenger's auto to travel on the same train - the daily Super Continental, train Nos 3 and 4 between Toronto and Edmonton. Handling the auto transporter on the tail end of the Super facilitated switching en route. Advance reservations were required for passengers and autos. Unlike the Bachmann auto transporter, CN's shorter 57-foot cars were actually used for both services (75-foot cars were only hauled on freight trains).

Car-Go-Rail recovered all transportation costs through freight tariffs, whether the passenger travelled by train or not. Purchase of a passenger ticket was necessary for both services. Car-Go-Rail operated between Halifax, Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver. Avis Rent-a-Car operated an over-the-road pickup and delivery service, linking Calgary, Regina, Prince Albert, Brandon, Ottawa, Kingston, London and Quebec City with CN's Car-Go-Rail loading points.

Passengers' autos were driven carefully (very carefully) on and off the double-deck auto transporters, as shown in this early CN publicity photograph showing new car deliveries on a 57-foot car (CSTM photo - above). CN publicized service improvements to Car-Go-Rail in 1966 (below). In 1969, Car-Go-Rail service between Moncton and Calgary cost $168. In 1974, service between Toronto and Edmonton cost $303 (excluding passenger fare). Rate reductions were offered for compact autos and shared passenger sleeping accommodations.
Auto-With-You was an attempt by CN to not only grow passenger traffic, as passenger operations became a costly millstone around the railways' necks, but to recoup some of the cost of the service by generating additional revenue. VIA Rail terminated the service in 1976.

Rental companies such as Tilden and Avis provided Car-Go-Rail terminal handling in cities between customer drop-off points and railway loading facilities. Halifax' facility was at Fairview yard, at the foot of Chisholm St. Toronto's facility was located north of Parkdale station, off Lansdown Ave., and in 1975 near GO Transit's Bathurst yard. Winnipeg's was in East Yard, adjacent to Union Station.

The following publications include photos of Auto-With-You cars in use:
-The Canadian National Railways' Story (Patrick Dorin) p.56
-CN Lines Vol 8 No 4 p.28
-National Passenger Chronicle Premiere (Dale Wilson) p.59
-Canadian National Through Passenger Service (Kevin Holland) p.122-123
-VIA Rail (Christopher Greenlaw) p.49

and the following publications include photos of Car-Go-Rail and Auto-With-You cars:
-Canadian Rail Car Pictorial Vol 4 (Richard Yaremko) p.5-8
-Canadian National Color Guide Vol 2 (John Riddell) p.36-37

In the next post, I'll discuss the similarities and differences between the CN car series used in these unique services. CN provided details of Auto-With-You in 1972:
Running extra...

A recent trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina included sightings of a couple of Carolina Southern Geeps at Conway, SC; an NS train in the Selma, NC yard; northbound Amtrak near Emporia, VA; and no CSX or Amtrak trains but one awesome location at Harpers Ferry WV.

It was good to meet blog partner Adam Walker during his railfan trip east to Belleville, Kingston, Brockville, Smiths Falls and Ottawa. Kingston didn't disappoint, with 6 trains in a couple of hours. Try Adam's idea of photographing CN's yellow labels on crossing signal bungalows to place your ensuing digital photos.

Occupy This...democracy is alive and well. Down with corporate greed, and up with masses of people meeting in parks and other public areas voting on stuff. Sure, I feel like part of the 99%, but 1% of me wishes I was really, really rich like the 1%. See also: lottery ticket.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Sale

Following Trackside Treasure's successful Summer Sale, here are some items you might consider adding to your railway collection: timetables, photos, a TTC book, postcards, operating manuals, plus other interesting and unique documents. The first email received indicating interest in each item at makes the item yours, shipped well-protected via Canada Post upon receipt of payment. Shipping cost will be actual postage, payment of total by cheque or money order. Please refer to item # when ordering. Thanks for looking!

ITEMS SOLD SO FAR: #3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Three 8x10 lots, $8 each lot:

Item #1: CN 1032 at Brada SK in 1981/ CN 1082 at Humboldt SK in 1980 (top);

Item #2: CN (NAR) 4610 at Armena AB in 1981/NAR 311 at Bon Accord AB in 1981 (above);

Item #3: CP 4555/CP 8486/ CP 3006 at Macklin SK in 1981 (below):
Item#4: VIA Standards and Limits for VIA Rail Rolling Stock Equipment: inspection requirements for RDC, diesel, LRC cars, steam and HEP, 73 pages in English and 73 pages in French, 1991 $6.
Item #5: Early VIA-CN Train Conductors' Memorandum Tariff showing Corridor ticket charges, 1976 $6.
Item #6: Four Vanishing Vistas oversize postcards- 2 CNR 1958: Maritime Express at St Bruno QC in 1958 and Continental Limited at Lachine QC, 2 CN 1962: 6763 at Montreal QC and 6759 at St Lambert QC. Lot of four $3.Item #7: CN Bilingual St Lawrence Region employees' time table 1988, $5.
Item #8: British Columbia Railway 1978 Employees' Timetable - 38 pages, 1978, $8

Item #9: Unique full-colour Rail Traffic Controller's Oakville Subdivision 2001 train sheet, showing all daily VIA and GO trains and equipment moves. Four-and-a-half pages loaded with information, $5.
Item #10: Sarnia-Port Huron Operating Manual: 71 pages of local operating procedures including four foldout car control trackage maps: St Clair Tunnel, St Clair River Spur, Tunnel Yard, and Sarnia Yard, 1990 $6.

Item #11: Fort Erie-Buffalo Operating Manual: 59 pages of local operating procedures including five foldout maps: NS Tifft yad, Frontier yard, Buffalo, Fort Erie Yard and track profile, 1990 $6.

Item #12: Fifty Years of Progressive Transit - A History of the Toronto Transit Commission by Bromley and May. Fully illustrated in black & white, 175 pages, some binding and wear issues, rare 1973, $15.

Item #13: CN Lines Volume 7, Number 1, includes Part 2 of the CN Lines freight fleet roster, Thousand Islands Railway article, 43 pages $4.