Monday, December 26, 2011

Bad Order, Part 1

Railway rolling stock has lots of moving parts.  When one or more of these parts becomes dangerously defective, the car is deemed Bad Order in need of repair.  Sometimes referred to as RIP`s, short for Repair In Place, the track designated for car repairs. Some repairs can be made en route, such as a conductor wiring a cut lever or changing an airhose.  More serious problems can include loose strapping or chains, doors or hatches that need to be repaired at the next RIP track. VIA F40PH-2 6402 has a bent pilot, and has been set out at Queens after striking the crossing at Collins Bay Road on March 6, 2005 (above).
There are problems that prevent the car from going past the next available set-out track.  Serious axle or wheel defects, draft gear or shifted loads are set out at the nearest siding or back track.  On CN`s Kingston Sub, a reduction in mainline switches and potential set-out tracks has made this process more challenging for crews and Rail Traffic Controllers.  A Grand Trunk Western 86-foot hi-cube auto parts boxcar is being taken to Belleville by a four-car local behind 4563 and caboose 79506 on June 15, 1979 (above).  Six months later, a Chicago & North Western four-door hi-cube boxcar has been set out on a spur across the Kingston Sub from the former Collins Bay station site.  Look ma, no 'B' end drawbar:
There are no more set-out tracks at Collins Bay or Ernestown, so RIP's now have to be dragged even farther along the main line.  CN train 519 behind 4123-4111 has VIA LRC coach 3300 sandwiched between its 11 freight cars as it heads past Kingston station on August 13, 1997 at 1400.  Note the jury-rigged trainline along the side of 3300:
If bad-ordered cars are set out, the nearest road repair truck will drive or hi-rail to the car to make the repairs.  CN's International road repair truck, complete with extra wheels awaits a call near the former Belleville roundhouse site in March, 1994:
CN`s current Belleville road repair truck is at the Invista nylon plant on the Cataraqui Spur last winter:
Cars that are able to move, and require heavy repairs to be made at a railway shop, contractor shop, car owner or other railway`s shop are placarded `Home Shop for Repair`and moved in a freight train to that shop.  Until recently, bad-ordered cars had a Bad Order defect car rolled up and left in a car holder on the carbody, detailing the exact defect requiring repair.  While this card is intended to accompany the car, someties the cards came loose, were blown away, and lost or recovered by railfans scouring the right-of-way.  CGTX 30524 rides toward repair aboard CP 315541 at Kingston station on May 4/09:
On January 1, 2011 Railinc, an AAR subsidiary, launched the Damaged and DEfective Car Tracking system, a computerized program which provides a streamlined, accurate and real-time database of cars with defects requiring repair.  Part 2 will feature some Bad Order documents.

Running extra...

Recently-arrived junk mail included Harvey`s restaurant coupons.  I was surprised to find an accurate representation of Kingston`s rail system included on the coupon page.  It even includes tracks that have been removed. (click to enlarge)
OK, so I added the red print on the map for clarity.  Obviously Harvey`s printer is using an old map.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Twas the Blog Post Before Christmas

'Twas the blog post before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, just one cordless mouse,
The train books were stacked on the night table with care,
In hopes I would find them when I needed them, there,
Timetables and magazines were stacked by the bed,
While visions of new posts danced in my head.

My wife sighed loudly, hit her forehead with a slap,
"I'm tired of hearing about all your train crap!"
When out on the Kingston Sub arose such a clatter,
I figured a CN freight might be a-splatter,
Away to the scanner I flew like a flash,
Turned up the volume, to hear RTC teeth gnash,

The crack of slack action over new-fallen snow,
Gave the sound of derailment, but thank goodness, no,
Up the grade towards Belleville, I heard the train disappear,
I resumed talking 'blog' (blah-blah-blah, to my dear)
More creative and inspired, my thoughts again came,
As I remembered my blog partners, and called them by name:

Now Steven, now Adam, Chris, Dave, Scott and John,
Second Chris, third Chris, Matt, Robert and Jas-on,
You share such neat stuff, each blog a different creature,
A definite highlight for my sidebar to feature,

As thoughts in one ear, and out the other ear fly,
I thought of more posts as I scanned the night sky,
On CN! on CP! VIA yellow and blue!
Rolling stock, railfan adventures, and train-riding too,
My imagination throttled up, new ideas reached the roof,
My wife simply said, "Turn the light off, you goof!"

I had one last thought, which I want you to know:
From west coast to east coast, and also my bro',
You speak not a word, but go straight to your work,
Filling readers with thoughts, as they comment or lurk,
You've left us with gifts, they're true Trackside Treasure,
    You photograph and write, with aplomb beyond measure,

(As I heard a train coming, 'twas a P42 whistle
 I knew it was time to end this epistle)
A toast to your efforts, with coffee, pop or beer,
Thanks for making 2011 a congenial year!
To all of you I say, as I call it a night,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good write!

--Home for Christmas--
Meeting ONR No 121  Eng 1803 at South River, Ontario in 1994 (above)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

CN Insulated Boxcars in MOW Service

A cut of CN insulated boxcars with 8-foot Superior and 9-foot Youngstown plug doors in CN's Belleville Yard on February 17, 1992 included billboard 'big apple' CN 283032. Ironically, this car was one of four billboard cars that debuted during railway week in Belleville in July 1971 behind Century 2335 and restored CN steam locomotive 6218. Since much of CN's Great Lakes Region track gang equipment was based in Belleville in 1992, wintered there and was sent afield each summer, it seemed the presence of these 1965-68 built insulated cars indicated their impending conversion to maintenance-of-way house cars, some with roll-up doors.

Photographed in Armstrong, Ontario the car has indeed been renumbered, to CN 73728, with its new number stencilled higher than its previous reporting marks near the underframe.(Gerald Harper photo):

CN 73726 has its 'Insulated Car' designation painted out, with its new AAR code MWM stencilled near its number, in March, 2000:

Some cars such as 73737 and 73723, also 73743 seen at Belleville in April, 1996 had been equipped with roll-up doors in place of their plug doors, and new Home Hardware doors for crew access. Equipment is being loaded for the upcoming trackwork season.

CN 73723 in service in 2005 in London, Ontario with steps and handrails for the crew door, hydro hookup on the 'B' end and DANGER placards clearly visible (Peter Mumby photo):
Although this car series included CN 73600-73773, CN car tracing records on CN 73700-73745 in October, 2001 showed many cars still in MOW service from Quebec to Alberta:
73703 to CPRS 16/8/01*
73711 Redditt track RE66 27/7/01
73712 to Selkirk via Paddington 7/01*
73714 to Selkirk via Paddington 7/01*
73717 Jasper-Hinton-Edmonton 8-9/01
73718 to Selkirk via Paddington 7/01*
73722 Bethnal-Oatland-Capreol 8-9/01
73723 Hornepayne track HO60-Argolis-Agate 8-9/01
73724 Edmonton track TH01 10/01
73725 Capreol 8/01
73729 Riviere des Prairies-Fitzpatrick 7-9/01
73731 Joffre track JF13-CN train No 309-arr Winnipeg 28/9/01
73732 Capreol 8/01
73734 Bethnal 8-9/01
73735 Capreol 8/01
73738 Agate track RC39-Hornepayne-Longlac-Fort Erie
73741, 73743, 73744 Belleville 18/7/01
73742 Foleyet track FL72-MacMillan Yard Toronto 9/01
73745 Agate track RC39-Hornepayne-Longlac-Fort Erie

Note that four (*) cars are heading to Selkirk, Manitoba, likely for scrapping at Mandak Metals. Perhaps CN 73741 is making its last trip midtrain in a westbound freight at Kingston on June 9, 2002:
On our trip west in June, 2019 we passed CN 73744 still in service at Armstrong:

Running extra...

Tonight's report from Brian Schuff in Winnipeg just in: VIA No 1 with 6451-Ren 6434 and Tremblant Park on the tail end. It's been quite a while since the Canadian had a yellow-nosed, non-Ren F40 on the point. CN hogger Mark Perry was in the cab of CN engine 2600 heading for Melville as the Canadian passed.

Christmas specials abound this time of year. Last night it was the Polar Bear Express, with Tom Hanks and his young passengers sloshing across a cracking, ice-covered lake before they reach the shore and safety. Kind of like Saving Private Ryan on ice. To paraphrase Zuzu in It's a Wonderful Life, "Every time a bell rings at the crossing, it means a train is coming."

Merry Christmas to all Trackside Treasure's readers! May this festive season bring lots of relaxation, time with family and friends, a break from work, enjoying festive food and drink (bring on the fruitcake!) and reflecting on 2011 as we look forward to 2012.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Santa Sale

It's that time of year again - Christmas shopping looms, but you can beat the crowds by picking up an item or two for yourself or someone you know at Trackside Treasure's online Santa Sale. 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, and Merry Christmas!


ITEM #1 (Top) From the Operator's Desk: A full day of train orders, clearances, symbol sheets, train lineups, crew call sheets, operator's trainsheet and messages - over 80 items in each package. Twenty-four hours of CP Rail action between Thunder Bay and Kenora on the Ignace and Kaministiquia Subs. Did I mention this is 1981? In excellent condition for their age, and each package was dated and stored until today. For this item only - I have more than one package available, but quantities are limited - operators are standing by. $25 per package.

A nice selection of books on regional railway subjects from across Canada:

ITEM #2 (above) Cinders to Saltwater by Shirley E. Woods. Atlantic Canada's Railways since 1829. Nicely-illustrated with maps and photos, 227 pages, 1992, hardcover with dustjacket, $21.

ITEM #3 (below) McCulloch's Wonder - the Story of the Kettle Valley Railway by Barrie Sanford. Detailed history of the KVR. 20th Anniversary Edition, sixth printing 1998, 260 pages, illustrated, softcover, $16.

ITEM #4 (also below) The Spiral Tunnels and the Big Hill by Graeme Pole. Tales, maps and factoids about this spectacular CPR route. 1998, 80 pages, softcover, $13.

ITEM #5: (below) The Town that Arrested a Train by George Campbell. Fort William's drastic actions in the 19th century profiled. First Printing 1981, illustrated 24 pages, softcover, $7.

ITEM #6 (also below): Banff Springs - The Story of a Hotel by Bart Robinson. Couldn't export the scenery, so CPR had to import the tourists. Second Edition 1988, illustrated 120 pages, softcover, $7.

ITEM #7: (below) Vintage VIA...It's a tote bag! It's a pillow with pillow case sanitized for your protection! White plastic, blue VIA, 1980's in original packaging, $15.
Item #8: (below) Vintage VIA shoulder tote bag made in Canada by Curtis Agencies, brown and yellow with strap. 1980's, comes in a VIA shopping bag, $18. ITEM #9: (below) CN LINES Volume 13 Numbers 1 and 4, $5.50 each or both for $10.
ITEM #10: CN Predecessor Roads bicentennial units - Grand Trunk Western, Detroit Toledo & Ironton and Central Vermont units each numbered 1776. Two 8x10's, one Audio-Visual Designs Super Post Card, all three for $12. ITEM #11: Glorious Colour 8x10's - ONR 1808, F-unit and Northlander consist at North Bay in 1992; CN 5302 leads four other units at English, Alberta in 1981, $6 each or both for $11.