Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning Sale

Spring cleaning means a clean sweep of my collection for the following twenty-four items.  Perhaps you'll find some springtime reading in the following books, plus some original art and other unique items to cover your train room walls. Posters are shown with ruler to give you an idea of size, condition of each item excellent except as otherwise noted.

The first email received indicating interest in each item at mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca makes the item yours.  Please refer to each item by name and item number.  Each item will be shipped well-protected via Canada Post upon receipt of payment.  Shipping cost will be actual postage; payment of total by cheque or money order at your convenience.

ITEMS SOLD SO FAR: 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24.
ITEMS STILL AVAILABLE: 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 22.

ITEM 1: Trains 100 Greatest Railroad Photos, glossy full colour, 2008, 114 pages, $4.
ITEM 2: Model Railroader Diesel Detailing Projects, 22 projects including CP GP38, illustrated, 1995, $6.
ITEM 3: Canadian Transportation Commission official report into May 1987 CSX runaway derailment on CP trackage in Chatham, Ontario, 38 pages in each language (bilingual), $12.
ITEM 4: Farewell 6218 published by CRHA 30 B&W photos, excursion list and dates, 6218 mechanical profile and history, 1971, 35 pages, $6.
ITEM 5: The Incredible Rogers Pass guide, Rogers pass station, slides and rotary plow photos, 1962, 56 pages, $5.
ITEM 6: Tracks of the Black Bear, Dale Wilson, Algoma Central history, photos, timetable, equipment, illustrated, 1974 Rare, $9.
ITEM 7: Stand Fast Craigellachie! building of the CPR, illustrated, 1970, $5.
ITEM 8: CN Capreol Northern Ontario District Qik-Ref, two-sided laminated quick reference jampacked with tracks, procedures, operational information $2.
ITEM 9: CNR Data Pack by George Dutka, original document reproductions, London Division, Royal visit, Goderich maps, more, 38 pages, 1996, $6.
ITEM 10: VIA System Timetable May 29, 1983, $3.
ITEM 11: LRC access door, $15.  Patina of road grime.
ITEM 12: VIA System Timetable, October 31, 1982, $3 or both timetables for $5.
ITEM 13: Scenic Rail Guide to Western Canada by Bill Coo, Revised 1985 Edition, routes and maps, 192 pages, $8.
ITEM 14: Kalmbach Historical Guide to North American Railroads, history and statistics, illustrated, 376 pages, 1985, good condition $7.
ITEM 15: Rails and Rooms by Dave Preston, cross-Canada illustrated journey, 2001, 242 pages, $8.
ITEM 16: Full-colour 8x10 showing CP 4507 in script scheme, frame not included, $6.
ITEM 17: Original artwork by yours truly, B&W mosaic, paper on 9-section heavy pressed cardboard three-dimensional approx. 12x12, $15.
(ITEMS 18, 19, 20 covers shown in top photo, open below)
ITEM 18: Special Agent full-colour railway comic book, 1959 rare, $12.
ITEM 19: The Wheel of Progress full-colour railway comic book, 15 pages, 1957 rare, $10. 
ITEM 20: EMD Product Line spiral-bound catalogue, specifications and photos of each model including SW1001-MP15-Geeps-SDs, 3 colour printing, 1976, $25. 
ITEM 21: SD40-2 control stand poster (above), $10.
ITEM 22: Trains magazine GM cab unit poster, $10:
ITEM 23: NW brochures, steam locomotives, diesel roster, corporate profile, passenger timetable, TOFC timetable and map, 1970's, $7 for the lot.
ITEM 24: New York Central lot: Waybills, newsletter, station car checker reports, LCL documents, 1950's-1960's, $8 for the lot.

Running extra...

For a view of the VALE Brazil-bound locomotives ready for ship-loading in Halifax harbour, check out fellow blogger Mac Mackay's site, Shipfax.  Mac features a nice mix of shipping, from Coast Guard and naval vessels to commercial vessels, container ships and tall ships.  Nice work, Mac!

They're comin' home...formerly leased by CN, LMS C40-8W's 728-739, now IC 2455-2466 have just been purchased by CN, and will likely be prowling CN rails soon, as they arrive to shed their blue scheme and receive CN paint.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Corridor Canrailpass 1984, Part 2

A short night, but there were miles to go after I sleep, to begin part 2 of this week spent travelling aboard VIA.

DAY 3 Wednesday, March 7

VIA No 59 0400 dp Kingston
VIA No 48 2355 dp Toronto

No 59/49 partial consist: 6772-6867-Buckley Bay-5558-5616-3030 (my car) plus 3 cars.

Kingston - Westbound freight 9516-2567-2565-3737-79613.
Oshawa - CN 7028, 7227, 1228, 1242, 2582, 79560, 79798.
Toronto - GO 503, 705, 900, 725, 801, 707. CN 1316.  VIA 6105-6109, 6772-6529-6603-15486 (the Canadian), ONR eastbound 1517-1508-ONR baggage 413, VIA 755-ONR coach 841-VIA 5500-VIA Edson.

A full day in Toronto, having arrived at 0735, the wafting aroma of waffles at Golden Griddle bringing me in for breakfast.  Day 3 included visits to Spadina roundhouse and coach yard, George's Trains, the Eaton Centre, Uncommon Valor movie, then a Leafs-Devils game at Maple Leaf Gardens - the Leafs actually won, 8-4.
Returning on the Cavalier, 6777-CN 4105-6626-6861-Buckley Bay- 5558 (my car, should have looked for traces of that aluminum/yellow VIA experimental scheme!)-5616-3030-5713-Euclid-Chaleur Bay-Edmonton.

DAY 4 Thursday, March 8

VIA No 60 0952 dp Kingston
VIA No 33 1233 dp Dorval
VIA No 45 1825 dp Ottawa

VIA No 60 was an LRC consist led by 6916.

Brockville - CN 1310, 79462.
Cornwall - CN Centuries 2000-2041.
Coteau - CN 4353.

Returning from a quick, between-trains lunch at the Dorval McDonald's, a CP freight was westbound with CP 5532-QNS&L 210 and van 434411:
Dorval: 1230 WB freight CN 4240-3726-3122-3 tank cars-79556:
1230 WB: CN 5186-5156-5095-International Service caboose 78108.  Also an MUCTC commuter train 1303-921-926-925-900.  At this point, I ended a 6-year relationship.  With my camera.  My trusty Kodak Hawkeye decided to act up, resulting in some weird exposures on the platform at Dorval for its last photos ever.
Montreal-Ottawa train No 33 was also an LRC consist.  6921-3312-3340 (my car)-3 LRC cars.  In Ottawa, I took OC Transpo to the Hobby House, where I bought a CP boxcar and magazines.  Time ran short, and I had to hail a cab to make it back to Ottawa station in time for departure.  

Ottawa station - Vice-|Regal cars 1 & 2, CN business car 5, VIA 5449, 5621, Fortune Bay.
Ottawa - CN 9509 (with green flags)-9554.
Smiths Falls - CP plows 400666, 400783, 401005, CP 1809-8795-7875, end cupola van 437128, westbound CP freight 5518-ANS&L 217-B&O GP38 4800.
Brockville - CP van 434631.

I celebrated catching the train by enjoying a cool Carlsberg and sub sandwich on the trip home.  Upon arrival at Kingston, westbound VIA at 1931: 6779-6864-604-5497-5452-5650-116-3218-511-Carleton Manor-Grant Manor-Revelstoke Park.

Ticket from DAY 2:
DAY 6 Saturday, March 10

VIA No 651 0700 dp Kingston
VIA No 46 1730 dp Toronto

Train No 651 was an LRC consist.  

Belleville - CN 1385, 79594, 79900, 79323.

I rode a TTC streetcar to the CNE for the Toronto model railway show, picking up ballast cars, posters and buttons.  Then an hour of subway-riding to no particular destination before dinner at Harvey's and the 1730 departure of VIA train No 46.

Without overnighting, I was able to cover several hundred Corridor miles in less than a week at very little cost.  A new camera was on the horizon as I finally bought a 35 mm SLR.

Running extra...

A new book on VIA Rail is on the horizon -  Check here for details, and check back for updates.

Next weekend, watch for Trackside Treasure's spring cleaning sale - own a piece of an LRC.

This Running extra has more one-liners than Don Rickles, the hilarious 'Mr Warmth'.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Corridor Canrailpass 1984, Part 1

VIA Rail's 8-day Corridor Canrailpass was available for a mere $85 in 1984, providing eight days of travel in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor.  This month 28 years ago, I travelled through the March snows to five cities in five days aboard LRC, RDC and conventional consists.  Little did I know that I would lose a valued travelling companion while travelling. In a two-part series, I'll share the trains I travelled on, with photos and observations from along the route.  Most of these consists did not make it into my VIA Rail book, but I've cross-referenced my original notes with my original tickets to clarify my itinerary.

DAY 1 Monday, March 5
VIA No 655 0700 dp Kingston
VIA No 663 1100 dp Toronto
VIA No 76 1650 dp London
VIA No 656 2010 dp Toronto

VIA No 651 was conventional equipment this day: 6787-5652 (my car)-3220-4894.  

Belleville - CN 3671
Cobourg - QC boxcars 74098, 74019, 74718, MP/C&EI boxcar 256590
Oshawa - BN, L&N, Rock(GTW), DRGW, SP, CNW, IC, UP, Seaboard, MILW, DTI, MP auto racks.  Conrail, Chessie, GT, SR, ATSF, ICG, WP 86028 hi-cube boxcars.  GTW, TH&B, CP, CR gons.
Guildwood - CN 8521-76560.
Toronto - CN 1384, 2566, 9523, 9654, 8520, 8518, 8517; GO 1104, 704, 703-2137-2105-2024-2125-2049-908; VIA 6775, 6919, Grand Codroy River, Glace Bay; ONR Northlander; Amtrak 28305.

VIA No 663 was RDC's 6113 (my car)-6005-6123.

Spadina - VIA 6133,  CP 437069 end-cupola van and 4734:
Bramalea - met VIA RDC's 6213-6003-6120-6110.
Guelph - CN 7164-76559 (below).
Stratford - CN plow 55370, small Jordan spreader 50988.
London - CN 8165, 8235, 8210, 8223, 8232, 4511, 4507, 4156, 4130, cabooses 79537, 79735.

After kicking around London, with a visit to a local hobby shop and lunch at Harvey's, it was time to return to Toronto.  VIA No 76 was conventional 6781-5495 (my car) - 3241-Empire Club. 

Burlington - CN 79265
Toronto - GO 905-2144-2119-2101-708; ONR Northlander 1987; CN caboose 79608.

VIA No 656 was RDC's 6211-6004 (my car) - 6132.  Under-floor equipment on one of the RDC's caught fire, and the Belleville fire department responded, before the rest of the trip to Kingston.
Oshawa - CN 7028
Cobourg - CP 5554
Belleville - CN 4529 (orange cab, no stripes), 1215.
DAY 2 Tuesday, March 6
VIA No 60 0952 dp Kingston
VIA No 69 1750 dp Montreal

VIA No 60 was LRC equipment 6902-3300-3348 (my car)-33xx-69xx.

Coteau - CN 3696, 5196-5192 on westbound freight.
Baie D'Urfe - CP 4219-CP van 434688
Turcot - CN 9506-9452, 3739, 1390, 8045, 3687, 1292, 79395

CP's Dorval station, complete with train order signal:
I travelled around Montreal by Metro and bus, at one point becoming completely and utterly lost. A stop at CP's Glen Yard found four tracks of VIA stainless steel cars, CP gallery commuter cars, express boxcar in Tuscan red CP 29106 (below), historic collection Baldwin locomotive 8000, and Amtrak 340.  A stop at Hobby World netted an HO-scale PC auto rack and REA reefer.  Prior to departure from Central Station, a club sandwich and fries hit the spot.

VIA No 69 was conventionally-equipped 6764-2508-5493-4887 (my car)-Club Richelieu.

Montreal - Amtrak 207-baggage 1184-sleepers 2858-2052, Amdinette, coaches 4725-4605, Amfleet 25801; CN 7170, 8186, 7151, 8037, 7235.  Eastbound at 1755: VIA 6531-5 cars with an RDC on the tail end;  CP 8519.

In Corridor Canrailpass Part 2, I'll travel the Corridor some more, including the details of the untimely passing of my friend of 6 years.

Running extra...

Last weekend's Kingston Rail-O-Rama train show was a very successful experience as a first-time vendor. Besides selling some items and buying a few, plus copies of my VIA Rail book, it was great to work alongside Amazon-bound bookseller Paul, the very organized Bytown Railway Society booth, HO modeller Bob and his precise vehicle modelling, and dealer John from Napanee.  The Belleville model railway club's trains kept me entertained during lulls.  Thanks also to show convenors Peter and Graham for their assistance.

I usually 'do' the Kingston show in 60-90 minutes.  Furtively glancing about, looking for deals, gliding from booth to booth, I now know what I look like from the other side of the show table!  Never thought I'd spend 15+ hours at the show talking trains, the astounding breadth of knowledge and experiences in the rail enthusiast community and the individual niche interests we are passionate (overused word, like epic and iconic) about.

It's barbecue season again.  After scraping some grease, and while the burgers were flipping yesterday, a woodcock flew into our backyard, undoubtedly seeking his own supper (of worms) from under our cedar hedge.   A unique bird, long-billed, squat of body, perfectly camouflaged for the leafy forest floor or woodland meadow, this fellow was likely migrating and was a nice change from the chirrupy robins.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

CN Predecessor Tie Cars, Part 1

This past Saturday, I noticed a pair of CN Geeps working the Cataraqui Spur.  Alternately known as Work 900 or Work 7027, engines 4130 and 7027 were drilling the team track area at the top of the Cataraqui Spur.  Two cars were lifted, and 12 cars set out.  What was "40070" and why was CN Car Control interested in it?  IC 365549 was loaded and lifted.  It was another visit to Kingston by some of the most interesting cars in CN's fleet today - scrap tie cars from predecessor roads.  Each year, CN gangs replace ties and rails on the Kingston Sub, and the old ties are stacked for later removal.  A boom truck, visible just to the right of CC 40070, was loading scrap ties into the cars on the right of this photo:
I'd seen such cars spotted in Kingston at least three times in years past, and each time I'm struck by the variety of not only car types and sizes, but the incredible variety of paint schemes, and representation of the plethora of predecessor roads that CN has absorbed.  BLE, IC, CC, AC, BCOL, SSAM, and WC are  the reporting marks these cars bear, but that's only part of the story.  Sometimes the reporting marks don't match the paint scheme of the car they're on.
Chicago Central & Pacific operated former Illinois Central lines, and this rotary-dump hopper is a surprise on the Cat Spur.  Some of these cars have been repainted in CN's website scheme.  These cars were formerly used in coal service, and include a logo based on the Illinois Central logo of the 1930's:
Kansas City Power & Light operated a fleet of rotary-dump hoppers with KCLX reporting marks, just visible under the current SSAM 33294. This car was built by Pullman-Standard in May, 1976.  It's still wearing its Automatic Car Identification striped label on the 'B' end.

It was nearly impossible to see the reporting marks on this faded/rusted/graffiti'd CN gondola.  Fortunately, some helpful car checker had handwritten reporting marks on the side in chalk.  It's CN 138638, built in October, 1969.
Algoma Central's finest.  To me, these AC gons may well be the all-Canadian freight car.  Instantly recognizable, with unique multipurpose design, size and heft and logo with bold lettering, I profiled  WC 201178  in Kingston in 1998 in this post.  AC 11358 was last reweighed on the AC in June, 1997.

CN 136266 (aka Monkey Nuts!) is next in the string of generally crappy-looking cars.
AC 11127 is next, still showing its "Home Shop For Repairs.  Do Not Load" label.

The boom truck that was loading scrap ties and the huge tie pile made it difficult to see the other few cars at the west end of this cut.  They were, west to east: BLE 50807 Blt 1/79, IC 387231 Blt 4/68, BLE 50926, IC 387497 Blt 5/69, Reblt 6/81, SSAM 33373 (ex-KCPL 8118) Blt 5/76, BLE 1663 Blt 2/79, and IC 387525 Blt 5/68, Reblt 6/81.  Just a down-at-the-heels group of cars, but worth investigating and quite far removed from their past glories.

Running extra...

Kingston's 23rd Rail-O-Rama runs this weekend.  The Ambassador Resort Hotel is an ideal venue, and the whole ballroom will be in use.  Handy location for out-of-towners, fine dining on site, a spike's throw from VIA's Counter Street station and CN's Kingston Sub, and I'm looking forward to meeting lots of VIA Rail fans.  I'll also be selling my TTC light-up subway route map - the show will be for the Yonge at heart, and will likely pass by in a Bloor of activity.

Best train show purchases: Patrick Dorin's seminal CN and CP Stories at the Gananoque show: "I'd rather sell them than pack them up to take home" said the seller, Peter Mumby's rolling stock 4x6 prints at the Picton show, and a ten-dollar junk box full of goodies and detail parts at the Kingston show, when it was still held at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour.

The Queen's Jubilee celebration tour has begun, celebrating her 60 years on the throne.  Her arrival in Leicester was aboard a smart-looking royal blue, yellow and red East Midlands train.  Steam still reigned when the Queen's reign began.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How to close a crossing

A unique double level crossing in Collins Bay, Ontario existed until 1995 when the easternmost of the two level crossings, Hillview Road, was closed.  For the Kingston railfan (and some annoyed Collins Bay residents) the double crossing was remarkable.  Each train through Collins Bay whistled twice in close succession, so for miles around it was easy to ascertain how far away an approaching train was.  For the Township of Kingston, CN and local drivers, the dual crossings became a worsening headache.  Collins Bay Road (pink arrow, above) was an arterial road leading north from Bath Road (yellow arrow) to Highway 2 over CN's Kingston Sub (blue arrow). Hillview Road (red arrow) was a convenient crossing for Bayridge suburban residents, as the next road running north from Bath Road crossing the Kingston Sub was Gardiners Road at Mi 178.  This level crossing later became an underpass, and busy Gardiners Road was expanded from 2 to 4 lanes.
As early as 1991, Township staff were recommending safety improvements for the Collins Bay crossings.  A Transport Canada official noted that the crossing had the worst accident record of any on the CN mainline between Montreal and Toronto.  As a result, in 1991 Hillview Road was made one-way northbound, to eliminate southbound traffic stopping on or near the tracks, and a CN slow order was in place in case drivers didn't heed the changes.
By 1994 it had become apparent that north-south road traffic levels necessitated the construction of another crossing between Hillview Road and Gardiners Roads.  The Bayridge Drive overpass would cross the Kingston Sub and Bath Road, and would handle local traffic that was still using Hillview Road.
A CN Rule 42 foreman stationed at the Bayridge Drive overpass site cleared each train through the construction area during working hours.  Meanwhile, the Hillview crossing would close when the Bayridge  Drive overpass opened.  Extreme curvature of the trackage through Collins Bay and buildings in the line of sight meant a guessing game for head-end crews.  What if a vehicle was hung up on one of the approaching crossings, invisible to the onrushing train due to the 'blind' curve?  Zero reaction time - that's why they call it 'right-of-way'.
Cars waiting to turn north onto Hillview would often block the westward slow lane of Bath Road.  None is visible in this view of a westbound freight with its tailend beneath the Bayridge Drive overpass (above) behind 9637-2101-9591 on March 7, 1995. The unique angled signal equipment used the Hillview Road crossing is visible in this view of an eastbound VIA eastbound behind 6422, which is between the two crossings, having just crossed Collins Bay Road, on March 7, 1995. Horn blaring, echoing off the rear of the Becker's mall, ditch lights blazing along the track ahead, the crossing bells ring out a warning as red lights flash:  
Due the extreme angle of the crossing, the gate and warning lights were installed separately, so that the gate was perpendicular to the direction of road travel.  Notice the different orientation of the black shrouds over the red flashing lights.   Taken from alongside Bath Road on March 28, 1995 a westbound intermodal approaches the Hillview Road crossing from the east, led by CNNA 5353-LMS 719-5347:
CN Signals crews removed crossing signals in December 1995.  The severed crossing had already had a fence installed on the righ-of-way, and snowplow turning circle constructed north of CN's trackage.

In June 1996, CN crews descended on the former Hillview Road crossing, removing the last vestiges of the Hillview Road crossing, replacing rail sections at the former crossing location.
Subsequent whistling-ban attempts by NIMBY citizens (all of whom arrived in the area considerably later than Grand Trunk's building of the line in 1856) have been unsuccessful, largely due to the suboptimal sightlines in Collins Bay, the high speed of passing trains, and proximity to a mini-mall and elementary school along Bath Road in the area.  Road improvements to Collins Bay Road, right-of-way fencing, busing of students, and closure of private crossings in the area have mitigated many of the safety risks to road users.  On trips aboard VIA from Toronto to Kingston, if seated on the south side of the train, I always look for the fast-approaching green intermediate signal at Mi 179.6 as we pass Hillview Road - a home signal - close to home.

Running Extra...

A passage from the November 1995 BRS Branchline article "A Ride to Toronto":
There is an interesting crossing at Campbells Bay (sic).  This is close to an intersection with Highway 2 (sic) and vehicles occasionally back up on the crossing.  When the gates started to operate, the vehicles would be trapped with the potential for a collision.   Transport Canada worked with the community and now the road is one-way only from Highway 2, "We haven't had a close call at that crossing since the traffic patterns was changed", commented the crew.

Make this post multi-media: for some youtube recordings of VIA trains double-whistling through Collins Bay, click the link at the top of the right sidebar.  Kind of like being there in 1980.

Tim Horton's is now located at the west end of the Collins Bay mini-mall.  The glacially slow drive-thru lane is adjacent to the right-of-way fence! Note the message taped to the speaker, "In case of train, pull up to window to place order".  Inside, tables at the southwest corner offer a view of the Collins Bay Road crossing.  In other Kingston trackside coffee shop news, the Country Style bistro-deli (a.k.a. donut shop) at Canatara Court is slated to close, relocating to one of the apartment buildings currently under construction. Donut ask me when; the builders are frittering their time away and the hole project is on a break.