Friday, December 27, 2013

CV White Boxcars

Central Vermont's newsprint-service boxcars CV 50000-50099 included a few cars painted in a unique paint scheme. Built by Berwick Forge & Fabricating in the former American Car & Foundry plant in Berwick, PA in 1974, the last five 100-ton boxcars were painted with white sides and roof, green lettering, black ends and underframe. CN thought highly enough of these five unique cars to have them photographed for posterity, including them in the photo collection passed on to the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
Does this look like Vermont to you? It didn't to me. In fact, the photos are credited to Don Shiner of Berwick, PA, taken in August 1974. This is not a train - it's just the five cars posed for builder's photographs - notice the photogenic new ballast! A little retro research revealed that the cars are under the Berwick-Nescopeck bridge probably on the Erie-Lackawanna line along the Susquehanna River in Berwick, just east of the Berwick plant. The bridge no longer stands, having been replaced by a newer structure.
(CSTM photo collection CN005319, CN005317, CN005318, top to bottom)
The white paint scheme did not seem to weather the years and miles terribly well. Here's CV 50097 being switched in an undated photo, though the last shop date is stencilled as CV 8-84. (G. Burridge photo, purchased at train show in 1999):
Here's an undated online view of CV 50098:
I was able to catch road-weary CV 50019 and white CV 50098 running through Kingston on March 9, 2001 on CN train No 306, a prime purveyor of Toronto to New Brunswick-bound traffic at the time (since truncated to CN regional freight 406):
Paul Charland kindly shared his photo of CV 50098 at St Albans, VT in September, 1980:
Duane Hall photo via Marty Bernard of CV 50098 in May, 1984:
Jim Hediger included the white cars in his Paint Shop article in Model Railroader in the early 80s featuring brown, blue and white CV boxcars explaining, "Herald King also produces a special set of CV decals for a white car that has black ends and green lettering. I checked into this and found there were only five prototype cars painted in this manner. However, I just plain liked the scheme so I added it to my CV car project." 
The paint scheme was popular with modellers, even though it was applied to only these five prototype cars.

I'm sure this photographer was interested in capturing the gon in foreground, but lurking behind was CV 50097 perhaps with end damage, from an online auction site, captioned 1979:
CV 50095 in 1977 (online auction site photo):

CDS Lettering also produced dry transfers for the white cars, as their #226 in various scales.

Weaver Models produced a brown and white car numbered CV 50000, 50025, 50064 and 50099.

Kadee Micro-Trains produced CV 50098 in N scale:
The cars were also popular with trackside photographers. Here are some prototype view links:
CV 50095
CV 50097
CV 50098
CV 50098
CV 50098 BFF builder's decal
CV 50099 as well as this 1984 Bill Grandin photo of CV 50099 shared by Jim Parker:

The cars eventually received the CN 'website' paint scheme with the and small CN logo replacing the large 'CV' but retaining Central Vermont reporting marks and lettering. This change started in the early 2000's, and many such CV 50000's can be found in online photos in 2003 and 2004. (This scheme was different from the non-website, small CV scheme applied to CV paper cars starting in 2002). Some cars survived with large CV's until 2011-2012, though the white cars seem to have been repainted about ten years ago. Here's CV 50095 in 2011

Here's how the remainder of this series of cars originally looked:
(CSTM photo collection CN005313)
I observed and noted many of the cars in this series, not just because of the unique white cars, but also because it was a relatively small, discrete car series. I often saw the cars on CN's Kingston Sub, on their way to Newcastle NB and other paper-loading locations. Here's CV 50058 stopped near Mi 179 Kingston Sub, while CN No 306 is in emergency on July 5, 2004. The cars' brake hoses, due to their cushion underframe configuration, seemed to often strike level crossing timbers resulting in loss of train air pressure:
CV 50000-series observations 1994-2005, showing car number, CN train car was on, date, remarks:
50097        May 24/95 WHITE
50097        Aug 2/97 WHITE
50072 306 5/98
50025 310 3/99
50051 310 3/99
50069 310 3/99
50010 303 3/99
50032 301 5/99
50030 301 5/99
50020 367 3/99
50033 306 8/99
50033 306 8/99
50042 306 8/99
50063 313 8/99
50074 313 8/99
50008 305 10/99
50039 306 11/99
50099 306 11/99 WHITE
50048 306 1/00 Dest. Newcastle NB
50030 311 3/00
50028 311 3/00
50000 306 3/00
50071        3/00
50004        3/00
50051 367 6/00
50036 367 6/00
50044 367 6/00
50042 367 6/00
50018 367 6/00
50070 365 8/00
50067 306 3/01
50098 306 3/01 WHITE photographed
50061 306 3/01
50072 306 4/01
50061 308 5/01
50007 306 6/01 to CFBC
50031 309 6/01
50009 309 6/01
50015 309 6/01
50002 365 8/01
50086 307 9/01
50039 309 10/01
50001 309 10/01
50080 309 10/01
50072 306 10/01
50041 307 3/02
50044 309 3/02
50001 366 4/02
50009 306 6/02
50017 309 9/02
50099 309 9/02 WHITE same train
50095 309 9/02 WHITE same train
50056 309 10/02
50076 305 1/02
50031 305 11/03
50050 305 11/03
50027 308 11/05

Running extra...

Trackside Treasure reader Chris de Vries reports that CV 50028 is currently in Brockville, ON for spotting at Wills Transfer by CP. Thanks, Chris!

***February 2015 update...Chris de Vries reports that CV 50014 is currently in Brockville, ON at the former Clarke warehouse - likely scrap paper for Caraustar. Thanks again, Chris!

Christmas brought a gift subscription for 2014 to The Bytown Railway Society's fine monthly newsletter Branchline. Thanks, David and Susan!

Lots-o-links for your holiday viewing pleasure: CNR 3254 with some spicy stack-talk and winsome whistling, a sweet selection of CN Rail Change Out unit photos, CN and CP auxiliaries co-operate, VIA No 1 departs Winnipeg 24 hours late, and some excellent eastern and western Canada photos by Waldron Young, 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deck the Halls!

It's time to spread the festive Christmas spirit to Trackside Treasure's loyal readers. This year I've fused (fuseed?)the Yuletide classic Deck the Halls, with some of my own blogging experiences, and some wintry photos into a post that I trust you'll (Yule?) enjoy. For the full multi-media experience, open up this musical version in a new window. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear", as Buddy the Elf said in the movie Elf. Like I said, enjoy!
Deck the blog with railway hobby,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Always friendly, never snobby,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Photos, text and useful data,
Blog blog blog, blog blog blog, blog blog blog.
Curl up with your dog or cat-a,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
I write, I scan, I format content,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
If you'd like to, you can comment,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Railfans rail and foamers foment,
Blog blog blog, blog blog blog, blog blog blog.
Keep informed, up to the moment,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Before I finished, I got thirsty,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
As I smelled the roasting turkey,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
First a cold one, a second I swallowed,
Blog blog blog, blog blog blog, blog blog blog.
While I, in rail nostalgia wallowed.
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Then I heard a distant air horn,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Of what cool train might it now forewarn?
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Away I ran up to the tracks,
Blog blog blog, blog blog blog, blog blog blog.
Disappointed; 'twas only double-stacks,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Fast away our fifth year passes,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Where'd I leave my reading glasses?
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Weekly, railfans read together,
Blog blog blog, blog blog blog, blog blog blog.
Visit here, whate'er the weather.
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Fine blog partners* post before us,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Newsy blogs that never bore us,
Blog blog blog blog blog, blog blog blog blog.
Hope you'll spend your well-earned leisure,
Blog blog blog, blog blog blog, blog blog blog.
Here, next year on Trackside Treasure,
Blog blog blog blog blog, BLOG BLOG, BLOG BLOGGGGG!!

*Adam, Bruce, Chris L., Chris M., Chris V., Dave, Jason, John, Lance, Manny, Mark, Matt, Michael, Robert, Scott, Steve and TOTW. 

Merry Christmas to Trackside Treasure's amazing blog partners and loyal readers alike. 
Thanks for coming along for the ride this year, and all the best to you and yours in 2014. 
Stay aboard for a pleasing plethora of Canadian trainpalooza posts in the year to come!
Running extra...

The Jan-Feb-Mar 2014 issue of The Train Order, the newsletter of the International Association of Train Order Collectors includes a print version of my two recent Across Canada by Train Order posts. Thanks to IATOC's newsletter editor Bryant Barbour for his assistance. For information on joining this specialized and friendly group of collectors, please contact association president Richard Baker by email: toman718ATcoxDOTnet. You'll wonder 19Y you didn't join sooner.

AR3K On-line Archive is distributing two limited-release 2014 calendars - PBS's 12 Best and Covered Wagon editions. (You heard it here first.)  I trust AR3K will become an internet force to be reckoned with in 2014!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Black Friday Rolling Stock, 2013

On November 29-30, I had a chance to check out CSX and Amtrak action in East Syracuse, NY. My SD card filled with images and as I reviewed them later, I noticed that a lot of them showed unique rolling stock. Being more of a rolling stock guy than a locomotive guy, this bit of self-analysis should not have come as a surprise to me. The auto rack graffiti above is a pretty good representation of what I must have looked like trackside as a cavalcade of cars commuted past me!
Takin' out the trash. GIMX 639241 looks like an ex-CN 89-foot container built to handle 20-foot ISO containers, now in trash service lettered for General American Marks Co. (above). STAX 10451 is the first of a second order of cars for Norwegian-owned Statoil, built by Trinity Rail in 2013. The company operates in both the Marcellus and Bakken oil fields:
Space - the final frontier. Buffer cars are used on oil trains to separate locomotives from the tank cars. BNSF 808323 is stencilled 'Buffer Service' and MW:
Well, oil be darned. TILX 193519 is a Trinity Industries Leasing tank car in oil service. Placarded UN 1267 for crude oil, the car rests easy on its springs as it returns west for another load.

Here today, gons tomorrow. A couple of gondolas on a CSX freight that was entering the East Syracuse Yard: CSXT 491850 (above) and Railgon GNTX 297446 (below):

Between a rack and a hard place. The lighting was good for some logo photography. UP is not shy about displaying its logo, but this large Warwick Railway/P&W car with its tiny Kansas City Southern 125th anniversary logo makes it hard to find on the side of WRWK 300122. As someone asked online, "Can the logos be any smaller??"

Out with the bath water. Yesterday's bathtub gondola for coal becomes today's bathtub gondola for scrap metal MEAX 3034 (above) and 1976-built Schnitzer Steel Industries SSEX 10069x (below):
Song of the South. Graffiti'd but still giving a green light to innovation, SR 531582 poses with its Superior door.
To L and back. Louisville, New Albany & Corydon Dual Air Pak bunkerless refrigerator car re-lettered for Laurinburg & Southern 13730.
What the hezzle? Heritage Environmental Services HESX 010 is hauling envonmental waste. Could be medical, could be you really want to know what's in those tarped containers? Do you??
Signs of the zodiac? Skizodiak, wherever you are, you just made spotting this TR boxcar car really easy for railfans.
Every so often I go a little crazy photographing stack cars. Some of these are unusual cars, and some carry interesting CSX and other US containers. Unlike back home, not a red Canadian Tire container in the bunch! These are smaller uncaptioned photos - just click to enlarge. If you would like a 'short stack' simply scroll down to Running Extra. 

Running extra...

I have heard of selling patio furniture, snow tires and other assorted bric-a-brac items on Kijiji. But a Budd car? Makes a great Christmas gift for the railfan who has everything. (Or there's always Home Hardware's digital-control boot dryer - a soleful Christmas gift if ever there was one!)

Speaking of Christmas, the season just wouldn't be complete without Trackside Treasure's Yuletide prose-y post. Another Christmas classic awaits its close-up. It's a toss-up right now between Air Horns We Have Heard on High, Have a Holly-HO Gauge Christmas, and O Christmas Tree Train. Hmmm.

Christmas specials: Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Musical Tale featured an angelic trio version of Silent Night with guests Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire. Surprisingly twang-free! Kelly brought a whole sleighful of soul. This Wednesday it's the 2013 Canada Walk of Fame induction special on Global, honouring the inimitable Oscar Peterson, son of a sleeping car porter.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Black Friday 2013, Syracuse NY

When most people hear Black Friday, they think SHOPPING! Not me, I think TRAINWATCHING! And so it was last weekend that my wife and I headed south to Syracuse NY; she with visions of bargains dancing in her head, and me with, well, oil trains in mine. Not to be disappointed, having dropped my wife off at a craft store, arriving at the CSX Transportation yard in DeWitt, a fresh dusting of snow blanketed this westbound empty oil train behind CSX 8098-BNSF 8872-BNSF 5924-BNSF 6179 at 0740.
Before the oil train headed west, a garbage train headed east behind CSX 643-CSX 7887:
This time of day I should be enjoying some toast. All I needed was some bread, because here's a bona fide Toaster:
Two words: Turbocharger Fire!
Each oil train has a buffer car separating the power from the tank cars, in this case BNSF 808343. As the train pulls out, it curves away toward another shopping/trainwatching destination to the west - the former Carousel Mall, now Destiny USA. This was my second visit to East Syracuse C.P. 286 at the Bridge Street overpass. Another (unseen by me) oil train headed west on the track behind this one - six trains in an hour!
At 0800, a westbound autorack train passed, followed soon thereafter by an eastbound oil train with BNSF 4184-CSX 5287-BNSF 6141 and STAX tank cars built 5-13. At 0820, an eastbound stack train with CSX 5362-CSX 3002-CSX 5496 kicked up the snow, with a CSX switcher visible at far right beyond the Highway 481 overpass.
Re-arriving at the yard at 1017, my wife safely transported to another store, another BNSF-led oil train behind BNSF 5530-BNSF 9313-BNSF 5295, with buffer car BNSF 808323 and UTLX/TILX tanks arrives under blue skies. You are to be forgiven if you think this is North Dakota:
Amtrak Empire Service scampers eastbound at 1040: 713-82758-82718-82711-82694-48193.
Manifest trains often enter the north side of the yard, scooting past a lumber yard and the CSX yard office on East Ellis Street. CSX 459-CSX 7674 are leading. Someone kindly explain CSX's locomotive numbering system to me...two, three and four digit numbers abound. Three trains in 90 minutes.
Former New York Central 1937-built coaling tower at the TransFlo facility just west of the yard:
The afternoon was slow, beginning with this empty autorack train westbound, approaching the Bridge Street overpass behind CSX 869-CSX 285.
I noticed a bit of graffiti on a safety pylon as the autoracks rolled. Probably penned by a similarly lulled railfan. Amtrak did its best to liven things up with the Lake Shore Limited east at 1408: 85-24-baggage-25014-25115-28012-25039-25095-25051-25091-25104-8505-62044-62xxx-1733.
Saturday morning began with westbound stacks pulled by CSX 738-CSX 7815-CSX 7625-CSX 730 and 130 platforms, crawling towards the west end of the yard.

As the intermodal tailend trailed off, a manifest freight arrived on the near track behind CSX 934-5003. (CSX locomotive consists read like phone numbers.)
Did I mention that all these photos are taken in good lighting from Manlius Center Road/East First Street? A public road linking several stores, restaurants, strip malls and businesses? No need to trespass or drive into the yard. Simply Google "Rico's Ristorante, East Syracuse, NY" to get a satellite view of this perfect railfanning location.
Any keen reader who can count the number of times STOP signs are pictured in this post, email me with your answer to win the Syracuse Stop Sign Prize. Bonus points for counting the back of STOP signs). Ten minutes later, another manifest wandered into the yard with CSX 5481-CSX 395 in the lead.
A stack train is working the yard as an autorack train with CSX 8731-CSX 8510 appears behind the manifest.
That's not snow on the cab roof, it's to keep the heat off the crew in summer. At 1040 the westbound stack has emerged, powered by CSX 4810-CSX 11.
Another eastbound Amtrak Empire train blew through at 1057: 702-82533-82759-82721-82772-21603-48188. Thirty minutes later it's the locomotive consist of the day: BNSF 5498-BNSF 9837-NS 1021 with SHPX oil tanks.
Two words: Grinstein Sandwich.
BNSF 808199 was the tail-end buffer car, stencilled Buffer Service Only:
Watch for an upcoming post on some of the unique freight cars I observed and photographed during this visit. Emerging slickly from behind the oil was a westbound stack train behind CSX 544-CSX 389:
The stack train looks like it's leaving, but no, it was still working on its train. A manifest from the yard, with many CN cars, made it through first behind CSX 7373-CSX 7766:
The orange windsock is NOT on the locomotive.
The last train of the day heads west as lunch beckons and the shooting and shopping wrap up. Eight hours and 20 trains later, I departed Syra-satisfied! Not to say that we don't have very good CN and VIA train frequency here on the Kingston Sub, but it's nice to travel to a different railfanning location in a different country, only a couple of hours away, and see some big-time railroading, before returning home to our northern nation.

Running extra...

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy made a midwest tour, sampling curling in Winnipeg, sitting in on the evening news in North Dakota. Ron revealed that the name "Winnipeg" is rooted in Latin, meaning "the small tundra bunny who lives inside the hole on the hill".

Did you see the first live, three-hour musical drama broadcast by an American network in over 50 years? The Sound of Music featuring Checotah, Oklahoma's Carrie Underwood was an ingeniously-staged live production of a much-beloved story featuring multiple sets on one sound stage with orchestral accompaniment and only occasional commercial breaks from Wal-Mart. (The tweeters in their cynical hater world could not ruin it for us!)

Speaking of brightening up the winter blahs, CP's glittering Holiday Train has once again criss-crossed Canada and the US collecting donations for food banks while entertaining the crowds. Our local news had a nice story on the train's visit to Belleville ON, while John Longhurst's CP Rail Manitoba & Minnedosa Sub blog (see sidebar) has a fine post on the Canadian train's visit to Winterpeg.