Friday, January 25, 2013

CN's Hanley Spur, Along the Line

CN's Hanley Spur funnelled cars from the Kingston Sub mainline to customers located along the Cataraqui River along Kingston's waterfront near City Hall.  These industries, large and small, were an interesting mix of post-Industrial Revolution factories, warehouses and team tracks, many alive with waterfront activity.  Though I rarely made the cross-town pilgrimage to photograph the spur, here are some views from the line representing various eras. The first post on the Hanley Spur included aerial views, while this one takes us trackside. Be sure to check Hans Boldt's 1980 photos of his walk along the spur!
The Hanley spur extended 2.2 miles south from the Kingston Sub, crossing the CP at Mi 1.0, crossing Cataraqui Street at Mi 1.1, and sharing a mutual track with CP from Mi 1.8-1.9. CP had also achieved waterfront access with its own trackage, paralleling and crossing CN, sharing track then splitting again at City Hall. The connection from the old alignment of the Kingston Sub, from the present south track thence the Hanley Spur was still in place in April 1985. The Rail Changeout Unit was backing in, and a second track of cars is visible, from which tie plates and spikes will be unloaded by CN crane 50471.  The realigned curve through Kingston is visible in the foreground (above).
Vintage Kingston Facebook photo taken at Belle Park off Montreal Street, taken in 1973 Royal Train used by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Kingston for our tercentenary. Located nearby was local bottler Elder's Beverages.  OPP cruisers abound, and the smokestacks of the industries along the Cataraqui River, farther down the spur are visit in the background.
Doug Rickaby shared the above photo of the abandoned Davis Tannery, taken in the 1980's, with the CN track visible in foreground. An excellent article with views of this part of the line was written by former CP'er David Page and published in Bytown Railway Society's November 2005 Branchline.  Spotted at Quattrochi Produce is San Luis Central 232 bringing potatoes from Bath NB, that I photographed in April 1979.  The former CP track is in the foreground, approaching Montreal Street.  A switchlist from April 9/79 listed the following cars switched by CN:

-CP 51309 KH84 CP MT [MacCosham]
-CN 560943, CN 561758, CN 565038 KH10 Whig Paper
-CN 432047 KH15 Imperial Oil
-SLC 232 KH82 Quattrochi Spuds
A Whig-Standard photo from February 16, 1982 taken mere feet from the photo above shows CN 3661 at the intersection of Montreal and Railway Streets:
Gordon Smithson's book At the Bend in the Road Kingston includes excellent coverage of the Hanley Spur, including some 1976-80 photos of a CN train heading down to the waterfront, passing a weed-spraying truck on CP near the crossover. Here are some photos from 2001 of NGB Studios, the former National Grocers Building/Whig-Standard warehouse, now an artist colony on Cataraqui Street, photographed from the west side:
Photographed from the east side, large loading doors facing the former spur location are spaced along the three-storey building as well as the single-story portion of the warehouse:
At North Street, Imperial Oil used a unique limestone warehouse to distribute cases of petroleum products. Located along the CN, the warehouse is now the subject of restoration plans - the only industrial building designed by William Newlands - pegged at $1.5 million! A newly-built Rideaucrest Home looms on the horizon.
Taking a wrong turn while trying to reach Rideau Street, a transport truck has become hung up on the River Street bridge, shown in this March 9, 1993 news photo.  In the foreground was the CP crossing of the CN.
Anglin and Imperial Oil seemed to have received oil by tanker and tank car respectively. A Facebook page entitled Vintage Kingston included this 1973 view of CN yard, Canadian Dredge & Dock, with King Street and Place d'Armes in background:
CN boxcar at seed/feed operation south on Ontario Street, between Brock and Princess Streets - note the L-shaped dock configuration - current site of Holiday Inn. The telegraph line down the spur was removed in 1976, and the spur was thereafter truncated to the north making way for new developments such as the OHIP building, though the CE MacPherson spur was still in place in 1983.
Coal merchants once dotted Kingston's waterfront.  Selling mainly anthracite coal from the Scranton, Pennsylvania area, sales had declined by the late 1970's.  Anglin's was at the front of Bay St.; Crawford at the foot of Queen St; Soward's between Ontario St and Place d'Armes on the current site of Frontenac Village housing complex was purchased by Anglin in 1963, and its wooden, covered unloading trestle was still standing in 1973, ceased operation in 1979; Swift's at the foot of Johnson St near the Canadian Locomotive Co was sold to JP Hanley in 1926, and operated by members of the Hanley family until 1958.
December 30, 1976 Whig-Standard photo showing a CP Rail crew working to throw the switch to the Anglin/Soward coal yard (above). Ontario Street leads to the causeway spanning the Cataraqui River at left, with downtown at right and historic Fort Frontenac in the background. CPR 424 in 1953, in a photo purchased from Railway Memories Collection (below) chuffs between uniquely-shaped buildings around the CN/CP mutual track.  It's still possible to drive along the rear of these buildings, though it's now marked as a one-way private laneway:
In September, 1970 touring British locomotive Flying Scotsman, LNER 4472 trod these same rails to its display location. The last passenger train behind CPR 417 headed north from Kingston in 1957. City councillors brought in an anti-idling bylaw a few years ago to prevent tour buses from idling outside City Hall.  Imagine what their 21st century reaction would be to the cinder-spewing D-4! CPR 485 smokes it up on K&P mixed train M613 in 1953, photo purchased from Dave Shaw Collection.  
CPR S-11 6621 still switches CP freight traffic in front of City Hall in this August 1963 scanned slide, slightly less smoky.  L.C. Gagnon photo:
A CN pile driver drives 25-foot piles on the waterfront CN line, with CP boxcars visible on CP trackage in background, taken on February 18, 1960 photo purchased from the Queen's Archives.  The work was undertaken by Belleville B&B forces to repair the retaining wall at the foot of Clarence and Johnson Streets.  CN's line continued west past this point to reach the Canadian Locomotive Company, which would only last ten more years before being demolished. Its compact location is now home to ritzy waterfront condos, from which steel steeds once arose and steamed to ride the rails.
Running extra...

The results of the Pick(201)3 are in, with a diverse yet focussed winnowing of the field.  Watch for: CP Detours on the Kingston Sub, CN's Wainwright Sub, Car Tracing Accounts, Cars at CP Express and Queen's Interchange, Black Widows (sounds spooky but it's not, really!), 6060 Redux, CN's White Fleet, Other Portage-area Elevators, and the one-of-a-kind 1992 CP Hospital Train.  Thanks for your votes, suggestions, and ardent pleas for posting your favourites...soonest!

That post did not include a whole bunch of other bindered ideas that didn't make it to Post-it note status yet:  BN's Cryogenic Reefers, Weird Auto Rack Prototypes, Cisco and Flexi-Flo, Earning Your Stripes...ACI Labels, the Cox HO-scale Logging Set, The V.I.E.W. (Vancouver Iron & Engineering Works) covered hoppers, and last but not's Schnabel Time!

Welcome Lance Mindheim's layout design blog to the Excellent Train URL's section of the Trackside Treasure sidebar.  Also there are links to Lance's website and further resources.  Often featured in the model railroad press, Lance's ultra-realistic modelling and straightforward concept applications make interesting reading.

Poplar Point, Manitoba is celebrating one hundred years of hockey.  A big came featuring Detroit Red Wings alumni  is coming up on February 8.  Thanks to Vaughn Bend for this notice.  Game on!

Friday, January 18, 2013

CN's Hanley Spur, From the Air

The Grand Trunk Railway (later CNR) built a line to its inner station at the foot of Johnson Street, which the Kingston & Pembroke (later CPR) had to cross to reach its 1885 station across from City Hall.  CN's line to downtown left the Toronto-Montreal Kingston Sub east of the outer station on Montreal Street.  CP's line to downtown crossed over the Kingston Sub via a steel bridge built in 1913.  The Railway Transport Committee granted CP permission to remove its Kingston Subdivision trackage between Mi 101.1 and 101.3 on February 18, 1974. The bridge was removed on March 29, 1974, as CN was realigning their sharp curve north, away from the outer station.  The industries served by the Hanley Spur are shown in this 1970's CN car control diagram, with the former CP line shown curving from left to right south of Elliott Avenue:
Some of the above CP-served spurs are shown numbered in an aerial photograph (below): 1. Anglin/Marker; 2. Coca-Cola; 3. George Weston; 4. MacCosham Van Lines; 5. Quattrochi Produce; 6. CE McPherson, 7. I Cohen/Pilkington Glass (long spur curving south to Joseph St); CN Outer Station and yard.  Elliott Avenue runs across the top, and Montreal Steet crosses up to the right, at bottom right corner of the aerial photo:
A 1984 CN car control map of the few remaining industries, all served by CN (former CP trackage shown as dotted line includes KH80 CE MacPherson, KH82 Quattrochi Produce, KH83 I Cohen, KH84 MacCosham Van Lines) and CN's KH05 Rosen Fuels (leased to Canfor), KH10 Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper (National Grocers) warehouse, KH15 Imperial Oil.
Paralleling marshland from its gently-curving alignment off the Kingston Sub (Outer Station is in top left corner-below), and Kingston's to-be garbage dump near Belle Park, the line straightened as it approached the Davis Tannery at bottom, in later years a 'brownfield' contaminated former industrial site.  CE MacPherson is the long building at extreme left, later served by a CP spur crossing Rideau Street near the River Street bridge.  Next three photos from 1924 aerial views, copied at Queen's Archives.
Meeting the CN Kingston Branch line, the CP paralleled it and Rideau Street, to the foot of North Street, site of CP's engine house (built in 1912) and small yard.  South of the River Street bridge, there was a semaphore controlling the crossing of the CP track across CN.  The next large building to the left of the track at the Cataraqui Street crossing became National Grocers, and to the east is the Woolen Mill, towards which two spurs diverge. On a 1924 insurance map, the Woolen Mill is listed as the Dominion Textile Co. Ltd. Kingston Branch Cotton Mill.
The line then bent around the CP engine house, past CN's freight house and 11-track team track yard. Near the throat of the yard were Anglin's substantial lumber operations, drydock and shipbuilding facilities. The sandy spur area at right once included a swing bridge.
Today the roadbed is barely visible along the water, with the OHIP building built on the site of the former railway facilities. Once the OHIP building construction began in 1981, CP's trackage in the area was removed.  Permission was granted to remove the following downtown trackage on the following dates:
  • Mi 101.3-101.6, Mi 102.5-103.26  May 21, 1980
  • Mi 101.6-101.85, Mi 102.09-102.5 January 31, 1983, and to transfer
  • Mi 100.28-101.1, Mi 101-85-102.09 to CN ownership prior to the 1986 abandonment of CP's Kingston Sub
'North St' label was location of former Imperial Oil tanks.  The small, 1908-built limestone Imperial Oil warehouse to right of label is now owned by the City of Kingston. Yellow and black tanks at top of photo are Anglin-owned. (Whig-Standard Neighbourhoods series aerial photo, spring 1995)
Buildings abutted the right-of-way near the waterfront, so CN and CP shared a mutual track approaching City Hall (red and blue dashed line below). Then CN (red) continued along the water to reach its station then the Canadian Locomotive Co., while CP (blue) branched to its station and small yard across from City Hall. Today, a few buildings remain with odd-angled rear walls marking the former path of the mutual track south of Ontario Street.  In this 1965 aerial photo, CN's Wellington Street freight shed is still standing (red box) as is the Soward/Anglin's coal structure and spur (green line).  At one time, the GTR line (dashed red line) continued over a swing bridge across Anglin Bay, and continued north along the waterfront.
In this later aerial photo, the line to City Hall is gone (yellow line is Brock Street) and the white 'W' marks the Wolfe Island Ferry Dock.  The CN freight house is no longer standing, but a boxcar (red arrow) is visible in the small yard.  Want to see more?  Check this page by David Page.
A 1920's aerial view shows the heavy industrial nature of the waterfront along Ontario Street between Clarence and Queen Streets: ships, sheds, and smokestacks (Vintage Kingston Facebook photo) plus CPR passenger cars at the CP passenger station and the odd-angled buildings facing the tracks:
The CP passenger station, freight station and yard tracks between Clarence Street and Brock Street, and CN Hanley Spur (at bottom) are shown in this 1950's aerial view (CSTM Collection MAT007635):
Another two views, from Vintage Kingston Facebook, shows activity on the CP, though the engine seems to be behind the the warehouse, which also hosts a boxcar nearest the coalpiles. This photo, based on tour boat Miss Kingston operating from the Brock Street dock, would be from 1959.
A second view, circa 1960, shows stacked CPR-lettering boxcars and passenger cars at the station:
A Canadian Locomotive Company advertisement from 1951, as posted on Vintage Kingston Facebook shows an aerial view of the plant taken over Lake Ontario:
Next in the series...CN's Hanley Spur, Along the Line.  Back on terra firma!
Running extra...

Some interesting links:
Scale Model Plans hosts a nice assortment of unique structures.  Thanks to Tom Carson for featuring my VIA Rail books on his news page.

CNW Modelling is full of cool data pertaining to freight cars, the shipments they contain and possibilities for modelling them, centering on Milwaukee, WI in 1957.

Vintage Railroad Audio has an extensive CD listing by Jay Winn.  I'm currently listening to some of Jay's CN and CP action, and have three more discs to listen to.  

Super Connie Sim is not about a female Asian comic book hero.  Are you interested in transportation-based mockups, simulators and stuff?  Then this Super Constellation simulator may be for you.  A beautiful aircraft.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ice Storm Hits CN's Kingston Sub, 1998

In early January 1998, a severe ice storm descended on eastern Ontario and western Quebec, centred on the St Lawrence River valley, centred between Kingston and Sherbrooke, Quebec, stretching north to Ottawa.  The storm resulted in heavy freezing rain and resulting ice accumulation from Wednesday, January 7 to Saturday, January 10. Widespread debilitating effects on the affected area: transportation links, agriculture, municipal services, damage to trees and homes, power lines and resulting power outages. Losing power for several hours, we broke out the emergency supplies and gathered around our fireplace. Our trees with their icy impedimenta genuflected groundward outside fifteen years ago - though they all survived:
CN's Kingston Sub was impassable from January 8 until the morning of January 10.  VIA Rail service was cancelled east of Toronto.  Some details give an indication of how the ice affected operations:

On January 10 at 1715, the RTC gave CN No 131 a Form 564 to pass a signal at Queens. At 1800, another train headed by CN engine 5752 also received a '564' at Queens.  At 1830, the RTC was attempting to call CN engine 9442. At 2130, the RTC instructed the crew aboard CN engine 5298 at Queens, to secure their train and take a different train, No 395 west from Brockville into the clear. At 2150, No 364 found an incorrect signal near Mi 179.  The RTC noted that 'half the railway was single-tracked'.  Directed to take Track 4 at Queens 'for quite a while', the RTC asked the crew to look at the train on Track 3 to see if a crew was still onboard! The crew of No 364 was calling a foreman on track patrol to ask if there were any downed hydro wires at Queens.  The foreman hadn't seen any since coming on duty at Mileage 194.

At midnight January 11, the RTC told a nearby train that there was no control of the south track, all trains would be using the north track, with No 395 now just past Mallorytown.  No 363 Eng 9482 was 564'd through Queens, and asked to check on a possible defective crossing at Counter Street.  Later that trainless day, the RTC 564'd No 147 Eng 5295 through Queens East, asked them to couple on to a train parked on Track 1, 'knock the ice off it' and call back when ready to pull.  On January 13, light engines GTW 6204-CN 5642 were heading east.  
An interesting manoeuvre on  January 17 stemmed from 98-car No 335 with engines 5729-9437 (above), the trailing unit likely dead, calling the RTC at 1305 with the following ominous message: "We can't make it over the first hill west of Queens.  We're 900 tons overloaded, and there's six trains behind us.  No 369 is at Mallorytown, with three units and 7700 tons. I've been on duty since oh-seven-thirty."
At 1400, the RTC gave No 369 a Form 567 on the north track between Queens and Ernestown.  At 1425, No 369 with 9673-CNNA 9404-HATX 427 hauling lots of Quebec lumber (above) slowly pulled past the Kingston station, coupling onto the tailend of No 335 well beyond the Princess Street overpass (below). No 335's tail end is visible under the third platform light. Coupled together, both trains left WITHOUT DELAY and were soon marching uphill.
By the time No 335's headend reached the top of the hill west of the station (top photo) at Mileage 178, the trains had been separated, with No 369 then slowing for the intermediate signal at Mileage 179.6.

Ottawa's Bruce Chapman was working out of Toronto for CP's Eastern Operating Unit that January, 1998. Entering Toronto Union Station's room 320, having arrived in Toronto aboard the last VIA train out of Ottawa, Bruce shares his experience:

"All hell was breaking loose. VIA had lost all power on their CTC panel east of Napanee and wanted to run their trains on the CP Winchester/Belleville Subs from the crossover at Brighton through to Dorval. We had hardly any trains running at the time east of Toronto after the New Year's holiday, so arrangements were made to get pilots ready at Dorval and Brighton. 

However, then CP's CTC went out from Tichborne to Smiths Falls. So then the plan was to run the trains in fleets in each direction, and now the Winchester Subdivision ABS started failing due to lack of hydro. No problem - we'd run them against the current of traffic so they had no block signals to contend with, just fleet them and arrange the odd meets. 

But now the crossing signals were all failing due to no hydro, so CP ordered generators at crossings to cover this...but the yahoos in the area would come up and steal the generators to provide their own power!Plus with no power, there was no way to get fuel to the generators as the gas stations now had no power! So everyone threw in the towel and decided to wait it out. VIA got themselves sorted out a couple of days later, but the CP Brockville Sub had no hydro, and VIA was hollering at our officials in Toronto to get something going, maybe MBS or some such, but the bureaucracy at Toronto Union wasn't budging until someone from Ottawa told them to get moving, and they did.

This was an unpredictable time on CN's Kingston Sub, with the ice storm adding danger and unpredictability to an interesting mix of trains.  New SD75's were mated with older CN Geeps.  Conrail, leased and other run-through units proliferated, as did CN family units. VIA was all-HEP, with F40PH-2's and LRC locomotives hauling stainless steel and LRC cars.

January 17:
1255 CN No 317: 9542-9544-5923-Conrail 6663-5145 and 98 cars:
1325 VIA No 42: 6431-3471-3342-3344-3319-3309-6402:
1440 VIA No 60: 6403-4105-4121-4106-4116-4112-4002-8620:
1505 CN No 705 to Lennox Generating Station: CN 9406-CP 5675.
1520 VIA No 61: 6413-baggage-6 coaches.
(Above photos at Kingston station by L.C. Gagnon)
January 18:
1530 CN switcher backing to DuPont: 4141-4032-5 cars-CN caboose 79473R
On January 21, all trains were using north track, with four CN trucks and section men replacing a rail on the south track at Mi 178.5
Canadian Forces 400 Squadron/427 Squadron operational headquarters was established at Kingston's Norman Rogers Airport to provide helicopter support during the storm recovery as needed.  The Air Force ensign was flying proudly, with a field kitchen at left and plinthed World War 2 Harvard at right (above).  Two Griffon helicopters landed carrying Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Chief of Defence Staff Maurice Baril, and other government ministers and members of Parliament.  "Hello dere, young man!" glad-handed Chretien to my son on his way through the terminal accompanied by RCMP and OPP security on the way to his waiting Challenger jet.
Running extra...

Memorable Ice Storm images of CN 3502-3508 hauled onto the main street in Boucherville, Quebec to provide power for emergency services are commemmorated 15 years later, albeit with  C-C trucks.

CN engineer Mark Perry has started his 365 Project, in which he'll post a photo a day, whatever gets in front of his SLR lens or cell phone camera.  Mark has posted some captivating, kaleidoscopic images so far ranging including cabs to cats, and trucks to towers.  I have the distinct impression this is going to be one to watch...check in daily, it's found in the UCOR (Useful Collection of Railblogs) First Section in my sidebar.

Rapido Trains' majordomo Jason Shron has given the highball to his website, found in the ETU (Excellent Train URLs) also in my sidebar. You'll find Jason's chronicle of coach mockup of VIA 5647, and look ahead to the genesis of his HO scale model railway portraying CN's Kingston Sub. Click Refresh to watch the header photo change!

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Greenlaw-Gagnon Exchange

Funny story.  I had a nice email from someone who wanted to give copies of my two new VIA books to her husband for Christmas.  She'd be in Kingston for over the Christmas holidays, and could she pick up the copies personally? Sure.  I left her copies near my front door, and a few days before Christmas, Stacey rang the doorbell, and we had a short chat.  (Stacey knows a thing or two about trains, using the perjorative term 'rivet-counter' correctly.) Glancing briefly around, she exclaimed, "That's really funny, there's a copy of my husband's book!"
You see, I'd also received an email from Christopher Greenlaw, author of the 2007 MBI/Voyageur Press book on VIA Rail, who would also be in town visiting family and might stop by to pick up his own copies.  Ironic. And now, too late. Stacey and I discussed the possibility that Chris and I could get together over the holidays.  A couple more emails ensued.
On a snowy Friday, December 28, Chris and I met at Kingston's VIA station (where else?) over coffee.  We convened a VIA author's roundtable.  Imagine convening a roundtable discussion including VIA book authors Donald C. Lewis, Tom Nelligan, David Othen, Jason Shron, and Dale Wilson?  Well, the two of us would have to suffice, since the tables in the waiting room were really only big enough for an exchange between two of us.  (I stole the title of this post from the Lang & O'Leary Exchange on CBC News...triVIA tip of the hat to Tom Box: former Minister of Transport Otto Lang is Amanda's father)  I'm illustrating this post with views of VIA No 53 which headed west just before we met: 6410-3456-3361-3334-3317(Ren-rebuild) and some earlier VIA views, mostly winter-related, at Kingston.
Of course I was interested in Chris' views on his newly-acquired books.  Chris enjoyed seeing some photos and consists of the trains he remembered from his youth, including an apocryphal black & white static Superdome in Winnipeg.  The disposition information impressed him, and is unlike any other dispo info, including that found in the book by Lepkey & West.  The triVIA sidebars contain lots of unique information.  Wisely, Chris added, "It's your book!" Our approaches differed; Chris employing a more scholarly approach compared to my trackside, note-scribbling compendium.  We agreed that recording mundane observations, stories and consists is as important as photography in preserving railway history.
Looking through Chris' book, we discussed his memories of the photos therein.  I've always felt that this is one of his book's greatest strengths.  The variety of VIA trains across all eras between its covers is unparalleled.  We both revelled in recalling the peak of VIA's 'circus train era' in 1979, with trains comprising CN, CP and VIA-painted cars.  Also, the location of paper cups and water dispensers, the joys of walking through a consist of sleepers with their meandering aisles, and Chris' Ren recollection - he's had better sleeps on a warship!  His book's photo of the Amtrak Superliner consist at Portage la Prairie is not a pleasant memory for him - Chris and his brother were as sick as dogs that day.
From his perspective, creating a book was an opportunity to follow VIA's history, make some awesome contacts like Andreas Keller, Tim Reid, Brian West and access to the Coo collection, understand the care and feeding of contributors, the human face of history shown in some of his favourite photos, the inclusion  of Otto Vondrak's fine maps in helping to tell the story, and acknowledge the seminal nature of Tom Nelligan's initial book on VIA's first five years.  Surprises: Chris' at MBI's response and advance after his book proposal, and why you won't find our books on VIA's souvenir website.  Chris even promised not to include anything about grisly crashes or the sponsorship scandal in his book - still, no go!

On book creation, we recalled finding our books in unusual places, how the internet has inflated the values of used books making many unattainable, the supposed 'expert' status that a book confers upon one (at least in theory), and the importance of a realistic production timeline.  We mused about the majority of book projects that would likely never get completed or published, as well as those (I'll use the polite term 'tire-kickers') who try to poke holes in a published work.  There's always room for errata, we agreed.  Chris' print run was 7,500 compared to my much smaller locally-printed few boxes full.  
While we chatted, no trains passed, thereby not disturbing our discussions. But wouldn't it have been great if some earlier westbounds: FP9 6531 from the winter of 1981-82, LRC 6910 from December 1981 (both above), the breaking dawn LRC-Tempo combination from March 1985 or even a benoodled FPA4 (both below) had arrived to add historical credence to our rambling discourse.  Notice how the latter filled the entire platform at Kingston!

Multiple trivial points bobbed to the surface: how the Amroad decal applied to the CP F-unit pictured on the back of my book necessitated a complete unit repaint when removed, the I-series sleepers were bought by the Escanaba & Lake Superior RR mainly for their trucks, and kept in a very secure location.  The use of CN's London reclamation yard and Paris pit for scrapping, Chris' interesting interview with Robert Bandeen including the gory story of the VIA logo's genesis.
Thirty-six years earlier, 6533-6863-CN 3120 held the platform at Kingston just as 6410 did this morning.  We talked about our kids sapping our memory, the relative railfan pluses and minuses of Brantford and Kingston, the usefulness of VIA's new corridor station overpass walkways for railfanning, and ruminated on which version of Rapido Trains' Canadian would be the one to own.
Chris will continue working on his Master's on an early Great Western Railway pioneer, staying out of most arguments on Yahoo, watchfully awaiting the possibility of the privatization of  VIA's western operations as well as a Morning Sun Book on VIA, and tending to a future book project.  I hope we'll soon see Chris become a Trackside Treasure guest blogger. Though our conversation would likely have lasted several more hours, the coffee was gone and we parted ways after exchanging book inscriptions.  Truly a thrill to share a roundtable and lively discussion with another VIA book creator.  Thanks, Chris! 
Running extra...

Thanks to everyone who has submitted their Top Picks for potential posts in 2013, in the form of comments here, or by email.  PricewaterhouseCoopers is now tabulating the results, and I'll post the results here.  A   superb, sentimental smattering of suggestions spanning the spectrum.

Lake Superior State University's 2013 List of Banished Words includes: fiscal cliff, trending, double down, passion/passionate, spoiler alert and bucket list. Unfortunately, these will in turn be replaced with the 2014 List of Increasingly-Annoying Words. Fortunately, none of these words is dangerous to the hearer, merely annoying. For a more injurious and potentially dangerous word, sacred to its keepers, see Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Then again, even the knights changed, banishing their own sacred word!

My 2014 List of Railway-Related Words to Be Avoided, or more properly Words You Won't See on Trackside Treasure includes: DPU unit, top-and-tail, lashup, DCC-equipped and good catch!  Non-Railway-Related Words include Nicki Minaj, too funny, artisan bread and fracking!