Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CN's Kingston Sub in the 1950's, Part 1

The John W Barriger III National Railroad Library is a unique collection that I became aware of only recently, part of the University of Missouri - St Louis Mercantile Library. Barriger (1899-1976) was an MIT graduate, responsible for loans to railways during the Great Depression. After World War Two, he became President of the Monon Railroad, moving on to leadership roles at P&LE, M-K-T, B&M, NYNH&H and Rock Island. A collector and historian, Barriger amassed a huge collection of books, photographs and documents exceeding 26 tons in all! Many of the photographs in the collection, taken all over North America, focus on railroad engineering and trackage. Over 350 Canadian National photographs are available online - scans of copy negatives made from the original nitrates in the 1990's. Though these are uncaptioned as to location, I was able to find several from the CN Kingston Subdivision, taken in the 1940s and 1950s.
The photos available online are lightbox views (top photo) that include a white ink notation on the photo border listed in photo caption in [brackets], and that's all. Many such photos are taken from onboard a train, and as such include lots of trackside treasure - buildings, yards, signs, signals, and railway facilities. Some are purely scenic. In locating Kingston Sub images, I looked for recognizable, double-track scenes that I could identify. With the image formatted, it's easier to focus on the railway elements of the scene. The Turcot Yard [308] steam engine facility ready track (above) includes 1910-built H-6-d 1325, suburban tank engine, electric, caboose hop and elephant ear-equipped road power. Even though these photos were likely taken from the tail-end while heading east, let's imagine we're on the head-end of a westbound heading from Montreal to Toronto.
At Ste Anne de Bellevue, [305] we are leaving the westernmost point on the island of Montreal (above), about to cross onto Ile Perrot. CN's station and still-standing municipal water tower are south of the double-track main line, while CP's line west from Montreal is visible at right. In Cornwall [303] we are on the outskirts of town, though the line has been relocated and this area is now built up. Tenth Street is on the right, CP's Cornwall Sub then McConnell Avenue crosses the two-track main line (now the end of CN's Cornwall Spur), and the Cornwall Electric Railway electrified line runs from the CN exchange yard to the Courtaulds plant in Cornwall's east end at left.
Paved paradise and put up a parking lot [303] (below). Closer to Cornwall station, the Cornwall Electric Railway is at left, currently the site of a Canadian Tire store parking lot. A water tower in the distance and a water plug at the end of the platform are visible:
West of Brockville station, just west of the Perth Street level crossing [301] the 216 foot-long Grand Trunk-built 600-ton coaling tower was in place from 1904-55. Its accompanying inclined trestle looms in the distance, marking the east end of Manitoba Yard (named for the adjacent Manitoba Street), as an ABS signal mast sign north of the main lines indicates Mi 125.7 miles west from Montreal.
We hop off the train at Kingston [299] to look over some remarkably (not uncommonly) cindered, empty yard tracks across from the Outer Station on Montreal Street. Stock cars are spotted at the stock pens at left, and the station train-order signal and steel water tower are visible at right.
On the north side of the yard at Kingston [300] are four flat car loads that certainly caught the photographer's eye. These are not North American locomotives. Rather, they're metre-gauge export locomotives built by the Canadian Locomotive Co. on Kingston's waterfront. Chained aboard CN flat cars, these locomotives are part of a large order of locomotives destined for India. Based on their shipping date of May, 1950, we can date these photos at Kingston.
Best of the bunch. Napanee [237] looking east on a summer evening shows a fantastic maze of trackage, with CN's Smiths Falls sub diverging to left, freight house lead at right. Watch for an upcoming post on Napanee's rail-served industries, and yes, the Nabisco factory behind the Quonset hut is still standing today!
There are very few locations on the Kingston Sub where one railway crosses another. I believe this one [237] shows the west side of the Shannonville bridge that carries CP's Belleville Sub over the CN. Belleville yard is next.
We'll end this first part of our Kingston Sub journey at the division point of Belleville. At Belleville East [454], site of the current yard office, a concrete behemoth coaling tower stands guard; nearby are a water tower and sand house. Note the unloading track for coal hopper cars (including one PRR car) and water tower at right.
Pointe St Charles-built P-5-h 8393 is working a long cut of cars [453], including wood reefers and boxcars:
A modern-day view of the yard looking west shows that it's common to see a double-stack intermodal train taking the length of the yard. Though the yard tracks to the south of the main line are largely gone [452], additional through trackage has been added to expedite CN and VIA trains through Belleville, still a crew-change point.
Looking east, a last shot back at the coaling tower [240]
The west end of Belleville yard [241] is a busy place on this evening, with two yard goats working, a road engine in line with the water tower, MoW boxcars at right and a B&O wagon-top boxcar in line with the smokestack.
Approaching Belleville station [242] where baggage carts line the station platform and the train-order signal is up; a combine with six-wheel trucks reposes at right. The Moira River bridge, just visible in the distance and Part 2 will take us westward to Toronto.

Thanks to Chris Granger and Don McQueen for assistance in the production of this post.

Running extra...

A nice blog tribute to Canadian Super-G skier Jan Hudec by CBC's Scott Russell.
Ted Nolan trick play results in a breakaway goal. A Latvian scintillating spinnerama!

Pin this! Trackside Treasure's fledgling Pinterest page. Giving a home to photos I want to save, though I frankly don't know what to do with. Except pin them for future reference. Can Facebook be next?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sceneramic Scequel

This is the fourth, perhaps final post in what has become a sceries on Sceneramics, a special scenic scenario of splendour specifically schemed. Links to all four posts can be sceen at top of scidebar.

Did Milwaukee Road Super-Domes ever operate in Canada? Yes! The Pacific Great Eastern did not have enough of its own passenger equipment to mark the opening of its northern BC lines in 1956, so it borrowed some from western US roads (above). Bert Mills photo via Trevor Mills, Bob Loat and Bruce Chapman.

David Thomson sent six excellent early-era VIA Sceneramic photos. No 4 at Matsqui BC June 1980, approaching...
with Jasper ahead of two Action Red-striped ex-CP sleepers:
David also rode Qu'Appelle on a trip to Vancouver in June, 1980. Looking grubby at Jasper:
and a rare interior forward-looking photo of Qu'Appelle, approaching slide sheds:
Athabasca and Columbia west of Viking, AB in March/April 1980: Columbia passing through snow flurries:
and Athabasca bringing up the markers, trailing a CP-painted sleeper:
Having seen the Sceneramics quite a bit, David commented that Jasper was likely never painted in VIA colours. 

Here's an online auction site photo of CN track inspection car Sandford Fleming, interestingly coupled to a Sceneramic in CN colours at McBride, BC in 1979:


In his travelogue article in the March, 1982 TRAINS magazine, Kalmbach librarian George H. Drury reviews the cars thusly: "The Sceneramic dome has windows of several degrees of transparency - clear, tinted, and reflective - and the curvature of the glass is just right to give you a twice-life-size reflection of yourself. The lower level of the car is a snack bar, and the upper level has a service bar across the middle, cutting the lounge in half. The lounge decor is an improbable but agreeable mix of turquoise walls, olive carpet, and couches upholstered in turquoise-and-olive and red-and-purple. The car rides well, but at the leisurely pace called for by the four-night transcontinental schedule anything would. The diesel generator at one end of the lower level of the car makes enough noise to penetrate the passenger spaces."


Somewhere just west of Winnipeg, sometime in 1976, this CN train derailed, with Yellowhead and auxiliary CN 50108 featuring prominently in these online auction site photos:

Grant Bailey kindly sent a photo of Ontario Northland Super-Dome 900, lettered Otter Rapids, on ONR's Dream Catcher Express train in October, 2005. Formerly Milwaukee Road 57, the car spent some time with BC Rail among other owners.
Having received the stainless steel 'temple treatment' earlier in its dinner train career,
Some answers to some of the challenges that the original Sceneramic series generated:

-Superliners borrowed by VIA in 1984-85 were NOT run through the Winnipeg trainshed (Relative car heights: Superliners were 16'2", Sceneramics 15'6", ex-CP Budd domes 15'10".) When ready to depart, the train with Amtrak cars was backed out the north end of the depot, then ran west on the parallel CN Rivers Sub through tracks, outside the trainshed.

-Restrictions in Winnipeg Union Station Trainshed, taken from General Footnotes 2.8 and 2.9 of CN's Time Table No 23, November 15, 1981:
Winnipeg Union Station Train Shed - Clearances are restricted on all tracks leading to and into this train shed. Overhead clearance is 16 feet 2 1/2 inches from top of rail. Cars of greater height than 15 feet 10 1/2 inches must not be moved through the trainshed on these tracks. Conductors and yard foremen must know that all cars being handled have proper clearance before entering the trainshed. Engines equipped with standard ice-cutters must not enter the trainshed. ALL MOVEMENTS RESTRICTED TO 10 MILES PER HOUR THROUGH THE TRAINSHED. Movements handling snow plows must not use north track passing Winnipeg Union Station trainshed. Snowplows will not clear platform adjacent to north track.  (Mark Perry photo):
VIAphile Tim Hayman has modelled Jasper well-weathered, in VIA colours. Notice Tim's treatment of the dome glass and 'tiny lettering'. Working with the Walthers model, Tim repainted the seating and may return it to its VIA floorplan. Tim used Microscale decals and Bragdon weathering powders.
My thanks to the above contributors for adding some additional material on the scintillating Sceneramics!

Running extra...
What do you think of this list?
1. Be agreeable
2. Know your goods
3. Don't argue
4. Make things plain
5. Tell the truth
6. Be dependable
7. Remember names and faces
8. Think of success
How to be a successful blogger? Well, maybe, but originally posted 90 years ago in a Hudson's Bay Newsletter, in February 1924: The eight commandments of salesmanship! Pelting you with dam interesting stuff just fur the fun of it, the ever-eager-beaver blogger of Trackside Treasure lodge.

Go Canada! The Dufour-Lapointe sisters, Justine and Chloe take gold and silver in Sochi in the women's moguls. Bravo!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

CPR 1201 at Brockville, 1990

CPR G5a 4-6-2 1201 (Angus shops, June 1944) was retired from CPR service in April 1960, entering excursion service 16 years later in June 1976. Bearing in mind her size, and her central Canada location, 1201 was remarkably well-travelled in excursion service, even conveying royalty! Leaving Ottawa on October 7, 1985 behind CP's newest GP38-2 3040, coupled to combination car 3051, Micmac and Sandpoint, 1201 made its way to Revelstoke BC. Passing CP's Portage la Prairie station, my uncle photographed the nicely-steaming movement (above) on its way to celebrations for Canadian Pacific's Centennial. Wintering in BC, 1201 made an appearance at Steamexpo, part of Vancouver's Expo86. I photographed her as she reversed through CP's Burrard Inlet yard trackage, returning to the Steamexpo exhibition grounds:
In the fall of 1990, the plucky G5 made its final round of excursions closer to home. The excursion consist hauled by 1201 arrives in Smiths Falls from CN's Smiths Falls Sub (photographer unknown), on its way to Brockville to mark the 130th anniversary of Brockville's railway tunnel. Bruce Chapman must be just to the right of CP Rail 1856 in the next photo, because he shared the following photo showing 1856 with 1201 just to the west. In the City of the Thousand Islands, she would meet three generations of her extended family.

On Sunday, September 16 our carload of four (my wife, son, my Dad and me) arrived in Brockville in 1315. By the time we reached Brockville, the train which had departed Ottawa at 0900 had been remarshalled such that 1201 was ready to pull the sidetrip nine miles to Bellamy. Bruce Chapman was on the William Street overpass and shared the following two photos of 1201 arriving, leading the multicoloured consist on CP...
...before pulling into the pocket track behind the VIA station, with CP's loop line and dismantled freight house trackage at right:
You'll note some of the following scanned prints look strangely similar. I've intentionally scanned my Dad's 126-format print next to my 4x6 35 mm print. We were often, thought not always, standing in the same spot - with similar but not identical photographic results!
Foamers...jeesh. Though I would not make a habit of sitting on a rail, perhaps this guy just got tired of standing around. At least it's a spur. CP's freight house is still just visible at right of that photo. Sorry about my hi-cube CNR-emblazoned engineer's hat. Bytown's Earl Roberts reports that the 554 passengers from Ottawa had to disembark to make room for the sidetrip passengers. Fortunately, there was no rain to dampen spirits or waiting passengers! Tunnel commemmoration ceremonies, waterfront tours and boat cruises were set up for entertainment during the four-hour layover.
At 1348, VIA No 43, the Lakeshore from Ottawa arrived: 6425-3466-3343-3312-3369. Passing from CP rails under the William Street overpass, 6425 pulled alongside 1201. With some judicious framing, I was able to crop most of the CN coach out of the picture, making it look like 1201 was still in active service, belying the 46 years since 1201 was built.
The sidetrip was now able to depart Brockville, and it did so in fine style, spewing smoke which enveloped those standing on the overpass above. I noted that her drivers slipped twice as she endeavoured to lift the seven-car consist of  CN 4960, CN 4977, ACR articulated car 458-459, and CP-style cars 3051, Midway, Micmac and Sandpoint onto CP's Brockville Sub, past some CN boxcars on the interchange tracks.
Having run a couple of errands for different kinds of 'fuel' at Petro-Canada and McDonald's, we headed back trackside, hoping to catch the returning sidetrip at the Parkedale Avenue crossing. We waited. And waited. Finally, a passing carload of enthusiasts updated us. The train had slipped past us and was now at the station, readying for its return to Ottawa. We were able to grab a few more trackside-with-family shots at 1600 back at the station:
Trackside Treasure reader Jeremy Corke has been in touch recently. We both lost our fathers in January of this year, and believe it or not, all four of us were at Brockville - Jeremy and his Dad were passengers on the trip out of Ottawa. Jeremy kindly sent a photo of a steam-shrouded 1201 before one of its fantrips that season:
Bytown's brochure for the 1990 steam season reveals an ambitious program of trips around and away from Ottawa, delighting over 12,000 passengers over 12 operating days. Accounts of these trips show that they required a lot of dedication, legwork and communication with the railways. The excursions did not just happen. Bytown also puts out its renowned Branchline newsletter and promotes preservation of both equipment and archives. I'm proud to be a Branchline reader since 1987 (thanks Dave and Susan!) having just finished the most recent issue today which included an excellent Bruce Chapman article on second sections - in 1973!
Gobsmacked gawkers, onlookers, rivet-counters and daisy-pickers alike lined the cinders at the end of the platform. It was easy to see why the iron horse held so much fascination, drama and interest for all three of the generations of our family present that day, one of whom actually went back to the age of steam!
After 1201's sidetrip departure, a non-stop VIA No 65, the Meridian from Montreal, hustled through Brockville at 1415: 6417-3471-3335-3333-3371-3328. Another VIA train, No 62 the LaSalle from Toronto was due at Brockville at 1431. Having hurriedly returned to the Parkedale Avenue CP crossing just above the 401 overpass, VIA No 42, we photographed the Lakeshore to Ottawa heading north past us at 1510: 6427-3455-3341-3348-3351.
With VIA gone, the main attraction's arrival on stage was now at hand. At 1630, we saw smoke rising above the 401 in the distance! Tender-first, 1201 had her train in hand in the failing afternoon light.
CN steam-qualified engineer Tim Verge is craning his neck to watch the track ahead, with Bytown's Earl Roberts cueing whistleposts, visible only from the other side of the cab! Steam locomotives were from an era of roundhouses and wyes, both gone from Brockville via the diesel era. Smiths Falls' wye was used to advantage to reposition 1201 facing forward, and Earl delivered the latest issue of BRS's Branchline to the CP Smiths Falls operator (also a Branchline subscriber)!
I will be publishing a post on Steamexpo - to share photos of the steamers under steam at the exhibition site, plus the parade. Big US road power was eventually a no-show, as was CNR 6060. But a variety of venerable, variable-sized steam locos (and lokies) more than put on a show. This photo of some other Bytowners proudly piloting 1201 back to the site after the Grand Parade of Steam will have to suffice for now:
Unofficially retired in October 1990 following its last runpast at Dalkeith, Ontario on October 14, due to pending expensive springing and driver work, plus her boiler tube time had expired. Steaming to the West coast for Steamexpo and the East coast over the Canadian Atlantic Railway in 1989, 1201 has only seen the light of day one time since. This was during equipment shuffling at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum, who are still 1201's owners.

Running extra...

W.C. Slim published this excellent book on 1201's regular trips between Ottawa and Wakefield, Quebec. The illustrated 1981 work is now available for your reading pleasure online!

Rapido Trains has just announced its latest locomotive (Note to self - insert here once it's announced or just leave this in because I'm pretty sure it's going to be an S-13). To model Spadina without an S-13 would be like modelling Horseshoe Curve without four tracks. See CN 8512 in the roundhouse. ***Update: Two days ago, Rapido telegraphed the upcoming release of their F40PH-2D. (I think I had my fingers on the wrong keys when I typed S-13 above. Should have read F-40. My bad.)

Q: Where did the snowman keep his money! A: In a snow bank. What a winter this has been. Close call near Nipigon...get my drift? Winter Olympics dance break: Russian Police choir Gets Lucky!