Pastoral. Bucolic. Idyllic. Thundering trains! Words not normally heard together but entirely appropriate as I stationed myself alongside CN's Kingston Sub on August 14 at Joyceville Road crossing, east of Kingston. The evening VIA parade was about to begin and I was in a nice spot to take in the action. VIA No 55 was the first westbound at 1701 with a short three-car consist behind VIA Eng 910.
CN westbound oil empties train No 711 with 2276-8911 followed at 1715. After a perfunctory packet of covered hoppers and tanks on the head end, the main part of the consist was UN 1267-placarded VMSX crude oil tank cars. Lots and lots of tank cars:
Between the trackside sign and the trackside sumac there is...a train! In this case, eastbound VIA No 66 doubleheading four cars behind 6439-905 at 1750.
I have been calling this background tree the 'Tom Thomson tree' after the famed Canadian artist who was associated with the iconic Group of Seven, though it also reminds me of White Pine by A J Casson. Though the tree looks windswept, it always stays that way. Another westbound freight, likely No 377 judging by the cut of grey ACFX covered hoppers on the head-end, was pulled by 8010-2677 followed by CTCX and UTLX crude oil empty tank cars.
Sylvan signal solitude. Taken from the crossing looking eastward, this view shows the Mi 163 Kings hotbox detector. A view of the Mi 163 detector installation in 2002 shows considerably better right-of-way vegetation control, especially on the roadbed! That overgrown track to the right is not some passing siding or back track - it's the south main track of CN's freakin' Kingston Sub - one of the busiest mainlines in Canada!
From the south side of the crossing, westbound VIA No 67 appears over the crest, slamming through with 908 leading, three HEP2 cars and 6453 trailing.
Looking south across the tracks toward the distant Highway 401, the crossing protection and concession road bracket the scene. Despite bright plumage and chirping, a feathered friend blends in with the scene.
Up close though, he's pretty bright! Zoom in - a male goldfinch has stopped by for a sip of water:
Eastbound VIA No 46 rounds the sumac 'berm' behind 903. Notice the preponderance, nay I should say plethora, of refurbished Business Class 3400-series cars trailing the power on this night's trains.
North side of crossing looking west (above), south side of crossing looking west (below). Notice the 401 just to the left of the blazing lights of No 56. The trees tremble timorously, the cattails cant convincingly, and the Queen Anne's lace quivers quietly...
Meanwhile, just behind VIA No 56 operating on the north track, CN No 308 was plowing ahead on the south track, and VIA No 57 was waiting at Kings for the eastbound VIA to get ahead of 308, with engines IC 2720 (sublettered CN-painted) and newly-repainted ex-UP 2011. No 308 was hauling lots of, you guessed it, NATX crude oil tank cars between cuts of auto racks.
Then and now...my one and only previous photography at this site shows quite a difference. That forest of sumac growing west of the crossing has bisected the sweeping panoramic view (above), while only a few trees are different in the view to the east (below). On April 26, 2002 another CN No 308 was heading east behind engines 5630-5554.
Mid-train Distributed Power IC 'deathstar' 1015 (below). VIA Nos 68 and 69 would soon pass by at 1925 and 1935 respectively. Darkness was descending as I headed home along the 401. Upon reaching Kingston, I stopped on the Sir John A MacDonald overpass to try a video of VIA No 650's P42-HEP2 equipment heading to the wye and overnight on Queens. Then, heading to the station, tripod-less, I steadied my camera against a lamppost to record CN No 148 meeting VIA No 69 (bottom). My first attempts at video with this new camera in non-ambient light conditions!
VIA No 650 enters Queens 1 to wye
CN No 148 at Kingston station
VIA No 69 makes it station stop as CN No 148 continues to roll east
I'll leave the last word in this post to Tom Warchuk of the Railview Model Railway Club, conveniently located above George's Trains in Markham. While posting a request for 1950's and newer timetable information for Bayview Junction, Tom included the following reference to this humble blog in his Yahoogroups message: "Is there a forum or blog, similar to Trackside Treasure, that deals with Southern Ontario? For those not familiar with Trackside Treasure, it is an amazing well-constructed blog dealing with the Toronto-Kingston corridor**, with excellent articles and pics." [**and other things - my note!]