Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Covered Hopper Cornucopia

CEFX 380187
I've personally designated this year as The Year of Photographing the Mundane. As I stood trackside on September 19, just west of Belleville, Ontario watching CN No 369 wander westward, I noted and photographed some mundane cars. Actually, perhaps they're more interesting than they are mundane. Or perhaps it's just that I was able to find something interesting about each one. Midwest Railcar Corporation (MWCX) has cobbled together a fleet including ex-General Chemical, AGP Grain Co-operative and ex-Peavey cars:
MWCX 460956
Also in the fleet, an ex-CEFX, exx-LDCX, exxx-MILW:
Ex-Milwaukee Road MWCX 460616
Building America with higher, graffiti-defeating reporting marks:
UP 93662
The Crandic has been stencilling their fleet with names of employees:
In memory of Crandic employee Gerald E Goodwin CIC 2086

In recognition of Crandic employee Todd Robinson CIC 2119
The conspicuity decals and graffiti brighten up this CN car:
CN 388520
Once the restencilling begins, who knows where it stops and what these cars originally were. Likely Transportation Corporation of America:
GROX 813170
Official-looking DRA graffiti on this little salt car:
CRDX 20451
And bringing up the tail-end, Sid Richardson carbon black:
SRCX 1557
I'm reminded of this Covered Hopper Train of Thought post from 2010. Certainly covered hoppers are among the most frequently-observed car types these days, along with those blackish tank cars.

Running extra...
Brian Sulley shared some dusk photos of venerable Ernestown station. Brian explored the station area and notes that it is still an impressive structure, especially in the evening light. Brian also managed to photograph a CN westbound behind engine 2894, taken at 1809. Thanks, Brian!
Speaking of industrial/rail archaeology, Dennis DeBruler kindly shared a photo of a former Manitoba-leased Pillsbury covered hopper car which I've added to this post. Dennis is also a blogger and I highly recommend his data-dense Industrial History blog for anyone itching for a look at Midwest railroading and the industries served. Thanks, Dennis!

I've found there are three types of people in this world of ours: there are those who can count, and those who can't count. If you are counting, this post is the the 371st posted, and with 29 in draft form, that makes a total of 400 Trackside Treasure posts since 2008.

Friday, September 25, 2015

September in Shannonville

Last Saturday found us slipping out of the searing summer season of shimmering skies, into the seasonal, somnolent song of September. Specifically, Shannonville, just east of Belleville. At Shannonville Road crossing of CN's Kingston Sub (also of CP's Belleville Sub just to the north, though I've largely given up on depending on CP for many if any trains) an 0955 stop at the crossing soon brought a (non-whistling, at this crossing) CN No 106, led by 8811-8810:
The hypnotic parade of K&R, Transx and CN domestic containers soon gave way to import/export containers for the remainder of the train:
CMA/CGM, COSCO, ZIM, Evergreen, NYK Logistics, UASC  and many more did not inspire me to write an ode nor haiku this time.
Arriving in Belleville yard, the tail end of CN train No 369 was just clearing the station. In 2012 I'd seen 369 at Shannonville. The incoming crew gave a good inspection to the outgoing crew, and the slow-moving train allowed me to scoop the train along Moira Street West. Here's a subsequent post focusing on the numerous covered hoppers on this train, which also comprised HPJX aluminum ingot flat cars, TBOX and other box cars. For now, graffiti's CN 388520 will hog the spotlight:
The head-end exasperatingly eluded me - but that can be the nature of a chase! Just before the road curved away to the south, 2405 and 2678 lead:
Along Airport Parkway just east of Belleville yard, VIA J-train No 52/62 passed through the man-made rock cut: 900-3472-3367-3363-3304Ren-3322-916-4008-4102-4114-4105-4100
Triple-tracking plus a yard lead:
A headlight on the horizon! At 1140, CN 2301 and DPU 8002 are westbound.
CTCX and TGOX oil cars on the head-end behind website-scheme cylindrical covered hopper CNLX 7318:
It's a 5x4! PROX 44444:
Grain cars including ALNX 396040 painted for the community of Daysland:
DPU 8002 sandwiched among some 60-foot hi-cube lumber boxcars:

Beyond busy Airport Parkway, a bucolic barnyard scene:
Thanks to Malcolm Peakman for providing additional data for this post.

Running extra...

I've added Matthieu Lachance's excellent Canadian model railway blog Hedley Junction to Trackside Treasure's sidebar. Matthieu is doing some fine prototype modelling of the 1980s CN Murray Bay Subdivision. Paper cars, locomotives and MoW cars and some operating sessions, too! He's a good, regular blogger, too! Bienvenue, Matthieu!

October sale coming soon to Trackside Treasure. This year, the sale will be held in...October. Toronto, Montreal, CN, CP and VIA will all be for sale. In document form, that is!

The City of Kingston has completed the first two phases of the widening of major arterial road John Counter Boulevard, named for the city's first mayor. Posted to the city's website, a westbound one-unit wonder passes beneath a suddenly tree-lined JCB while a Kingston Transit bus arches overhead:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Springtime in Smiths Falls,1995

While scanning some of my Dad's prints for an earlier post on VIA F40s being leased by CP, I decided to scan all the other photos he took at Smiths Falls, ON that day - April 14, 1995. His photos are a time capsule from a period during which rebuilt and unrebuilt MLWs, American lease units and the leased VIA units all arrived on freights in the span of about seven hours. Some of the prints are faded in places, likely before mounting in his photo album. I've included his captions including train nomenclature wherever possible. 

Westbound containers with 1831, HLCX 5010 (ex-VMV/MP 3038/MP 738) arrived 10:25. The consist included a service power car (former boxcar), 14 flats with living accommodation huts, and 22 auto racks, 7 of which were not enclosed (above). Below - Showing a Stolt tank container (TTAX 653503). This train left at 11:05.
1860 North from Brockville to Smiths Falls with 4 cars arrived 11:35.
Eastbound 5737 with PNCX 3026 (ex-UP) with containers, flats, double stacks, spine cars arrived 11:40 (flashing EOT unit!)
5595, VIA 6457  with box cars, hoppers, auto racks, spine cars and flats arrived westbound at 11:15. The units lifted 11 cars from the yard and left with over 100 cars at 12:30. Cut of 11 cars has been added behind the units. Departure is delayed because of expected VIA trains 43 south and 40 north which will meet at Smiths Falls
43 South with 6420, 7 coaches, and 6404 on the rear, is making a stop at Smiths Falls on its way to Brockville and Toronto.
43 South is now in the distance as it takes branchline, Smiths Falls - Brockville. While 43 is in the station, 40 North is on track nearest the station. [I added some detail to the photo]
Eastbound 5679, SOO 6611, 5747 stopped east of the station near the Chambers Street overpass. This train left about 13:20. Behind the three units was a five-unit doublestack, each unit of which had high ends.
4227 eastbound with three cars proceeds to the station about 13:45. It had likely been doing local switching east of Smiths Falls:

Conductor has removed the end-of-train unit and is going to the Smiths Falls yard office in the station. After some switching, 4227 left at 18:50 behind 5919 and 4721 for the Chalk River Sub with about 40 cars.
Running extra...

At Smiths Falls, Belleville and elsewhere, yards are emptying. Local customers are fewer but generally ship more. Run-through freights reduce dwell times and online work. Tracks are lifted and capacity shrinks. Intermodal grows as boxcar numbers shrink. Oh, and did I mention the bulk boom including oil? CN No 305 with oil empties on the head-end enters Belleville on September 19:
The Picton train show did not disappoint. Peter Macdonald, Peter Mumby and Panther Hobbies were stops at this curling rink show. The face of the hobby is changing. Detailed plastic is the new brass, junk cars seem even junkier, slides and prints are virtually absent and the written word is giving way to online sources. As long as Peter Mumby is there, I will buy photo prints! Rolling stock! VIA! GMDL! And CN's London Reclamation Yard? Soon to appear on Peter, Don and George's White River Division blog in my sidebar? 

The Glenora ferry hosted the Canadian Paramedic Memorial Ride. Vehicles and riders from Toronto to Ottawa crossed the Adolphus Reach without pedalling, on their four-day cycle.
It's time to downsize. I'm ready to part with my western Canada scratchbuilt and kitbashed structures. They were fun to build and took me back to the Prairies, at least in HO scale. I believe I can better use the shelf space now.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

CP leases VIA locomotives, 1994-1995

In March, 1994 CP entered into a lease with VIA for some of their surplus power - some high-numbered F40PH-2D`s. The rate was reportedly $800 per day, per unit. Initially, the four original units were expected to power Montreal-Toronto intermodal train Nos 928 and 929. CN was also power-short and leased a wide variety of locomotives between 1994 and 1998. But here`s a fun fact - the VIA 6400's were the only units that CP leased that were equipped to lead. Most of those rent-a-wreck leased units were merely junk-in-the-trunk of CP locomotive consists!Tim Mayhew kindly shared his photo of CP No 921 Eng VIA 6449 followed by a blanked-window Century at Dorval, undated (above):

Though I was not able to observe and photograph these leased units myself, my Dad was at CP's station Smiths Falls, ON at 1115 on April 14, 1995, where he photographed a stopped westbound freight led by CP 5595-VIA 6457 (above). I included all the photos he took in this subsequent post. Notice something about the next photo? Not only is there a CP freight with leased VIA unit, but his photos of the freight include passing VIA trains. I have not seen any photos so far that show VIA 6400s in CP service AND in VIA service in the same frame. There are only a limited number of places where this could be seen, and Smiths Falls was one of them! (Below) 6404 tails LRC cars on VIA No 43 heading for its station stop, passing the stopped freight.
A summary of F40's leased from VIA by CP In 1994:
March - 6438, 6452, 6454, 6458
April - 6438, 6452, 6454, 6458
May - 6438, 6452, 6453
June - 6454, 6458 (In June, CP was leasing 108 locomotives)
August - 6448, 6452, 6454, 6458
September - 6448, 6452, 6455, 6458 (CP leasing 123 locomotives)
October - 6448, 6449, 6452, 6453, 6455, 6456, 6458
November - 6448, 6449, 6450, 6453, 6454, 6455, 6456, 6458 (CP leasing 149 locomotives)
December - 6448, 6450, 6453, 6454, 6455, 6456. Returned to VIA for maintenance and the Christmas rush were 6449, 6453 and 6458.

Leased in 1995:
January - 6448, 6450, 6451, 6452, 6453, 6454, 6455, 6456
February - 6448-6456
March-  6448-6450, 6452-6456
April - 6448-6453, 6456-6457
May - 6448, 6451-6454, 6456-6457 (CP leasing 200 locomotives)
All the 6400s were returned to VIA by early-July.
Initially operating in pairs, 6438-6452 powered Detroit-Toronto 510, Hochelaga-Toronto 503, Montreal-Toronto 903, 918, 928 and 929. The Alliston turn had 6454-6458, as did Montreal-North Bay 471, Montreal-Toronto 907 and Toronto-Windsor 915. While in Toronto, 928`s  power often powered a morning transfer run such as the Vaughan Transfer between Obico yard and their Vaughan intermodal facility. At least once, 6449 and 6458 bracketed a CP Geep to Havelock, ON! Due to insufficient power and the chance of running out of fuel due to their smaller tanks, other CP and leased units would operate with the 6400s.
VIA 6453-HATX 520-VIA 6450 at Guelph Junction on April 29, 1995 (above)
CP 5679-8239 and 8238 sandwich VIA 6451-6229 emerging from the tunnel under the Welland Canal on February 22, 1995 (above).
Campbellville, ON sees a local led by VIA 6456 in March 1995 (above) and 6456-6450 (below - these are online auction site photos) are also shown at Campbellville in June 1995:
Ross Wakefield was set up at CP Lovekin, fortuitously catching VIA 6449 rounding a curve with a four-car Cobourg Turn (video capture - undated):
On March 26, 1994 VIA 6458-6454 lead a CP C424 also at Campbellville:
And on March 30, 1994 VIA 6454-6458-CP 5021 are at CP's Toronto terminal in Vaughan (next three photos are online auction site photos):
On April 29, 1994 three of the four leased units were on one intermodal train in Toronto - VIA 6454-6438-6452:
On November 23, 1994 VIA 6453-6456 led this freight:
CP No 921 has VIA 6451-CP 4204-CP 6457 at Guelph Junction on April 23, 1995:
In March 1995, VIA 6453-6450 and a SOO sister lead CP train No 505 at Smiths Falls:
 Bob Heathorn photo (above). Bob kindly shared two more photos taken at Smiths Falls:

A VIA-laden montage by ex-Kingston railfan and modeller in this Rik Berryere video, and a VIA-led John Reay video, a Geep-led John Reay video and lots-of-links:

6438-6453 at Montreal in June, 1994
6438 at Newtonville (incorrectly-dated September, 1989)
6438 on same train at Port Hope (correctly-dated August, 1994)
6448-6449 at Milton March, 1995
6449 behind CP 3041 on the Moonlight, 3/2/95
6450 at Tilbury with CP 4242-64xx-ETR switcher in February, 1995
6452 trails at Puslinch in March, 1995
6454 at London in December, 1994
6455 at Newtonville in October, 1994
6455 at London in November, 1994
6458 and 6452 at Newcastle (incorrectly-dated September, 1992)
Two sets of 6400's in an October, 1994 Bill Thomson photo!

Not all was uneventful. The Toronto Star included a photo (below) of a derailment involving two VIA units! VIA 6452-CP 4712-VIA 6454 were operating the Obico Yard "Day Coach" assignment, which normally used the power from CP No 929. Making a reverse movement out of West Toronto Yard, heading east toward Parkdale to make a lift, the locomotive consist was pushing the west end of 12 cars at noon on May 19, 1994. The trailing wheels on one side of CP 4712 derailed on a curve, causing the 6452-4712 to list, resulting in a fuel leak and minor injuries to the engineer. Rerailed by CP Speedswing and hi-rail crane, VIA 6452 was taken to the Toronto Maintenance Centre on May 20 and returned to operation on CP for new trucks and a new rear buffer plate, the work performed at CP's Toronto Yard.
CP's lease of the VIA units is reminiscent of their famous borrowing of GO Transit units to supplement their fleet around 1978. Definitely unexpected and unique moments in Canadian railroading that are unlikely to be repeated.

Running extra...recently photographed:
CN No 518 slides up the hill to switch Kingston Invista, slickly scooped by a sailing 149 (above) then backs bashfully down the cat-tailed Cataraqui Spur across busy Bath Road:
A sultry September sunset shines on the sides of eastbound tank cars at Kingston:
Put down that device! says Kingston Transit van-bus 1476 - shot from my front step: