Friday, March 10, 2017

Mud Season at Morningstar/Trenton, February 2017

While part of the family was skiing at nearby Batawa ski hill, I picked a grey, foggy, slightly damp day to try out Trenton, ON. Specifically, the remnant of the former CN Marmora Subdivision which once ran north from Trenton Jct to Marmora, and south from Trenton Jct to Picton. Located near CN's Kingston Sub and CP's Belleville Sub, this is a neat little spot located just north of Telephone Road (top photo).
Parrish & Heimbecker (P&H) recently took over the former Trenton Grain Elevator, formerly Thrasher Feed Ltd. Located at Mi 32.20 of the former Trenton Spur, before that CN's Marmora Sub, track TB76 was a 1300' (now marked as 1140') spur that served the elevator then veered off to serve Tri-County Agro Mart. The Trenton Spur continued north to serve Trent Valley Paper Board, five miles north. The track to the mill was removed in 1988. The spur now ends before reaching Highway 401. There is still a run-around track just north of the ag facilities, just visible to left. It's designated CN track TB75, 1900 feet long:
P&H covered hopper PHLX 101 was spotted at the elevator. Having profiled these uniquely-painted P&H cars, I was happy to find one doing its job.
Looking south along Telephone Road, CN's section building (used to be Insulbrick) (2014 photo from aboard VIA Rail) and the track beneath the Kingston Sub at Mi. 232.9 are visible. Marmora ore trains used to run here, to be unloaded at Picton Harbour. (Lake Ontario Cement at Picton was the last customer before the trackage was removed in 1995-96.) Now, CN No 518 must traverse the 1455-foot downhill connecting track KP50 to serve the feed mill. The tail of this track is about 800 feet south of the Trenton Spur switch.
Across Telephone Road and up a short driveway if the Trenton Junction VIA stop. Connecting track KP50 is just visible, heading downhill at left. A westbound auto-rack train, likely CN No 371 scooted through, but CN freights made themselves scarce for the remainder of the day. CP's freight haul amounted hi-rail truck! I entitled this post 'mud season' because Mike Confalone, among others, choose to model this uniquely eastern North America season, when snow, mud, cloud and fog all intersect. Just like this day...
Like Kingston, Oshawa, Dorval et al, VIA has added a peaked roof and tower to the diminutive drop-off:
Out at Morningstar Road, it was an all-VIA show through the fog. Rather than posting individual Youtube video links to match these video captures (below), just click on my Youtube page to see four short but dramatic videos!
 At 1112, VIA No 51 Eng 6407:
 At 1245, VIA No 63 Eng 6401:
At 1315, an eastbound - VIA No 64 Eng 6451:
 At 1333, VIA No 45 Eng 6427:
 At 1402, sun and VIA No 42 double-ended consist with 910/911:
One parting P&H shot: in the sun, the view north from Telephone Road, with Highway 401 just visible in the distance:
Andrew Ferguson posted a photo to Facebook showing CN No 518 with 4713-4131 switching at Telephone Road on April 13, 2017:
Shaun Hennessy posted an undated photo to Facebook in June, 2017 showing CN 4131 switching the elevator:
CANADA 150! VIA's wrapped cars and units continue to proliferate. Read Steve Boyko's interesting review of reactions to this colourful scheme. I caught three units in one day, without even trying. VIA No 655 Eng 916 at 0645:
Grocery cart view! VIA No 47 Eng 905 at 1439:
Parking lot view! Video capture of VIA No 644 Eng 904 at 1530:
Speaking of being trackside with VIA, I'd like to share the draft cover for my upcoming book, Trackside with VIA: Research and Recollections. This book includes a few fingerprints - a team of contributors including my brother, whose photos take the top two positions on the front cover! And there he is, standing beside your humble blogger as he begins a VIA journey aboard an RDC-1 (centre photo on back cover). Watch for an April release.


Steve Boyko said...

Thanks for the shout-out!

Nice to see an Ontario grain facility, even if it is concrete silos... good old P&H.

Eric said...

Make mine wooden crib, but ya go with what ya got. Concrete, OK.

Liking the P&H, formerly seen on the former.