Friday, September 28, 2018

CN Installs CWR on the Kingston Sub, 1980

In early 1980, strings of continuous welded rail (CWR) were dropped alongside the north and south tracks of the Kingston Subdivision. They're visible on the tangent track west of Mi 185 (top photo). Canron's Rail ChangeOut (RCO) unit later removed the jointed rail and installed the welded rail. While the RCO and its work cars were in this area, their Kingston base was the team track at Gardiners Road, Mi 178. This was before the Gardiners Road underpass was built - it was still a level crossing! The crew bus brought the crew to work here at the beginning of each day, and met them at the end of the work day. Crane 50471 is removing old track hardware into waiting gondola cars on the overcast evening of June 10:

Mountains of track hardware line the team track area:

Conveyor belts on these gondola cars transferred track hardware to where it was needed, or for eventual disposal:

CN planned to  install 55 miles of 132-lb CWR in the Belleville-Kingston area between April 28 and mid-July. Sysco steel rail was taken in 78-foot lengths to Belleville, where it was butt-welded into 1480-foot lengths. Jointed rail that was replaced was taken back to Belleville's rail yard, unbolted and sorted for re-use or for scrap. Also installed were 50,000 new ties and 100,000 tons of nickel slag ballast from Sudbury. The long-term plan was 50 miles per year, with the Kingston  Subdivision to be completely CWR by 1985. Heading to Toronto on the morning Railiner thence to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba our train passed the RCO, working west of Mi 184 on the south track. Work stopped for the moment, and the crew turned toward the passing train:
While I was in Manitoba, I missed most of the RCO activity. After returning home, this trackside view looking east,shows the track at Mi 182 with CWR, with the jointed rail on the shoulder of the ballast ready for pickup:

On July 11 at 1453, CN 9620-9623 hauled a train of CWR cars west carrying jointed rail tailed by caboose 79545. These rail cars were rebuilt from 40-foot Hart convertible ballast cars, and they shuttled back and forth to the Belleville CWR facility carrying jointed rail in and welded rail out. CN 44753 is in the same location as the above photo, and is loaded with jointed rail just lifted. Stencilled car information: "Capy 130000-Ld Lmt 113200-Lt Wt 55800-Blt 7-28, shopped P-U 4-77. Manufactured under license from the Hart Otis Car Co Limited Montreal patented 1914 1916 1918 1919 other patents pending".
CN 9574-5501 power the pickup train eastbound at 1530 July 29.

CN 44292 is providing the power to lift both strings of jointed rail and thread them into the CWR cars.

The consist was: 44293-44291-44292-44290-44005-44714-44111-44658-44046-44190-44701-44080-44059-44016-44045-44075-44170-44729-44062-44641-44221-44024-44138-44029-44073-44175-44662-44661-44659-44021-44189-44176-44182-44130-44163-44753-44660-44004-302556-321439-79461. A crew member atop the train's cars followed the progress of the end of the string as it fills the cars:

At 1030 on August 1, the same two units were powering the pickup train, now at Mi 181, being passed by an eastbound freight. This consist: 44293-44291-44292-44290-44689-44656-44064-44077-44750-44724-44722-44747-44740-44739-44732-44737-44738-44749-44736-44735-44758-44419-44640-44004-44015-44686-44741-44091-44032-44942-44723-44168-44149-44689-44081-44102-44707-49000-325415-325679-324437-79461.

The completed CWR has eliminated not only the clickety-clack, but also a lot of maintenance required every 39 feet on jointed rail on the Kingston Sub.
A newspaper clipping from Cornwall on May 15, 1982 shows CN's Canron RCO 505-51 installing CWR between the Quebec border and Cornwall:

Running extra...

This post languished in Trackside Treasure's 'Draft' file for at least nine years. At the time I started work on it, I believed that Rapido Trains Inc. was about to launch a CWR product in HO scale! So what better way to support that product launch than to show the process at work 'back in the day', 1980-style. With Rapido pushing Turbos, RS-18's and CP steam engines (first section - Royal Hudsons, second section D-10's) out the warehouse doors, it seems that it was time to launch this post.

On social media this week, Jason Shron's candid posts explained that his company is looking for the best way forward with its Icons of Canadian Steam line - the variables being cost, timeliness, prognostic factors, likely customer demand and uptake, cash flow and most of all, demographics of the modern model railway marketplace. Apparently CPR 2860, indeed CPR 2816 are destined to be big sellers, while the workaday D-10, essentially the quintessential Canadian steam locomotive, retains the role in model form that it held on the prototype: valuable, undervalued, modest and modellable!

If I were tell you that I saw a deer on the way to work this week, you may well ask, well, how did you know that's where he was headed?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Picton Train Show, September 2018

On Saturday, September 15 I was County-bound! A whirlwind trip to Picton for their 30th annual train show. First stop - Bombardier's relatively new switch on CN's Millhaven Spur that it uses to load light rail vehicles for various Ontario transit agencies. Now switched by Cando Contracting, diverging track to left (top photo) serves Coco Paving, spur lead to now-demolished Celanese plant in centre, and new Bombardier spur to right.
Laid with US-rolled 115-lb. rail, matching the 1971 115-lb. rail laid on the Millhaven Spur, the well-ballasted spur leads through some limestone on its way to the plant (above) and is protected by a CNR switch-lock:
Nova Algoma Cement Carriers NACC Alicudi, a former ocean-going freighter now in cement service along with NACC Argonaut, loads at Bath Lafarge cement plant. A low cloud base cloaked the Amherst Island wind turbines top blade tips.
At the well-attended show, held in Picton's renewed curling rink, Bob Ascah operated his switching layout including some crowd-pleasing British-American tank cars! And yes, that's a Walthers Red Wing milling-based structure flat. A kit I've admired from afar but not on my own layout!
Next to Bob was fellow Associated Railroaders of Kingston member and modeller Paul Hunter. Paul's VIA modelling is second to none, and his freight fleet, CN motive power and tribute cars were on display...and this was only half his portable layout!
On the nearby Soper Valley layout, complete with new modules, I was able to photograph no fewer than four POLA freight station kits in various iterations. This one is Lynde Lubrication Products - note the tower is on the back of this version:
Scenicked with parking lot (above) and olive-drab (below - don't touch the layout, but I had to settle this one on its wooden base to make sure I continued to be a well-grounded photographer):

I appreciated the creative rearrangement of the above model named DeSalvo's Mill and re-sided, with the elevating tower centred. The front of the fourth one was not well-lit, so here's the back:
A bemused, unnamed vendor at the show couldn't help himself, noting my kid-in-a-candy-store look, "You're looking at my table and smiling." I responded that yes, I was, and I do the same thing at Tim Hortons. I like everything they have for sale but that doesn't mean I can buy all of it! As in the past couple of years, a charity table of books and magazines, with donations going to Picton's hospital resulted in shopping bags well-used to transport reading material home to Kingston! Art deco-like architecture adorns the back avenues of Picton:
Picton KFC supplied the $5 box meal. (Have you tried these? Chicken entree, fries, bread or gravy, drink and cookie and if you go away hungry, try more, smaller meals because this is a good deal!) and I was off to Oliver Side Road, between Belleville and Napanee. There, VIA obliged but CN did not. Eastbound:
And westbound. Video capture:
After waiting for what seemed weeks, I was finally lucky to catch one-of-a-kind Business Class VIA 3476 with 40 years wrap, tucked in behind VIA 6451 as it slams its three-car train through a signal bridge spanning all three tracks of CN's Kingston Sub.
Returning via Napanee, CN 2426 was leading a train of 89-foot rail flats plus a Herzog CWR cut, with Herzog's mobile unit doing the honours as the train dropped new rail just west of Napanee's VIA station:

Running extra...

Malcolm Peakman caught the whole CWR process from the Napanee station parking lot. Here's Malcolm's photo of CN 2426. Thanks, Malcolm!
The Red Baron touched down at Kingston airport the same weekend. Snoopy and an unnamed companion biplane landed, too:
VIA's latest ad campaign. I love the way they include drone footage of VIA 914 on their TV commercial:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Reg Shares Some More Photos

Every once in a while, Reg Aitken says, "I've been out doing some photography" and next thing I know, he's sending some interesting stuff my way. Reg 'The Explorer' likes to get out and explore what's rolling through Eastern Ontario. Not content to go back to the same old haunt, Reg rambles around. First stop, Smiths Falls, ON!
A remanufactured ECO unit was switching tanks and covered hoppers in the yard when VIA rolled through (top photo).
Reg worked an interesting 'carpet' of sky into this photo:
 Over at Smiths Falls'  VIA mini-station, this Ottawa-bound train pulls in:
Then a Brockville-bound counterpart. These photos were taken in 2017, hence the CANADA 150 wraps!
 That CP switcher gets around!
At the north side of Collins Bay, Reg positiioned himself on the north side of CN's Kingston Subdivision to catch VIA and CN trains. More CANADA 150 wraps...I kind of miss them!
Westbound CN freight with new power!
 Coloured, nearly mirror-image double-stacks among the bullrushes!
 Going monochrome, Maersk!
Heading west eight miles along the Kingston Sub, Reg was at the former Grand Trunk station at Ernestown that continues to weather itself, perhaps into obscurity:

This one found its way onto the disk. TIR 500 at the tour boat dock in Gananoque, ON before this little critter was moved just north of Highway 2 near the town hall.

Running extra:

The Associated Railroaders of Kingston (I'm one of their newest, most naive members) is holding its first train show this November. Besides a show website, the show is also advertised as widely as Railfan & Railroad events listing, thanks to the efforts of Paul Hunter and his team! 

I was also talking trains with Paul at the Picton train show this weekend. Watch for an upcoming post!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

CN's Hanley Spur - Industry History

Working our way south along CN's Hanley Spur, here are some capsule histories of the rail-served industries along the line (dropping red 'bottlecaps'* in the above photo). I intend to be modelling these in some form on my HO scale Hanley Spur layout. At the end of the post are some other buildings and industries, that while not necessarily rail-served, were parts of the scene and sweep of Kingston's industrial and marine heritage.

MARCH 2020 UPDATE: With the construction of my HO scale Kingston's Hanley Spur layout, this 'legacy post' will remain here, but properly, an updated version will be maintained here on my layout blog, where I publish both prototype information and layout progress:

CN Express (CN)
CN's Wellington Street freight shed employees transferred to the Outer Station CN Express location when both operations were integrated in 1964-65. During the 1970's, inbound shipments transitioned from arriving in freight cars to arriving in Toronto-Peterboro Transport (TPT) transport trucks - a CN subsidiary. The operation was subsequently sold to a new trucking company in 1986 and employees went along with it. CN Building & Bridges forces used the building for storage thereafter (1994, photo above). Photos in this post are from my own, Googlemaps or Google search.
Gus Marker Cement (CP)
Augustus (Gus) Solberg Marker was a professional hockey player and a member of the 1935 Cup-winning Montreal Maroons. He began a brick, tile and cement block works in the 1940's, operating at the same location, east of Division Street below Elliott Avenue for several decades. Present-day site of the Kingston Police headquarters.

MacCosham Van Lines (CP)
Now Capital Movers & Storage, 56 Railway Street. CP spur access at left.

Coca-Cola Ltd (CP)
Present-day Googlemaps view (above). CP spur access was at rear.

Weston's Bakeries (CP)
Present-day Googlemaps view (above). CP spur access was at rear.

Pilkington Glass (CP) - TBA

Canfor Ltd. (CP) - TBA

Modern Delivery (CP) - TBA

Quattrocchi's Specialty Foods (CP)
Phil Quattrocchi moved to Kingston from Perth around 1955. Setting up a produce business originally at Bay & Montreal Streets in 1949, his better-known and final location was at Montreal & Railway Streets (April 2017 view - above). CP spur access was at left.

C. E. MacPherson (CP)
This steel manufacturing business began in 1913 on the west side of Rideau Street, currently operating as a division of Conrex Steel Ltd. producing head shields for pressure vessels and tanks, plus other specialty metal products. CP spur crossed Rideau Street to reach the plant.

I. Cohen Steel (CP)
Isaac Cohen, born in Lithuania, arrived in Kingston in 1898. His scrap dealings began in 1899 as the Kingston Rag & Metal Co., later moving to a location on Montreal St. Three generations of Cohens and Rosens lived at 203 Wellington Street.

Davis Tannery (CN)
Opening as Ford & Son in the late 1860's, the tannery was taken over by Joseph Carrington in the 1890's and sold to Andrew Davis in 1903. By 1920, Davis Tannery was one of Canada's largest, producing 1,000 sides of upper leather and 1,500 splits per day. The plant closed in the late 1960's and was subsequently demolished and may be the site of a remediated brownsite residential development in the near future.

Dyeco (CP)
Located on the corner of River and Orchard streets, between the Davis Tannery and the Woolen Mill, Dyeco was a rail-served manufacturer of food colourings and other chemicals. Interestingly, still operating on the same location as Sensient Technologies.

Woolen Mill (CP)
Known locally as the Woolen Mill, this four-storey 1882 enterprise was known as the Dominion Textile Co. A single-storey extension was added in 1883, and there are 12- and 16-inch pine beams throughout the windowed structure. The mill produced cloth, most notably for the armed forces during wartime on its 3.6-acre site. Shuttered by the Great Depression, it was later known as Hield Bros. operating under that name for 35 years until closure in 1966, due to declining demand and the rise of newer textile technology. The building has successfully passed between various owners becoming home to several businesses including the Kingston Whig-Standard. (Present-day view - above). The Woolen Mill has an account of its history here.

National Grocers (CN)
Built in the first quarter of the 20th century (not shown in the 1911 fire insurance map above), this building was owned by the Weston Corporation from 1936-1976. It shared a joint lead with the Kingston Whig-Standard. Today, the building is still in use as the NGB craftsman colony, just across the former Hanley Spur right-of-way from the Woolen Mill.

Imperial Oil (CN)
The Queen City Oil Co. began operation of this unique limestone warehouse at 9 North Street in 1898. Later owned by Imperial Oil, the warehouse is currently being rebuilt by Doornekamp Construction, fenced off in August 2014 (above). The warehouse was designed by noted Kingston architect William Newlands in 1897. Mainly used to store kerosene unloaded from boxcars, a  large tank farm was located uphill, now the site of Rideaucrest Home. Bulk tankers unloaded oil into a pipeline connected to the nearby oil tanks while docked at the end of the K&P spile docks, near Knapp Boats. Bollards still mark the site of four large-diameter steel unloading pipes that led to the tanks. More on the Imperial Oil Warehouse here.

Kingston Whig-Standard (CN)
Receiving shipments of newsprint for printing, newsprint was received near Millard & Lumb in later years.

Grand Trunk Freight Shed (CN)
All lots in the Place d'Armes-Wellington Street area were purchased by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1912, formerly the location of the City of Kingston hay and wood market and weigh scale (1911 fire insurance map above). The long, one-storey unheated building, with its office nearest Place d'Armes, served as CN's main Kingston freight depot from 1923 until the mid-60's. Several sidings, including a wooden vehicle-loading ramp at the corner of King & Place d'Armes were in operation as team tracks and the ramp remained until after the shed was demolished. Operations were relocated to the Outer Station site and the shed was demolished in 1970.

Sowards Coal (CN/CP)
James Sowards established his coal business in 1889 on a large, open tact of land at the north end of Ontario Street at Place d'Armes. One of several successful Kingston coal merchants including Crawford, Anglin and Swift. Coal boats unloaded coal at the site, with remnants of coal piles visible on the site even in to the 1970's. Operated by successive members of the Sowards family until taken over by Anglin Fuel & Lumber Co, Anglin operated the former Sowards Coal yard as Anglin Coal until 1979. An elevated rail spur with enclosed roof served via the mutual track along Ontario Street was demolished in the late 1970's.

Other Waterfront Industries (while we're in the area) in no particular geographic order:

The Buffalo and Ontario Smelting and Refining Co.
A subsidiary of the General Mines Co. whose president in 1913 was George Wagner, treated lead mined in the Perth Road area in the early part of the 20th century. Arsenic smelting took place at the site, and silver and cobalt brought from farther afield, including Northern Ontario were also processed.
Bajus Brewery
A brewery was first built on this site in 1794, purchased by Philip Wenz in 1826 then joined in business by his nephew Jacob Bajus, whose name the business was known by. In operation until 1922, the current stone structure replaced an original wooden structure that was torn down to make way for the construction of Wellington St. Stone additions were built in 1857 and 1861, designed by noted local architect Wm. Coverdale. After the brewery ceased operation, the building was used as warehouse space for local businesses, currently residential space.

Canadian Shipbuilding & Engineering Lrd. (CN)
Centred on the dry dock, later the site of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, this operation was locally known as the Kingston Shipyards. Located just past the Canadian Locomotive Co., it operated from 1910-1968 on Mississauga Point at the foot of Gore Street, a location known for shipbuilding since the days of the United Empire Loyalists. Acquired by Canada Steamship Lines in 1945, the Kingston yard was strategically located at the transshipment point between the Lakes and the St. Lawrence. A valuable property until the Seaway was opened, when its strategic and historic significance were lost. Larger ships simply sailed by, and the yard could only accommodated smaller vessels. McAllister Towing and Salvage later operated from this site.
Canadian Dredge & Dock Co. (CP)
The Davis Dry Dock Co. was established in 1867, with its dry dock built in 1900 and operating under that name until 1928, becoming CD&D. A towering 70-foot crane and the derelict dredge Primrose (partially sunken in 1985 and scrapped shortly thereafter) dominated the Inner Harbour skyline for many years, with a bevy of tugs, scows and workboats floating nearby. CD&D was the only dry dock for large boats between Montreal and St. Catharines when it closed its 2.4-acre site, still home to a boatbuilding operation - MetalCraft Marine.

Montreal Transportation Co. Grain Elevator
Located on the waterfront at 281-289 Ontario Street, this 800,000 bushel elevator with two marine legs ceased operations in 1919. (1908 fire insurance map above) Kingston's  Canada Steamship Lines terminal was then built on the pier which is now the Wolfe Island ferry terminal.
James Richardson & Sons Grain Elevator (CN)
Richardson's grain trade began in Kingstonin 1857, with the 250,000 bushel rail-served elevator built around 1898. Destroyed by fire on December 23, 1941 the pier now hosts Kingston's Holiday Inn hotel. 

Hanley Station (CN)
Built by Mr. Thomas Hanley in 1882 at the corner of Johnson and Ontario Streets, this tiny terminal was designed by noted local architect George Newlands. A ticket office for Grand Trunk Railway and steamship lines, the GTR then entered into an agreement to use the building as their downtown Kingston passenger depot. A suburban train service, later including the provision of sleeping cars ending in January, 1929 served the site from 1885-1930. The building is currently a restaurant.

Millard & Lumb
Both men for whom the business is named were foremen at the Canadian Locomotive Co. Investing in the new-found process of welding, replacing riveting, the building served the marine industry for decades. It still stands at the corner of King Street and Place d'Armes, its prime three-quarter-acre site having sold in 1988 for $750,000, now looking considerably less-industrial. Surrounded by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan building, arena, Frontenac Village and Fort Frontenac.

Elder's Beverages
Local bottler located at 671 Montreal Street, near the Outer Station.

Canadian Locomotive Co. (CN)
Locomotive builders from 1854 until 1969, this long-time Kingston employer had also been known as the Canadian Engine & Machinery Co. then the Canadian Locomotive & Engine Co. before being named CLC in 1901. Eventually entering the diesel-electric market, CLC successfully partnered with Fairbanks-Morse. Metre-gauge CLC-built steam locomotives for export to India at the Outer Station in 1950 (above). The plant shipped its last locomotive in July, 1960 having shipped its last Canadian steam locomotive, CPR 1301 in 1948.

Knapp Boats
Located just north of the LaSalle Causeway on the west side of the Inner Harbour, this marina site was used for a time by the Department of National Defence to refurbish wooden boats.

S. Anglin Co.
As early as 1845, the business begun by Samuel Anglin and his brother at Bay & Wellington Streets was a sawmill established in 1865 before expanding to coal, lumber, bricks, cement and woodwork shipments via rail sidings and wharves.
A planing mill and sash-and-door operation and coal shed were added in 1875, with the woodwork operation continuing until 1979. Anglin's sold as much as 250,000 tons of coal per year, supplying large customers such as Queen's University and Strathcona Paper. Coal piles could be seen in the early-1900's then several large, white oil tanks at Rideau & North Streets in the 1950's as oil replaced coal. A secondary yard at 771 Division Street operated until 1969, near Gus Marker's brick yard (see third photo above). Moving to 525 Counter Street in 1989, the sprawling Frontenac Village multi-unit residential community was built on the site. Anglin was sold to Triheat in 1997 before its purchase by Rosen Heating.

Rosen Fuels Ltd.
Hyman Rosen arrived in Kingston from Lithuania in 1911. One of Hyman' two sons was Harry. Entering business as Harry Rosen Coal Supply in 1937 at 130-140 Rideau Street (later Kingston Scrap Iron Metal Co.!) with these buildings surviving into the 1970's. At 5 Cataraqui Street, the north side of this busy fuel operation abutted Rideau Street. Tanks capable of holding 3.5 million gallons of oil were built on the eight-acre site, and the name changed to Rosen Fuels Ltd. The slogan on the back of the company's fuel trucks said, "Don't Wait Till You're Half Frozen, Buy Your Fuel from Harry Rosen". The six oil tanks were removed in 1983, though fuel distribution continued. Loading stand on River Street on K&P Urban Trail, spring 2018 (above).

Presland Iron & Steel (CN/CP)
Located on Maple Street, the last remaining industrial building just north of the Outer Station (Googlemaps view - above).

Frontenac Wall & Floor Tile
Located just north of the Outer Station, this plant used locally-mined feldspar.

Running extra...
Summer reading fun facts:
  • Drones can indeed be controlled worldwide by operators sitting in a shipping container in the Nevada desert, but it still takes a local pilot and groundcrew to launch, recover and maintain the drones.
  • Rules of Engagement for US Marines in Afghanistan were tightly-controlled, with military lawyers standing by. *Patrols dropped waterbottle caps along trails for the last man to pick up.
  • ...still making my way up the Rideau Canal from Kingston...
  • Private military contractors operate on the edge in conflicts, including the Benghazi embassy episode in this book.
A combination of warm weather, comfortable chair and good reads means...there's a nap for that.