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?


Steve Boyko said...

Was the deer carrying a lunchbox?

I remember Jason here in Winnipeg saying that it is getting more and more difficult to market steam, as younger modelers don't remember steam and therefore don't want to model it. I'm not so young but I never grew up with steam and definitely prefer diesels.

Eric said...

Actually, the deer may have already had his lunch and was looking for the deer john.

I could never be bothered with keeping all the steamer wheels on the HO-scale track! Potentially problematic pony truck derailments etc. The Icons line was aimed squarely at the aging modeller demographic, it seems.

Thanks for your comment,

Unknown said...

ProtoLoads makes HO scale loads of really flexible rail in plastic, that’s over 3 feet in length. You supply the railcars and racks, and the patience of Job in loading the rail into your CWR train...

Eric said...

Thanks for the additional information, Jon! This is becoming more of a comment ribbon than a comment thread!