Friday, October 5, 2018

Postscript: CN Installs CWR, 1980

When CN installed Continuous Welded Rail (CWR) on its Kingston Subdivision just west of Kingston, it was June, 1980. My Dad was able to be trackside to document the process on June 12, while I was trackside in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. The crew bus was near Mi.179, just east of Collins Bay, as this eastbound VIA train passed our intrepid photographer (top photo).
I should note that photography involved a Kodak 126-format Instamatic. There was no zoom or wide-angle. There was no metering. These were square negatives and square prints. Later in the day, my Dad caught the Canron Rail Change Out (RCO) unit working on the south track near Mi. 182, just west of Coronation Boulevard at Amherstview (above) and again meeting a VIA train, this one heading west through the work limits. The bulbous Amherstview (Ernestown Township) water tower looms on the horizon. The Canron, Tamper and RCO logos were still proudly emblazoned on the unit's cab side:
Down in the weeds, in the lush, green, summer undergrowth, my Dad was met by some vines along the right-of-way fence and we can see the new CWR being threaded into the RCO (above). Since the RCO moved at a walking pace, it was not difficult for my Dad to pick his way through the underbrush and catch its passage again, this vantage point being closer to Coronation Boulevard. The ready-to-be-laid CWR is right at track level as workers throw miscellaneous track hardware onto the leading flatcar being pushed by the RCO:
A good view of the flatcar, RCO, supporting gondola cars for track hardware and CN-painted baggage car:
As the RCO train passed at a snail's pace, the operator positions (only a few were seated) governing this dynamic jointed-out, CWR-in process were visible:
 Conveyors carried needed track material to/from the trailing gons:
Having reached the Coronation Boulevard crossing, support trucks are parked at the crossing, including the ubiquitous Chevy crew cab with wooden cap, likely assigned to the local section gang:
Trailing track machines are at Mi 182 as my Dad returns to the water tower to get a documentary photo of the just-installed CWR. Note the shine of the just-replaced jointed rail and the rust of the just-installed CWR. Interestingly, a few of those discarded spike pails found their way home, used for harvest and other storage, still bearing their Stelco paint outside, but a new coat of protective primer inside!

Running extra...

It took seven years, but the 'congress', 'confluence' and 'conference' of fellow blogger Chris Mears of Prince Street Terminal and your humble blogger took place last evening. We closed down one coffee shop and were well on the way to closing down another when adjournment was moved. Topics discussed included: Trains.

More specifically - model and prototype trains. Even more specifically - Shira and Rapido; humancentric layout building (come on, Krista, please give us a couple of guest blogger posts!!) and the why's of layout building; GO and VIA; buses and ferries; consist-taking and analysis; The Binder and care thereof; connections both human and of the HO coupler variety; layout operations and modules; layouts we have known and those yet to be built; modellers and model structures we have known; Fallowfield and fertile imaginations; the wonders of blogging and the limitations of Facebook; father-and-son projects and inspirations; Autoport and Hanley Spur railfanning; awesome underbody detail and 3-D printing; and many, many, many (did I mention many?) more.

It was good of Chris to head down the highway to K-Town while in Ontario. No photos were taken of the event as darkness fell. There was no shortage of animated conversation and a wide range of topics discussed. Hot beverages and baked goods added to the flavour of the festivities.

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