Thursday, December 27, 2018

Dimensional Movements with KWUX 10

Dimensional load movements are usually interesting, whether it's a simple D-4 on a regular freight train consist, or a D-10 on a special movement. When CN's car-tracing information was public, prior to September 2001, it was easier to predict passage of special dimensional trains. Scanners helped.
On January 5, 2001 this Siemens/Westinghouse generator was heading to Albany, NY aboard KWUX 10. Due to its size, it rated a single engine, several idler cars and was to meet opposing trains on a straight stretch of track while stopped. CN No 321 passed by on the north track at 1015 (two top photos) just west of Mi 179 Kingston Sub.
No 316's consist: CN 5432 (CNNA scheme)- CN 603225-603255-four other empty bulkhead flats-KWUX 10-caboose KRL 074. Closeups of the welded bracing and trucks:
Interestingly, Siemens acquired Westinghouse's power generation business unit around 1998. This car is now placarded for Siemens and has been painted turquoise while retaining its reporting marks.
Slowly starting east again, with further meets to come...
Passing under the Bayridge Drive overpass through a snow flurry:
Over the next couple of months, there were more dimensional movements. Weekends were preferred, due to fewer trains operating therefore fewer meets for the Rail Traffic Controller to orchestrate:

  • January 14/01 (Sunday) CN No 364 Engs 5542-5500-5357 had dimensional loads on the head-end: HTTX 94138 with Caterpillar dump truck and CN flat with big red 'parts' of something.
  • January 16/01: CN No 423 Eng 9445-five empty CN gondolas-Schnabel car HEPX 200 carrying a transformer for the Lennox Generating Station-caboose HEPX 79640. This train departed Montreal Wharf on January 13 at 0800 handling a D-9R, limited to daily movements only, spending the night at Montreal Taschereau Yard, then departing Sunday morning at 1050 reaching Garry, ON at 1316 thence Kingston on January 15 at 1810. I photographed the train the next morning, one of the few trains operating due to the derailment of CN No 310 at Mallorytown. Departing on January 16 at 0730, it reached Lennox G.S. at 1330.
  • March 4/01 (Sunday) CN No 309 Engs 5340 CNNA with map-6014 CNNA with map-9671 CNNA-2453 CNNA with map-5655 had a CN flat with large cylindrial tank, QTTX 130602 with a transformer-CN 667912 with an Indeck boiler on the head-end.
  • March 5/01 (Sunday) CN No 316 Eng 9677 with WECX 102 meeting VIA No 67 at Ernestown and spending the night in Kingston, departing Monday March 5 once CN No 369 passed, with an upcoming meet with CN No 309 at Regis, ON.   
  • March 18/01 (Sunday) CN No 316 passed under the Highway 133/County Road 4 overpass at Ernestown, Mi 188 Kingston Sub. KWUX 10 was again handling a D-9 dimensional load behind CN 9542 and an assortment of idlers. Meeting a westbound waiting at Ernestown:
These tarped orange ballast cars are often used as idlers. CN No 316's consist: 9592-boxcar CNA 412591-orange ballast cars CN 30204-302295-KWUX 10-KRL 074:
Just passed under the overpass:
Heading east along the straight stretch towards Millhaven for a meet with CN No 369 Engs 5657-5510-50 cars, thence on to Kingston and points east.

Running extra...

Here's hoping you had an enjoyable Christmas and may be enjoying a few days with family and/or friends. Or just make friends with your family! Anyway, I have been putting some new technology to use, bringing to life a wintry scene of VIA's Flexliner experiment:
Digging deeper, peeling back layers of the history and operations of Kingston's Hanley Spur, for my basement HO scale layout and working towards our Associated Railroaders of Kingston module project.
Best wishes for 2019 - I resolve to bring you as much interesting, head-scratching and astonishing information and news-you-can-use here on Trackside Treasure! - Eric

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmas 2018

Ever since our National Broadcaster put a 'ban' on the 1944 chestnut "Baby, It's Cold Outside" the rebel in me, and in a lot of people, has finally found a cause. Written by Frank Loesser, I'd say compared to a lot of the openly bigoted/misogynistic/inappropriate/questionable/parent advisory songs out there, this one's as tame as unspiked eggnog. But every fruitcake has a few nuts, and they've risen to the surface this Christmas!
As a way to say Merry Christmas to Trackside Treasure's readers, get the banned song bouncing around in your brain then try these lyrics!

I really must say (Baby it's cold Trackside)
It's almost Christmas day (Baby let's blog Trackside)
I really must stay (well it's been ten years)
Some topics have strayed (could be the beers)

Hey what's in this drink (Did someone say beer?)
Sure makes me think (Well that's nice to hear!)
It's time to pass on... (wait what did he say??)
...Christmas greetings, hold on! (apprehension at bay!)

'Tis the end of '18 (We've got a great team)
What a good year it's been (Bring on 2019!)

But I really must say,
Baby it's cold Trackside!

Chris will be planning again (John L. and his fine M&M)
Boyko will be out in the cold (Bern's Civil War never gets old)
Hammond will be nailing it down (and Dutka will be gluing it down)
Brother Dave will be running a scan (Lachance's modelling? I'm a fan)
Fuller will be Trackside as well (Simpson's mining a deep well)

But now I must go (Here's your toque, what's your hurry?)
It's starting to snow (Posts come weekly, not in a flurry)
But I really must say 
Baby it's cold Trackside
and Merry Christmas!!

Normally, it's the Running Extra section here...but at the end of the ellipsis is the excellent E-card exchange. I'm pleased to share festive greetings from  fellow bloggers, merry modellers and evergreen enthusiasts! 
Steve Hoshel
World's next author Mark Perry from snowy Manitoba!
Also from Manitoba, Jim Burnside
Modeller of Portage Randy O'Brien
Gary Hadfield
Paul Hunter
From Mi 182 Kingston Sub, Andre Gerow
Blog partner Steve Boyko
Rob Leachman, New Brunswick

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

CN Toronto MacMillan Yard, December 2018

I'd reached the end of steel. Having dropped my $3.25 into the farebox and boarded Northbound Route 1 for Vaughan, I was now in the cool air of Vaughan. Home of Rapido Trains Global HQ and George's Trains. So many choices. But I needed a walk. And coffee. And trains. But not in that order. Exiting the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, I headed east. At least I thought it was east. 
Yes, it was east. I was soon atop the Highway 7 overpass at CN's Toronto MacMillan yard. It was so thoughtful of CN to provide Railfan Platforms so I could safely watch the freight action below. Did I say safely? At this point, the boulevard narrows, the sidewalk shrinks and when not on the Railfan Platform, I was mere inches from a steady parade of frenzied commuters, stone trucks, and full-throttle semis and horn-honking courier trucks. Not exactly railfan-friendly. Not really even life-friendly.
An imminent movement warmed me. Otherwise, it was becoming cold. Cold as a Bay Street banker's heart. CN 5760-2124, the latter with the flaming-toaster logo of the 15-year "shareholder bonanza" anniversary headed south from the west side of the yard (above). Forgive my lack of knowledge of the sprawling scene that unfolded before me. A spaghetti-bowl of parallel tracks! Mac-aroni! But let's leave that in the past-a! Ten minutes later, a second train departed south, having been parked in front of the yard office. DPU 2240 chugged by:
Just then, a four-engine train made its approach known from south of Highway 7. I moved to the east Railfan Platform just in time to photograph CN 2639-2684-2516 and former ATSF warbonnet (now barfbonnet) leaser PRLX 211. What would Chico say, indeed!
As the train slitheringly stopped, a second train slipped in behind it. CN 2181-2108 with intermodal/auto racks sidled in from the snowy south as the snowflakes shimmered earthward.
Now it was coffee time. Literally. At the nearby Coffee Time on the north side of Highway 7, I contemplated packing it in. This was not Winnipeg. It was only -1, after all. Fuelled by caffeine and warmed by the thought of more CN movements, I returned to my rather unsafe perch. Indecisive like me, CN 2956-8897 appeared from the south, seemingly unsure of where to go or which way to face:
Right behind them, this short local appeared with a wintry mix of motive power:
Those tank cars in the background were on a lead that led south under the Highway 407 overpass, holding more tank cars and covered hoppers. Their spur disappeared northeast around a curve behind a warehouse that appeared non-rail-served. CN 4726-GMTX 2264 led BAEX boxcars, a few tank cars, three Winchester & Western and two DJTX covered hoppers:
CN 4726 bore traces of its previous wet-noodle logo as 5506, plus its current scrappy stripes:
WWUX 4458-4461-4701, this one with the most graffiti:
A hump set that I'd been watching work the west side of the yard now pulled under the overpass: CN 6019 still wearing its CN North America scheme:
It was coupled to CN232-IC 6201 and soon revved up to push its long train of New Brunswick-bound cars back north:
Another headlight beckoned from the south at 1451: CN 5679-5783-5475-2340 led CN No 305. A cut of ICG bulkhead flats imbued with ingots were on the pin....
...faithfully followed by Fort Saskatchewan-bound gondolas with their distinctive bagged loads, including ATW 87070 and COER 800983, many more auto racks and a few Canpotex empties on the tail end:
Could this consist be topped? Probably not, but a final parting shot of ex-CN 1394 working CN's transload terminal just west and south would do. Having just pulled a cut of hi-cube boxcars clear of the warehouse, it returned for two more boxcars, while scrap gons between the two cuts continued a-loading:
Geep hump sets buzzed around, such as CN 7274-208, here having deposited 15 auto racks into the auto compound to the northwest, and now returning to the yard for their next assignment. The friendly crew waved, perhaps glovingly gladdened (as were the many CN vehicles buzzing around) that I had no nefarious intentions - or perhaps marvelling at my continuing survival in such a challenging environment. That little green sign says 'Halton Outbound'.
 The falling snow was as white as...Michael Buble's teeth. Time to head south toward Union Station!
This post has come full circle - first train I caught at Mac!

Running extra...

My three favourite places to be in Toronto:
  • Yonge and Dundas
  • Mac Yard
  • Kingston
Watch for Trackside Treasure's annual Christmas greetings post. Baby, it was cold outside but later on we'll perspire, as we sweat by the fire, and face unafraid the photos we made, walking in a Highway 7 wonderland. Ever heard of Seven View Dodge? That's a dealership, cleverly named to reflect the near-total lack of scenery in the area!
Full circle! Seems fitting that this might be my last trip aboard VIA Rail for awhile, and I'm publishing this blog post - my 600th including draft posts. And VIA has just announced its contract with Siemens for new equipment. Due to their bright yellow hue, I'm calling them Dayliners. But that's just a working title. And this LRC is rocking like a Dayliner!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Kingston Switchlists, 1977 and 1979

Artifacts showing actual operations of CN's rail-served industries in Kingston are hard to come by. So when your humble blogger found a month-old, tattered, windblown and weathered hand-written switchlist at Queens in May 1979, it was a major find! Prepared by conductor W. Cleaver, this list of cars for CN's train No 763 on this day seems to indicate hours of switching ahead.

The cars to be switched are at the Outer Station, the Industrial Spur, the Cataraqui Spur, the CP interchange at Queens, the Aluminum Spur and CP's former trackage being operated by CN from its Hanley Spur. How the crew could accomplish this, darting in and out of CN and VIA traffic on the busy CN Kingston Subdivision amazes me, but there you go!

I've transcribed the list (above) for easier reading, adding car type if known.

Major collection points for inbound and outbound cars at Kingston included the Outer Station and increasingly, the KL tracks alongside Queens interchange, just east of CN's Counter Street station. Here, passing trains could drop and lift blocks of cars destined Toronto or Montreal or beyond. Inbound cars are on track KL29. Outbound cars, largely empties, are heading to simply 'KL'. A few liner notes:
  • 'Northern' refers to Northern Telecom on the Industrial Spur, along with Weldwood-KM54 and the DuPont warehouse-KM55
  • KK30 refers to Frontenac Tile, and KK22 was the Outer Station piggyback ramp - a designated unloading location for cstome W J Allison Farm Equipment.
  • Imperial Oil and Whig(-Standard) Paper cars were far down the Hanley Spur, near the Inner Harbour
  • cars to/from the CP interchange north of Queens are shown as KL90 - three cars to CP, four cars from CP
  • Topnotch Feeds cars were set out at the Counter Street team track, just down the street from the feed store. A designated unloading location for several customers including Topnotch Feeds.
  • Lots of 40-foot boxcars in use!
  • one of the only cars I've ever photographed on CP's CN-operated trackage: SLC 232 
Here's the original. Top half:
And here's the bottom half:

An earlier list, for CN No 762 written in January 1977 has a pared-down list of daily duties:
  • One NCHX car is heading from Queens to DuPont.
  • Three boxcars were at Weldwood lumber on the Industrial Spur. Two were being lifted as empties, one re-spotted...
  • ...also on the Industrial Spur, two cars were being lifted from the DuPont warehouse
  • two empties were lifted from Northern Telecom, ready to head east as empties.

These two hand-written documents appear to be archeological artifacts of a bygone era of manual switchlists, single-car railroading. Interestingly, only one of the industries that appear here are still CN customers - the lakefront nylong plant no longer known as DuPont, now Invista.

Anyone seeking to model the Hanley Spur, including CP's trackage operated by CN, will find lots of useful information in these lists!

Running extra...

While most members of the Presidents' Club were shown on CNN being seated in the National Cathedral, a group of Canadian Forces personnel, in dress uniform, saluted the funeral procession of President George H.W. Bush, I believe at the Canadian embassy:
Painted to resemble Air Force One, Union Pacific 4141, having been stored since 2005, was brought out of storage and prepared for its special assignment leading the Bush funeral train from Spring to College Station, Texas. When the first sentries were posted in the U.S. Capitol's rotunda, a brass quintet played the theme from the HBO TV series 'Band of Brothers'.

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, referred to by one was as 'the chin that walks like a man', acquitted himself quite well as an invited speaker at the funeral service, referring to Bush's plaque lettering CAVU - Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Postscript 3: VIA Nos 109/110 in 1983-1985

February 1983, No 109 meet
Following 'on the block' of the previous portentous postscript post, I'm pleased to showcase more of Bill McGuire's work in this post. This post includes more varied views of Winnipeg-Saskatoon train Nos 109/110 beginning in 1983.
February 1983, No 109 meeting CP freight
I want to be very clear about these photos. Bill included slides, smaller and larger format black & white photos. I scanned the prints, but without a slide scanner I laboured to produce some serviceable images of the slides and the accompanying proofs. Any unusual colouration or blurriness are due to my 'redneck scans' and in no way reflect on Bill's photography. There, that's said. Leaving disclaimer land, please enjoy these photos as much as I did - each is captioned with date and location data kindly provided by Bill.
March 23, 1983 No 109 led by CN Geep at Brandon

June 28, 1983 No 109

June 1983, No 109

June 1983, No 110 Eng 6520 at Portage la Prairie

July 18, 1983 No 110 at Chater

July 18, 1983 No 109 at Brandon

July 18, 1983 No 109 departing Brandon

October 1983, No 110 at Portage la Prairie

Sneaking in a Christmas-swelled consist at Edmonton in December, 1983
January 1984, Brandon

March 1984, No 109 at Kemnay

May 1, 1985 No 3 Eng 6514 at Portage la Prairie

Head end of Royal Train facing west at Brandon
On July 15, 1982 a Royal Train with consist: CP 8528-8517-CP Strathcona-CP Killarney-VIA 103-Governor General cars No 1 and 2 brought Princess Anne to Brandon. Bill was down by the station to catch the train being wyed:
Tail end of Royal Train facing west at Brandon

Royal Train wyed and returning to station

Royal Train wyed and returning to station
Running extra...

CBS' John Blackstone is stepping away from regular CBS reporting. Tonight's CBS News with Jeff Glor included a parting shot of John sipping wine in the control room with colleagues. Like all good things, John came from Canada.

December is upon us. That can mean only one thing. Christmas! Forget the fact that the retail calendar has been foisting Chestnuts, Rudolph and Olive the Other Reindeer on us for the past two months. It's on, now! The advent of the festive season includes a few of my favourite things...Christmas carols, fruitcake and impending online greeting cards sent by my fellow rail enthusiasts....
...and one of my least favourite things - those hokey, treacley faux-Christmas movies I'm seeing on the W Network and City-TV. Most are filmed in the southern mainland of BC. In July. With fake snow. And cocoa cups completely empty! My wife likes them, though. And I know she won't be reading this critique. "What's that, honey? The movie's starting? OK, I'll be right there. I'm just finishing up this pos