Friday, March 1, 2019

CP Switches Kingston's CN-CP Interchange, 1979

My Dad and I arrived at Queens CN-CP interchange on the morning of April 16, 1979 just in time to see CP's wayfreight from Smiths Falls arriving (PHOTO 1). He snapped several photos from the end of Rigney Street, off Counter Street, and would have had his negatives to get them in the correct order in the photo album in which they are preserved for posterity. I wanted to discern what the order of operations was, once the train arrived in Kingston, switched the remaining CP-served industries and the interchange with CN's Kingston Sub.

I've done my best to fill in the gaps and try to ascertain the switching moves made, as a means of better understanding the typical use of this CN-CP interchange which at this time often hosted colourful cars that we would photograph even if we didn't catch CP switching the interchange. Now back to the action...

CP 8030 brings its train to a halt on the lead or runaround track along Dalton Street then cuts off the switcher. A yellow insulated car, CP Rail 50-foot combination-door boxcar, another yellow insulated car and a block-lettered CP hopper comprise the train ahead of van CP 434064. The switcher heads into the CP Express spur (PHOTO 2). Two bulkhead flat cars, a covered CP gondola and two forty-foot CPR and CP Rail boxcars are on the spur. The bulkheads were brought to the interchange. It appears the gon and the boxes were left on the CP Express spur - the two boxes are seen in the distance on one of the tracks along Dalton Avenue (PHOTO 11).
The two bulkheads were taken into the Superior Propane spur and coupled to an empty white Procor  tank car. The tank car is placed on the north end of the van on the runaround track, for the trip back north to Smiths Falls (PHOTO 3). In this black & white photo the cars that CN left for CP are spotted: three boxcars, covered gon and a flat car loaded with JC Crane Rentals vehicles. They're visible as the train heads in from under the Division Street overpass to add them to the train as well (PHOTO 4 & 5) and the bulkheads will be left fot CN.
A close-up view of the cars going to CN on the near track, and coming from CN on far track (PHOTO 6). CN's Kingston Sub mainline is in foreground. A close-up of CP 8030 as connections are made (PHOTO 7). That yellow insulated boxcar, along with cars to its left: the other insulated car, CP combination-door boxcar, probably the CP hopper and definitely the two empty bulkheads were coupled to the forty-foot double-door CP Rail boxcar already there going to CN. The complete train is now pulled out of the interchange, back under Division Street with one crew member on the last car and another one ready to line a switch (PHOTO 8). Unphotographed was a westbound CN freight at 1035 behind CN 9414-5044, many fallen-flag US-road boxcars [SCL, B&M, C&O, D&H]; covered hoppers [D&H, SSW] and auto racks [N&W] and caboose 79215
North of Highway 401 At McIvor Road, we set up to catch the northbound train at speed (PHOTO 9& 10) as it heads towards Jackson Mills thence Harrowsmith, Verona an eventually Smiths Falls.
While we were watching CP switching, CN 4561-79595 with ditchlights blazing, emerged from CN's Aluminum Spur via the Queens south service track, aka Queens 4. This engine would have been stationed (no pun intended) at CN's Outer Station to perform local switching. Of course, neither of these operations remained the same. CP abandoned its track in 1986 and CN now sends a turn from Belleville thrice-weekly to switch the two remaining industries in Kingston. 

Running extra...

Thanks to my brother Dave, host of the Rolly Martin Country blog and slide-scanner extraordinaire, there are now more of my Dad's photos available to share. My Dad's slides were kept in meticulous, numbered, captioned order, which makes subsequent scanning, handling and sharing much easier. Not every date is recorded, but only those modelling a specific date on their layouts, for instance, would need to know....the specific date.
Speaking of the interchange, here is a 126-format print I scanned, taken by my Dad likely in April, 1979. A typical CP covered gondola, BN and CP boxcars await movement. Interestingly, I also photographed the BN boxcar that day, recording the date as Saturday, April 21, five days after the switching sequence shown in this post. The car number as BN 161060, the covered gon as CP 344327 and the combination-door boxcar as CP 202396. Out of the frame was CP insulated car CP 166062.
One more just for fun. Somewhere in the world, someone is asking, "Gee, I wonder if a Hellenic Air Ltd. Super Constellation was ever parked across from a waterbomber, near the Atlantic Aviation hangar at Montreal's Dorval Airport in the summer of 1971?". And now they now.


Robert Archer said...

Wow! This has lots of good stuff.
I always liked watching switching moves. Don't get to see it too much now though. Any work like that is now done in the middle of the night in my area leaving the day time tracks free for GO Transit. (Lakeshore West line)
I think the railways have mostly exited the single boxcar business in favour of containers. All those CNTL trucks have replaced the local switchers.
Montreal was the place to see exotic airlines back in the 1970's. Hellenic Airlines was one such.
Montreal was the international gateway to Canada from Europe.

Eric said...

Thanks for your comment, Robert.

Yes, as I watch a mile-long-plus intermodal train roll by, I'm wondering....what did that cargo used to ride in? Stevedores breaking down shiploads into boxcars. Or an era when we 'built things here'. That's progress.

I like the loose-car railroading, both from a model and prototype staindpoint. Though, not being sentimentally unrealistic, I realize full crews and travelling tens of miles to switch a few cars was not helping CP's bottom line!

Indeed, we spent leisure time trackside or runwayside. At Dorval, security was not as it is now, and we could see lots of planes in motion from public viewing areas. Even Kingston's little airport is all fenced now!

Stay tuned for more retro-ness!