Saturday, July 30, 2022

Archiving CN in Kingston

One of my first exploits after retiring in April, 2019 was exploring the Queen's University Archives. The important work of the Archives and its staff has preserved archival materials from a wide variety of Kingston sources: newspapers and photographers, local industries like locomotive builders and shipyards, Kingston's city archives and materials donated by individuals. I was immediately impressed with the depth and breadth of material that was soon at my fingertips. The Archives staff were most helpful in making suggestions and retrieving the requested heavy boxes of negatives and paper material. At the time, I was sure that I was interested in Kingston's industries and railways, though I was not sure where this research would lead, My Kingston's Hanley Spur blog contains more of my research results and how I've used them for my HO-scale layout of the same name.

While copies of photos or materials cn be purchased by researchers, we are permitted to make our own photographs (though no flash photography and no placing materials on the floor -  oh, and no recording caption information in pen - pencil only!)  Along with interesting information I had filed at home, these photos found their way into two books I created during the pandemic. It was just one year ago that I published my second book - Stories on the Waterfront and two years ago that I began my pandemic project, my first book - Smoke on the Waterfront. Copies of both books are in the Archives' local history book collection. I came across them this past week during my nearly-weekly visit!
The varied nature of the photographs reveal their original purpose - news photos for the morning front page, or corporate photography for posterity. As such, they may not be typical railfan photographs! To illustrate that fact, I've presented some in this post. For instance, the top photo, taken at the  Counter Street crossing in 1964 as well as the photo below taken in July, 1964 - it shows Collins Bay Public School and the Bath Road speed limit (50 mph, not 50 kph as it is today! - part of a campaign to get the limit reduced to 30) but way in behind past that old now-gone elm tree is the old CN station! 

This post just might give Trackside Treasure readers an idea of what may be held in local archives where you are. And if you have the time, they are definitely worth exploring! Sure, old newspapers show some of these photos, but for every photo printed, there are several negatives still preserved that were never selected by the city news editor! The Archives have kindly permitted me to share these photos for publication. Although they are safely preserved, time to digitize and post information online is precious. I would like to raise awareness about archival collections in general by sharing some of  Queen's University Archives' holdings.
An unattended baggage wagon on the tracks at the Outer Station at 3:50 a.m. resulted in 16 cars leaving the track between two trains involved, on July 16, 1965:

Wintry February 19, 1970 views of station operations at Gananoque Jct. (above) and Iroquois (below) showed two of five stations that would close within CN's Rideau Area the following month, announced on February 4. The others were Cardinal, Prescott and Morrisburg.
The aftermath of a June 10, 1958 collision at Counter Street crossing between a westbound CN freight and the truck of Hidie Earl, a Cataraqui carpenter. Just after 8 a.m., CN 3018 was leading six cars at 57 mph when the collision occurred, not injuring the fortunate driver.
From the Canadian Locomotive Co. fonds, CNR 6015 with proud CLC employees posing for the photographer. This CLC product eventually replaced CNR 6060 on static display in Jasper, AB.
CN crew in the cab of a U-4 CNR 6400 leading the Royal Train bearing Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to Kingston's Outer Station on October 12, 1951:
An August 30, 1951 a collision at Cataraqui Crossing with CNR 5158 colliding with a car and its four occupants -  CN 9046 stopped heading the other way. Belleville engineer A.G. Bishop gives his account to Constable Walter Alexander of how one car was stopped at the wigwags when another car approached from behind, pushed it clear and then ended up on the tracks itself!
On a snowy Dec. 11, 1964 a CP freight collided with a car at Montreal at Railway Streets. A CN Express truck passes through the scene:
On Sep. 28, 1970 photographer George Lilley was waiting for the arrival of the LNER Flying Scotsman at the Hanley Spur switch on the CN Kingston Subdivision. Fortunately, he photographed a westbound CN passenger train and a Hanley Spur switching consist that needed to get out of the way for the preserved English steamer's transit to the waterfront.
On January 15, 1962 the last Thousand Islands Railway passenger train was at the Gananoque umbrella station behind CN 8494:
On Nov. 26, 1963, CN's new 1961 image implementation, replacing the familiar maple-leaf herald, was discussed by J.K. Fleming, Passenger Sales Agent at Belleville, and Rideau Area manager K.E. Hunt, at the Outer Station:
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Louis St. Laurent with Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds, Defence Minister Brooke Claxton and Brigadier D.R. Agnew,. The PM spoke at the NCCU conference at Royal Military College after arriving in Kingston on his private train (car 100 behind?) on June 5, 1950.
Other non-photographic documents can also be interesting like these two documents from the Davis Tannery Fonds. CN telegrams from 1962 with messages about boilers and supplies:
And a 1947 siding agreement with CN for the tannery's spur:

Watch for an upcoming post on archiving CP in Kingston! 

Running extra...

Discovered LA Flights with live take-offs and landings at LAX. At the 5:33 of the linked video, a blown tire causes one of two main runways to be taken out of service, with lengthy line forming for take-offs. Narrator Peter's patter keeps it informative with positive vibes.                                         
UPDATE: A kind subscriber gave out 50 one-month memberships. Thank you, 'Dolly Madison' for being such a generous 'Hostess' and you make great baked goods! 
We visited Hickory Lane Alpaca Farm on the north shore of Hay Bay (aptly named, I mean, look at all that hay!) this week with our two young grandsons. Aside from the older one being convinced they were going to bite him, it was no prob-llama!

Friday, July 22, 2022

The Blue & Red Cushions Construction Co.

Instead of building my annual front-porch/front-patio layout this year, I'm going to do some outdoor model-making, just as I did in 2018. But now, I have two outdoor venues in which to work some model magic. The front patio (with its blue cushions) and the sunroom (with its red cushions). This post will include whatever I manage to accomplish, photographed against those two primary-coloured backgrounds.,My good wife thought it would be a good idea to snap a photo of the B&RCC Co. work in progress in the sunroom (top photo). Furnished with table and chairs, as well as cushioned patio furniture, I brought in a third, portable table to get a work surface at a comfortable height in the sunroom.

My first project was some scrapyard fencing for a newly-enlarged scrapyard on my Kingston's Hanley Spur HO layout. Here is my initial test-fit, showing where the fences will eventually be installed. The CP line is at rear, with CN in foreground. I've added a scrapyard spur in between them, and I want to keep accumulated scrap metal within the fences.
To produce these, I copy/saved some rusted metal designs online. I re-sized them and pasted them, purposely alternating them, into a Word document, four per 8x11-inch page. 

After printing them out, I glued them onto various leftover kit parts and sprues. I painted the backs, though I don't expect them to be visible. I also cut some of the metal for some variation, because nothing would make a more boring and potentially unrealistic scrapyard than to have all the fence the same colour and un-rusty!
I took the build outside. Incorporating the fences, it became a project that I didn't really want to end! More on the build here. The scrapyard was taped to a build-board that I eventually slid the completed scrapyard off, and into position. Here's an outside, overhead view of the scrapyard nearly complete, on the build-board:
 And a post-installation view: 
An ensuing outdoor modelling project  - the scrapyard crane, I used a Life-Like (remember them?) Browning 2136 rail crane. I removed the crane cab and boom from the underframe, then glued it onto a pair of tracks from a Majorette (rappelez-vous cette compagnie??) excavator. I can never pass up purchasing a Life-Like rail crane at a train show. Such an inexpensive, and operationally-/poseable model. I painted the cab orange, tracks black and weathered, then printed 'Browning' lettering for the back of the cab. Two metal figures were found, their dungarees drybrushed, and they'll make good scrappers!   
I'm spending a lot of time and attention on scrap this summer! Just because it's scrap doesn't mean it can't be special. I decided it was time to screen the crap out of my scrap. I had a chocolate-box full of it! Some was simple hardware; there were a lot of unuseable styrene cuttings that I sent for recycling. I chose some choice pieces that were interesting but not scrappy enough: 
Then the Dollarama craft paints came out: browns, maroon, orange, grey and black. There was some mixing and some thinning, some brushing and some dabbing. The end result:
Sure, this could be done in the basement, workbench or layout room. But this scrap selection was enjoyably done during an evening straight-down drizzle on the sunroom roof, with the windows open and VIA horns blaring in the background. Heaven! 
I painted some small scrap segments, adding them to the box while on the Blue Cushions and a blue bus in the background
Moving on from scrap to a Really Big Thing (RBT). I've been setting aside some larger interesting-looking parts. This one is a thread spool, two reels from my wife's craft tape runners and a detailed miscellaneous toy piece. I added a printed sign or two to the wooden end-bracing of this locally-built CLC product::

As summertime marches on, and "the livin' is easy", check back here for more cushion-time projects. This is a good way for me to share what I've been working on, potentially provide some inspiration, and most of all, get out and enjoy our beautiful summer weather when we can! Here's my lap-top Pepsi pop-skid that contains tools, paints for each project, paint-mixing palette, and many scrap pieces that come in handy! I use it outside or inside, as it also works in the family room when the TV is on!

Two projects to fill a newly-created space on the layout. I must admit though, it was too hot on either set of cushions, and these were modelled inside where it's cooler. To suit this space of urban decay, I added a de-constructed industry and a homeless encampment. Both were typical of the Montreal Street stretch. The figures and thrown-together shelters (above) were made hurriedly from the scrap box and some detail parts. I set them in the former industry location (below) although they can be picked up and positione anywhere on the layout:

It's nice to have a range of venues to commit construction as the sun, shade and onshore breezes work their summertime magic. Campsite, picnic table, balcony, cottage, cabin and canoe (there's a modelling challenge!) would work equally well for you?

Running extra...

Speaking of cranes, my son-in-law shared this photo of a CN SpeedSwing and Holland rail welding truck near Mi 184 of the CN Kingston Sub:
Speaking of in-laws, we were able recently to convene our first family gathering in several years. Currently a G-11, the summit photo-for-posterity was taken in our backyard:

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

VIA Canadian's Route Out of Toronto

VIA's Canadian gets out of Toronto, but not quickly. With the evolution of maintenance facilities, the loss of the Spadina loop track, and changes in Union Station operations, a new route was found. Then, a flyover was built at Snider to make Barrie GO Transit train traffic more fluid. I'll have to research the history of this line separation, although my previous transcontinental trips had various route options on both the CN Bala AND Newmarket Subdivisions.The usual procedure has VIA No 1 proceeding northward on the CN Newmarket Subdivision across the flyover at Snider. Then the train backs westward toward MacMillan Yard. It then proceeds eastward (forward) on the York Sub under the flyover. The northwest-quadrant connecting track is used at Doncaster, and the train proceeds north out of Toronto on the CN Bala Subdivision. Googlemaps view of Snider (up, left, right!):
Googlemaps view of Doncaster (right-up!):
Thanks to Gary Hadfield for sharing his excellent diagram of the movements:
Upon arrival back in Toronto via the CN Bala Subdivision to Union Station, the Canadian consist is taken to the Toronto Maintenance Centre. The serviced train backs east from Mimico to Union Station for the next departure. We departed Toronto on the Canadian in June, 2019. The passengers in the Skyline dome were in the chattery, getting-to-know-each-other stage. I tried my best to document the moves. Here we are climbing the flyover:
The plastics plant at right is an area landmark. The York Sub westward at centre, and bottom right is the track on which we'll back up after descending the flyover:
Coming down the flyover, our view out the window shows plastic granule silos and covered hoppers spotted. Bottom of dome window frame at bottom:
Looking back as we are descending the flyover, the tail-end Park car just visible in centre background. That's our next track at right:
Zoomed-in view of second Skyline and Park as No 1 descends:
We are down and reversing south then west to the York Sub, with that plastics plant visible at right:
Now passing the plastics spurs as we continue reversing, squealing through the connecting track:
We're heading east on the York Sub, passing the Snider sign, approaching the plastics plant coming up on our left. Yes, the dome seat upholstery ahead is a bit ratty!
Heading east, passing where we came from - the connecting track. At this point, our Australian fellow traveller ahead asks. "Does this train go to British Columbia?"
About to cross under the flyover heading east on the York Sub for Doncaster, looking south. "The Italian Job" at right with dome window frame at top:
We're now heading from east to north at Doncaster. Look at that sinewy stainless steel snake we're sitting in! Also sitting in is a local railfan in the blue car:

Running extra...

As if RIPPED from the headlines. Fire engulfs a building at Kingston's Pat Rogers Towing yard on Creekford Road, July 4. One million dollars damage and rotten timing. Why? Because that old wooden boxcar,  visible at centre of this local media screen capture, is one I'd just noticed and I've wanted to photograph. (I wonder if they moved a trailer out of the way, because I don't recall seeing it there before and it must have been there all this time!)

VIA strike averted! I don't know who was more panicky - UNIFOR union members or passengers with tickets booked on the Canadian. Probably the latter, due to possible stranding once the train got to Winnipeg until further travel arrangements would be made! We missed out on our Winnipeg stopover due to our late arrival in June 2019, so maybe I'm just a little envious. 

One thing I'm not envious of - wearing special specs for modelmaking. But they suuuuure help! Watch for an upcoming post on my summertime modelling: The Blue & Red Cushions Construction Co.