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!


Michael said...

I love the first shot of the F unit crossing the level crossing. Those engines are true diesel classics. A bonus that it's even in the pre-wet noodle scheme. I look forward to seeing more of these historic shots. I love scouring the local online archives here in Ottawa for similar shots.

Eric said...

Glad to hear it, Michael. An accompanying shot showed a heavyweight/smoothside baggage compendium of cars at the Counter crossing, but the F-unit shot showed more action!

Yes, there's lots available online that is just waiting to be viewed! I'm currently working through another archival collection up to 1968. Not too much of the wet-noodle scheme coming to light, though.

Thanks for your comment,