Before agricultural implements got so large that it could not be shipped by rail, it was not uncommon to see large or small agricultural machinery on passing freight trains. Fields and farms got larger, leaving the family farm in the dust, with only large factory farms being economically viable. Manufacturers adapted their designs, adding more sections and unfolding large one-pass, minimum-till implement trains, steered around by huge tandem tractors.
During my trainwatching in western Canada, almost every train could carry ag implements, especially those heading west. Multiple pieces of forage equipment or tractors were shipped on one flatcar. Much of the equipment was built in southern Ontario, or was brought north from the US midwest. One of the best-known manufaturers was Massey-Ferguson in Brantford, ON. M-F opeed their new combine plant in 1964, but the company entered receivership in 1988.
I snapped Massey-Ferguson combines on a westbound CP freight through CP yards in Portage la Prairie in June, 1980 (top photo). Two Bill Grandin photos kindly shared by Jim Parker show DTTX 97326 carrying an International combine in 1981:
A photo of CN "Portland" covered hopper 388011 that incidentally shows Massey-Ferguson equipment on an adjacent track.
An online photo auction site photo showing two International combines on a Burlington Northern flat car:
A CP bulkhead flat car load of M-F's on CN's team track opposite the CN station, in the shadow of Manitoba Pool 'B' elevator at Portage in 1983 (L.C. Gagnon photo):
On August 25, 1981 also at Portage, this 86-car westbound crossing the diamonds at West Tower included a Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo flat car with two White 8900 combines and headers, plus CP bulkhead flats each loaded with four John Deere 2140 tractors:
Lots o' links:
- TH&B hauling Massey-Fergusons in 1983.
- Massey-Ferguson's Brantford background where 15,000 combines per year were turned out.
- See combine production inside the plant!
- Combine headers being shipped by truck at the 5:10 mark of this 1979 company film
We had a nice visit from our two grandsons recently. Even at two years old, our younger grandson has excellent taste in reading material. Not only did he enjoy checking out my winter-reading box, carefully removing and stacking back issues, but we also paged through several issues, pointing out trucks and trains of interest!
A snowless December thus far. I saw a lot of old bags out on the street. That's because the city leaf-collection rounds were just made today. Couldn't be mulch later!
Hallmark's onslaught of Christmas movies continues. The longest title I've seen yet, "Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas", was an eye-opener. Clearly, all the two-word titles like "Charming Christmas" are already taken. As are the Christmas-pun titles like "We Wish You a Married Christmas". We won't even talk about "Three Wise Men and a Baby", but I bet it was magi-cal.