Thursday, August 28, 2008

Postscript: Kingston Derailment August 1986

Here's a different perspective on the August 26, 1986 derailment, as written in the BRS Branchline, January 1987 edition, by Rolland O. Lafleur. The article tells the story of the author departing Ottawa on August 25 for Toronto aboard VIA No 49/59, then passing the scene of the derailment in my Retro Railfan Account. Here's the excerpt:

"After a little detention, the train proceeded to inch westward. As I peered out curiously, I noticed how much brighter it got outisde, as if we were approaching a wayside shopping plaza. In reality, powerful floodlights from an auxiliary provided a whiteway for a wrecking crew at work. Luckliy, my accommodation on the fireman/helper's side gave me a vantage point in full view of a derailment.

Cars were strewn along the right-of-way. At one point, we came alongisde an enclosed automobile carrier, lying on its side, with one end down the embankment and the other - jagged and minus its truck - pointing upward obliquely, and closing in on our passage to something short of a two-foot clearance. The sight was awesome. A little further along stood the auxiliary train, in the clear. Our train moved at medium speed, making a station stop shortly afterward. The sign board read Kingston."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thunder Bay and Sudbury, Ontario September-October 1985

I departed Regina on September 29, 1985 on VIA No 2 heading east, and arrived in Thunder Bay for a stop-over. There was a derailment of 35 cars of a CP freight west of Thunder Bay, so the following day's No 2 passengers were bussed to Thunder Bay, and VIA No 1's consist was turned to head east October 1 as No 2. We boarded about 2200 hours once the bussed passengers arrived, but earlier in the day, the consist was parked at the CP station: 6312 - 6618 - 6787 - 9656 - 100 - 3207 - 503 - 5716 - Thompson Manor - Christie Manor - Burton Manor - Emerald - Englee - Evelyn - Tweedsmuir Park.

Yes, that third unit is an MLW. They did occasionally operate west of Toronto. Switching the grain terminals were CP 8122, 1694, 1212, 1573, and 8110.


Upon arrival in Sudbury the next morning, I had time to walk over to CP Rail's shop. There I found an interesting collection of motive power, cars for repair and snow removal equipment.
Front and rear views of single-track plow 401005:



Double-track plow 400823 was coupled to two wood-chip service boxcars, with 31550 closest and three ore cars, including 376217 in the Canadian Pacific script scheme. Plows 401018 and 400777 were lettered CP Rail and spreader 402851 was also present.


Power on hand included switchers 7099, 6595 and 6588, plus 7090, 6594, Centuries 4704 and 4709, and C-424's 4214 and 4218, coupled to Conrail lease unit 7765. CP Rail was leasing 25 Conrail units and some Chessie System units in late 1985. The 6500's were being retired, so it's likely that some of these old switchers were very close to the end of their careers.














Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kingston, Ontario August-September 1986

















August 26, 1986:

Westbound CN freight No 399 derailed at least eight cars just east of Montreal Street, around Mi. 172 Kingston Sub. Four auto racks (two open, two enclosed), four covered hoppers, and a CN boxcar left the north track, and ended up straddling the Hanley Spur and swamp alongside the Cataraqui River. Power on the train was all MLW: 2555, 2027 and 2322. To facilitate cleanup, the headend of 399 backed into the trackage on the former mainline alignment into the outer station on Montreal Street. (see Top Photo)

An eastbound intermodal was held on Queens track 4, also all MLW-powered: 2000, 2319 and 2569. Late in the afternoon, the Toronto Auxiliary arrived. (see Middle Photo)
The consist was:

5312 - 5194 - 661622 flatcar with panel track - 59110 tie gondola - 57945 flat car with rail - 163747 gondola with ties - 57551 flat car - 50397 auxiliary crane - 59012 crane idler car - 60337 tool/cable baggage car - 57948 hazardous materials equipment boxcar - 43621 generator boxcar - 72909, 59345, 59215 crew accommodation coaches - 78338 end-cupola caboose.

Throughout August and September, VIA corridor consists were varied, including GM and MLW cab units, LRC locomotives and coaches. Here are some sample consists:
August 29:

1932 W

6918 - 5536 - 3242 - 5589 - 612

1943 E

6765 - 9642 - 3248 - 5503 - 5443 - 5513

2044 E

6920 - 3473 - 3341 - 3318 - 3360 - 3475 - 3305 - 3304 - 3302 - 3310 - 3468 - 6916

September 1:

1933 E

6784 - 9613 - ex-CP coach - 2 VIA coaches

1935 W

6918 - Prince Albert Park (deadheading backwards) - 5558 - 5443 - 5503 - 3248 - 9642

September 3:

1944 W

6530 (newly-painted) - 3252 - 5562 - 610
Some typical CN freights from August 29, 1986:


1923 E No 208

2113 - 2310 - 2339 - intermodal - caboose 79870


2037 E No 202

9408 - 9448 - 9425 - 132 cars including CN 672002 depressed-centre flat car - 79525


2106 W No 305

9410 - 2334 - general freight and intermodal - 79700


September 13:

1910 E

4014 (chop-nosed GR-418b) - 3702 - 3128 - 2558 - 3720 - general freight


And locals switching the DuPont nylon plant on Front Road:
August 26

1355 - 79603

September 2

3720

September 29

3731







Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Welcome

Welcome to Trackside Treasure.

As always, we are left to ask "Why?" Why did Eric start a blog? What do I have to contribute to the internet? Perhaps just to fill a small corner of cyberspace with what I haven't found anywhere else. There are some excellent webpages out there, but much of the content is so immediate that I would like to add a bit of depth.

Right now, I plan to post some RRR's, that is Retro Railfan Reports. Each month, a different railfan report, but rarely from the present. The "Retro" part means it will be from the current month, but from some past year. "Railfan" means that these will be from different places. "Report" means there will be lots of consists, information and even photos that I hope you will find useful.

Treasure? Well I hope so, I know they are to me, and I hope they might be to you. I've heard lots of people say, "I watched and photographed lots of trains, but I wish I'd written some of this stuff down." I did, but what's the use of keeping it to myself, if it might interest someone else?

My top five rejected blog names:

1. Slack Action (kind of describes railfanning as well as train dynamics)
2. CCC: Canadian Consist Cornucopia
3. Oops, I started a blog
4. CRTC: Canadian Railfan Train Consists
5. Is this anything?