Monday, August 14, 2017

Canadian Pacific's Canada 150 Train

On Saturday, August 12 a flurry of interest and activity preceded the eastward passage of CP's Canada 150 train. From Calgary to Toronto via intermediate stops in Van City, The Queen City, The Gateway to the West, The Lakehead, The Hammer and latterly Hogtown, this 17-car varnish version was topic of much online chatter. Knowing that Friday was Toronto and Sunday was Montreal, wouldn't it be neat to see this special commemmorative train pass through our area? Thanks to several timely emails and Facebook posts, my wife and I ventured west and then north to the tiny burgh of Roblin (the CP Belleville Sub passes just south of the Roblin road sign!) Eschewing a stop at the Napanee Giant Tiger to snag some savings (return trip) or any snacks (also return trip, thank you Ronald!) we got into position early.
Nearby was a random ETU sending out squawks. So there would be little warning. Stationed aside Lennox & Addington Road 41 (formerly Highway 41) we watched a steady stream of camping trailers, Sea-Doos, redneck pickups and double-takers pass by. An approach-lit signal to the east beckoned. Then, there it was. The unmistakable rumble chant of a train to the west. Into position! I with my Nikon video and my wife with the iPad hitting the photo button as many times as she could, we bring you Canada 150 Roblin-style! We have documented this thing completely. You can tell my wife's photo due to the Canada T-shirt-wearing dude. Mine are video captures that each show several cars in the consist. You can also watch my full video here.
What the F, you might say? Well, CP 1401-4107-1900-4106 led, all formerly CN then VIA units. CP 4106-4107 were ex-Ohio Central, while 1401-1900 were acquired via the nebulous Nebkota in 1998, then fully overhauled by NRE. That's all I will say for lineage. The CP Royal Canadian Pacific consist has been covered extensively online already in Canadian Rail, completely by Cor Van Steenis, or check your BRS Canadian Trackside Guide for more information. While I've seen a hundred well-lit nose-on photos of this train trundling across the country, being a rolling stock guy, I felt the need to have each and every car snapped and presented for posterity, and for your viewing pleasure. Captions are presented between pairs of photos of each car:
Baggage car 95

Mount Royal



Covered in Canadians' wishes for Canada's 150th, 102 is a 'post-it note' car!
OK, officially they're not post-its, they're 'pixels'!
The performance car, the drawbridge-like stage of which hosted Dean Brody, Dallas Arcand and Kelly Prescott.

Major Rogers

Royal Wentworth - greeting a CP crew member or trainmaster.

Craigellachie - diner

Mount Stephen


N R Crump


Van Horne


CP2, one of two cars acquired from CN...

..the other being Sandford Fleming
Heading east at a leisurely 40 mph, bearing the mundane train symbol CP 40-B. Blah!
Crew change in Smiths Falls - David McCormack shared this photo on Facebook of an F-P42 meeting. Enthusiasts gathered there, and later in Montreal where CP 1900 was removed for shop work at St Luc or farther west. Interestingly the train hit a tree, delaying it for 35 minutes on CP's Winchester Subdivision to the east. The train is to layover back at Smiths Falls yard between Montreal and Ottawa shows. I predict a crawling constabulary cornucopia of CP Police! 
The nice thing about Roblin was that there was absolutely no hoopla - just a pastoral passing of a once-in-a-lifetime train. Well, if you don't count the westward movement in a few days!!

Running extra...

This post popped up in the midst of the Trackside Treasure ninth anniversary celebration. It truly is a celebration upon a celebration here on this blog! Much is happening. Trips to Belleville:
 The people on the bus.....get bigger and bigger. Scary!
I didn't mind this Railbox at all. Likely in ingot service with several brothers on CN train No 369. (above) There was also time for a VIA No 52 onboard delivery of Trackside with VIA - Research & Recollections to faithful Trackside Treasure reader and contributor Mark Fidelak, also making a cross-Canada trek though on different rails than the Canada 150 train!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Trackside Treasure Ninth Anniversary

Canada's Sesquicentennial year 2017 has not brought with it the patriotic fervor and unbridled optimism that the 1967 Centennial year did. In fact, Canadian media and populace alike have done much better at saying 'Canada 150' than they have 'Sesquicentennial'. I certainly did not overdo it here on Trackside Treasure, though I did publish this 150 list for Canada Day! Another much smaller, though no less meaningful anniversary is Trackside Treasure's ninth. Nine years is a long time in cyberspace. I reckon nine cyber-years equal about 126 real-time years. Attention spans are short these days...hey, was that a bird flying by? Now what was I saying?
Oh yes, I suppose it's easy to just sit on a beach with one's toes in the sand cranking out blog posts all day. Or living in some dusty drawing room surrounded by a world-class research library cranking out blog posts all day. Or in the case of Trackside Treasure, sitting on my sofa with a lukewarm coffee, keeping one eye on CNN, wondering whether it's time to cut the lawn again, arguing with my wife and cranking out blog posts all day. But no man is an island (though some are peninsulas - and once in a while you come across one who is a total and complete isthmus!).

I'm surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (I'm not quite dead yet!) who check in to Trackside Treasure (but they don't check out) read, look at photos, enjoy my folksy approach and tolerate my (somewhat-frequent) overuse of parenthetical statements. (I don't think it's that bad, actually.) Not to mention the additionally addictive alliteration (made an assonance of myself just then, didn't I?) They comment, they suggest, they send emails. They do everything but write this stuff. But it all helps. Then there are my sterling blog partners who share my sidebar and I hope you peruse their blogs periodically as I do: Chris, Dave, George, Marc, Steve, John, Bernard, Edd, Michael et Matthieu. My fellow bloggers have pride-of-place and I thank them for their plethoric published posts and prized partnerships.

I'd like to thank my family, but they just left me with a parting fond farewell which I will herein paraphrase: "Enough of your train crap!" I can't tell you how many times I sweetly ask my kids whether they have read up about Subject X on Trackside Treasure, and they equally sweetly reply, "No." I truly think they're just saying that, then rush to check my latest post on their tiny, pocket-borne mobile device while I continue to bang away on my aging laptop, and scanning 4x6 prints. So, thanks to all of you for truly making this another great year here on Trackside Treasure!

People say to me all the time, "Eric, how do you find the time?" Easy. I don't exercise and I call in sick. A lot. Seriously (if that's still possible at this point) I truly enjoy blogging and I see no end in sight! Plus, I have to keep this bad boy on life support at least until the tenth anniversary next year! Speaking of anniversary years...actually speaking of dogs, I once had a dog. His name was Segue....

Of course this laboriously long-winded post is going somewhere. The ninth anniversary, CANADA 150-themed contest is in here someplace. But first, I want to talk about Canadian railway books. I just finished two. One I created but haven't read cover-to-cover, and the other I didn't create but just read cover-to-cover. Of course the former is Trackside with VIA: Research & Recollections which I released in April of this year. It was my winter project, released five years since my previous three books on VIA Rail. If you haven't picked up your copy yet - this VIAphile bible is available from me directly or you can pick up a copy at George's Trains, Central Hobbies, or with your next Rapido Trains order.
The latter book to which I refer is Steven Manders' The First Spike. A bookend volume to Pierre Berton's The Last Spike? No, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the railways and other early transportation links of the Kingston area. Steven has done a wonderful job weaving together the myriad threads of the Kingston & Pembroke, Bay of Quinte, Brockville & Westport and other early local railways. More remarkably, Steven actually left his cozy confines to go out and uncover the ruins, re-discover the roadbeds, metal-detect the artifacts, map the routes on foot, by water and even airborne of which he writes.
The result is equal parts transportation history, geographic exploration and education, social history and personal memoir. Presented in a professional yet conversational tone, wish historic artwork and Steven's own colourful photographs. The result is an engaging exploration of things past in my home region. In his enthusiasm, there is some unedited repetition here and there, but this is due to the sheer volume of facts, photos and writing contained in the book. Professionally-printed by Friesens of Altona, this two-pound tome is available at Kingston's Novel Idea bookstore or from Steven himself. Steven is actively promoting his book at community events and he and his wife Merna deserve special mention for transporting the 6,000-pound book shipment home! I highly recommend The First Spike - at a fair price of under $40.
Now on to the contest. Speaking of contests and speaking of books, this year the prize for the anniversary contest is a complimentary copy of my latest Trackside with VIA: Research & Recollections.  If you already have a copy, choose a copy of any one of my previous three books (there, another copy out of the basement!) And if you have all of them, thank you! I'll find something else to send you.

Since you've read this far (hey, Canada took 150 years to get where it is today, so this feels almost as long!) you'll be happy to know there are actually three contests this year. To win the prize, you must successfully complete ALL THREE. The first correct response received via email or comment on this post makes you the winner. The three contests are:
1. Photo challenge
2. Multiple choice challenge 
3. Word scramble challenge. 
Now, GO!

1. Photo challenge! What do these two photos have in common?

2. Multiple choice challenge! Increasingly obscure questions - the correct answers in sequence will form a significant word!

When was Canadian National Railways formed?
A) 1910
B) 1912
C) 1919 to 1923
D) 1914

In what year was Canadian Pacific Railway's last spike was driven home?

What was the overall length of a CLC-built CPR D-10 steam locomotive?
A) 26'7"
B) 83'11 "
C )32'1 "
N )55'1"

The Toronto Terminals Railway was incorporated on July 13 of what year?
A) 1906
B) 1926
C) 1936
D) 1946

How many stops did CN train No 690/691 make between North Battleford and Edmonton in 1968?
A) 7
B) 11
C) 16
D) 24

How many Trackside Treasure posts are currently only in draft form?
A) 49
B) 159
C) 169
D) 432

3. Word scramble challenge! Solve both these Jumbles:

and this one, too! Fun!

Thanks for participating. Hope you had fun! 
Good luck! 
Thanks for being aboard Trackside Treasure!

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