Thursday, May 18, 2017

VIA Discount Tuesdays Re-re-imagined

VIA Rail Canada keeps sending us an unending stream of photos via their Facebook page that call out for creative captioning. Smug hipsters, doe-eyed university students or well-off baby boomers show VIA at its travelling finest. But what's the story behind the photo? What are those models really thinking as they enter the world of stock photography? In a previous Discount Tuesdays Re-imagined post, I gave some possible inklings. And here are a few more!

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McDonald's Dollar Drink Days are on again. Pop, iced coffee, lemonade, smoothies...take your pick. Lots of people say, "I'd never eat at McDonald's!" but that doesn't mean you can't drink there. Please, just the aforementioned beverages. Nothing in a brown paper McDonald's bag!
I'm not going to ignore the elephant in the room. Actually, the elephant in the elephant cage. And our Canadian beaver shares the cage with the American elephant! Trackside Treasure sends good-natured concern to our American readers and neighbours during this time of temerity and trepidation. However, it is said that in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve. East of Cardinal, ON (above) with northern New York across the river.
Throwback Thursday. Wayback Wednesday. How about Couple On A Caboose Day? When every train on your model railway has to end with a caboose. Or a van. Or crummy, hack, brain-box, waycar what-have-you. OK, I have too manny (above) and I'm going to sell some off in an upcoming sale!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Grain Elevator Placards

On a grain elevator photography trip in 1985, I stopped by Corinne, SK on an overcast morning. Located at Mi 40 of CP's Portal Subdivision, I was returning to Regina from Weyburn. At one time, a 1400-tonne elevator and two 700-tonne elevators owned by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool were sited at Corinne. A small grain elevator had its unloading shed doors ajar. Inside, an interestingly intriguing set of very vintage, small placards had been posted in the preceding years:
Postmarked October 27, 1933 (above and below) this placard took one cent's worth of postage to make it from Winnipeg to Corinne. Concerning weeds:
To make it to the top of the elevator, a hoist or man-lift functioned like an elevator, allowing the agent to check the equipment in the cupola of the elevator:
Then, in the 1950's, the Corinne elevator was rodent proofed by Paramount Elevator Service - September 17, 1958:
For additional emphasis, a second placard regarding safe elevator use was posted, where the birds added some of their own emphasis:
Assuring everyone that elevator transactions were on the up-and-up, at least as far as the Canadian Wheat Board was concerned:
Approaching Corinne, who would have guessed that such gems were still in place on the unloading shed walls. Well, we should have known.
These unobtrusive unctions on the walls of grain elevators bespoke the need for concise corporate communication in an earlier era. How many can you spot in this photo taken at SaskPool's Stranraer elevator he following year:

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Brisk. The book sales, not the iced tea, that is. Thanks to everyone for their support, good wishes, feedback, book orders and even a book review and giveaway on Steve Boyko's Confessions of a Train Geek blog.  An unfolding trend is the new 'generation' of Trackside with VIA readers who are just now hearing about my books, including the just-released Research and Recollections - and ordering all four in the 'series'!

Speaking of VIA, their Facebook site is serving up a steady diet of capriciously captionable photos that no doubt will find their way into an upcoming Trackside Treasure post. How can you miss with good material?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

CN's Kingston Wayfreights, Part 2 - Local Cars

This second post in the CN's Kingston Wayfreights series consolidates information found in CN train journals found discarded trackside (this is true trackside treasure!) along CN's Kingston Sub: at Belleville, Kingston and Brockville from 1977-1981 (three photos - below). The first post discussed the mainline roadswitcher trains that spawned these wayfreights. The typical look of roadswitcher-powered, caboose-toting wayfreights at the Counter Street crossing (above) in 1985.

I've extracted car routing data for Kingston-area industries, including:
  • Reporting Marks
  • Loaded or Empty
  • Car Type
  • Length
  • Weight
  • Origin
  • Destination
  • Track Designation
  • Remarks
  • Contents
along with handwritten notes by the conductor and selected train characteristics, including:
  • Locomotives
  • Loads
  • Empties
  • Tonnage
  • Length
  • Caboose
all when available. I've used this data to populate spreadsheets that I've scanned as JPEG's, since Blogger doesn't support pdf files, presented in date order. As always, click for a larger, more legible view:

Interestingly, the Boston & Maine boxcars were heading to the Trent Valley Paper board mill, located on the shores of the Trent River at Glen Miller, off Mi 4.89 of CN's Marmora Sub. After the rest of the subdivision to the north was abandoned, the first five miles were retained to serve the mill which still exists. The trackage was removed in 1988. No longer rail-served, the plant expanded to the west side of Highway 33. Track MC01 was on the east side of Highway 33. Craig Walker posted a photo of BM 77979 taken in October, 1980 to rrpicturearchives:

Here are a few sample photos of some wayfreights I photographed during this late-70's, early-80's era, followed by some cold, hard data that they represent. Photos 1324 on November 4, 1978 CN 4518  has a couple of CN hoppers in tow ahead of caboose 79449 passing the Amherst View water tank with railfan friend Drew sitting on the fence getting a much better view:
CN 4560-4567 with a DuPont Alathon car (heading for Northern Telecom?), two CN hoppers (heading for Stelco in Gananoque?) and another CN hopper eastbound on June 12, 1979:
Also at Mi 182, CN 4563 with westbound wayfreight on June 14, 1979:
CGBX tank car (Millhaven?) between CN 4212 and caboose. It seems many 'Western' Geeps were in the East, waiting for their turn in the chopnosing program (D.J. Gagnon photo):
CN 4487 with two CN gondolas, two fifty-foot Southern Railway boxcars, two tanks (Millhaven?) and caboose 79428 westbound at 1628 on October 29, 1985.
Fellow Amherstview railfan Andre Gerow posted a 1989 video that includes a soon-to-be-chopped CN 4209 pulling a gon, a blue CNA auto parts box and bulkhead flat load of lumber likely heading to Gananoque:
The CNA boxcars are similar to these. CNA 794387 (above) from the Doug Stark photo collection, and CNA 794332 (below), a 4893 cu ft 50-foot boxcar built by Pullman-Standard in 1970 as GTW series 309000-309261 (Doug Stark photo, mid-90's at London, ON. Thanks, Doug!)
Here is some wayfreight data taken from my observations starting in 1979:
In the late 1980's and early 1990's, the local wayfreight switching DuPont would include a CN gondola or CN boxcar, likely from Gananoque as freight service ended there in 1995 and the last track was lifted in 1997:
Trackside Treasure reader Jakob Mueller kindly shared these views of a Kingston wayfreight, taken by visiting railfan DM Rector on October 8, 1981. 
CN 4534 leads a four-car wayfreight at Mi 184 Kingston Sub. The four cars are two gons, empty bulkhead BCIT 17001 and a single-door CNA boxcar.
Look closely! The train has changed as it approaches the Highway 133 overpass at Mi 188. It has lifted SAL 28174 boxcar from the south side at Millhaven. I noted this same car on January 2, 1982 and it also appears in one of the CN journals above on July 16, 1981. A repeat customer!
And here's a neat photo taken by the late Keith Hansen. Keith had kindly shared this photo he took showing Kingston switcher CN 1316 tied up at the Outer Station, summer 1970:
Thanks to David J. Gagnon, Jakob Mueller and Keith Hansen for assistance producing this post. Another notable Ontario railfan and modeller, Jason Shron - President of Rapido Trains Inc. - will be modelling CN's Kingston Sub primarily from a passenger point of view. Quite awhile ago, I planned to transcribe this information to assist Jason with prototypical CN freight train operations on his layout. 

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It was a pleasure to be able to get a glimpse into Keith Hansen's railfanning and railway photography, not only via email communication with Keith, as recently as November 2016, but also through his fine books, Last Trains from Lindsay and The Northern Alberta Railways - North from Edmonton. Keith kindly shared photos for my Gananoque Spur and CP-Served Industries posts. Interestingly, today I drove through Lindsay and published this post including Keith's photograph. Keith has left behind a rich legacy of documenting some of Canada's most interesting railway operations.