Saturday, April 14, 2018

Lantic Sugar in Mimico

A stroll around Mimico in April  2017 combined two favourite subjects - VIA Rail and spot 'n' spur freight activity. An earlier post featured CGMX/LATX covered hoppers as seen on CN's Kingston Sub, carrying sugar from the Lantic Sugar facility in Montreal East to the blending facility in Mimico, located at 230 New Toronto Road.
I managed a well-lit photo of the unloading tracks, even though no LATX covered hoppers were visible. These newer WFRX (Wells Fargo Rail Corporation) cars are slowly replacing the LATX cars. A view of the Lantic logo:
Check out this model railroady trackwork with Lantic's spur (left to right in photo) crossing Mimico wye tracks, complete with stop signs leading to Lantic, taken from the Islington Avenue overpass:
Also from the Islington overpass, the unloading shed at Lantic, with two LATX cars now visible!
Just around the corner, several LATX cars were being held off-spot. There is space on this track for about eight cars. Notice the unique Salco hatch covers and plastic lining, which flap fancily while heading along the Kingston Sub!
Ground view of the other end of the string of LATX covered hoppers taken from Eighth Street. Notice wheel stops on track, and GO locomotive at VIA's nearby Toronto Maintenance Centre:
A closeup view of the Salco covers and walkways atop the LATX cars:
Here's a video capture from Rapido Trains' video of their RDC-1 RPDX 6133 stretching its legs near the TMC. It's February 2018, and the Lantic operation is visible in the background including their parked orange Trackmobile:
Satellite view shows the Lantic spurs, the diamond with the wye, stored LATX cylindrical covered hoppers and Trackmobile driveway!
Just last month, here's LATX 7010 westbound for Toronto on March 17, 2018. In the company of former NAHX 455xxx-series, now LATX cylindricals, plus WFRX's like 849636! (Heck, even today CN No 376 had several cylindricals and two WFRX's. Those LATX's are getting tons of graffiti now.)

Running extra...

Book update! TRAINS being graphically designed. GRAINS being captioned. Worked my way through 1986 (hello Saskatoon C - below!) and soon it will be 1985 and I'll be....wallowing in nostalgia even more. Even with all the wallowing, the spring 2018 publication date is still intact! And thanks to the at-least ten people who are expressing interest in this exciting and unique project!
And now for a verdant Vermont moment. I'm doing some prototype research on the dollar-barn for my HO scale Green Mountain Lines. Years ago, barns in Vermont (below) were used for messy things like cows, hay bales, and manure. Now, a Google search reveals that nearly every barn is used for shabby chic, denim apparel, exposed lightbulbs and weddings! Well, marriage can be messy, too.
This week's April meeting of the Associated Railroaders of Kingston included a member-update section during which attendees brought a few photos on a memory stick. The Green Mountain Lines brought their update and for a few minutes it was all green and 1970's. Also - Michael, Bob, Greg, Len, Fred and Paul brought their neat photos and videos. And Denny's brought the slams!

Friday, April 6, 2018

VIA Rail's 40 YEARS Wraps

An evening at Kingston station on March 28, 2018 gave me a chance to document some of the colourful changes taking place in VIA's rolling stock fleet. We're VIA...it's our anniversary! Well, frankly, any year from 1976 onwards could be viewed as anniversariable! So let's pick 1978-2018 since 1967-2017 was used for CANADA 150. But as with last year's colourful wrap program, this one is getting VIAphiles trackside again! 
One-of-a-kind Business Class car VIA 3476 was on No 44. Since the CANADA 150 logo has been removed, the earlier plated car number now shows above the applied number (above). Quick and dirty, said someone! Who knows what VIA will do with the 'leaves' still adorning both ends of the car, though:
Can't get enough of CANADA 150? Well, here's a last, long, lingering look at VIA 6416 on No 68:
The Future is on Board (we don't need no stinkin' capital letters!). VIA 3355 on No 55 -wearing its green cigar band with multicoloured lettering, no lower blue nor green stripe, and the large yellow VIA lettering with 40 Years/Ans logo:
Let the conspiracy theories start about whether there is equal French and English lettering. I ran across tracks to find the city station names on the CANADA 150 cars, but I'll leave this one to someone else. L'avenir est a bord. VIA 3366 on No 46:



I was fortunate to catch both models of VIA power wearing the VIA40 wraps. VIA No 920 on No 46:
Clean and colourful:
 VIA No 3343 on No 46:
Banners with English/French in logo red and white
Notice how the unilingual Years or Ans is part of the tiny logo:
No tripod but a lean against a lightpost will do: VIA 6454 on No 54 at 2004:
VIA 6454 also made it onto the local news. A carload of criminals from Ajax took a detour from Highway 401 onto Lennox & Addington County Road 7 thence east on CN's Kingston Sub at Mi 190! Two hundred yards later, they realized their plight and their auto was autolyzed by VIA No 64. VIA 6454 was heading west and was flagged over the crossing:
Here are the VIA40 first sightings so far: 

Running extra...

First look at Trains and Grains. Bryan, my graphic designer sent the first 27 pages this week, for a layout check. Over 500 photos taken in the Portage la Prairie, MB area 'back in the day'. So Volume 1 - TRAINS is in Bryan's hands. Volume 2 - GRAINS is still in mine and I'm editing and captioning over 250 grain elevator photos. What a trip!
Got rail? Colin Churcher just posted a fascinating post on CP's welded rail plant in Smiths Falls, Ontario.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

CN One-Car Derailment at Portage, 1983


At 1145 on Tuesday, May 17, 1983 a CN freight was switching the west end of the yard in Portage la Prairie. CN boxcar 420445 derailed and ended up atop a signal bungalow adjacent to Third Street N.E. Interestingly, the car was loaded with...wooden grain doors! CN officials came west from Winnipeg to investigate. VIA Rail's Canadian was diverted to a nearby 'side track' according to the newspaper account. The track was cleared by 1645 the same day. News clipping photos (top photo and below) published the following day show CN 5526 next to the boxcar, then  CN 5055 easing by with an eastbound on the north main track:
The offending car was removed by the time my aunt and uncle got there. But CN's Winnipeg road-rail crane was still near the station. (All photos below by Wilf Schellenberg) Having just spent several weeks editing, captioning and enjoying reviewing over 540 of my Portage photos for my Trains and Grains two-volume book project due out this spring, why not a few more?!

The signal bungalow was left righted, though a little worse for wear:
Photographed from across Third Street North East:
With the aftermath of the incident duly documented, a few ensuing evening trains were photographed: 
Heading for Churchill behind CN F's, while a westbound CN freight works the yard. Several covered hoppers are being loaded by United Grain Growers (above). CP got in on the act with a westbound. Check out those CN maintenance cars at right:
And that CN freight makes an appearance behind CN 5289, likely working the yard lead and/or the CP interchange. Meeting it is an eastbound behind a bedragged GMD-1:

Running extra...

As you may have reasonably deduced from the previous post, VIA Rail's Canadian is sadly not returning to Montreal. Neither is there a VIA Heritage Train. Nor was Windsor's station flattened, except to make way for something better. Several have commented on the possibility of an early April Fool's Day prank. But here at Trackside Treasure, it should be noted that the age-old truism is followed rigorously: take your job seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously.
Looking back,looking forward: I was pleased to pass along a USB stick to my graphic designer, with the first half of Trains and Grains, this week. Over 540 photos taken in Portage from 1976 to 1986 with supporting documentation and full captioning. I think it will be pretty rewarding to have this finally on paper and available for other Portage railfanning enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, in Kingston: