Friday, September 22, 2017

September Sale!

Check out these unique items! A useful and diverse group of timetables and other railway documents, employee magazines, photos, collectibles and HO scale rolling stock that are surplus to my collection. The items in in each photo are being sold as a lot. I can't break up lots - these items have to go! Shipping will be actual Canada Post postage. The first email indicating interest  in each lot to mile179kingstonATyahooDOTca makes the item yours! I can now accept Interac e-transfer as well as cheque or money order! Please refer to each lot by the LOT# in your email. Happy shopping! Click each photo for a better view. Items already sold are marked |****SOLD****
LOT 1 ****SOLD****(Top photo) $20 Original LRC press release photos with caption information.
LOT 2 (above) $20 CN Keeping Track employee magazines - 10 issues from 1957-1962.
LOT 3 ****SOLD****(below) $15 CN Hamilton yard operations 1990 and CN train orders from Hamilton and Stoney Creek, 1966-88.
****SOLD**** LOT 4: $20 CP Spanner employee magazines - 10 issues from 1961-1967:
LOT 5: ****SOLD****$18 Collectible VIA/CN buffeteria menu and 5 CP public timetables 1970-1976:
****SOLD****LOT 6: $15 CP 1963 and 1965 annual reports plus CP Spanner employee magazines - 3 issues 1955-1962:
LOT 7: $15 CN Locofolio with 22 locomotive photos, data and specifications by Railfare:
 LOT 8: ****SOLD****$10 CN Heirs to a Dream and Grand Trunk Western train orders 1964-1978:
LOT 9: $25 CP Bygones Collectors Items with 27 locomotive photos, data and specifications. Canada 1967 Tattoo cardboard sign and Canadian Locomotive Co. CPA-16a and CPB-1b Operator's Manual:
****SOLD**** LOT 10: $30 TH&B lot of 8 employees' timetables 1972-1980:
 LOT 11: $4 CN Great Lakes Region employees timetable, 1987:
Photo prints ideal for prototype fans, modellers and collectors alike. Size is 4x6 inches except as noted. Quantity in each lot is a minimum. Many lots have more photos than indicated. Occasional duplication not counted in quantity. Shine on photos is from room lighting only. Variety of eras represented. 
LOT 12 (above) 40 assorted 5x7 photos $12.
LOT 13 ****SOLD****(below) 20+ CP rolling stock $7.
****SOLD**** LOT 14: 20+ CP locomotives $7:
 LOT 15:  ****SOLD****40 Various Rolling Stock $12:
 ****SOLD****LOT 16: 50 CN locomotives $15:
 LOT 17: 30 Goderich & Exeter locomotives $10:
 LOT 18: 45+ Canadian shortline locomotives $15:
****SOLD****LOT 19: 15+ VIA locomotives $5:
 LOT 20: 25+ US locomotives $7:
 LOT 21: 50+ Ontario Southland locomotives $15:
 LOT 22: 18 Norfolk Southern and TH&B, mostly locomotives $6:
HO scale layout rolling stock fleet ready to roll! All cars are as is, non-metal wheels and X2F-coupler equipped. Rolling stock in each photo is sold as a lot. An economical way to start a fleet or use for kitbashing purposes - all at about $2 per car!

LOT 23: $45 Boxcars (above)
LOT 24: $50 Tank cars, hoppers and flats, oh my! (below):
 LOT 25: $35 Cabooses
 LOT 26: $40 Boxcars and more:
 LOT 27: $60 Passenger fleet:
 LOT 28: $22 Locomotives and hi-cubes:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

McDonald's Restaurant Rolling Stock

One of North America's most diverse and most widely-dispersed rolling stock fleets did not turn a wheel. It was not interchanged. It was never inspected by a carman or even put in a consist. But it took on thousands of passengers. For an hour or two at a time. They ate hamburgers, blew out candles, and ate cake. They were at McDonald's restaurants in Charlottetown, Winnipeg, Bay Roberts, NL, Lasalle QC (ex-CP), Orillia ON, Stratford ON, Spokane, Tulsa, Waterford NY, Swanton OH, Stillwater OK, Elkton VA, Thayer MO, New Bedford MA, Crystal Lake IL, and Santa Monica, CA (the latter still with ACI tag!) and countless other untallied locations. Welland, ON hosted RMCX 001 - an ex-CN caboose with appropriate reporting marks. I posed witih our two kids on a trip to Niagara Falls and the Welland Canal in June, 1995 during a breakfast stop (top photo). This fleet began to form around 1978. Just in time for the bowl-cut generation, as this 1979 TV commercial shows.
Ottawa's St Laurent Boulevard location hosted one (above) as did McDonald's Bells Corners location. An ex-CN caboose in Cowansville, QC (below). Only the top and bottom photos are mine - the others are from online photo sites like Flickr. Actually the top photo was taken by my wife, with me and the two kids on the rear platform! Interestingly, while the ex-CN Welland caboose is shown in the 1995 Canadian Trackside Guide, it was not included in the 1989 version. A casual search of Ontario locations in that year's CTSG yielded ex-CN cabooses in Chatham, Collingwood, Georgetown, Kitchener, Leamington, Mississauga (2), Nepean, Orangeville and Owen Sound, with an ex-CP caboose in Hamilton. In the 2008 CTSG, none of those sites still had cabooses. Collingwood's and Owen Sound's were moved to nearby stations/museums.
Though McDonald's corporate department seems to have had a policy on placing these cars, there was no mandated paint scheme. Cars were taken from local railways, so car types also varied. Some had cupolas, while some did not, such as this Mount Holly, NJ ex-Conrail bay window:
With 37,000 locations worldwide, there is considerable variation in McDonald's restaurant design. For some time, McDonald's has been ditching the formica tables and cheap wood panelling, red-and-yellow 'cafeteria' look of its restaurants to make them appear more cafe-like, i.e. without those pivoting chairs on posts with hard backs! Ouch. The same is true for the cabooses! Composite construction in Boulder, CO:
Barstow Station in Barstow, CA actually gets reviewed on Tripadvisor and Yelp. It's one of the remaining railroady facilities with three (!) passenger cars and a red-and-yellow caboose plus blue Santa Fe boxcar:
 A stainless steel passenger car at Fall River, MA:
The current i'm lovin' it campaign began in 2003, and was one of 23 slogans that McDonald's has trumpeted in its advertising over the years.
 Bayland TX (above) El Paso TX (below)
This brightly-painted ex-CN caboose is no longer at the McDonald's restaurant on Lougheed in Vancouver (below). Party hats, the 'municipal' presence of Mayor McCheese and the delight of opening cheeseburger happy meals within the confines of a caboose would be memories in the making.
With the steady demise of party cars, many have found new homes in museums or with private owners. Some franchisees have taken the cars with them or moved them to friends' properties. Locally, the Thurlow Golf Centre, just north of Belleville on Towncentre Drive, just off North Front Street/Highway 62 still hosted a off-rails caboose in this June, 2015 Googlemaps street view: 
Interestingly, I wondered why this former DT&I 153/Grand Trunk Western caboose had arrived in Belleville yard back in September, 1997, in the company of CN ingot cars and ballast cars. The caboose may no longer be at the golf centre, which is now out of business.
After this post was published, Jeremy MacPherson kindly sent in this online auction site photo of an ex-CN caboose in Saint John NB that later served as a take-out in Quispamsis. Equipped with gingerbread and air-conditioning!


Running extra...

If you've seen Trackside Treasure's sidebar, you'll see my second of five blogs - it's Fast Food and Trains (FFAT for short). As we all know, if you're trainwatching, you're eating fast food (sorry, granola types if I'm superimposing my values on yours - chew on). This post would be equally at home on that blog.

The current McDonald's order-taking process has also seen a sea-change since the seventies. No more rows of queued customers standing before pimply-faced paper-hatted peons. Instead, it's one order taker (don't use the electronic kiosks - they're job-killers for a corporation that prides itself on promoting productive teen labour) and a pod of prospective partakers, standing around like penguins waiting for fish to be flung, as in the film Happy Feet.

Speaking of flightless birds, the Snowbirds definitely do not qualify. Note the arrowed Battery Park location )formerly Canadian Locomotive Co.) that was our ground-bound perch to see the peak of professionalism put forth by these error-free air demonstration aeronauts over Kingston last weekend:
CANADA 150 nose logo! Here over Kingston airport, with two spares on the apron:

Friday, September 8, 2017

CN Bagged Gondola Loads Halifax-Fort Saskatchewan

At Pier 9 of Halifax harbour, CN lifts gondolas loaded with bags of minerals that I'd heard variously described as nickel ore, mine tailings, ore concentrate, possibly nickel or zinc. Actually, it's from a relatively new nickel laterite mine, initiated in the 1950s and upgraded in 2001 in Moa, Cuba, though its west mine is nearly depleted. This may account for the use of the term 'tailings' by some. Ships carry the nickel from Moa Bay, Cuba to Halifax. Another similar mine is being developed in Ambatovy, Madagascar. The shipments from Cuba began around 1994, after Sherritt investment in the site was initiated in 1990.

Strict instructions are provided, at least in the days before Cuba and the US normalized relations: "DO NOT SHIP THROUGH USA". The bags are loaded in a row, above the cars' centre sill. Blue and red tags are readily visible trackside, though I haven't taken the opportunity to climb aboard and get close-up shots! (Hey, I've always wanted to 'catch-out' for a trip to Alberta). One or several cars at a time are picked up by the CN switcher and added to a Toronto-bound freight for furtherance on an Alberta-bound train. The bags' destination is Fort Saskatchewan, AB, to a 1952-built Sherritt metal refinery which produces nickel and cobalt. A satellite photo of the refinery shows gons with bagged loads outside a large covered building.
The mine in Moa now accounts for 95% of the refinery's nickel feedstock. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the mine needed to find a new destination for its product. 

From Fort Saskatchewan, the finished product is shipped by container overseas, via the Port of Montreal.

The gondolas used when I first noticed this traffic were CN 65-foot gons, with a capacity of 3150 cu ft, i.e. series CN 157000-157299. CN 156387 with IC-style reporting marks was westbound on CN No 305 on May 21, 2007 (top photo). The red and blue tags on the top of each bag are just visible.
My Kingston Sub observations, with date, car number, CN train on, notes:

Jul 5/97 CN 156295 on No 307 dest Fort Saskatchewan
Oct 18/97 CN 157135-156015 dest Fort Saskatchewan on tailend of No 307
Apr 10/98 CN 156024-157070 plus five others with bagged loads on No 307
May 20/08 CN 157101 on CN No 309
July 5/08 CN 157079, ATW 400522-400488-400561 and eight others on No 305
Sep 14/08 ATW 400598-400566-400592 on No 321
March 27/2010 ATW and NKCR gondolas, no CN gondolas.

Eventually, whether due to age or capacity, the CN gons were replaced by new NSC-built ATW (Atlantic & Western) and Trinity-built NKCR (Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado Railnet) gondolas. ATW gondolas have a capacity of 3675 cu ft and a gross weight of 286,000 lbs.

Ron Visockis shared this overhead mid-train photo of CN No 305 with a large cut of bagged load gons, including ATW 400541 in the foreground, westbound through Belleville on March 9, 2016:
Here's NOKL 360087, one of a dozen black gondolas on CN No 305 at Kingston on March 12, 2017 including IC and ATW cars:
On September 10, 2017, CN No 305 had examples of two of the types of gondolas used in this service. ATW gons are prevalent, the IC gons less so:
 ATW 400494 (above) and 400572 (below):
 IC 3681 with tops of bags more visible:
John Richard kindly shared this overhead photo of some of the gons on CN No 305 at Moncton Gordon Yard on August 9, 2017: 
John also included an April, 2016 close-up photo of the bags, each apparently weighing about 1600 kg. UN 3077 is "environmentally hazardous substance, solid, not otherwise specified, not including waste" and applies to a wide variety of substances. Thanks, John!
Jakob Mueller also got (and kindly shared!) overhead views of the bagged loads at Halifax....
This was at the end of the CN gondola era, with the ATW cars looking quite new. Jakob's first encounter with the gons was in September, 2008 (above) and again in June, 2009 (below):
Lots o' links:
Running extra...
Kingston is fortunate to have some notable RCAF visitors this week for the CFB Kingston Family Fun Fest: the Snowbirds (above) and Captain Matthew Kutryk with the CF-18 Demo Team, flying CANADA 150 188734 still with its under-fuselage fool-me-once faux cockpit:
and it's proudly presented by VIA Rail Canada, with passengers through Kingston station reminded of the event by this dumpster shelter banner!
Watch for Trackside Treasure's upcoming September Sale. From my collection to yours?