Saturday, November 30, 2013

Across Canada by Train Order - Eastward

In Part 1, we worked our way westward aboard VIA Rail in September, 1985. Continuing my Toronto-Vancouver-Prince Rupert-Winnipeg-Regina-Toronto trip,this return leg will also see the accumulation of more sets of train orders. Having reached the Pacific tidewater at Prince Rupert, I headed for the Crest Motel before an early morning departure back east. Once again, I'll list the train order sets I was able to collect by date, train number, route segment, railway travelled and train order offices, along with some train orders of note and en route photos:
The above train order was apparently delivered by road to CN's Nemoto yard. We waited for a derailment clean-up after departing Rupert. Running three and a half hours late at Terrace at 1400, as baggage and passengers are handled. Covered wood chip cars line the next track beside ditchlight-equipped FP9 6514:
September 25, 1985
VIA No 6 Prince Rupert BC-Edmonton AB
CN Nemoto (to No 6 Eng 6514 at Prince Rupert)
CN Terrace
CN Smithers
CN Prince George (meeting VIA No 5 Eng 6519 at McBride)
CN Shelley
CN Dome Creek
CN McBride
CN Harvey
(Above - Meeting a CN freight at Unity SK at 1755, and it's always Winter in this part of Saskatchewan!)

September 26, 1985
VIA No 4 joined with No 6 at Jasper AB-Edmonton-Winnipeg
CN Jasper (Engines VIA 6511-6610-6514 with No 6 consist total 11 cars)
CN Edson
CN Edmonton
CN Wainwright
CN Biggar SK (Engines VIA 6511-6510-7 cars)
CN Watrous

September 27, 1985
CN Melville SK
CN Rivers MB
I rode west from Winnipeg to Regina SK on No 1, toured nearby grain elevator branchlines as far south as Weyburn, returning from Regina to Winnipeg on No 2. A message sent from Montreal to VIA No 2 detailed a stop at Whitemouth (above).
September 30, 1985
VIA No 2 Winnipeg MB-Thunder Bay ON
CN Winnipeg
CP Winnipeg (The Canadian operated over CN Pine Falls Sub from Union Station, via Beach Jct to Pine Falls-Manson connecting track to CP. Unlike No 1's orders at Kenora, CN orders were delivered to the crew at Union Station, with CP orders handed up at a small ATCO building at Manson as the train left the city of Winnipeg. Message to No 2 at Manson - stop at Whitemouth to entrain one passenger in car #210 destined Pembroke ON)
CP Kenora ON
CP Ignace (No 404 Eng 6047 run ahead of No 2)
My plans to ride the mixed train out of Neebing on CN did not pan out. I Stayed at Thunder Bay before catching No 1's 13-car consist turned to become No 2 and passengers bussed around a derailment back at Ignace. GO train traffic (cab car leading) was competing for our track south of Washago:
October 2, 1985
VIA No 10 Sudbury-Toronto ON
CN South Parry (to No 10 at Boyne)
CN Washago (Engines VIA 6312-6618-6787)
CN Orillia
Another memento: an ever-present sign in the crew's four-seater - hand-lettered sign left on seat 'Reserved for Crew S(il) V(ous) P(lait)
Returning back to Kingston, I alighted from the LRC carrying some extra weight in the form of a couple of inches of train orders. Although many of the train orders detailed slow orders and work limits, there were enough orders governing the movement of my trains to make these very interesting documents in retrospect. Before long, train orders and hand-written clearances hooped up by operators at stations would be replaced by TGBO's produced by anonymous fax machines, spit out at Field Information Terminals. Much less interesting and less colourful!

Running extra...

Black Friday beckoned and Syracuse NY did not disappoint, with CSX intermodal, garbage, manifest freights, Amtrak Empire Service and a 2 hr 20 min late Lake Shore Limited, and a steady flow of oil trains with BNSF and NS run-through power. Of course Trackside Treasure is supposed to be Canadian - don't worry, there was still lots of Canadian content. CN covered hoppers, boxcars, and ex-CN COFC flats now carrying the aforementioned garbage. How could they refuse? Watch for an upcoming post (shameless plug).

Speaking of Shameless, Yukon OK's favourite son put on an engrossing two-hour solo show broadcast live from Wynn Las Vegas' Encore Theatre live on CBS last night. Garth Brooks paid homage to his early influences: James Taylor, Billy Joel and George Strait. (Interestingly, as I type this, the Starbucks sound system is playing a version of Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love, which Garth also performed.) Surprisingly, the special which capped Garth's three-year run did not include The Dance nor Friends in Low Places.

After a day of shopping and trainwatching that began at nought-dark-thirty, despite infusions of Panera Bread dark roast coffee, all I could think as I propped my eyelids open during the special was I'm Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old.


Michael said...

One question comes to mind seeing the photo of the Via F unit with the add-on ditch lights. When was it decided that these old units needed those lights?

Eric said...

Yes, CN was one of the pioneers of ditch light use in the mountain canyons of British Columbia. Search 'ditch lights' on Robert McDonald's Oil-Electric blog, Michael. He's done some research and shared some of his first-hand recollections from the Prince Rupert area.

Still, they look 'stuck-on', don't they?

Thanks for your question,