Monday 15 March 2021

CN Rymal Pt. 16 Freight Cars Part 5

 As previously mentioned, the former H&NW line southwest out of Hamilton was plied daily by way freights dispatched from the lake front Stuart Street Yard throughout the 1970’s, well into the mid 1980’s. For a brief period in 1984, the line experienced bidirectional dispatching related to a major pipeline coating order being processed by Shaw Pipe Production. As well as commerce generated on line, foreign RR connections at Hagersville and Jarvis supplemented the freight mix with interchange traffic. Hagersville was bisected by the Canada Southern (Caso); in succession, New York Central, Penn Central and Conrail. Trackage rights on the CN Cayuga subdivision permitted Norfolk and Western to pick up/drop off in Jarvis. Damage to the line at the Stone Church Road overpass in 1987 would result in as needed service northward only to Rymal with starting points off either the Dunnville subdivision from Caledonia or off of the Cayuga subdivision via Jarvis. Prior to the line severing, development of the Lake Erie adjacent Nanticoke industrial landscape generated traffic to and from the ‘Steel City’. Stelco’s satellite facility also resulted in the deployment of CN’s railfan favourite F units on steel slab trains. Following the Stone Church Road bridge mishap, southbound unit train movement of slabs followed a rather circuitous route via Brantford. Concerns related to the potential of a runaway careening through the lower city always kept northbound slab trains off the H&NW north of Caledonia.

ATSF 313158, Santa Fe Class Ga-180, was constructed by Pullman-Standard at their Butler, PA facility; lot 9617, series ATSF 312800-313799, built 12/1972 - 2/1973. Shown moving northbound through Rymal, a possible routing could have been as follows; an agricultural product load from the US mid-west interchanged to Conrail in Chicago, followed by movement along the Caso to Hagersville where it was dropped off for Canadian National.

CGLX 812 is from series CGLX 800 - 909, built by Hawker-Siddeley (HST) in Trenton, Nova Scotia; lot 2335, built 9 - 10/1968. The 3,800 cu. ft. covered hopper cars would later be renumbered to CP 383700 - 383802 in 1983 and 1984.

CN 302149/302423 are from series CN 302000 – 302599, built by National Steel car as lot P. 7940 from 2 - 6/1976. Both trains are shown southbound, most likely the ballast hopper cars are empty and destined for the Cayuga Quarry. Given the geological make up, the Niagara Peninsula was and still is dotted by quarry operations. In the past, in general, Canadian National practice was to employ crushed slag ballast on mainline track and limestone ballast on branch line right of ways. Slag ballast, as a waste byproduct of steel making, was relatively inexpensive. However, over time slag pulverizes, causes tie degradation and was later determined to have unwanted electrical properties. Limestone breaks down, but can be cleaned and re-applied. Ballasting is also regional; note the light coloured ballast in both views. Today, CN employs granite-like crushed rock as ballast along mainline ROW’s.

CN 663660 is from series CN 663600 - 663699 built by Canadian Car & Foundry as lot 2154 in October and November of 1956. Note that the utilitarian 52’ – 6” long flat car is equipped with friction bearing trucks. Over the years, raw pipe was delivered to, coated, and shipped from Shaw Pipe Protection. The flat cars shown are comparatively short for pipe transportation and may have been employed as idlers between overhanging pipe loads.