Can this business ever be recaptured?

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Can this business ever be recaptured?
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 9:49 PM

Toronto's 'Ontario Food Terminal' was once served exclusively by rail with fruits and vegetables arriving by reefer and refrigerator car from the farmlands of Ontario, especially the famous Niagara produce and a lot from the USA. Of course, a familiar story has all the rail ripped up and everything shipped by truck. If you showed an old timer that last picture  (enlarge it by clicking on it) they would be shocked and wonder what happened.

Makes you wonder if today some CP or CN VP doesn't look at that and think the same. I think it impossible to get this back but also think it was possible not to lose it all in the first place. 

Toronto Division 

Swansea and Ontario Food Terminal (OFT) 

R.L.Kennedy

6269 on the Swansea Transfer in New Toronto. Bill Thomson 

6288 Swansea Transfer on Goodyear siding New Toronto. 1949 R.J.Sandusky 

6525 shoving out to the Food Terminal from Parkdale, passes Sunnyside on the service track. August 1966. Note the overhead footbridge (with slogan) for passengers. Public footbridge in background.
S-3 660 hp MLW #80989 1/1955

Swansea was an area west of Sunnyside (street scenes) and east of Mimico on the Joint Section. In later years it included the Ontario Food Terminal. Only the Bolt Works (later STELCO) was there along with a CNR industrial spur that was once part of the Toronto Belt Line's Humber Loop. This CNR track crossed the Queen Street Extension built in 1955 with a separate right-of-way for the TTC at a diamond, one of the last such crossings at grade with streetcars. 

The Swansea Transfer, really just a yard job, working out of Parkdale Yard, operated on the service track, at least officially, to reach industries in Mimico and New TorontoAll industries were considered by the freight department to be in New Toronto. These included many high freight rate shipments to Western Canada. Christie BiscuitsCampbell's Soup, Goodyear Tire, Anaconda Brass, Gilbey's Distillers, were all shippers of the lucrative and very competitive traffic. Two shifts worked in this area with a small 0-6-0 in steam days, then a 1000 HP ALCO diesel. 

Ontario Food Terminal opened in July 1954 to replace the burned out Toronto Wholesale Fruit Market on the Esplanade in downtown Toronto, the former Great Western station long closed. A $4 Million facility located on 50 acres it had 14 team tracks and handled very large volumes of season fruits and vegetables from the USA for the 36 wholesalers that relocated from downtown. While the OFT was switched by the Swansea Transfer when traffic was light, in season in the 1950's and 60's a Vegetable job (Veg Engine), out of Lambton would be assigned, (or called as an Extra Yard), to work there in conjunction with CNR. They would have to stay out of each other's way as only one engine could switch there at a time. In later years it worked out of Parkdale. In the 1970's and 80's this traffic declined, going to trucks and finally the tracks were all ripped up. Now it looks like this: 


CLICK image to enlarge. 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 1:46 PM

The food market in the South Bronx that serves much of Manhattan, as well as the Bronx, has rail service.  Until HH the fraction coming by rail was increasing, but I am unsure of present condiitions.

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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6:36 PM

In the original post, if you click on the Christies Biscuits link you will find this:

Is that Overmod driving that boat Lincoln with the top down?

 Don't think so ...not old enough yet in 1966.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, May 17, 2018 12:46 AM

Miningman, if you send me your emal address, I have a present which you will like that I will send you as an attachment.

 

daveklepper@yahoo.com

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, May 17, 2018 11:28 AM

Sent you an email Dave. 

Good to know that some Food Terminals are still serviced by rail, but I imagine the great majority has been lost to trucking. 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, May 17, 2018 4:11 PM

IIRC the large Rock Island food warehouse in downtown Minneapolis was torn down in 1980 or '81 and replaced by the Metrodome - which itself was torn down to make room for the new Vikings stadium (the "Taj MaZiggy"). FWIW, it is still served by (light) rail....

Stix
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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, May 17, 2018 5:21 PM

In the original post above the 2nd picture is an 0-6-0 #6288. On top of the boiler nearest the cab is something that looks like a stack, almost like a stack you would see in much later years on a Diesel. What exactly is this and why is it this shape and protrud so high? 

Also of some interest ts the first picture of diminutive 0-6-0 #6269 of which I must say has the smallest cylinders I've seen on a regular yard switching locomotive. The rear facing headlight on the tender is almost as big as the cylinders!

Both these locomotives serviced the Ontario Food Terminal for many years. 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:24 PM

We still have ours but it hardly resembles this postcard view anymore:

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, May 17, 2018 8:08 PM

Is this the answer to my question? A 'smoke consumer' ?

G1 class 2233 and G3 class 2333 two 4-6-2 Pacific types long-demoted from passenger service are about to cross the diamond northbound leaving the westward Galt Sudivision on the Mac Tier Subdivision with a freight train. Looking east. 
West Toronto tower is behind the front of the lead engine. August 1957 Jim Walder/Bruce Chapman Collection

This is most likely 955 and Assist from Parkdale destined to Sudbury. The first two cars are covered hoppers in cement service likely going to Wavy Industries. This train handled LCL shed cars and other priority traffic for Sudbury and North Bay. Engines and van originated at Lambton Yard having backed down to Parkdale. 2233 is popping the safety valves as they top the grade from Parkdale. White steam can be seen at the rear of the stack. This is a "smoke consumer" to dissipate black smoke. Note too the steam exhausting at the top rear of the coal bunker. This is from the water pump evidence the fireman is cooling her down. Two doors on the fireman's side of the tender provides access to the pump. These 2200's were good engines well liked and easy to hand fire. The road engine 2333 is stoker equipped.

Nice postcard Penny...looks like a very busy place...so you still have something left railwise and thats good!

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Posted by M636C on Friday, May 18, 2018 12:07 AM

In the original post above the 2nd picture is an 0-6-0 #6288. On top of the boiler nearest the cab is something that looks like a stack, almost like a stack you would see in much later years on a Diesel. What exactly is this and why is it this shape and protrude so high?

If you compare it with generally similar 6269, these are the safety valves. In a switcher which may be standing for long periods or moving slowly, steam from leaking safety valves could obscure vision (of men on the gound or vehicles being coupled). I'm pretty sure that this is just a pipe extension to ensure that steam from the safety valves won't obscure the view of the crew by ducting any steam to cab roof level.

Peter

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, May 18, 2018 12:31 AM

Thank you M636C...never seen a safety valve going that high but yes of course, that makes sense. 

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, May 18, 2018 8:10 AM

Someone should do an article or at least a column on the different 'smoke consumer' technologies since Rainhill.

The usual approach seen in the latter days of steam was to provide 'antismoke overfire jets', also known as 'guns'.  These used steam or compressed brake-reservoir air to provide excess secondary air at times (and there were lots of times!) the draft or the 'blower' action were insufficient to provide combustion to clear gases.  The main problem with these was probably noise.  But another was early quench if too much secondary air was used ... and I suspect it was difficult to set the guns to get proper air into the center if the plume without chilling the region near the sheets.

Then we have the device commented on a couple of years ago, e.g. on WM, where there is a ring manifold on the stack that blows steam or air.  Some part of this is intended to help 'smoke lifting' and some to entrain air/oxygen in the still very hot and reducing-atmosphere plume coming out of the stack.  My guess is that the Canadian device is in this general category.  I still think it would be better to do as some of the British steam people advocate and use a better nozzle arrangement for the internal blower 

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, May 18, 2018 6:19 PM

Here's another strange stack experiment, something I do not think I was familiar with. How widespread was this tried out? A 'slotted stack'. Heck of a good looking locomotive though.

G1c 1104 (CPR 1478 11/1906) represented the best in passenger power. c.1909 
Note the experimental slotted stack to deflect smoke. Became G2b 2504 5/1913

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, May 18, 2018 7:20 PM

Miningman
Nice postcard Penny...looks like a very busy place...so you still have something left railwise and thats good!

Yes, but according to this map they've built a number of specialized handling facilities where the open-air yard used to be: https://www.google.com/maps/search/northern+ohio+food+terminal/@41.4874066,-81.6632235,17z  Not sure either whose lines run along there.  Could be NYC, NKP, ERIE or B&O mains nearby.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, May 18, 2018 7:22 PM

Miningman
Note the experimental slotted stack to deflect smoke.

Smoke louvers eh?  I wonder how well they did or didn't work?  Probably not too well since you don't see more of them?

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:08 AM

'In the day' most large cities had 'Produce Terminals' that were served by railroads.  The B&O had a Produce Terminal just to the East of Camden Station in Baltimore that served the city into the 1950's, in the 60's the tracks became storage for uneeded serviceable passenger equipment, in the 70's the tracks were removed and the area become parking for company employees working in the B&O Building several blocks away.  In the 80's the property was sold to the State and has become the Baltimore Convention Center.

With the demise of the the B&O's Produce Terminal, that function in the town moved to an area on Pulaski Highway (just North of B&O's Bayview Yard) and it wasn't for product brought in from far away locations it was where local area 'industrial scale' farmer brought their products to be sold in the wee hours before dawn to the local food service community.  This operation lasted for almost a decade and then it was moved Jessup, MD in conjunction with Giant Supermarkets and other food purveyors construction facilities adjacent to the B&O yard at Jessup.  In the late 70's and into the 90's the facilities were primarily rail served, however with CSX's traffic rationalization that took place in the late 80's and 90's rail service was priced out of reach of the customers and all future service was provided by truck.

         

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 19, 2018 9:55 AM

Penny Trains
 
Miningman
Note the experimental slotted stack to deflect smoke.

 

Smoke louvers eh?  I wonder how well they did or didn't work?  Probably not too well since you don't see more of them?

 

I remember reading about those slotted smokestacks years back, probably in the late, lamented "Locomotive and Railway Preservation" magazine, and no, they didn't work well at all at lifting smoke up and away from the cab, so the experiment didn't last long on 'roads that tried it.

Certainly they didn't work as well as "elephant ear" smoke deflectors, and even they didn't work well unless the locomotive had a good rate of speed on it.

And here's a few more of the wild ideas people have come up with to deal with smoke n' cinders.   And the very first picture is of a slotted stack locomotive with some possible explanations for the same.  Prepare yourselves for some "WTH" moments when looking at the rest of the photos!

OK, maybe more than a few!

http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/LOCOLOCO/chimney/chimney.htm

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:32 AM

Penny-- Nickel Plate it is! From Mike to you. 

NORTHERN OHIO FOOD TERMINAL

The NORTHERN OHIO FOOD TERMINAL houses a large segment of northern Ohio's wholesale food industry, covering an area of 34 acres from E. 37th to E. 40th streets between Woodland and Orange avenues. Prior to its opening, Cleveland's wholesale food trade occupied scattered quarters along Broadway, Woodland, and Central avenues from E. 6th to E. 9th streets. In 1926 the Northern Ohio Food Terminal Inc. was organized to build a central market supplying locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables, wholesale meats, poultry, and dairy products to the grocery, hotel, and restaurant trade. The Northern Ohio Food Terminal, which modernized Cleveland's handling of perishable foods, opened on 3 June 1929 under the direction of President Charles F. Haas and General Manager Russel Swiler.

Rows of produce and other goods fill the inside the Northern Ohio Food Terminal in 1929. WRHSRows of produce and other goods fill the inside the Northern Ohio Food Terminal in 1929. WRHS

The new food terminal consisted of 4 reinforced-concrete buildings, an auction building, and a Growers' Market, opened in 1930, with covered sheds spread over 4 1/ 2 acres. The Nickel Plate Railroad (see NICKEL PLATE ROAD) retained ownership and operation of the terminal's 16-track delivery yard, which handled 18,000 cars annually. In 1954 the terminal was handling 40,000 carloads of food annually valued at $140 million, with more than 100 food merchants employing about 1,500 people. The greatest change in the terminal's operation during its first 25 years was the growth of trucking. In addition to a constant flow of rail cars, more than 20,000 carloads were arriving by truck each year.

Firelock-- Great stuff. Took over an hour to read all that. Well at least people were thinking!

 

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:38 AM

NORTHERN OHIO FOOD TERMINAL The NORTHERN OHIO FOOD TERMINAL houses a large segment of northern Ohio's wholesale food industry, covering an area of 34 acres from E. 37th to E. 40th streets between Woodland and Orange avenues. Prior to its opening, Cleveland's wholesale food trade occupied scattered quarters along Broadway, Woodland, and Central avenues from E. 6th to E. 9th streets. In 1926 the Northern Ohio Food Terminal Inc. was organized to build a central market supplying locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables, wholesale meats, poultry, and dairy products to the grocery, hotel, and restaurant trade. The Northern Ohio Food Terminal, which modernized Cleveland's handling of perishable foods, opened on 3 June 1929 under the direction of President Charles F. Haas and General Manager Russel Swiler. Rows of produce and other goods fill the inside the Northern Ohio Food Terminal in 1929. WRHS Rows of produce and other goods fill the inside the Northern Ohio Food Terminal in 1929. WRHS The new food terminal consisted of 4 reinforced-concrete buildings, an auction building, and a Growers' Market, opened in 1930, with covered sheds spread over 4 1/ 2 acres. The Nickel Plate Railroad (see NICKEL PLATE ROAD) retained ownership and operation of the terminal's 16-track delivery yard, which handled 18,000 cars annually. In 1954 the terminal was handling 40,000 carloads of food annually valued at $140 million, with more than 100 food merchants employing about 1,500 people. The greatest change in the terminal's operation during its first 25 years was the growth of trucking. In addition to a constant flow of rail cars, more than 20,000 carloads were arriving by truck each year.

Sorry the original did not fit the page....here is the script

Message to Firelock is: Great stuff! Took over an hour to read through it all. At least people were thinking!!

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, May 19, 2018 4:12 PM

Interesting article on the Northern Ohio Food Terminal!

And can you imagine how fast the stuff came in once those great Nickle Plate Berkshires had a hand in moving it?  Probably fresher than ever!

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, May 19, 2018 5:58 PM
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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:53 PM

Firelock76
a few more of the wild ideas people have come up with to deal with smoke n' cinders.

Wowsers!  I like this one:

Looks like the loco is smoking Sherlock Holmes' pipe!  Laugh

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:57 PM

Firelock76
And can you imagine how fast the stuff came in once those great Nickle Plate Berkshires had a hand in moving it? Probably fresher than ever!

A Penny says it's a Nickel.  Smile, Wink & Grin

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, May 19, 2018 8:22 PM

The B&O Produce Terminal and what followed it was for the wholesale exchange of produce.  Baltimore also has a system of retail markets for John & Jane Doe to shop at Lexington Market, Avenue Market, Hollins Market, Northeast Market, Broadway Market, Cross Street Market are the markets that still exist today.  If it is a food, somebody is selling it at one or more of the markets.

         

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, May 19, 2018 11:49 PM

I suspect Reading Market below Reading Terminal was for retail rather than wholesale.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, May 20, 2018 11:27 AM

MidlandMike

I suspect Reading Market below Reading Terminal was for retail rather than wholesale.

 

It is now.  Lady Firestorm and I went to the Reading Terminal Market several years ago after seeing it on a Rachel Ray show.  Wow!  What a place!  If you're a foodie it's not to be missed!  Lotsa good stuff in there!

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Posted by MidlandMike on Sunday, May 20, 2018 9:49 PM

We were at the Marketplace about 10 years ago, and I had to make the hard decision as to which place to eat at.  I tried to get upstairs to see what was left of the former rail terminal, which has apparently been converted to meeting space, but was met by security.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, May 21, 2018 4:59 PM

Don't worry, you didn't miss much.  When we were there what was left of the Terminal looked a lot more like a super-sized gymnasium or a basketball court than a rail terminal.  You'd never know from looking that trains were ever in the place.

Hey, look on the bright side, at least the Reading Terminal was preserved!

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, May 21, 2018 7:15 PM

At least the old terminal was replaced with a more efficient thru station and connection.

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